People know City Hunter as two things. The lucky ones would know City Hunter as the hit manga series that ran on Weekly Shonen Jump from 1985 to 1991, which lasting appeal spawned four animated series, two OVAs and, more recently, a Korean live-action drama. They would know of Ryo Saeba, the “sweeper” (a private eye cum assassin-for-hire) with improbable aiming skills and a heart of gold who also happens to be a massive pervert. They would know of the series’ glorious mix of detective noir, human drama, screwball comedy and high-octane action.
The less-lucky people only know City Hunter as the 1993 live-action movie adaptation, starring Jackie Chan and directed by Wong Jing. It is a terrible movie of mediocre fights, unnecessary characters and lowball comedy that hardly resembles the manga, which only redeeming factor is the now-famous scene that (rather perfectly) parodies Street Fighter II.
So what’s heartening now is the upcoming animated feature film, set to release in February next year, which retains Tsukasa Hojo’s character designs and seems very much a return to its manga/anime roots. Because, really, it’s high time a proper City Hunter adaptation can claim to be the one true City Hunter movie the world deserves.
Our crosshair’s set on this one.