Angel Heart – episode 14

May 12, 2006 on 11:31 pm | In Angel Heart | Comments Off on Angel Heart – episode 14

“The Return of City Hunter!”

How is Ryo outsourcing his work to Xiang Ying anything like “the return of City Hunter”? I thought that the premise of this episode was flawed, which was helped in no way by the fact that the animators forgot how to draw.
Aesthetically, this was painful to watch. Painful.

City Hunter’s first job is to defend Nagisa, a girl who has committed a series of druggings and robberies. Her mistake was doing it to a yakuza, and now she’s being extorted.
The case is too stupid for Ryo, so he gives it to Xiang Ying. She performs it with surgical precision, causing Nagisa to wonder: why would anyone be so unfriendly?

Before I go any further, I would like to illustrate how hard it was for me to watch this episode at times:

What is this crap? Umibozu looks like someone carved his likeness out of a potato!

The episode sets up its theme of “Xiang Ying does not know how to act like a normal girl” quickly, and does not try to hide the fact that the job is going to be a way to change that somewhat.
The fact of Xiang Ying’s abnormality was played well when she was paired with Xing Hong, who bought her a rubber knuckle. This romance could work because they understand each other, even if they do not understand anything else in the world.

It was interesting that they chose to have such an unsympathetic client; I too would have abandoned Nagisa in the street. Getting a character to push all of another character’s buttons despite their having only just met is common when it’s time for “growth” and change; that doesn’t stop it from being annoying.

I think that the fundamental flaw of this episode was Xiang Ying’s conceit: that her mission was to deliver Nagisa to Ryo’s apartment, and that if Nagisa were to be attacked she would do nothing about it.
Now, I’m no trained assassin turned god samaritan who protects pretty young girls (Nagisa would have been pretty if the animators actually knew what she looked like), but if I had to deliver someone somewhere and they were being shot at … I would fail my mission if my quarry got killed. Therefore it’s a collateral order, and Xiang Ying should not have felt conflicted about kicking the yakuza around.
On top of that, the idea was even contradicted earlier in the episode, when Xiang Ying stopped another obstacle with no hesitation in the world.

You may be aware that City Hunter frequently had the clients falling in love with Ryo by the end of their time with him, almost invariably congratulating Kaori on how lucky she was. Well, now girls develop lesbian crushes on Xiang Ying. Great!
Come back, Angel Heart quality!

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