XYZ 2019 Style
- Episodes : 1 (feature film)
- Genre : Action, Mystery, Comedy, Shounen
- Airing Date : February 8, 2019
- Producers : Sunrise
Gekijoban City Hunter
Tsukasa Hojo’s City Hunter is back and is retro-fitted for modern society! This time, Ryo and Kaori are hired by Ai Shinoda, a model/medical student who is being hunted down for reasons unknown to her shortly after the passing of her father. Never willing to say no to a beautiful woman, Ryo takes up her offer to protect her. Around the same time, Shinji Mikuni, a tech industrialist, is visiting Japan and he happens to be a childhood friend of Kaori, and becomes a romantic rival to Ryo. However, he has a hidden agenda of his own and wants to put Ryo’s combat skills to the test and take Kaori for himself!
What We Liked About Gekijoban City Hunter
As seen in American comics and animated shows that have been around for decades, their stories and characters can exist on a sliding timeline meaning they can be upgraded for modern society without having to age the characters, and this is done in Shinjuku Private Eyes. Not only does it include smartphones, tablets and drones, it does a great job of modernizing Shinjuku as well. For example, the movie shows the giant Godzilla bust that you can see at the center of Shinjuku’s Kabukicho entertainment district! Though the anime has changed with the times, the personalities and other dynamics of the original series remains the same.
1. Brings back the cast
Akira Kamiya is back as Ryo! He still has that high pitch when he screams “mokkori!” In addition, Kazue Ikura is back as Kaori, Tessho Genda is back as Umibozu, and Mami Koyama is back as Miki. As for Rui of the Cat’s Eye trio, due to the tragic passing of Toshiko Fujita just this last year, she couldn’t come back. However, Keiko Toda, the voice of Hitomi not only voices Hitomi, but takes over the role of Rui. As for Ai, Chika Sakamoto is back, too! As for Mikuni, he is voiced by Koichi Yamadera (most famous as Spike from Cowboy Bebop), and he actually played a large handful of roles in the original anime series.
2. Brings back the soundtrack
Not only is most of the original seiyuu cast back, this movie manages to bring back the songs from the original series! All of the opening and ending themes are used as fan service in a lot of the big action sequences. Though they don’t fit the atmosphere, it gets the job done in being a nostalgia trip for pre-existing fans. Last, TM Network’s Get Wild, the first ending theme of the series is once again used and the animation pays excellent homage to the original!
3. Finally Features some characters from the manga
Not only only does the original cast come back, this movie finally introduces some characters who were prominent in the manga but were never in the original anime! One character is the Professor, Ryo’s doctor, and is actually the main influence as to why Ryo is a pervert!
1. The Perverted Humor
With the rise of the #MeToo movement, it’s only natural for viewers to find Ryo offensive. He’s very open with wanting to have sex with every woman that attracts him, or tries to get a sneak peek whenever a woman is taking a shower. We understand that sexual harassment is a very serious issue and we can sympathize with people who don’t find Ryo funny in that way. On the other hand, he never gets to it thanks to Kaori always hitting him in the head with a mallet (and the weight depends, but expect at minimum 100t), or rolling him up and in a futon. He may be perverted, but he is capable of showing restraint when necessary.
2. Ryo is a Gary Sue
Due to Ryo’s superhuman abilities, he’s difficult to sell to audiences who haven’t seen the old anime or read the manga. He may not be Saitama from One Punch Man, but he has amazing fighting skills, superhuman reflexes, sharpshooting abilities, and can dodge missiles! The character is just meant to be cool and by no means is he someone you can further develop as an individual. Ryo as a character is simply who he is, and the only thing you can develop with him is his relationship with Kaori, which needs to stay the way it is just so their tension will always be there.
3. Could Have Used More Cat’s Eyes
We understand this is a City Hunter movie and not a Cat’s Eye movie, but we personally feel that the Cat’s Eye trio could have been used a bit more in the final act. Their introduction is appropriately timed and placed, but at the end of the day, their presence is merely fan service and doesn’t really add any substance to the story.
As to why someone superhuman such as Ryo can get repeatedly hit in the head from a mallet, Hojo recently shared on Twitter that it was Ryo’s own way of admitting that his perverted tendencies are wrong, and it’s his own way of expressing his feelings for Kaori.
We hope that this movie paves way for a new Cat’s Eye anime in the future. In an age of retro, what better series than Cat’s Eye? As for City Hunter, this could be a gateway for new fans to see the old series but pre-existing fans will have a better appreciation and understanding of this movie since they know the formula. This is nothing more than a modern day extended episode, but it shows how City Hunter still holds up.