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
(Shitī 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 Yomiuri TV
English network
Original run April 6, 1987March 28, 1988
Episodes 51 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
City Hunter 2
Directed by Kanetsugu Kodama
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
ADV Films
Network Yomiuri TV
English network
Original run April 2, 1988July 14, 1989
Episodes 63 (List of episodes)
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
Directed by Kenji Kodama
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
ADV Films
Network Yomiuri TV
English network
Original run October 15, 1989January 21, 1990
Episodes 13 (List of episodes)
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 43 minutes
Anime television series
City Hunter '91
Directed by Kiyoshi Egami
Studio Sunrise
Network NTV
English network
Original run April 28, 1991October 10, 1991
Episodes 13 (List of episodes)
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 90 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 88 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

City Hunter (Japanese: シティーハンター Hepburn: 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.

Plot[edit]

The series follows the exploits of Ryo Saeba, a "sweeper" who is always found chasing beautiful girls and 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 behind-the-scenes romance between Ryo and Kaori and the way they cooperate throughout each mission.

Characters[edit]

Ryo Saeba (冴羽獠 Saeba Ryō?)
Voiced by: Akira Kamiya (Japanese); Martin Blacker (English)
Ryo is the main protagonist of the series. At the age of three, Ryo was the only survivor of a plane crash in Central America. He was raised as a guerilla fighter and has no knowledge of his prior identity. After the war, Ryo makes his way to the United States, before eventually moving to Tokyo.[1]
In Japan, he forms the "City Hunter" team with Hideyuki Makimura, but after Hideyuki's death, Kaori takes his place as Ryo's new partner. A highly skilled gunman, Ryo is known for executing the "one-hole shot", a series of shots that all land in exactly the same spot on the target. His preferred weapon is the Colt Python .357 Magnum.
Kaori Makimura (槇村香 Makimura Kaori?)
Voiced by: Kazue Ikura (Japanese); Pamela Ribon (English)
Kaori is Ryo Saeba's partner. She is primarily responsible for arranging clients and other managerial tasks. Ryo's skirt-chasing rouses her ire more than once. Though the partners frequently pick on fights or arguments, both of them actually form a great team together.
Hideyuki Makimura (槇村秀幸 Makimura Hideyuki?)
Voiced by: Hideyuki Tanaka
Hideyuki is Kaori's older brother and Ryo's partner at the beginning of the series. He's a former police detective with a strong sense of justice. Kaori become Ryo's partner and takes over her brother's role after he is murdered by gangsters. His last wish before he died was for Ryo to take care of his sister.
Umibōzu (海坊主?)
Voiced by: Tesshō Genda (Japanese); Lou Perryman (English)
Umibōzu is another "sweeper" working the rounds in Tokyo. Umibozu is a Special Forces enemy of Ryo's from the Central America conflict. Despite being on opposing forces, the two develop a friendship and mutual respect. Umibozu owns the Cat's Eye cafe.[1] 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.
Saeko Nogami (野上冴子 Nogami Saeko?)
Voiced by: Yōko Asagami (Japanese); Jana Brockman (English)
Saeko is a Tokyo police detective who often outsources certain tasks to the City Hunter team. Ryo keeps a long and detailed list where Saeko owes him for the various favours he's done for her, which she always manages to avoid.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The series ran in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1985's 13th issue until 1990.[2][3] The series was printed in 35 collected volumes by Shueisha under the Jump Comics range between January 15, 1986 and April 15, 1992.[4][5] In these volumes the series is grouped into 55 different stories or "episodes" instead of as their original individual chapters. Each story is centred on a different female character or "heroine".[6][7] The series was a 18 volume edition by Shueisha from June 18, 1996 to October 17, 1997.[8][9] A third edition of 32 volumes was published by Tokuma Shoten from December 16, 2003 to April 15, 2005.[10][11] To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the series, a fourth edition City Hunter XYZ edition is being published by Tokuma Shoten across Twelve volumes.[12] The first volume was published on July 18, 2015.[13] The eighth volume was published on October 20, 2015.[14]

Takehiko Inoue was an assistant on the series.[15]

