Get Wild with "City Hunter"
Omar Khan | Von Braun | 07/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Author's Note: This is the same review for the first box set. but seeing as how this a review for the whole first season, it would be stupid of me to re-write a whole review for such a sake. Now, allow me just this little bit of time to open to flood gates of my ego, I promise you I won't be long. When it comes to anime, I tend to think of myself as more learned than the average otaku. I mean, I've been around this anime block several times over the course of several years and I've seen several titles come and go, sometimes for the best. Then there are the familiar faces, you know them all, the ones that have been here longer than most, they know the game better than any recent title. And you're glad that you know them. "City Hunter" falls into this category. In short; this is (say it with me class) classic anime.
Created in 1985 by famous manga-ka Tsukasa Hojo, the story focuses on Ryo Saeba, a "sweeper" (sort of an urban mercenary, or a...city hunter! Aha!) who takes on all sorts of dangerous jobs. A cool-as-ice fighter with marksmanship skills that could rival Vash the Stampede. With his .357 Colt Python, mini cooper, and a host of partners in the business, he's the man you call when you are out of options and desperately need the job done. It would help a lot more if you were a pretty woman though. You see, Ryo is what we like to call a "sex-fiend," very much in the same vein as Golden Boy or Lupin III. Although Ryo works hard to get his man, he works even harder to get his woman. Which is both his skill and his undoing. The series was one of the better action animes to grace the screen when it first arrived circa 1987-88. The series enjoyed mass appeal by the Japanese public. Hailed by many critics as "The worthy succesor to Lupin III," the series went on to produce 100+ episodes, several movies, TV specials, and manga. The manga and the TV specials are available stateside and belong in any otakus collection. Right, now with that short history lesson over, let's move onto an actual review. "City Hunter" is a fun series. However, like most series that go for 100 episodes, it doesn't follow one plot as it does several tiny stories. Most of these stories are great, some are good, and there's a small batch that is kinda boring. Luckily, since this DVD box features the first 26 episodes, repetition isn't given any time to settle in. The animation is a bit dated, but it really doesn't detract from the action or the story-telling of the series. The art is enjoybable because it manages to remain true to Hojo San's original drawings and maintains his style of story-telling. It might irk some newbie otakus, but that's how you seperate the "men from the mice." Speaking of action sequences, this anime has manged to combine all the best elements of some of the greatest action movies. From wild car chases to insane gun fights, every episode boasts its own thrill ride. The music is filled with an 80's kind of cool. Sort of "Miami Vice" but much better. This is 80's j-pop and j-rock, which is pretty much anykind of 80's music you can think of but with Japanese voices and lyrics. The characters are endearing and easily likable. Ryo and his cohorts in crime(?) all have this sense of sly coolness and unbridled siliness. A little bit of recognition has to go to Akira Kamiya, Ryo's voice actor. He has been hailed as one of the greatest male voice actors of any anime and his extensive list of characters include Piccolo in "DragonBall," Kenshiro in "Fist of the North Star," Shun in "Maison Ikkoku," and Roy Fokker in "Macross." Just so you know. "City Hunter" is a delight for any anime fan, old and new. It resonates with a timeless quality that few anime titles are imbued with today. And since ADV will be releasing future episodes of this classic series in similar box sets, you can tell it is a very good investment. In closing, spend a viewing with "City Hunter" and you will get way more bang for your buck.-RW"
City Hunter -- Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
M. Whitaker | Mesa, AZ | 11/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay; I became slightly obsessed with City Hunter during a summer abroad trip in Italy. I had only a semester of beginning Italian under my belt, but still found myself flipping through channels and channels of shows I could not comprehend. Then I happened upon City Hunter. The show was episodic enough that I could get a hold of the general idea of each show, but still I was confused about the more general things. What was City Hunter? Was he a private investigator? A professional assassin? Did he work for the cops? Also, who was this girl running around hitting him with a hammer? Was she a girlfriend, just a friend, a partner, what?
I followed the show, trying to make sense of it every day, until that sad day I had to come home. Imagine my jubilance when I realized I could buy it with english subtitles! Finally I would understand!
I was a little worried that once I knew what was going on, I would no longer like the show. Luckily, knowing what they all were saying had the exact opposite effect. The show is HILARIOUS. And depending on the episode, it can get really intense dramatically and violently. But the show is HILARIOUS. Watch it. And once you're hooked like me, you'll buy the other seasons as well, and get to see such great scenes as a man getting shot in the back...before f l e x i n g the bullets out. Really. It's hysterical."