YMMV / City Hunter

Manga and Anime

  • Awesome Music: A wealth of examples within the anime:
    • Ai Yo Kienaide, the anime's first opening theme, definitely qualifies. It's well sung with a catchy tune that also captures the sweeping feel of Tokyo's vista and Ryo and Kaori's reliance on one another, all while encapsulating The '80s perfectly.
    • Get Wild, the ending theme for the anime's first season, is also an amazing number, which fostered the best anime fade-in ever. Don't deny it - it really is.
    • Give Me Your Love Tonight, the first insert song used in the anime, is also a winner, with a funky tone, fizzing synthesizer leads which encapsulate the sweeping urban grittiness of 80s Tokyo and a killer beat.
    • Mr. Private Eye stands among the best of the anime's insert songs, with beautifully-sung and effective lyrics, a silky, sweeping melody and a memorable instrumental backing.
  • Broken Base: Fans often debate whether or not the manga/anime was superior in its earlier incarnation (where it was a Darker and Edgier action series with less mokkori and more realism) or after Kaori began to use her 100-ton hammer (where it became a Lighter and Softer and more comedic series, albeit with the increased character development of the recurring cast (particularly Umibozu) and Ryo's and Kaori's growing relationship earning some popularity with fans).
  • Badass Decay: Ryo began to become a victim of this as the series progressed, becoming goofier, more incompetent when not faced with a life-or-death situation (which, let's face it, isn't often for Ryo) and essentially using his comedic mokkori antics to make girls feel better about their situations (this is actually implied in a few earlier episodes, but it isn't one of the main benefits he provides to his clients as is later indicated).
    • Umibozu is also hit with this to an extent, gradually decaying from a stoic, threatening and highly competent hitman to a sensitive comedic figure by the end of the anime. Toned down in the manga, however, and while Umibozu's decay is worsened in the anime, he's still perfectly able to segue into feats of badass in later episodes.
  • Complete Monster: The BMW Devil, from the early chapters, drives an expensive car to abduct, rape and then murder young women. This unfortunate fate befalls one woman's sister, prompting her to seek out the City Hunter, Ryo Saeba. Upon learning of Ryo's involvement, the Devil murders his one accomplice before trying to murder Ryo as well. Boasting he plans to double his body count, then double it again and again, the Devil attempts to rape his last victim's sister before Ryo interferes. The Devil furiously attacks them both, furious with them for interfering with his "pleasure".
  • Ear Worm: Many of the songs used for the anime, particularly the insert songs played during episodes.
    • "Get wild and tough!"
    • "I just wanna go, go, go, go...."
    • "Oh, Sarah..."
    • Babe I want your love, babe I want your love..."
    • "Hey mr. private eye, oh help me with my private life..."
    • "Footsteps in the night..."
    • "Give me your love tonight..."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Hideyuki Makimura, Ryo's partner in the first four manga stories (and first five episodes of the anime) had been created specifically to die, so his death would provide a reason for Ryo and Kaori's partnership. The author was quite surprised discovering how popular he was right after killing him off, and brought him back in flashbacks and implied he was the man Saeko loved, choosing him over Ryo. He even proved popular enough to receive an episode centered around how he and Ryo first met in the anime's fourth season in 1991.
    • Hayato Injuin (otherwise known as Falcon or Umibozu) is this in spades, particularly after the second half of the first season began to develop his character significantly (in the first half, he was a minor character who appeared only in two episodes as simply a stoic hitman). Eventually, it reached the point where entire episodes were devoted to his antics and his appearances as a major cast member outnumbered those of other recurring characters such as Saeko Nogami (originally the most prominent recurring cast member during the first season).
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: During a story Ryo gets a truly idiotic and half-asleep face, and, according to an old friend of him, it meant he was practically undefeatable, and the last time Ryo had that look he wiped out an enemy platoon in half an hour alone. It became really funny when Ryo's Roaring Rampage of Revenge for the villains having indirectly made him impotent for a while devastates their HQ, but becomes much harsher what had happened the previous time he had that face: he had been drugged with Angel Dust, leading to Ryo massacring an enemy platoon in horrible ways.
    • Ryo's fear of flying on airplanes, and even of airplanes in general, caused quite a few laughs at Ryo's expenses, even having Umibozu scaring Ryo with a toy airplane. Then Kaori remembered that Ryo is the only survivor of a plane crash...
  • Genius Bonus: If you know firearms you can understand many particulars before they're explained. For example, Silver Fox return may be guessed before his identity is revealed if you recognize the Remington Model 700 used by the mysterious villain to shoot Kaori's shoe and remember that he used a rifle chambered for the .308 Winchester round in his debut (the Remington Model 700 may use various rounds, but the .308 Winchester and his military variant 7.62x51mm NATO are the most famous chamberings), and serious opponents can be recognized by their pistols and revolvers (if they use anything bigger than the .357 Magnum round and are not Umibozu or fighting him, they're idiots) and how they use them (if they don't follow safety rules, they're idiots).
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Tsukasa Hojo is often noted for doing such series. City Hunter is very popular in Europe (particularly France, where it enjoyed a prevalent run on TV under the title Nicky Larson and had an original live action movie titled Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon in 2019), Latin America, Hong Kong and especially Taiwan, but was only a mild hit in Japan. In the US, its fame remain limited as well, mostly due to being an older series whose anime adaptation wasn't dubbed until recently.
  • Ho Yay: One manga story (later adapted as a two-part episode during the second season of the anime) involved Ryo's client being a female actor disguised as a man to disguise her scent from a group of criminals stalking her, although Kaori is unaware of this and falls for her male disguise. When Ryo finds out however, his perverted side takes over. Kaori later notices Ryo's eagerness to accompany his client to bed and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Les Yay: This occasionally occurs such as when Saeko once hit on Kaori, but keep in mind that Saeko didn't know that Kaori was a woman at the time. She admitted later that she was just screwing with her.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Saeko. Her Establishing Character Moment involves her hitting on Kaori for fun and her debut episode includes a scene of her driving Ryo's Mini across several warehouse rooftops whilst being pursued by criminals (with both Ryo and Kaori in the car in addition to herself no less).
    • It runs in the female side of the family, as shown by Saeko's younger sisters. Reika, the middle, has no qualms at admitting she uses men all the time, and in her debut arc she succeeded in getting Ryo to be her temporary secretary for free by using a tiny wound he caused her while saving her life. The younger, Yuka, is a successful writer of crime novels at sixteen, and uses her sisters as 'inspiration'.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Get wild and tough!"
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Major passed when he tested Angel Dust on his own adopted son!
  • One-Scene Wonder: Ryo killed the Baron a few pages after his debut.


  • Complete Monster: This lighthearted comedy film has the surprisingly vicious villain, Donald "Don Mac" MacDonald, a thief who takes over a luxury cruise ship to rob wealthy guests. Mac has his troops kill the sailors and forces the captive guests to play a cruel card game with him, shooting them after he wins. When the captives escape and counterterrorist operatives are dispatched to the boat, Mac has his men shoot the unarmed guests on sight and plants explosives throughout the ship, killing countless operatives before trying to escape with his plunder.
  • Signature Scene: The Street Fighter II sequence in the film adaptation is likely better known than the movie itself.