City Hunter 2 – episodes 14 to 20

January 30, 2005 on 1:09 pm | In City Hunter | Comments Off on City Hunter 2 – episodes 14 to 20

While this group of seven episodes starts with one of the stupidest in City Hunter history, the rest are pretty good. Four of the episodes are two parters, which are the way to go to make quality episodes of this series most consistently.

Episodes 15 & 16 are the excellently titled “Don’t Die, Umibozu!”. Umibozu episodes are among the best because Umibozu seems to be the only character who has a past. Short of the occasional mentions to Makimura, Ryo’s origins remain a mystery. Umibozu is a gentle soul, not only because he is terrified of cats. This giant assassin cares a lot more than he would like to let on, but his constant blushing gives him right away.
Any failure of Umibozu’s is going to come back to get him – but because of the kind of guy Umibozu is, his failure tends to be killing everyone but the most important person in a raid. This episode, littered with excellent names, features “Dandy Jack”, who has trained the daughter of Umibozu’s first and last partner to assassinate the man in green. Kaori gets some good material in about what it means to be a partner – and that does not mean sacrificing one’s self for the sake of a mission, allowing the other to get off scot free.
Also of note is that Ryo and Umibozu actually kill people in this episode, and in the next, so some of the blood is coming back into City Hunter.

Episodes 17 & 18 are yet another “foreign beauty” episode, wherein a politically important woman from one of those made up countries. While this features the questionable plane hijacking weapon of the grenade, it also featured spies pretending to be gay lovers in the love hotel and the unorthodox plot of Ryo using service to distract his assailants rather than the other way around.
The idea of this episode is supposed to be about “Yamato Nadeshiko” (traditional Japanese woman), but what it really means in the end is that Ryo gets to kiss an octopus. It’s a pretty good double, with one of the most credible examples of a client falling for Ryo yet seen.

The fan service quotient is definitely upping itself – episode 15 begins with Ryo chasing a giant woman in lingerie, who fondles her own breasts in anticipation of him. This may seem risque, but episode 17 features the best Saeko service ever! Ryo should shoot off people’s tops more often, I say. While by today’s standards this is tame material, this was very dangerous stuff for 1987.

There’s an episode where Kaori takes the client that works in the way that all episodes in which Kaori goes it alone work. That is, Ryo silently assists her. The episode gets off to a bad start with a perverted old man, but he turns out to be a pretty nice guy, and the dynamic of Ryo and Kaori’s relationship is stated subtly.

Most episodes give a good idea of their theme, but none have been so literal as episode 20: Kaori gets amnesia. It is surprising that the writers would have gone for such a clichéd plot device, but at least Kaori’s line of work has a feasible way for her to lose her memory. This is a good relationship episode that allows Ryo to show more of his serious side, and also features the traditional “confession of something obscured by sound of explosion” technique.
This was a good episode, and allowed Ikura Kazue to use a normal voice (they claim that before Kaori met Ryo, she was a normal person. Considering that at their first meeting, Kaori was dressed as a man with a false moustache, I question this). It was interesting to see that with retrograde amnesia Kaori did not know that her brother had died. So much has happened to her since the amnesia that it would have been cruel to rebuild her memory.

City Hunter 2 is liberally sprinkled with two parters, and the extra time afforded for these stories allows it to work best. Among the one offs there are still some good materials, and it looks like the writers are gradually cutting out the “baby-sitting” jobs.

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