Attempts were made to license the series for the American comic market during the 1980s; however, Hojo insisted the manga should be released in the right-to-left format. In 2002 Coamix created an American subsidiary, Gutsoon! Entertainment. City Hunter was a flagship title in their Raijin Comics Anthology. Raijin switched from a weekly format to a monthly format before being cancelled after 46 issues.[16]

The series is currently available to read in Japanese as an iPhone application by Rainbow Apps.[17]

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

Anime[edit]

The series was adapted into an anime series produced by Sunrise, directed by Kanetsugu Kodama and broadcast by Yomiuri Television.[18] City Hunter was broadcast for 51 episodes between April 6, 1987 and March 28, 1988 and released on 10 VHS cassettes between December 1987 and July 1988.[19][20] City Hunter 2 was broadcast for 63 episodes between April 8 and July 14 and released on 10 VHS cassettes between August 1988 and March 1990.[19][20] City Hunter 3 was broadcast for 13 episodes from October 15, 1989 to January 21, 1990 and released on 6 VHS cassettes between November 1990 and April 1991.[19][20]City Hunter '91 was broadcast between April 28 and October 10, 1991 and released on 6 VHS cassettes between February and July 1992.[19][20]  The series was later reissued as 20 video compilations.[18]

A 32-disc DVD boxset, City Hunter Complete, was published by Aniplex and released in Japan on August 31, 2005. The set contained all four series, the TV specials and animated movies as well as an art book and figures of Ryo and Kaori.[21] 26 of the discs comprising the four series were then released individually between December 19, 2007 and August 27, 2008.[22]

The series was licensed by ADV Films for release in North America. The first City Hunter series was released on the ADV Fansubs label in March 2000. The aim of this label was to provide cheaper subtitled-only VHS releases at a faster pace than usual.[23] The series was scheduled for 13 tapes, consisting of four episodes each. The tapes could be ordered individually or as a subscription service.[24]

ADV later released the series on DVD. The first series was released as two boxsets of 5 discs on July 29, 2003.[25][26] City Hunter 2 was released as another two boxsets of five discs on October 28, and November 18, 2003.[27][28] City Hunter 3 was released as a single boxset on December 2, 2003 and City Hunter '91 was released on December 16, 2003.[29][30]

For the 30th anniversary of the original manga, buyers of all 12 volumes of City Hunter XYZ edition were entitled receive a "motion graphic anime" DVD. The DVDe adapted a special Angel Heart chapter entitled Ryo's proposal and was voiced by the original City Hunter cast.[31]

Television Movies[edit]

.357 Magnum was broadcast on June 17, 1989. Bay City Wars was broadcast on August 25, 1990. Million Dollar Conspiracy was broadcast on August 25, 1990.[19]

ADV Films released a DVD containing Bay City Wars and Million Dollar Conspiracy as well as a bonus television episode on June 3, 2003.[32]

Television Specials[edit]

Three television specials were produced. Secret Service was broadcast on January 5, 1996. It was followed by Goodbye My Sweetheart on April 25, 1997 and The Death of Vicious Criminal Saeba Ryo on April 23, 1999.[19]

ADV Films released Goodbye My Sweetheart as City Hunter The Motion Picture in North America as their first release from the franchise.[33]

Live action[edit]

Saviour of the Soul (九一神鵰俠侶 Gauyat sandiu haplui) is a Hong Kong film from 1991 that uses the characters from City Hunter but changes the plot.[15] In 1993 a Live Action theatrical adaption of the series was released. The movie was directed by Wong Jing and starred Jackie Chan as Ryo Saeba, Wang Zhuxian as Kaori and also starred Japanese idol Kumiko Goto.[18][34] During filming of the movie Chan dislocated his shoulder.[35] The movie has been criticised by Chan.[15] Fortune Star and 20th Century Fox later released it on R1 DVD along with other budget classic HK films. In 1996 Mr. Mumble kept the concept of City Hunter but changed the characters.[15]

