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This Week in Anime - Is City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes Worth Watching?


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Joe Mello



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 2075
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:42 pm Reply with quote
It sounds like this revamp got neither wild nor tough.
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Chiyosuke



Joined: 06 Oct 2003
Posts: 292
Location: Nashville, TN (I was Kurious)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:09 pm Reply with quote
80's anime hair >>>>>>>>>>>

I enjoyed the movie for what it was.
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TexZero



Joined: 25 Oct 2017
Posts: 338
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:52 pm Reply with quote
Joe Mello wrote:
It sounds like this revamp got neither wild nor tough.


No what it really seems like is a couple of people who really didn't enjoy the source or the new film reviewing it for a weekly column to take a piss out of it.

The movie was perfectly serviceable and does a good job of bringing back an internationally loved character and modernizing him without removing what made the character and the show fun.

It's not a super serious romp, it's a pastiche of the old spy/gun for hire cinema that was prominent in the 70 & 80's.
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Farewell Days of Youth



Joined: 07 Jul 2017
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:41 pm Reply with quote
I dont think it was intended for a new audience, and for a long time fan like myself it was exactly what i wanted it to be.

It all boils down to opinions at the end of the day, but the article was kind of shit, sorry.
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 998
Location: Gahanna, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:59 am Reply with quote
I'm getting kinda sick of this site trying to condition us into thinking anime perverts, even chivalrous ones like Ryo, are just as bad as their real-world equivalents. It's fiction, what's the matter with making allowances every once in a while?
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 1665
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:30 am Reply with quote
At least the English dub is pretty good, and it has one of the best lines I've heard: "You can't just go around harassing women! This isn't the eighties anymore!!"
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snake-eyes



Joined: 07 Mar 2007
Posts: 83
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:23 am Reply with quote
I just started watching City Hunter. I watched the first 30 Episodes and SPE. I find it hilarious. I enjoyed the movie, But I like Season 1 of the series more. To me City Hunter is an Anime version of Stephen Cannell’s Hunter. Both series feature a Male and female partner, fighting Criminals in their respective large cities, Shinjuku and LA respectively. Plenty of...Destructive car chases, Big Magnums And Humor. Hunter Ran From 1984-1991 the same time City Hunter aired.
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octopodpie
ANN Managing Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
Posts: 1950
Location: Washington State
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:35 am Reply with quote
Takkun4343 wrote:
I'm getting kinda sick of this site trying to condition us into thinking anime perverts, even chivalrous ones like Ryo, are just as bad as their real-world equivalents. It's fiction, what's the matter with making allowances every once in a while?


Editorial content are the opinions of the writers. Disagree if you want, there's enough room for both.
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 998
Location: Gahanna, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:44 am Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:
Takkun4343 wrote:
I'm getting kinda sick of this site trying to condition us into thinking anime perverts, even chivalrous ones like Ryo, are just as bad as their real-world equivalents. It's fiction, what's the matter with making allowances every once in a while?


Editorial content are the opinions of the writers. Disagree if you want, there's enough room for both.

That's fair, but still, variety is good. Smile
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
Posts: 453
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:02 pm Reply with quote
Personally I'd be interested to see the editors review the 2019 live action French veraion of City Hunter, aka. Nicky Larson & Cupid's Perfume.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicky_Larson_et_le_Parfum_de_Cupidon

Dunno if it was successful, but I do recall seeing multiple posters and TV ads for it in Paris when I was visiting last year.
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Charou



Joined: 01 May 2018
Posts: 50
Location: Sydney, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:18 pm Reply with quote
We're up to City Hunter 3 now that it's finally become easily watchable and it's a lot of fun, very 80s, and unrepentant in its commitment to the formulaic premise. Oddly, the GF and I find the older characters the most annoying, so staunch in their ways. Ryo skates the line of creepy lewdness more often than I'd like, BUT this should be noted: the show goes out its way, *constantly*, to make sure Ryo is not just not interested in underage girls, he vehemently makes his tastes in mature women only whenever there's even a whiff of the 'lolicon' notion. Ryo is not a simple character. The question of whether or not he's faking his lecherous ways to conceal simply inhuman ballistics abilities and a tragic-as-hell backstory (and if he is, goodness does Kenshin owe a lot to this show) is left up to the viewer, and I appreciate that too. City Hunter is one long ridiculous romp through a fanciful version of Tokyo where the Yakuza are either useless or noble, guns are *everywhere*, and the correct response to unwarranted sexual advances is to run, squeal, scream, occasionally kick back but mostly wonder where that 100 tonne hammer came from.

I'm sure the OVAs and movies will give us more of the same, and that's perfectly fine. Nothing about SPE strikes me as something 'worth watching' (per the query of the article's title) if you haven't done your due diligence and watched enough leading up to it to get what's going on. Do that and you'll know for yourself whether it's worth watching or not. And hey, it's all there on Crunchy so it's not like anyone has any real excuse there (unlike, say, Bakemonogatari or Fate, where you really have to go out of your way to get what's going on in THEIR movie incarnations -- Bakemonogatari, especially, has an ONA that never got officially translated that is key to late-game development).

...but sure, TWIA, you throw two people who only have a passing interest in the series at its fan-aimed movie:

"City Hunter is one of those properties I've only ever vaguely known about"

"Prior to seeing this movie last year at a convention screening, I was only ever familiar with the (rather liberal) K-Drama adaptation of it."

Not exactly ringing endorsements for informed, knowledgeable discourse...which, for good or ill, I do sometimes expect from even a whimsical off-the-cuff feature like TWIA.

