City Hunter

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This article is about the manga series. For the 1993 Chinese film, see City Hunter (film). For the 2011 Korean TV series, see City Hunter (TV series).
City Hunter
City Hunter (Jump Comics edition volume 1).jpg
Volume 31 of the Jump Comics edition, depicting Ryo Saeba and his supporting cast
シティーハンター
(Shiteī Hantā)
Genre Action, Comedy, Crime fiction
Manga
Written by Tsukasa Hojo
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
Gutsoon! Entertainment (incomplete, defunct)
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump
English magazine
Original run 19851991
Volumes 35 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Kenji Kodama
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
Network NTV
English network
Original run April 6, 1987March 28, 1988
Episodes 51
Anime television series
City Hunter 2
Directed by Kanetsugu Kodama
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
ADV Films
Network NTV
Original run April 2, 1988July 14, 1989
Episodes 63
Anime film
.357 Magnum
Directed by Kenji Kodama
Produced by Yomiuri Television, Japan Victor
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
ADV Films
Released June 17, 1989
Runtime 87 minutes
Anime television series
City Hunter 3
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
ADV Films
Network NTV
Original run October 15, 1989January 21, 1990
Episodes 13
Original video animation
Bay City Wars
Directed by Kenji Kodama
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
ADV Films
Released August 25, 1990
Runtime 45 minutes
Original video animation
Million Dollar Conspiracy
Directed by Kenji Kodama
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
ADV Films
Released August 25, 1990
Runtime 45 minutes
Anime television series
City Hunter '91
Directed by Kiyoshi Egami
Studio Sunrise
Network NTV
Original run April 28, 1991October 10, 1991
Episodes 13
Anime television film
The Secret Service
Directed by Kenji Kodama
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
ADV Films
Network NTV
English network
Released January 5, 1996
Runtime 79 minutes
Anime television film
The Motion Picture
Directed by Kazuo Yamazaki, Kenji Kodama
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
ADV Films
Network NTV
Released April 25, 1997
Runtime 91 minutes
Anime television film
Death of the Vicious Criminal Ryo Saeba
Directed by Masaharu Okuwaki
Studio Sunrise
Network NTV
Released April 23, 1999
Runtime 91 minutes
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

City Hunter (シティーハンター Shitī Hantā?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tsukasa Hojo. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1985 to 1991 and collected into 35 tankōbon volumes by its publisher Shueisha. The manga was adapted into an anime television series by Sunrise Studios in 1987. City Hunter was adapted into four animated television series, three television specials, two original video animations, an animated feature film, a live-action Hong Kong film starring Jackie Chan and a Korean live action TV drama.

In 2001, Tsukasa Hojo started a new manga series Angel Heart. The author mentioned in the first tankōbon volume that Angel Heart shares the same characters with City Hunter but not its continuity, and therefore takes place in a parallel universe.

Plot[edit]

The series follows the exploits of Ryo Saeba, a "sweeper" is always found to be chasing beautiful girls but despite his behavior of a "pervert", at the same time he is a private detective who works to rid Tokyo of crime, along with his associate or partner, Hideyuki Makimura. Their "City Hunter" business is an underground jack-of-all-trades operation, contacted by writing the letters "XYZ" on a blackboard at Shinjuku Station. One day, Hideyuki is murdered, and Ryô must take care of Hideyuki's sister, Kaori, a tomboy who becomes his new partner in the process. However, Kaori is very susceptible and jealous, often hitting Ryô with a giant hammer when he does something perverted. The story also follows the romance between Ryo and Kaori in the behind scenes and their teamwork in every mission.

