City Hunter TV Season 1 Collection 1 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Sunday, July 20, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Sound is great, love the opening and closing songs and the bgm is good too. While its a stereo mix there is not alot of directionality, but there are no distortions or dropouts that I noticed.
Video has the usual amount of grain for a show its age but nothing too bad. You can notice occasional nicks and hairs but again nothing too bad. One thing that can be a little annoying is the amount of splices you can see, it seems like almost every scene change has a splice mark that lasts for at most 2 frames. Most of the splices aren't very noticeable and a few i didn't even notice unless i single-framed (after the first ep the splices seemed to be less and less noticeable). Should also note that there is a slight bit of wobble that i noticed about 2-3 times in an episode, nothing major though. I didn't notice any macroblocking, aliasing or the sort. One thing that is annoying but I can live with is the fact that hardsubs are used for the opening/closing lyrics and signs translations, but this is a minor nitpick, although to some this will be more of a major issue.
Packaging is similar to that of Mospeada Boxset with a 5 disc box. There is an insert slip that has the cover art on the front, and on the back has a list of what episodes and extras are on each disc.
The menus are very plain with a selection for each of the episodes on the disc and whatever extras are on that disc. Interesting thing is when you select an episode from the menu it has a scene popup that explains the word mokkori in a very detailed paragraph, then the episode starts.
Extras for this set include: ADV previews, cleaning opening/ending, City Hunter Trailers (which is nothing but trailers for the previous City Hunter releases from ADV), and production sketches. This seems to be an adequate amount of extras, but nothing too extraordinary.
This is a review after completing the first disc and I will provide updates as I finish the series. For those of you unfamiliar with this series the main character Saeba Ryo is one of my favorite anime characters of all time and Kamiya Akira, his voice actor, is also one of my favorites. I just got to say that I just love City Hunter. I've always been a huge fan of both the anime and the manga. With the release of these boxsets we can finally get to see the entire first season of City Hunter on dvd.
The episodes on the first disc are a great in starting out this season. With the first episode we get to meet Saeba Ryo and his partner Makimura Hideyuki, and Ryo takes on his first case involving a women wanting to get revenge for the death of her sister. This episode is a great mix of the action and comedy that is seen throughout this story. You see Ryo go from the stalwart sweeper and in the next heartbeat he becomes a lech trying to grab a women's butt, bust or legs. Overall a great episode and one that provided lots of laughs. Anyone who reads the City Hunter manga should recognize that this episode is based of the Devil in the BMW story.
In the next episode, Ryo gets hired to be the bodyguard for the daughter of a scientist who has created a microbe that prevents all animals from reproducing. This is another fun episode with a little less action, but definitely has lots of comedy. One moment that really made me laugh out loud was when Ryo and the women were in a hotel room and Ryo says that they need to go to bed. As she turns around you can see that Ryo has his shirt off and is pulling down his pants, as if expecting to get some action.. Overall another good episode.
The next episode on this disc is another adaptation of manga chapter, in fact this is the first chapter of the first volume. In this episode a boxer, Shun. who is making a comeback after a hit-and-run accident is killed while jogging in the park. It is found out that his killer is another boxer, Inagaki, who very desperately wants the boxing title. So in this episode the girlfriend of Shun hires Ryo to kill Inagaki. This episode has a less humor then previous ones, but has some good action in it to make up for this. Overall I got to say that this is a good episode.
The fourth episode is also based off another manga chapter, A Sniper in the Dark. In the start of this episode we find out that 19 women, all very beautiful, have been kidnapped recently. At the same time, Ryo's friend Makimura wants to hire him to find his sister, Kaori, who has run away. Ryo eventually catches up to Kaori, who didn't run away but was just looking for her friend who had disappeared, and they try to find out the reason behind all the disappearances. This episode has a lot of more action in it, but retains its comedy to lighten up the mood every now and then.
The final episode on this disc is a more downbeat episode. First we see that there is an XYZ posted at the train station with a client wanting to meet at the Silky Club. We also find out that tomorrow is Kaori's birthday and that Makimura has a special present to give to her and he wants to explain to Kaori about her real past. Despite the fact that Ryo wants to go meet with the client, Makimura refuses saying that it is his job, so Ryo gives him a gun for protection. As Ryo had expected the man he was to meet was not on the up-and-up but really a drug lord. This episode had some good action that is almost devoid of any humor. While this episode is more dramatic then the last four it is still very good and has a story that almost chokes me up everytime I watch it.
Overall, this is a very good collection of episodes, and I am looking forward to the next four discs in this set. I can not wait for the next collection to hit the shelves.
My home PC with a 2.1
Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: C+
Menus Rating: B-
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 625
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: City Hunter