Because TWIA is occasionally really good. Its function highlighting underrated series such as Granbelm is enriching and entertaining. It's engaging, visceral and poignant commentary.

But when TWIA misses, holy god does it miss with a thunk louder than one of Kaori's magical mokkori mashers.

So I'm left wondering: what was the aim of this TWIA? Because all I see is two writers who open with two versions of 'we don't know much about this material' then trying to talk about it. Are we as readers meant to empathise with this idea of watching a movie tagged onto the end of a series that's been going on for decades with completely fresh eyes? Anyone who knows and likes City Hunter may well be alienated by what appears to be a shallow attempt at engaging with their beloved series, and anyone who doesn't like City Hunter or hasn't seen it isn't going to be swayed by it.

Like I said, when you guys are on fire with TWIA, you're really blazing. Are you that short on potential anime material to highlight and disseminate in a fun, witty way that you're left half-heartedly slinging largely ineffectual quips at a well-received movie for a popular, long-running series? Really?

Also, was any of this facile mud-slinging necessary when you have a perfectly serviceable review on this very site by someone who has genuine experience with the series? animenewsnetwork.com/review/city-hunter/shinjuku-private-eyes/.143666

edit: few typos, yeah I sort of spat this one out at 3am after a close friend and much more ardent CH fan than I alerted me to the...ineptitude of this article. I kind of wish he hadn't but eh, he wasn't wrong.


Last edited by Charou on Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:25 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Brainchild129



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 260
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:56 pm Reply with quote
Or maybe it's not reasonable to expect reviewers to have consumed all of a franchise that literally until a few weeks ago was not available for streaming and was previously out of print for over a decade, especially if it's for a film that is meant just as much to appeal to younger audiences who weren't even around for City Hunter's heyday as it is for old-school fans.

That's like saying no one can review that new CGI Lupin movie unless they've consumed every bit of Lupin, right down to the manga, that weird 70s live-action film, and that Lupin VIII pilot that was never fully finished. Unless it's an explicit sequel, no piece of media should require that much homework.
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octopodpie
ANN Managing Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
Posts: 1950
Location: Washington State
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:14 pm Reply with quote
Takkun4343 wrote:
octopodpie wrote:
Takkun4343 wrote:
I'm getting kinda sick of this site trying to condition us into thinking anime perverts, even chivalrous ones like Ryo, are just as bad as their real-world equivalents. It's fiction, what's the matter with making allowances every once in a while?


Editorial content are the opinions of the writers. Disagree if you want, there's enough room for both.

That's fair, but still, variety is good. Smile


It is! You'll find Kim's full length review has a different take on it. Readers can look at both and see which is more in line with their perspective and make a decision from there.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 642
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:55 pm Reply with quote
Brainchild129 wrote:

Or maybe it's not reasonable to expect reviewers to have consumed all of a franchise that literally until a few weeks ago was not available for streaming and was previously out of print for over a decade, especially if it's for a film that is meant just as much to appeal to younger audiences who weren't even around for City Hunter's heyday as it is for old-school fans. .


It's totally reasonable to review a title without being 100% familiar with all of its prior body of work, but it's a bit odd for professional reviewers to write about such a major title without having seen at least some of it. There's an awful lot of middle ground between having zero experience with a title and having seen every minute of footage. And for anime titles as significant and well known as City Hunter or Lupin....well, to me that's like a movie critic claiming they've never watched a Spielberg or Kurosawa film. We readers expect critics and reviewers to be well read in their given field; that's why we look up to their opinions more than those of a random person. "It's not available streaming" is a totally valid explanation as to why young new fans might be unfamiliar with the show, but it's hardly an excuse for a professional.

And hey, I loved that weird 70's live-action Lupin! It was a huge shock to me at first but it's chock full of campy goodness. I bought the Lupin III LD Theater Box expecting it to be all anime....nope, what a surprise to find that gem in there.
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ryonomiko
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Joined: 22 Apr 2004
Posts: 61
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:46 pm Reply with quote
The reviewers don't seem to have cared less to invest any time to get to know City Hunter before reviewing the 2019 movie. So yeah, watching the 2019 movie is NOT a good idea at all if you no little about the series. Reviewing it even a less intelligent idea considering they are passing judgment on if it is worth watching.

City Hunter was and is (the movie was quite successful in Japan, and would be known by younger people as well as decades of die-hard fans) very well known in Japan. It was a big hit of the 80s onwards, but no, not in North America.

Saeba Ryo is a complex character. He's not some sex crazed pervert who is just extremely good with a gun. His antics are just antics a great deal of the time. Distraction, diversion for himself, his clients and throws off enemies. And yes, he's horny too.

Kaori is not some weakling. Yes, she has absolute trust in Ryo and you have to watch City Hunter to KNOW why.

City Hunter has very strong female characters.

I (female) became a fan of City Hunter in 1996 and not stopped since. Have waited 21 years for the 1999 TV movie to have an official English release. Was utterly surprised yet thrilled when news of Shinjuku Private Eyes movie being done came out.

SPE is NOT a reboot, not meant to be.
It will rub the wrong way in this year for certain people.
Would James Bond still be James Bond if he didn't get it on, or even try to?
I don't want long established characters neutered to something else just to fit with the times.

City Hunter never caught on in North America. Manga only had a partial release. ADV's release was horrid for translation and kept trying to sell it as primarily comedy only.

That Crunchyroll has ALL of City Hunter up now to go watch still surprised by. I do hope it will net City Hunter some more fans.

You want impact or insight to City Hunter? Watch Ep100-101 which is City Hunter 2, ep 49 and 50.
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