Characters[edit]

Ryo Saeba (冴羽獠 Saeba Ryō?)
The series' titular character and main protagonist. He was raised in a civil war-torn village somewhere in Central America. As a result, he has little information regarding his true identity. He never wanted Kaori to know all this about this as he feared that Kaori after knowing it might leave him. After the war, Ryo makes his way to the United States, before moving to Tokyo. He was probably priviously a criminal as in a 1st episode of season 4 a police officer wanted seek him. In Japan, he forms the "City Hunter" team with Hideyuki Makimura, but after his death Kaori takes his place as his new partner. A highly skilled gunman, Ryo is known for executing the "one-hole shot": a series of shots that land in the exact same spot of the target repeatedly. His preferred weapon is the Colt Python .357 Magnum. The most frequent running gag about Ryo's character is that he is extremely lecherous. His clients are almost exclusively beautiful young women, with whom he constantly seeks "mokkori chance". When not working, he can often be found hitting on random young women on the streets of Tokyo. His constant womanizing often leads to violent repercussions from his partner Kaori. Despite his perverted behavior he has a personal attachment with his partner Kaori Makimura, whom he loves. Sometimes he do his perverted behavior to tease Kaori.Though he was perverted with beautiful ladies at times he was serious too for the security of ladies.Many times he do to alley his tension or sadness. Voiced by: Akira Kamiya (Japanese), Martin Blacker (English)
Kaori Makimura (槇村香 Makimura Kaori?)
Ryo Saeba's tomboyish partner.An always running gag is that she is frequently mistaken for a bishōnen-looking man. She is primarily responsible for arranging clients and other managerial tasks. She is in love with Ryo though she never shows or tells about her true feelings, Although in the beginning it seems that he has no feelings towards her, as the series progresses there are multiple hints about Ryo having feelings for Kaori, even though of this idea between Kaori and Ryo is not shown in Season 1 of City Hunter. Ryo's skirt-chasing rouses her ire more than once. Her favorite weapon is a bazooka or a mallet (labelled 100 tonnes or 100 gigatonnes) to punish Ryo after his womanizing escapades.Though both the partners frequently pick on fights or arguments, both the partners actually form a great team together,the episodes show us that both the partners trust and truly understand each other than anyone else and work together compatibly.In episode 20 of the 2nd season of City Hunter, It is shown that Ryo for the first time,kisses Kaori who is hypnotized and doesn't seem to come back to her own self, is ready to give up his life as it will be meaningless to live without Kaori (However, As fate decides for them to be together Kaori comes back to her own self later in the end of the episode.). In the end of the manga it is hinted that they get married. Voiced by: Kazue Ikura (Japanese), Pamela Ribon (English)
Hideyuki Makimura (槇村秀幸 Makimura Hideyuki?)
Kaori's older brother and Ryo's partner at the start of the series. He's a former police detective with a strong sense of justice. Kaori become Ryo's partner and takes over his brother's role after he is murdered by the gangsters. His last wish before he could die was Ryo to take care of his sister and gives a ring to hand over to Kaori. Voiced by: Hideyuki Tanaka
Umibōzu (海坊主?)
Another "sweeper" working the rounds in Tokyo, he and Ryo have a history dating back to the civil war in Central America. He goes by the professional name Falcon and his real name is Hayato Ijuin (伊集院隼人). Despite his fearsome appearance he has a phobia of kittens. Voiced by: Tesshō Genda (Japanese), Lou Perryman (English)
Saeko Nogami (野上冴子 Nogami Saeko?)
She is a Tokyo police detective who often outsources certain tasks to the City Hunter team. The daughter of the chief of police, she was once closely related to Kaori's brother, Hideyuki. Ryo keeps a long-detailed list where Saeko owes him for the various favours he's done for her, which she always manages to get out of because Ryo demands a mokkori chance with her for each item. Voiced by: Yōko Asagami (Japanese), Jana Brockman (English)
Reika Nogami (野上 麗香 Nogami Reika?)
Introduced halfway through the manga and the first season, Reika is Saeko Nogami's younger sibling, but proves to be just as feisty as her in rejecting Ryo's advances. She runs the "RN Detective Agency" (RN being her initials), right next to Ryo's apartment. It is hinted a few times that she has a little crush on Ryo but knows about Kaori's feelings for him and will not stand in her way. Voiced by: Yoshino Takamori (Japanese), Katherine Catmull (English)
Miki
A former mercenary, she was raised as an orphan by Umibozu in the battlefield and falls in love with him. She runs a Coffee shop named "Cat's Eye" (homage to Tsukasa's previous manga) along with Umibozu. She is battle hardened and also is a master of hypnosis. Voiced by: Mami Koyama, Miki Ito (Japanese), Amalia Stifter, Johanna Mckeon (English)
Kasumi Asou
A member of a proud clan of noble Robin Hood-like thieves, she initially meets with Ryo early on in the manga before returning to him halfway through the manga. She eventually falls in love with Ryo and makes brief appearances thereafter as a part-time employee at Cat's Eye. Voiced by: Miina Tominaga

