Anime Meta-Review


City Hunter : Million Dollar Conspiracy


By Date




Title Info

  • type: movie
  • grade: watchable
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Wed Jan 3 13:46:10 EST 2001
  • mod: none

If you're in deadly danger, are willing to travel to japan, and just happen to be an attractive woman then your safety is assured. Simply go to a certain train time-table and write XYZ on it and let City Hunter take care of the rest. This anime, from a long running, much loved, but sadly rare television show has spawned a host of movies and OAV's, that are often good fun.

The series revolves around a staple cast of 5 people. There's the awesomely talented ex-mercenary city hunter, who's skills have made him feared (and often challenged) throughout the criminal underworld. He's also making a serious play towards being Japan's number one hentai (pervert) going pretty much out of control (in a humorous way, of course). The one woman in Japan who's immune from his attacks is his partner, whose also a bit tough herself, although many clients realise she's also the only one who might welcome them. As it is she's restricted to solidly malleting or crushing city hunter, both to release her own tensions and to protect the female half of the population. Needless to say, while city hunter never mentions any true feelings for her (which would make her a target) her (frequent) kidnapping turns city hunter into deadly serious mode.

Other characters include a beautiful female police officer who hires city hunter with tokens good for one sexual favor, although he's never managed to redeem one yet. Then there's the proprietors of city hunters favourite coffee shop. They make average coffee, but since both partners are elite mercenaries they're good friends to have. Indeed the character of these two are delightful in themselves and a good balance to the others. Along with all sorts of locations, items and minor characters the movies have the rich heritage of the TV series to draw on...although it's a shame the TV series is so rare that a summary like this is somewhat neccessary. It's important because the human interaction, and complex characters, are so vital to the city hunter experience.

If you've read many of my city hunter reviews you must be way bored of this general intro. In this movie we get the requisite beautiful woman, all though in this case it's a blond american from L.A. She claims to be living in fear of her life, and is willing to offer one million american dollars (and mokkori (sexual favors)) for city hunters protection. This amount of money is enough to even make his partner consider allowing city hunter to claim his reward, although it appears that its more the case of the americans japanese language skills having some gaps. In any case, it does seem that someone is out to get them...although it becomes obvious the woman is more than she seems, and it may well be that the city hunter is as much of a target as anyone else.

There's a nice little twist that I want to avoid spoiling. But even outside what i've given there's a couple more figures with their own lists of targets and their own, somewhat exotic, reasons for doing so. This is a short video (about 45 minutes) and as a result the reasons behind the action are not the focus. This becomes obvious because the people involved are generally happy to spill the beans at the slightest opportunity. The old, "since I am about to kill you I can tell you everything", plot device coming into play again.

What it really boils down to is that it's a chance for a fancy showdown between a range of highly skilled people. There's a human element over the top, especially for the female, but it's not going to win any awards for story depth. Thankfully it's all fast and entertaining enough, and sufficiently well paced, that it fills up the time quite acceptably. It's not the deepest, and doesn't have a very epic scope, but it's fun action. This includes an interesting environment (an abandoned racetrack) which combines with an explosives expert (with a penchant for remote controlled toys for delivery) to give a truly explosive finale. And while the conclusion borders on the corny it does tie the show up quite well.

The animation shows some signs of being budget restricted and is a bit dated in style. It tries hard though, with some complex character designs, shading and representation of weapons, items and explosions. Some of the backgrounds are also very complex, although this does make it feel like the characters are super-imposed over the top. The action is quite detailed, complex, imaginative and fun to follow. The voices are fine while I didn't particularly notice the background music. In essence it's an enjoyable, but light, example of the city hunter experience.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:16 WST 2009