Angel Heart – episode 16

June 15, 2006 on 10:59 pm | In Angel Heart | Comments Off on Angel Heart – episode 16

“What it takes to be City Hunter”

I find that when I immerse myself in the world of Saeba Ryo, I’m on a different level of happiness. The first part of this episode was the standard solution to the problem raised in the previous episode, but after that I actually received a shock and was moved.

Ryo figures out who Tanya’s father is and acts to solve the problems caused by a dodgy politician six years ago. This involves crossing Xiang Ying, who is beginning to surprise herself.

The idea that Kuma-san was the father of Tanya came as no surprise to me, and it shouldn’t have to anyone else either as it was revealed within seconds of meeting him in addition to being immediately obvious. Kishimoto, as Kuma-san is more properly known, is an intelligent man: rather than being consumed by revenge, he would rather have justice served to the politician who ruined his life. It is through Ryo’s “hands off” parenting that this ideal is realised.

This idea of solving problems through clever tactics rather than by shooting them is alien to Xiang Ying. The repercussions of killing the politician – short time gratification, long term obscurity that solves none of the personal problems of those affected – are not apparent to her at all. By allowing her to go off and make these decisions for herself, Ryo is putting a lot of faith in Xiang Ying … or her heart.
The fact that Xiang Ying cannot kill the politician is not due to a sudden inability: she thinks about killing people all the time (well, not all the time). What has changed is her heart in a sense that is revealed to be more literal than figurative. The tears that Xiang Ying sheds for the reunion – tears that she cannot understand – are real, though, and not induced by Kaori.

Which brings us to the best part of the episode: the highly provocative “sou, ne” line from Kaori. As Xiang Ying sleeps, Ryo feels her heartbeat … and Kaori speaks to him. She has been silent for a long time, and so it was good to see her back. Kaori understands the situations that are happening around the offices of City Hunter and Cat’s Eye, and it’s another connection between Ryo and his “daughter”. The scene is played in such a way that it doesn’t have to have been real: Ryo could have just felt that Kaori was with him. It’s the feeling that is more important than the reality, and the feeling was great.

I wish I could watch Angel Heart more often. Firmly entrenched in this universe as I am, it is like a soothing nectar for my soul.

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