Angel Heart – episode 7

January 14, 2006 on 11:22 pm | In Angel Heart | Comments Off on Angel Heart – episode 7

“I should love this town of mine”

An excellent episode, and the strange part is that it all feels natural: Ryo and Glass Heart go together as if they were made for each other, even without the involvement of Kaori. There are some new ideas for old characters here, and they’re weird; still, this episode works perfectly as an extension of what was already a living world, contrasting perfeclty with the theme of fatalism that runs as the subtext.

Glass Heart meets Ryo and feels sad, but this time it’s a good sort of sadness; the very presence of Ryo is as a balm to her soul. Shortly after their meeting, they get attacked by “the Syndicate” and go on the run through Shinjuku. There are a lot of them, so Ryo has to play his cards very carefully …

This episode, from the start, is packed with highly quotable dialogue from all of the major characters involved; Ryo knows how to play Glass Heart exactly the right way, with no sleaze and a maximum of of soothing tones. Ironically, this is exactly the sort of Ryo who would be able to bed someone – and because his intentions are pure in this instance, it’s never going to happen.

The episode features quite a bit of theatrics by these characters’ standards, the like of which have not been seen since the early days of City Hunter 1, in which every episode had to feature some sort of showboating on Ryo’s part. The scene with Saeko on the microphone was pure “drama”, aiming for a moment. I’m going to let it slide because it was balanced out by cries of “ippatsu mokkori!”, but still.
The main situation itself is almost as dire as that detailed in “Goodbye, Hardboiled City” from City Hunter 2, which suggests that Angel Heart is, on the whole, a more dangerous series for the characters to develop in. City Hunter was, on the whole, rather more insular on that front.

The scenes featuring the Syndicate squad leaders communicating with Saeko and Ryo through the Kabuki-cho surveillance cameras were actually surprisingly cliché free; instead of an instant shoot out, the squad uses the camera to issue a warning, and actually presents a logical methodology against Ryo. The technology is ever so slightly dodgy, but Ryo has moved with the times to become perfectly apt in the new methods of sweeping.

Far and away the best part of the series so far is when the effortless humanity of Ryo is confused for pure fatalism. There was an issue raised that I had not even considered before when watching this series: that of the reduced life expectancy of the transplanted. Ryo correctly summarises his attitude as “you should live every day to its fullest”.
Saeko takes his actions to mean that he aims to be a one man army, and Glass Heart sees Ryo’s joy as a way of eagerly anticipating death, but that’s not strictly true; the tour through “my town”, as Ryo calls it, proves his love for the people, and the ward, of Shinjuku.
The conclusion was pure, unbridled Kaori, of the fist pumping level that I love from this franchise.

I’ll admit that the City Hunter franchise has never been chock full of laughs for me, but I laughed out loud at Ryo in the Image Club; one other thing to note about this episode is that Glass Heart’s clothes don’t suit Kaori.

City Hunter, Angel Heart: I’m an increasingly devoted fan. There’s nothing else I can say.

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