A planned live-action version of City Hunter was announced in 2008, to be produced and distributed by Fox Television Studios and South Korean media company SSD.[36] Jung Woo-sung, was scheduled to play Ryo alongside Hollywood-based stars, with location filming in Seoul and Tokyo.[37] In 2011, the series was adapted into a Korean television series of the same name by SBS, starring Lee Min-ho and Park Min-young.[38] The series is available to watch with English subtitles on the streaming service Hulu.[39]

Video Game[edit]

City Hunter was released by Sunsoft for the PC Engine in March 1990.[40]

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.[41] The series was voted the 19th "Most Powerful" series to have featured in Shonen Jump.[42] 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.[43][44]

In Manga The Complete Guide, Jason Thompson described the manga stories as "well told and entertaining".[45] Writing for Mania.com, Eduardo M. Chavez describes the series as "funny, sexy, action packed and at times just plain whacked" and praises the mix of action and comedy.[46] Patrick King of Animefringe described the series as "not the most intellectually stimulating piece of fiction I've experienced lately" but called it "a blast to read".[47]

The characters Ryo and Kaori proved popular with fans. In the reader voted Animage Anime Grand Prix Saeba Ryo was voted second in the Best Male Character section in 1988.[48] In 1989, 1990 and 1991 he was first place.[49][50][51] In 1992 he was voted sixth place.[52] Kaori Makamura was voted fifteenth in the best Female Character category in 1988 before climbing to eighth in 1989.[48][49] Kaori then placed fifth in 1990 before falling to sixth and eleventh in 1991 and 1992 respectively.[50][51][52]

The Motion Picture has been praised for the quality of its English dub but criticised for changing the characters names.[53]

Legacy[edit]

The cover for a Chris Brown single was allegedly inspired by the look of one of Hojo's City Hunter sketches.[54]

In 2012 the characters of Ryo, Kaori and Umibozu appeared in a video for the virtual musician Mana. Mana is a collaboration between Hojo and Tetsuya Komuro of TM Network.[55]

