"People normally feel happiness when they love and are loved in return. I feel happiness when people hate me and I feel compelled to hurt the things that are dear to me. But is that so strange?"
Pariston Hill (パリストン=ヒル, Parisuton Hiru) is a Triple-Star Hunter and both the former 13th Chairman and 12th Vice Chairman of the Hunter Association. He is also a former member of the Zodiacs with the codename "Rat" (子, Ne). He can be considered one of the main antagonists of the 13th Hunter Chairman Election arc.
Pariston has medium-length, dark blond hair and brown eyes. He is known for his wide, cheerful smiles. Unlike many of the other members of the Zodiacs, he does not change his appearance to look like the animal that he represents. Instead, Pariston is always seen wearing luxurious suits and ties.
According to Ging Freecss, Pariston's personality is similar to Netero's and his own in that he likes to play around and enjoy himself, uninterested in winning or losing, which makes him very unpredictable. He always appears cheerful with a bright smile, making it quite impossible to read his thoughts and calculate his motives. This alone infuriates the Zodiacs, mostly Cheadle, Kanzai, and Cluck. He is extremely sly and gets pleasure from destroying what he loves most. Simultaneously, he is infuriated by and enjoys a rivalry with Ging; Pariston has rarely hated anyone, though he does awful things to them and is curious to see what he would do to someone he hates, with Ging currently occupying that position. He has a preference for harsh punishments for anyone who does him wrong.
He tends to treat serious situations as mere games, such as the elections for the 13th chairman. When he wins the chairman position, he casually hands it to Cheadle and resigns. He has also 5,000 cocooned Chimera Ants for his private playground.
Due to his extreme unpredictability, slyness, shadiness and the tendency to test anyone's patience and temper, he is disliked by all of the Zodias and many Hunters in the Association, even more than Ging. Even Morel states that he would rather die than vote for a slew rat like Pariston. It is also shown that Netero also cannot stand him and often gets into a lot of arguments with him, but he tolerates Pariston's presence because he believes that a yes-man second-in-command is too boring for him.
Pariston became a Hunter in preparation for Beyond's expedition to the Dark Continent. Three years before Netero's demise, Pariston was appointed Vice Chairman of the Hunter Association, partly because Netero enjoyed how Pariston challenged him, and made him a member of the Zodiacs. During his time as Vice Chairman, Pariston handled the business side of the Hunter Association. During those three years, 18 Hunters went missing, an average of six per year, in contrast to an average of 0.6 Hunters per year prior to Pariston's term, which also included Ging. Pariston declared that if he became Chairman, that number would go down, implying he played a part in the mysterious disappearances, although he may have done so only to irritate Mizaistom. The Ox suspects that Pariston has ties to the underworld. Other shady dealings include a scandal in which funds from the Temp Agency established by Pariston were found in his account, which he claims was all a misunderstanding, as the money was supposedly a reserve fund to strengthen the Hunter Association. Through his Temp Agency and position as Vice Chairman, Pariston succeeded in acquiring a firm grasp over the organization, obtaining the power to control the Review Board from the shadows and thus give jobs only to his supporters.
Chimera Ant arc
Pariston is indirectly mentioned when Morel throws a fit because Cheetu avoided capture due to the Hunter Association not having sent Likke. Knov speculates it might be due to the Vice Chairman manipulating the committee into assigning jobs only to those who would vote for him in the next chairman election. Morel suspects that, in order to undermine Netero's credibility in the eyes of the voters, he is trying to impede his mission to exterminate the ants, as the greater number of victims, the more Netero's prestige will diminish.
13th Hunter Chairman Election arc
Pariston first appears during the meeting of the Zodiacs on deciding the next chairman, during which he announces his candidacy and proposes to skip the election. During the meeting, Mizaistom remarks that the number of missing Hunters has gone up tenfold during Pariston's term. Pariston remarks that this is a misfortune that will surely lessen with his election as chairman. This angers Mizaistom who begins to attack Pariston, but stops when he hears Ging Freecss announce his intention to run for chairman. Pariston remarks to Ging that his son Gon is in critical condition and wonders if he should visit him, but worries that it would be a waste of time if Gon were to die afterward. Ging confidently tells Pariston that Gon will not die.
Pariston then decides that there should be a systematic way to choose the rules for the election in which Cheadle suggests to use a lot drawing where each member of the Zodiacs write the rules they think are best for the election and the one that is chosen will be the set of rules that will be followed. They then decide that the person to draw the lots is Beans. After Beans draws Ging's set of rules and reads them aloud, Pariston says that he only concedes to rules 1-4.
In the 1st Election for the 13th Hunter Chairman, Pariston receives 249 votes, coming in 1st place but because the conditions haven't been met, a new election has to be done. In the 2nd Election, Pariston receives 251 votes gaining 2 more votes and coming in 1st once more but due to the voting turnout being less than 95%, a new election is held. Based on these two elections, the Zodiacs have meetings regarding the invalid votes and the Hunters who abstained to vote, Pariston suggests that Beans check every sheet before the voting to avoid invalid votes and the licenses for those who abstain from voting should be confiscated. Kanzai notes that people are voting invalidly or abstaining because they do not want Pariston as Chairman. Pariston responds that the vast majority of voters think otherwise and jabs at Kanzai's intelligence.
