Angel Heart – episode 10

March 13, 2006 on 9:00 pm | In Angel Heart | Comments Off on Angel Heart – episode 10

“Angel Smile”

Wrap up for the Zheng Dao Fei civil war in the first half, with a return to comedy and also to emotion. Even Xin Hong gets an SD scene! That’s how far Angel Heart has come.
I love Kaori and Ryo too damned much, and I’m definitely glad to be fixed up after the last incident.

That rat bastard Zhou finally gets offed by the Xianwe. Thereafter Kaori helps Shan In realise what it is that she wants from Ryo. There’s some laughs, and there’s some definite bittersweetness.

Easily my favourite part of the City Hunter and Angel Heart franchise has always been the relationship between Kaori and Ryo. Angel Heart handles this aspect of the story in far more depth than City Hunter ever did, so it really is a shame that Kaori is dead.

The discussion that Kaori and Ryo had about organ donation was, surprisingly, not contrived in the slightest. In the field of sweeping they have both had to adopt a strong sense of pragmatism – even admitting their love for each other took a lot of doing – and so Kaori concedes that they’ll never be able to have children and that she just might die before Ryo. While the location for the scene was unfamiliar – because in Angel Heart Ryo’s apartment seems very different to the one that he inhabited for so many years before this – the warmth of the scene was very real. The conclusion of this episode, the parting shot, filled me with a sense of wellbeing that I crave from Angel Heart: the kind that makes you mourn Kaori’s death all over again.

The problem with Angel Heart, and I’m not sure if it’s my sporadic viewing habits that caused this, was the intense difficulty of untangling the web of syndicate characters.
This problem has clearly receded, and in the aftermath we are left with Xin Hong. He doesn’t get to say much, but his presence will enforce the paternal bond that Ryo has for Shan In and will also provide some potentially bizarre comedy. I foresee some more domestic episodes ahead, as Ryo gets used to having Shan In around; it will be almost a return to type for this franchise.

Angel Heart may be retreating into more comfortable territory, but if we get some deeper understanding of the love of Kaori and Ryo, I’m all for it. I’m just about ready to forgive Miki’s non existence if it means that we get such a strong feel for these characters and the Kabuki-cho that they love so much.

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