City Hunter 2 – 46 to 63

May 1, 2005 on 8:48 pm | In City Hunter | 1 Comment

City Hunter has its diehard fans. I would almost count myself as one of them. While it may have taken 100 episodes to get there, there was one truly awesome moment: a moment that I felt.

“Goodbye, Hardboiled City”, about a terrorist ring led by the mysterious “Sarah”, is one of the best Ryo and Kaori relationship stories there has ever been. It is exactly as if the writers had set out to fashion a heart-pumping City Hunter extravaganza. The action, the music choice … pure synergetic magic – and now certain things are out in the open, not drowned as in “Kaori has amnesia!”.
Even the fact that Ryo disarms a nuclear bomb by shooting a wire and hoping for the best cannot detract from this episode; the status quo doesn’t disappoint, either.

What is disappointing is that this is followed by City Hunter‘s first recap episode, Crystal Prophecy, in which a fortune teller tells Kaori that she always puts Ryo in danger. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one of these, and this one is pretty lame. The positive aspect is that most of the clips are from season one, so long ago I couldn’t remember them, but City Hunter does not work based on action alone; also, the few comedy bits make entirely no sense out of context. Umibozu as Colonel Sanders, sure; but why? The new animation is way off model – particularly Reika – and they try to make up for it all with a sweet Kaori and Ryo moment at the end, but by then it’s too late.
Of course, this episode can be summarised by my notebook: “What kind of crappy fortune teller tells the past?”

The issue of Kaori knowing herself emerges in “Reunion After 20 Years”, wherein Kaori’s elder sister appears. It had been so long, I had quite forgotten that Kaori and Makimura were not blood relatives. The moral of this story (which is not not that Kaori looks good in a dress) is strong: does Kaori know her own truth? Has she forged her own, with which she is happy? Ryo is not the only one with silencers on his heart. On the one hand, you want to scream at the characters for not coming clean to one another, but on the other you can forgive them. Ultimately, it is important to understand that Kaori lives in the underworld through her own choice, not that of Makimura or Ryo.

“Proposal from a 17 Year Old Girl” is another strong episode featuring old people. A girl is made heir to a vast fortune, and attracts many suitors, so she pretends to be engaged to Ryo. Three of her suitors hang around together, and plot murder. Sometimes, you have to wonder about these things; also about where yuppies got grenades from. Still, this episode has one of those heartwarming City Hunter episodes that we strive for; old people always have so much to atone for.

There’s even an eighties dance spectacular episode, with some fanciful animation, an episode about Ryo teaching a boy prince what it is to be a man, and an episode in which Ryo protects a male-phobic by getting about in drag. The gay jokes in this series are so innocent and hilarious.

“Good Luck, My Sweeper” is the first City Hunter three parter. Contained within are the details of Ryo’s childhood, and the question of trust. Does Ryo trust Kaori implicitly? Does “protecting” her from the truth actually detract from their relationship? It is a comfort to learn that he really can tell her anything, and she will be supportive; yet he still can’t tell her what she needs to know. The series ends on a very nice note with this set of episodes.

The fact that Umibozu and Ryo were once enemies, something we have never witnessed (they were not friends before the commencement of the anime, but they had reached an understanding) emerges in conversation, proving once more that these characters have rich pasts.
Yet the question emerges along the way: why are Umibozu and Ryo the only sweepers on the market. Umibozu always turns up as Ryo’s “surprise” adversary. This is one of the few things about the series that gets old. Silver Fox has been seen in the past, but no sweepers besides these two? Highly questionable! Not series breaking, though.

If you’re the right sort of person, City Hunter rocks. City Hunter 2 is even better than its predecessor. There is a lack of Saeko in these episodes (and to think, what I used to complain about was a lack of Umi-chan), but the amount of character drama and relationship development is spot on. At this point, it is genuinely sad to think that there are only 26 episodes over two series left to watch.

1 Comment

  1. The other mokkori character on Japanese TV is hilarious

    Comment by lance — April 12, 2009 #

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