This prompts Kanzai to attack Pariston, but several other Zodiacs stop him. Afterward, the Zodiacs agree to follow Pariston's suggestions. Before they solidify the changes with a vote, Pariston clarifies to Cheadle, after prompting, that Hunters with confiscated licenses do not lose their ability to vote.
In the 3rd Election, Pariston receives 258 votes, but since there's an increase in absentees, it's decided that these Hunters will have their licenses confiscated for breaking the rules. Seeing this, Pariston wonders if it's truly enough to just confiscate the Hunter Licenses, so he makes a suggestion that the Zodiacs hold a lecture with all the Hunters to show them how important the election is. As Pariston is making his speech to all the Hunters trying to convince them to vote, asking that if anyone has anything on their mind to stand and speak their mind and that minority groups will not be looked down upon, at this time Leorio picks up a microphone and speaks his mind. In the 4th Election, Pariston receives once again 258 votes.
In the 5th Election, Pariston receives 274 votes. He then receives a call regarding the joining of a number of Temp Hunters joining Teradein Neutral's group in the hunt for the Needle People and Illumi, to which he agrees to and has no problems with. After he hangs up the phone, he starts to laugh maniacally and says that Teradein, Bushidora Ambitious, and Loupe Highland are a fine trio, and are easy to understand, signifying that he is probably aware of their plan of just using the Temp Hunters as bait and getting them killed so his votes would drop.
It is revealed by Ging that Pariston has no intention of winning or losing the Chairman Election and that Pariston only wants to play with the hybrid cocoons the Chimera Ants had left around, and an area to play with them in. As the 8th Election starts, the last 4 candidates are given a chance to explain to everyone why they want to become chairman. When it is Cheadle's turn she asks everyone to vote for Leorio to which Pariston is surprised and loses his trademark smirk.
After Leorio finishes his speech, which gives him a large applause, Pariston stands to give his speech. He says that once the election is over he will also do everything in his power to help Gon, but he says that out of the four remaining candidates the one most fit to become Chairman is Mizaistom, to the surprise of everyone. After the 8th election is over, he comes in 2nd place leaving him and Leorio to face each other for the title of Chairman.
Due to Gon being healed, Pariston wins the election and is thus the new Chairman of the Hunter Association. He announces Cheadle will be his vice, and then quits the position. The other Zodiacs, astonished once again, become furious, with Ging declaring even he was not expecting that. Cheadle follows Pariston out of the hall, appearing to have reached her limit of being toyed with. He starts to confess he did not become Vice Chairman because he wanted to succeed Netero; rather, he wanted to hinder him but every time he said something silly to Netero, it only seemed to make him happy. On the verge of tears, he expresses his regret over Netero's death. He then recommends that Cheadle revise the Hunter Bylaws and the Hunter Exam, and threatens her not to make the Association dull, or he really will toy with her.
Dark Continent Expedition arc
Pariston is seen in the room with Beyond Netero and his nine other followers. In the Zodiacs' meeting, Cheadle announces that he asked to withdraw from the Zodiacs, along with Ging, and that she approved. Ging Freecss himself later arrives in the lair of Beyond's expedition team. Pariston asks him if he will join, Ging orders him to send in 5,000 Chimera Ants. He continues that he will no longer allow Pariston to do as he pleases and challenges him. When Pariston sounds confident that Ging will join him, Ging answers that he wants to "play by himself".
Pariston disapproves of Cheadle's plan to conform to the V5's wishes and recruit personnel through the Hunter Exam, and denies that Netero would have taken a similar course of action. He holds the former Chairman would have gone to the Dark Continent without the approval of the V5 and hunt his son down once he got there. Pariston then wonders if that isn't what the Hunter Association is supposed to be. He asks Ging to prove that he is actually trying to destroy the organization, starting from his motives. When Ging responds that if the Hunter Association conforms, Pariston would free his 5,000 Chimera Ant hybrids, and if it doesn't, he would have them take the Hunter Exam and become members, Pariston is surprised and saddened that Ging can read him so well, but states he forgives him. He then reflects that normally people find happiness in loving and being loved, but he feels happy when he is hated, and wants to harm the things he loves. He wonders if it is all that strange, with Ging replying that Pariston is well out of standard. When Ging asks Marione if she is the highest ranked person in the room, Pariston replies that would indeed be him. He feels underestimated when Ging implies he is weaker than her. Pariston remains impassible after Ging claims he could easily kill him, and that he'd need to defeat his spirit for him to stop laughing.
When Ging declares that he is not planning on making any changes to the party's plans and that he'll pay the members double what they were promised, Pariston looks on without intervening. Ging asks him if he has any objections, but he replies he has none, and that having Ging as number 2 will be a huge asset for the group. After a moment of tension, he confirms Ging's suspicion that he is not being paid by Beyond, so Ging will not pay him, either. He listens in silence as Ging explains about the Five Great Calamities the two guides of the Dark Continent written by Don Freecss.
