Mike wonders aloud which anime would be a good fit for the prestigious Criterion Collection.
The Motion Picture
It seems everyone is waiting to see what this dub is like, so I'll just skip a few pending review titles so I can tell you now: It's excellent. This is possibly the best dub that has ever been produced that hasn't been directed by Jack Fletcher (Urban Vision & Disney). There's only one problem: THEY CHANGED THE NAMES!!
Ryo is now known as "Joe Saeba", the famous detective with a libido only slightly bigger than the things his parter Kaori hits him with when he turns into a horny idiot. Coffee shop vigilante Umibozu is now known by his nickname "Falcon", and resident police woman friend Saeko is now Sandra. Rumor has it that this was done in an attempt to sell the long-as-hell TV series to some TV channel (cable, I'm guessing), although since some characters still have Japanese names and it takes place in Tokyo, this hardly makes sense. (I'm told the subtitled version is left intact.)
That aside, this "motion picture" is actually one of the annual made-for-TV feature-length OAV's called "Goodbye my Sweetheart". (An unmarketable title if there ever was one.) An actress named Emi (that's "Amy" in this version... grr...) comes to City Hunter in an effort to find her long lost brother who has mysteriously left his calling card -- black roses -- for her backstage one day. Ryo is reluctant to take her case (since she dresses like a man) but Kaori (who's a big fan) bullies him into it.
Her brother, in reality, is now a terrorist by the name of "The Professor". He feels betrayed by his country, and so he'll now blow up Tokyo's business district Shinjuku by means of a complicated network of bombs placed in strategic locations. The first bomb will be the trigger for all the others, and is under the seat Amy is sitting on as guest of honor on Shinjuku's new monorail. What follows is pure mayhem: a great mixture of "Speed" and a John Woo film.
City Hunter is based on a manga by Tsukasa Hojo, and his complex, realistic art style is carried through here in all its glory. The slapstic humor never gets old, and while there's plenty of character development here, there's also enough action to keep even the most impatient fan riveted.
The dub, which is directed by Gary Dehan, is easily ADV's best effort to date. All of the characters sound perfect, and no detail is untouched. Even the script is well-done. (For those fans wondering what Ryo's favorite vague sexual euphamism "Mokkori" has been changed to, it's "Nookie".) The aging logo has been replaced with a near-identical rendered version, which is simply beautiful. Every American release should have this kind of production value!
City Hunter would be a perfect release if it weren't for one major issue: THEY CHANGED THE NAMES!!!
Overall (dub) : A-
+ Great dub, great plot, great art
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