Manga-only characters[edit]

Professor/Doc
A former medic at the Mercenary camp that Ryo was stationed in during the civil war, he is the source of much of Ryo's underground information and also shares his interests in young women. Appears only in the manga series.
Kazue Nattori
A former scientist whose unintended acquaintance with Ryo results in her falling for him. She eventually becomes an assistant to the Professor in his lab, hoping she will have the opportunity to win his heart.
Mick Angel
Ryo's former partner during his stay in the United States, he is Ryo's in terms of both skills and his womanizing nature. Introduced 3/4 of the way throughout the manga, he plays a big role in major story arcs thereafter.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

In Japan, the City Hunter manga ran for six years in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from Issue 13 of 1985 to Issue 50 of 1991. The first compiled City Hunter collections were published under the Jump Comics imprint from 1985 to 1992, and totaled 35 volumes. The second edition was from Shueisha Editions, who published an 18 book version between 1996 and 1997. Bunch World published a 39 volume edition between 2001 and 2002. Most recently, Tokuma Comics published a "Complete Edition" of 32 books, each with bonus material between 2004 and early 2005.

The North American version of the manga, published by Gutsoon! Entertainment and serialized in Raijin Comics, is only available up to volume 5. The series has also been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Indonesian.

Spin-off[edit]

Main article: Angel Heart (manga)

In 2001, Hojo started a follow-up series titled Angel Heart manga. The series takes place in a universe parallel to City Hunter[citation needed], where the character of Kaori Makimura is killed and her heart transplanted into Li Xiang Ying, Angel Heart's protagonist.

Anime[edit]

The manga was adapted into an animated television series by Sunrise Studios in 1987. The first series lasted for 51 episodes, followed by three further series; City Hunter 2 (63 episodes); City Hunter 3 (13 episodes); and City Hunter '91 (13 episodes).

Along with the four television series, the City Hunter animated franchise spans three television specials, two original video animations and one feature film. ADV initially had the rights to most of the series, with the exception of the last film. However, it went out of print quickly, and, possibly due to a lack of popularity, has not yet been re-released.

Opening/Ending Themes[edit]

City Hunter

Opening:

  • "Ai yo Kienaide" by Kahoru Kohirumaki (Episodes 1–26)
  • "Go Go Heaven" by Yoshiyuki Osawa (Episodes 27–51)

Ending:

  • "Get Wild" by TM Network (Episodes 1–51)

City Hunter 2

Opening:

  • "Angel Night" by PSY-S (Episodes 1–26)
  • "SARA" by FENCE OF DEFENSE (Episodes 27–63)

Ending:

  • "Super Girl" by Yasuyuki Okamura (Episodes 1–37)
  • "Still Love Her" by TM Network (Episodes 38–63)

City Hunter 3

Opening:

  • "Running to Horizon" by Tetsuya Komuro (Episodes 1–13)

Ending:

  • "Atsuku Naretara" by Kiyomi Suzuki (Episodes 1–13)

City Hunter '91

Opening:

  • "Downtown Game" by Gwinko (Episodes 1–13)

Ending:

  • "Smile & Smile" by Aura (Episodes 1–13)

Movies/TV Specials[edit]

