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Glass Heart

City Hunter

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City Hunter is a manga by author Tsukasa Hojo (Cat's Eye, Angel Heart, Family Compo) which runs from 1985 to 1991.


Shinjuku District, Tokyo.

An urban legend says that if people who have problems write an XYZ on the message board of the Shinjuku station, they will enter into contact with a sweeper, the City Hunter, which will listen to your request.

In fact the so-called City Hunter is the alias of two persons: Hideyuki Makimura, former cop, and Ryo Saeba, a professional sweeper who is also a pervert, only listen the requests of beautiful women (Miss Mokkori) and ask to be paid with sexual business (which almost never happen).

When Hideyuki Makimura is killed, his younger sister Kaori takes his place as Ryo's partner. But, unlike his brother, Kaori isn't as tolerant with Ryo the mokkori pervert and often physically abuse of him in order to protect the women customers (especially from Ryo's night visits).

Happily to Kaori, Ryo doesn't see her as a woman, mistaking her for a man the first time he met her and calling her a travestie.

With time, the gallery of characters expands with the appearance of several other sweepers (the most prominent of them being Umibozu) and other recurring characters such as policewoman Saeko Nogami which exploits her charms to make Ryo doing the dirty work for the police.

A very fun manga, with a lot of action and humor (but also some very dark plots from time to time) and a great favorite of mine.

Its anime adaptation consists of four series (City Hunter, City Hunter 2, City Hunter 3 and City Hunter 91), a movie ("A Magnum of Love's Destination"), two OVAs ("Bay City War" and "Million Dollar Conspiracy") and three TV Specials ("Secret Services", "Goodbye My Sweetheart" and "Live on Stage").




Two live action movie adaptations of City Hunter also exist: an official parody with actor Jackie Chan which has almost nothing in common with the manga but is still funny (if you like second degree), and a more faithful unofficial adaptation called Mister Mumble with actor Michael Chow as Mumble.

A TV series is also in project in South Korean with actor Lee Min-Ho taking the lead role of Ryo Saeba.

A manga spin-off, Angel Heart, also exists, the more serious and very dark sequel of City Hunter in a parallel world where Kaori is deceased and where Ryo adopts a young chinese assassin, Glass Heart, which becomes his new partner in the City Hunter business.

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Some openings and endings of the City Hunter animated series (including the emblematic "Get Wild" original ending of the show) which lasted for 140 episodes on four series.





I had some great memories of this show, despite the "parody version" (the french censored version) they broadcasted in my country (if you understand french, you can search "Nicky Larson censure" on Youtube to find some videos, the dialogues are so stupid that it's very funny: "Oh, il m'a fait bobo, le m├ęchant Larson ! Vilain Larson, je vais t'envoyer une boulette !", the love hotels which become vegetarian restaurants in the french dub...).

I have since rediscovered it in its original version with the DVDs release and it rocks big time !

And the manga is even better ! One of the very best I know ! :)

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I'm watching the City Hunter drama series (14 episodes available on the 20. One episode is an hour-long). And it is EXCELLENT !

While not as funny as the manga and the anime (which are masterpieces) and while the universe is reinvented, it stays true to the spirit of the manga and at the same time the tone is more realistic, like in the sequel Angel Heart.

After the spoof movie with Jackie Chan (very funny, but pretty stupid), it's great to finally see a goddamn good City Hunter live adaptation.

For those who may know the original manga (not the anime), the story is based on the Shin Kaibara story-arc and the dark past of Ryo Saeba. A lot of the series revolves around the conflict between the father, a man who was driven mad by the war and who wants to take his revenge against the powerful and corrupted, and the son, the outlaw vigilante known as the City Hunter who becomes a symbol of hope for the society.

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