While Ging is talking to Gon on the phone, the members of the party split in two groups: those who are willing to take his money, and those who aren't, with Pariston siding with the first faction. As Ging expounds that Pariston used to be Vice Chairman of the Hunter Association to restrain Netero's authority while gaining power, Pariston is irritated by how similar their way of thinking is, and wonders inwardly if he will really hate someone for the first time, admitting he looks forward to it. He complies with Ging's request to inform everyone in the team about his presence.
One month later, Pariston tells Ging that all the infiltrators they sent to take the Hunter Exam were discovered and failed, apparently thanks to his replacement in the Zodiacs. When Muherr steps in, Pariston introduces him to Ging, but the two already know each other. Muherr would not be surprised if Kurapika had found out about their escape plan, but Pariston smiles and replies that there is no plan to free Beyond: he must escape all by himself once in the Dark Continent and then meet up with them. Muherr questions Ging's motives to join their team, suspecting he might double-cross them. Pariston tries to defend him, but the henchmen refuse to accept his presence and demand that Ging and Pariston choose which of them will leave the team. However, Ging offers them a third alternative, and Pariston a fourth, commenting how irked he is that he is being disrupted on one of the few occasions he and Ging get along. Ging's alternative is that the soldiers leave, Pariston's that they die.
Muherr's henchmen start shooting at them with materialized guns, forcing them to retreat through an underground passage. Due to Pariston commenting on Ging's temper, the two bicker briefly. Pariston asks Ging if they should fight, and when Ging replies they should, he inquires if it is alright that he sees Ging's Nen abilities. The latter denies it and uses Leorio's warping punch to knock out three soldiers, much to Pariston's amazement. He asks Ging if he can mimic other people's abilities. Shortly after, he figures out the mechanics of Ging's aura-based echolocation. After Ging defeats the remaining henchmen, he tells Pariston he was aware it had all been staged by him to discover Ging's abilities, and says that Pariston will have to fight him himself if he wants to see them. The two then head upstairs, with Pariston glaring at Ging. After Ging and Muherr speak, Pariston walks in, announcing he can now donate his money to all of Beyond's followers and claiming Ging is now officially number 2. Pariston turns down his offer to keep leading the party, and Ging says he won't hold back in that case.
Abilities & Powers
During his time as the Vice Chairman of the Hunter Association, Pariston's authority was second only to that of the Chairman, outranking even his fellow Zodiacs. In reality, his influence extended well over his position: thanks to his control of the Review Board, which even Isaac Netero had limited sway over, and of about 200 Temp Hunters by means of his Temp Agency, as well as through his charisma, Pariston had the support of roughly one third of Hunters by the start of the election. On the day after the palace invasion, he sent 100 airships to the Republic of East Gorteau to retrieve 5,000 human-Chimera Ant hybrids and relocate them to NGL without anyone but Ging knowing, and he seems to be confident they will follow his orders, giving him an army of Nen users. Pariston's authority within the Hunter Association grew in the extremely brief time he served as Chairman. His status as a Triple Hunter vouches for his accomplishments as well as sizeable personal assets. He was also the second in command in the expedition team created by Beyond Netero for years, orchestrating the admission of Beyond's followers into the Hunter Association, until Ging took over his nominal authority. He is also an able businessman and, by his own claim, a skilled mediator.
Pariston's level of power remains a mystery. Although he often claims to be weak, he accused Ging of underestimating him when the latter proclaimed that Marione was the strongest among Beyond's followers. As a Zodiac, he used to serve as Netero's sparring partner, and he was also deemed powerful enough by Beyond to join his expedition to the Dark Continent.
Enhanced Speed: Pariston managed to put a considerable distance between himself and a trio of armed Nen users before they could open fire. He was able to dodge their bullets while running down a flight of stairs with his back turned to them and casually talking to Ging.
Genius-Level Intellect: Pariston is arguably one of the most intelligent characters of the series, matching Ging in terms of intellect. During the 13th Chairman Election, he managed to rank first in all rounds but one, although he had a sizeable advantage to begin with; nonetheless, that advantage was obtained by manipulating the Hunter Association during his three years as Vice Chairman without even Netero or the Zodiacs being capable of stopping him. He identified a path to victory for Ging in the election that the Boar himself seemed not to be aware of, namely making it about his son, as soon as the two spoke about Gon before the election even began. When Ging however allowed Leorio to take his place in the race, Pariston was immediately able to spot his chance, and waited for Leorio's friends to save Gon so he would have no motivation to become Chairman. His final attempt to win the election also proved Ging's prediction that he would keep stalling until the next Hunter Exam. He repeatedly outsmarted the other runner-ups, including Cheadle, whom he himself deems superior in terms of procedural skills, and surprised even Ging with his sudden abdication. He was the mastermind behind the admission of Beyond's followers into the Hunter Association. He is also known to excel at sucking others into his pace.
As a Pro Hunter, Pariston is bound to be a capable Nen user. He seemingly used a malicious show of Ren against Cheadle while threatening her. Since he was unfazed by Ging's own Ren, he should be able to use Ten as well.