Sunday, October 21, 2007

City Hunter - ReTrO ReViEw

What is it?

The story of a talented man-for-hire who works in the underground world with his inexperienced partner.

What's good about it?

For a series that began 20 years ago, City Hunter remains quite watchable. Many of the story arcs are well written and most of the characters have their charm. City Hunter is a great indicator of the time it aired, both in its anime style and cultural referencing. The mood of urban Japan in the 80's is very well-represented.

What's bad about it?

Running 150 episodes long with half a dozen movies, most of the episodes are filler episodes. Character interactions are incredibly predictable and repetitive. The good guys (and the bad guys) always seem to make the same mistakes (especially Kaori). The story arcs range from 1 to 3 episodes in length and while the non-filler ones (the vast minority of the arcs) are quite worthwhile, the filler arcs are hit and miss with some very tedious ones in there.

Final Verdict

City Hunter could never air today as it stands. The filler hurts but the animation reflects its age and the formula is tired and has been replicated to nausea. Most of the emulation reflects the popularity of the show and it's characters at its conception. Like most retro anime series that were popular in their time, you can only enjoy City Hunter if you can appreciate the impact it had on the way anime is made today without holding it's faults against it.


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