  • Film
357 Magnum a.k.a. A Magnum of Love's Destination – Ryo and Kaori are hired to protect Nina Shutenburg, a beautiful pianist, from mercenaries and diplomats.
  • OVAs
Bay City Wars – Ryo and Umibozu fight an evil dictator and his group terrorists hijacking the Bay City hotel.
Million Dollar Conspiracy a.k.a. Plot of a $1,000,000 – When a mysterious (and gorgeous) stranger shows up needing protection, the City Hunter team leap at the million-dollar offer.
  • Specials
Secret Service – Faced with delinquent rental bills, Ryo and Kaori accept a new assignment from James McGuire, a man from the fictional South American country of Guinam who aims to dislodge its military junta as a presidential candidate. McGuire wants the two to protect his long-lost daughter, who leads the Japanese secret service detail guarding him during his trip to Japan. However, when unknown forces attack McGuire, he is forced to come clean with Ryo and Kaori about his dark past as a rebel fighter to face his tormentors.
The Motion Picture a.k.a. Goodbye, My Sweetheart – Ryo reluctantly takes up a popular stage actress' assignment to find her long-lost brother. Ryo and Kaori discover that the man is actually "The Professor," a former soldier-turned-terrorist who now plans to detonate bombs all over Shinjuku as revenge for a betrayal at the hands of the Japanese government.
Death of the Vicious Criminal Ryo Saeba a.k.a. Death of Evil Ryo Saeba – Sexy newscaster Sayaka Asagiri appears at the City Hunter offices and hires Ryo and Kaori for a new assignment – their first contract in over four months, with Sayaka promising to spend one night with Ryo thrown in for good measure. The three investigate the disappearance and murder of a TV news network president that has been covered up through staged appearances and heavy editing. The conspirators use the same tricks on Ryo to frame him for "kidnapping" Sayaka.

Live action[edit]

In 1993, Golden Harvest produced a live action City Hunter (城市獵人) film directed by Wong Jing and starring Jackie Chan. Fortune Star and 20th Century Fox later released it on R1 DVD along with other budget classic HK films. Chan was not fond of the work, and allegedly criticized it in one of his books.

Mr. Mumble (孟波 Meng bo) is another live action version of City Hunter. Despite the fact the names have been changed, this 1996 movie is considered to be a bit more faithful to the original material than the earlier film. Michael Chow plays Maang Boh (Mr. Mumble, the Cantonese version of Ryo) who takes on a job to guard Sharon (Pauline Suen), the daughter of a mafioso. The film also stars Francoise Yip as Yachi (Saeko), Jessica Hester Hsuan as Lao Tang (Kaori) and Eric Kei as Chi (Umibozu)[citation needed].

Saviour of the Soul (九一神鵰俠侶 Gauyat sandiu haplui) is a Hong Kong film from 1991 that takes elements from City Hunter. Although the plot has little in common with City Hunter, the characters of Ryo, Saeko, Makimura, Kaori, and Silver Fox appear.

A new live-action version of City Hunter has recently been announced, to be produced and distributed by Fox Television Studios and South Korean media company SSD.[1] Jung Woo-sung has been cast as Ryo, and that other Hollywood-based stars will be cast alongside, with filming being done in Seoul and Tokyo.[2]

In 2011, the series was adapted into a Korean television series of the same name by SBS, starring Lee Min Ho, Park Min-Young, and Lee Joon Hyuk.

Novels[edit]

  • City Hunter. Novel. Published by Shueisha in 1993.
  • City Hunter Special: The Secret Service. Novel. Published by Shueisha in 1995
  • City Hunter 2. Novel. Published by Shueisha in 1997.
  • City Hunter Special: Live on Stage. Novel. Published by Shueisha in 1999.

Reception[edit]

City Hunter is one of Weekly Shōnen Jump's best-selling series of all time, with over 35 million copies sold in Japan.[3] In a 2005 poll held by TV Asahi, City Hunter was voted #66 out of the 100 most popular animated TV series, as voted by TV viewers. A TV Asahi web-poll put City Hunter at #65.[4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Live-Action City Hunter Reportedly Heading to USA". Anime News Network. December 23, 2008. Retrieved December 23, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Chung Woo-sung First Asian Actor to Star in American TV Drama". KBS Global. December 23, 2008. Retrieved December 23, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Top Manga Properties in 2008 – Rankings and Circulation Data". Comipress. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  4. ^ "TV Asahi Top 100 Anime". Anime News Network. September 23, 2005. Retrieved January 1, 2007. 
  5. ^ "TV Asahi Top 100 Anime Part 2". Anime News Network. September 23, 2005. Retrieved January 1, 2007. 

External links[edit]