A replica of Kaori's "100-ton hammer" raised 1.8million yen on Yahoo Auctions in 2007. It was the biggest selling charity item of the year for the service.[56]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McCarthy, Helen. 500 Manga Heroes and Villains. Collins & Brown. p. 66. ISBN 1-84340-234-3. 
  2. ^ Tsukasa Hojo Illustrations pg 105
  3. ^ City Hunter Perfect Guide Book. January 25, 2000. p. 51. ISBN 4-08-782038-6. 
  4. ^ Hojo, Tsukasa. City Hunter. 1. Shueisha. p. 186. ISBN 4-08-852381-4. 
  5. ^ Hojo, Tsukasa. City Hunter. 35. Shueisha. p. 121. ISBN 4-08-852196-X. 
  6. ^ City Hunter Perfect Guide Book. January 25, 2000. p. 119. ISBN 4-08-782038-6. 
  7. ^ City Hunter Perfect Guide Book. January 25, 2000. pp. 186–189. ISBN 4-08-782038-6. 
  8. ^ "CITY HUNTER  1". Shueisha. Archived from the original on September 21, 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  9. ^ "CITY HUNTER  18". Shueisha. Archived from the original on September 21, 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  10. ^ "シティーハンター完全版 1". Tokuma Shoten. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ "シティーハンター完全版 32". Tokuma Shoten. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ "City Hunter Manga Gets New Original Anime DVD". Anime News Network. May 23, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015. 
  13. ^ "シティーハンター XYZ edition ①". Tokuma Shoten. Retrieved October 19, 2015. 
  14. ^ "シティーハンター XYZ edition ⑧". Tokuma Shoten. Retrieved October 19, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c d Yadao, Jason S. The Rough Guide to Manga. Rough Guides. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-85828-561-0. 
  16. ^ Thompson, Jason. "Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Raijin Comics". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  17. ^ "シティーハンター コミコメ". Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b c Clements, Jonathan; McCarthy, Helen. The Anime Encyclopaedia. Stone Bridge Press. p. 102. ISBN 1-84576-500-1. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f シティハンター完全読本. Tokuma Shoten. August 10, 2015. pp. 101–107. ISBN 9784197204298. 
  20. ^ a b c d City Hunter Perfect Guide Book. January 25, 2000. p. 182. ISBN 4-08-782038-6. 
  21. ^ "City Hunter Complete". Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  22. ^ "DVD Series City Hunter". Retrieved July 15, 2007. 
  23. ^ "Katsucon - ADV Films Announcements". Mania.com. February 13, 2000. Archived from the original on September 7, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  24. ^ "ADV Fansubs Subscription Page". ADV Films. Archived from the original on May 2, 2001. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  25. ^ Tei, Andrew (October 13, 2003). "City Hunter TV Season 1 Collection 1". Mania.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2009. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  26. ^ Tei, Andrew (October 13, 2003). "City Hunter TV Season 1 Collection 2". Mania.com. Archived from the original on September 10, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  27. ^ Cruz, Luis (November 30, 2003). "City Hunter TV Season 2 Collection 1". Mania.com. Archived from the original on September 9, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  28. ^ Cruz, Luis (February 24, 2003). "City Hunter TV Season 2 Collection 2". Mania.com. Archived from the original on September 7, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  29. ^ Tei, Andrew (March 8, 2004). "City Hunter TV Season 3". Mania.com. Archived from the original on September 10, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  30. ^ Cruz, Luis (April 15, 2004). "City Hunter TV Season 4". Mania.com. Archived from the original on June 25, 2009. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  31. ^ "City Hunter's 'Motion Graphic Anime' Reunites TV Anime's Cast". Anime News Network. June 25, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015. 
  32. ^ Beveridge, Chris (March 31, 2003). "City Hunter: Bay City Wars & Million Dollar Conspiracy". Mania.com. Archived from the original on December 17, 2012. 
  33. ^ Toole, Michael (March 24, 2013). "The Mike Toole Show - Out of Order". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 20, 2015. 
  34. ^ Animerica 1-2 pg13
  35. ^ "Jackie's Aches and Pains". Random House. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  36. ^ "New Live-Action City Hunter Reportedly Heading to USA". Anime News Network. December 23, 2008. Retrieved December 23, 2008. 
  37. ^ "Chung Woo-sung First Asian Actor to Star in American TV Drama". KBS Global. December 23, 2008. Retrieved December 23, 2008. 
  38. ^ "Korean City Hunter Show Licensed for U.S. Hulu Streaming". Anime News Network. May 25, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  39. ^ "Watch City Hunter online - at Hulu". Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  40. ^ "PC Engine Fan". 3 (2). Tokuma Shoten. February 1990: P. 104. 
  41. ^ "Top Manga Properties in 2008 – Rankings and Circulation Data". Comipress. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  42. ^ "Readers Vote for the Top 20 'Most Powerful' Jump Manga". Anime News Network. November 15, 2014. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  43. ^ "TV Asahi Top 100 Anime". Anime News Network. September 23, 2005. Retrieved January 1, 2007. 
  44. ^ "TV Asahi Top 100 Anime Part 2". Anime News Network. September 23, 2005. Retrieved January 1, 2007. 
  45. ^ Manga The Complete Guide Pg51
  46. ^ Chavez, Eduardo M. (November 30, 2003). "City Hunter Vol. #02". Mania.com. Archived from the original on September 30, 2009. 
  47. ^ King, Charles (October 2003). "City Hunter Vol.1". Animefringe. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  48. ^ a b "10th Anime Grand Prix". Tokuma Shoten. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  49. ^ a b "11th Anime Grand Prix". Tokuma Shoten. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  50. ^ a b "12th Anime Grand Prix". Tokuma Shoten. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  51. ^ a b "13th Anime Grand Prix". Tokuma Shoten. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  52. ^ a b "13th Anime Grand Prix". Tokuma Shoten. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  53. ^ "City Hunter The Motion Picture". Anime News network. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  54. ^ http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2015/11/02/chris-brown-single-art-looks-familiar-to-city-hunter-manga-readers
  55. ^ "City Hunter Plays Backup to Producer TK's Virtual Diva in Video". Anime News Network. July 22, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  56. ^ "City Hunter Hammer Tops Yahoo! Japan Charity Auctions (Updated)". Anime News Network. February 1, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 

External links[edit]