February 8, 2019
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City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes
on June 3, 2019
I am a child of the 80s, City Hunter represented for me an accessible fiction staging intrigues worthy of the best Thrillers. The slightly watered-down version of the animation series, broadcast during the Club Dorothée broadcast, had familiarized me with the art of Manga, discovering that a professional killer could act for the good while having his own share of 'shadow, discover the unlikely duos represented here by the cleaner of Shinjuku neighborhood and the sweet but also character Kaori (and his club 100 T ^^) and showed me that we could in the same allied work scenes dramatic to comic situations.
A year ago I learned, disconcerted I must say, that a completely new plot was born around the manga City Hunter created by the awesome Tsukasa Hojo (also author of Manga Cat's eyes). I was totally surprised because if we go back in time, this manga was published between 1986 and 1992 and adapted animated cartoon during the same period, in 1989, City Hunter was adapted in film with City Hunter: Love, Destiny and a Magnum 3574, in 1990, two separate OAVs were created: City Hunter: City Wars Bay and City Hunter: Plot for a million dollars, then several City Hunter specially designed for television were created: City Hunter: Secret Services in 1995, City Hunter: Goodbye My Sweetheart in 1997 and City Hunter: The Death of City Hunter in 1999. Understand that after so much time, I thought the chapter closed for good, until the announcement falls "The film City Hunter animation: Shinjuku Private Eyes will be released in Japanese theaters in 2019! ". Learning in the process that the script and the realization of this film would be in the hands of other people (but...certainly we keep the excellent Kenji Kodama present from the beginning to the realization) than the author himself, I feared that the result does not live up to the animation series of my childhood, or the manga that I ended up buying well later and read with passion. Well no, Ryo Saeba and Kaori Makimura are back. The film starts in a classic way, Kaori and Ryo, as we have seen so many times before in this kind of situation, pursue or are pursued by truants and the center of Shinjuku witness live in impressive scenes of fighting, exchanges of pulls ... The first thing that I noticed besides is that Tokyo having changed a little in 30 years, the directors had to continue sticking to the reality by recreating the city always with the identical, some buildings were replaced, some signs have changed names since the days when the drawings were in the hands of Tsukasa: example the exit of the train station of Shinjuku was well known for the red inscription "My City" which enthroned on the frontage since it was completed in 1964. Made famous by the manga City Hunter, it has been replaced since 2006, during the renovation of the building by another shopping center sign, "Lumine Est".
The basics are set when this opening scene starts with the famous song Angel Night, well known, very listened to at the time of the first series, my nostalgic heart melted. The following is just as believable in the eyes of purists like me, the classic plot, we do not take chances, a young woman uses the famous message board (but modern version, since smartphones have done away with the blackboard of the Station), today the table appears via an application on our phone, the code remains the same XYZ (Ryo, my situation is desperate, come to my rescue). Ryo does not change his behavior with Kaori or with the women, and the result is a burst of laughter in the movie theater. A young woman, model and student doctor, loses his father in a car accident, and she finds herself without her knowing the cause, pursued by mercenaries who want to recover the scientific and technical secret of his father. He had developed a fairly advanced technology and the young founder of a high-tech company needs this technology to operate military drones that he develops secretly for military purposes but especially harmful.
Ryo tries to seduce the young woman, Kaori continues to hit his partner as soon as he acts perversely. We do not denature anything about the identity of the characters, the intrigues ... Of course other recurring characters land: Umibozu, Mimi, Saeko (to whom Ryo always claims that she settles his debts of appointment to him ^^ ...). But the charm of the complicity between Kaori and Ryo remains as intact and does not escape the eyes of the client.
We have an explosive finale and breathtaking action scenes, with the famous title Get Wild. We find songs Forever in my heart, Sara, Foot Steps ... in short it's happiness once again for purists.
A flaw, however, the design of the characters is not always perfect and are sometimes poorly represented, poorly drawn in some scenes which is a shame in 2019. I would add that the film contains a surprise meeting, a kind of cross-over with other well-known characters from Tsukasa. I will not tell you anything else.
The film is officially released in cinemas on June 13, next.