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City Hunter (1996)
"City Hunter: Secret Service" (original title)

TV Movie  -   -  Action | Animation | Comedy  -  5 January 1996 (Japan)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 143 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 2 critic

Ryo Saeba, the famed "City Hunter," has been hired by James McGuire, the president-elect of a newly-freed South American country, to protect one of the members of the Japanese Secret ... See full summary »

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Title: City Hunter (TV Movie 1996)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Akira Kamiya ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yuri Amano ...
Anna Shinjo
...
Additional Voices (voice)
Yôko Asagami ...
Saeko Nogami
Martin Blacker ...
Joe (Ryo) Saeba
Kara Bliss ...
TV Anchorwoman (voice)
Jana Brockman ...
Sandra (Saeko) Nogami
Paul Cater Deaton ...
Hikage (voice)
Adam Dudley ...
Falcon / Umibozu
Carie Esquenazi ...
Dress Store Clerk (voice)
Tesshô Genda ...
Falcon / Umibozu
Kazue Ikura ...
Kaori Makumura
...
Gonzales (voice)
David R. Jarrott ...
Chief Nogami (voice)
Judson Jones ...
Secret Service Boss (voice) (as Judson L. Jones)
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Storyline

Ryo Saeba, the famed "City Hunter," has been hired by James McGuire, the president-elect of a newly-freed South American country, to protect one of the members of the Japanese Secret Service assigned to his protection detail. The young woman happens to be McGuire's daughter and has been targeted for assassination over a fabulous cache of diamonds that McGuire had discovered while still a freedom-fighter. Saeba, while protecting his charge, also takes it upoin himself to try to get some "mokkori" action going with her... Written by Pat Payne

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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They hired City Hunter to protect a sexy agent... but who's going to protect her from him? See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

5 January 1996 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

City Hunter  »

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Connections

Followed by City Hunter: Goodbye My Sweetheart (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Aside from some fun bits, it's not worth your while.
10 July 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Some time ago, I had an opportunity to get two of the ADV City Hunter specials on DVD, and seeing as the North American DVD run has become super rare these days, I jumped on it. Only I can tell you right now that the other one I got, ".357 Magnum", is far more entertaining than "Secret Service".

See, it falls akin to the same flaws as the 1990s Lupin III TV specials and some movies...the story is more about the regular characters running into new ones and having to work with them, so you go into it expecting to see much of your favourite character but it's more about the new cast (seeing as there's only a limited amount of time to endear them to you). This isn't anything new, since a big thing in City Hunter is the Girl Of The Week (usually a new girl for Ryo to drool over), but this special's GOTW is Anna Shinto and she's rather unlikable. She hates her father for the majority of the movie despite uniting with and working for him, she's tense and rude to Kaori and Ryo (although Ryo has it coming), and she's sexualized quite often despite looking like she's no older than 17. Ryo, Kaori and Umibozu take a back seat to her and her father.

The main plot is nothing special; someone has a dark past and they need protecting from a death squad, so City Hunter gets called in to protect them. It feels really drawn-out for a TV special, and would have worked more as a single episode. This is really not meant as a person's introduction to the City Hunter series. I can't even imagine how I'd feel if this were my first exposure...it's rather generic and dull at times, and to contrast that, they've made Ryo's mokkori moments (or "nookie moments", if you see the dub) sleazier than ever. I normally really like Ryo as a character and how he goes from a super hot, super slick assassin to a hyper dolt drooling over girls, but as one reviewer once said, "If Ryo did the things he does in this movie in the real world, he would go to jail." There's a moment in this special where Ryo finally stops trying to cop a feel on Anna and it's treated like a revelation.

Umibozu, dubbed as Falcon, shows up and is easily the most fun part of the movie. He's really only in the movie because one of the villains' guys killed some of his friends in the army, but if it's all that important, why are we only hearing it now? And in this special only? As well, I think they changed Kaori's backstory to make it seem like her brother and parents died at the same time. Anybody who's seen even the original manga knows that's not true (for the uninitiated: Makimura, or Makichan, used to work with Ryo and was killed by a syndicate in the start of the series). That should be the one thing this story shouldn't have messed with.

What bugs me about the DVD version, as compared to the special features' Japanese TV spots, is how they've upped the contrast to make the animation style look less "old" (as it was made in 1995 but licensed in 2002) but it doesn't work. It gives it a gross, candy-coloured look instead of the charming cell-painted original. I don't know how the Japanese DVDs look in comparison. The dub is great, however, and Ryo's voice actor Martin Blacker is on par with Akira Kamiya. Blacker plays Ryo in all the movie releases, and here he chews the scenery around such a dull plot, but I swear I heard him slowly lose his mind. The only downside is "mokkori" being changed for English audiences, resulting in him screaming "NOOKIIIIEEEEEE!" all over the place.


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