Asian Movie Review – City Hunter (2024)

City Hunter (2024) Movie Review
City Hunter (2024) Review by the Scribbling Geek

Netflix’s take on Hojo Tsukasa’s signature work might still be a bit too wild for some viewers. But for me, it mostly got everything right.

City Hunter (2024) Review: 5 thumbs-up and 3 thumbs-down
Snappy Asian Movie Review | City Hunter (2024)

City Hunter (2024) Synopsis

A career-changing tragedy forces Shinjuku sweeper and legendary marksman Ryu Saeba (Suzuki Ryohei) to partner with the headstrong Makimura Kaori (Morita Misato). Will the new unlikely partners be able to uncover the truth behind a series of bizarre rampages that’s seemingly caused by superhumans?

Snappy Review

Hojo Tsukasa’s City Hunter was one of the first “major” 80s Manga that I came across during my school days, but it wasn’t until decades later that I delved into the tankōbon and watched the 80s Anime series.

There were two reasons for this. First, while I knew Saeba Ryo’s many adventures would be thrilling, I just couldn’t stand the mokkori elements and that ludicrous hammer gag. Like I previously mentioned when I reviewed Shinjuku Private Eyes, these gags just feel too incongruous with the noir-ish storylines.

Secondly, I disapproved of the sexist undertones, an unfortunate trademark of many 80s Manga. The series features many independent, strong-willed women, but no matter how capable they are, all end up relying so much on Saeba-San. And in many cases, even submitting to his lascivious fantasies in exchange for a favour.

Such elements wouldn’t resonate well with today’s international audience, to say the least. Netflix and director Satoh Yuichi are aware, and so for this first-ever Japanese live-action adaptation of Hojo’s signature work, there is a perceivable downplaying of all such gags.

To be clear, mokkori still pops up everywhere, grrr, and when these gags happen, they stick out like a sore thumb. But in general, none of these moments are as outrageous or offensive as the ones in the Manga/Anime and you can sense there was a concerted effort to tone down. For me, this made the story much more intense and inviting, which is a definite plus. My personal dislike of these gags aside, I feel they made the (wild) storyline easier to sink into too.

Suzuki Ryohei also shines as the legendary Shinjuku sweeper! Now, if you’re unfamiliar with him, the stocky actor has over the years taken on roles ranging from the heroic to the deranged to the bizarre, each time, always excelling with whatever character he embraces.

As Saeba Ryo, he is suave and focused, the very definition of charismatic deadliness. As the sleazy version of Ryo, he pivots so dramatically and so enthusiastically it’s like watching another character altogether, and in doing so, paid surprisingly effective homage to the original tone of the Manga.

In fact, Suzuki is so good, he sucks the life out of every other character. While no one was downright awful in this show, the rest of the cast simply pales beside the lead man. Even Morita Misato, who tries hard with the tomboyish Kaoru, seems more of a plot vehicle than an anchor.


Coming to the action, well, this is a Manga/Anime live-action adaptation. Most if not all sequences are over-the-top and conceptualised to be stylish rather than gripping or realistic.

I enjoyed it all, though. Swooned every time, too, whenever Ryo fired his immaculate shots.

Again, it’s because it’s effective homage to the source material—the parts that I like—and it is homage done well. I enjoyed these moments and Suzuki’s performance so much that I would love a sequel too. If that happens, I’m even willing to put up with more mokkori moments.

I believe that qualifies as an achievement for the movie?

Watch the trailer here.

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City Hunter (2024)
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