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Anime Reviews Angel Heart 2005

“Angel Heart” is the pseudo-sequel to the popular Japanese anime series called “City Hunter.” The reason Angel Heart is called a pseudo-sequel is that it’s not really tied to City Hunter. Most of the characters in City Hunter are very much present in Angel Heart. However, this is set in an alternate universe. All the events that happen in City Hunter do not very apply in Angel Heart. There are two main characters in Angel Heart: Xiang Ying Li and Ryo Saeba aka City Hunter.

It mostly revolves around Xiang Ying who is a former assassin for the Chinese Triad called the Zheng Dao Hui. She is very famous in the world of assassins with the name of “Glass Heart.” Just about everybody has heard about Glass Heart. However, nobody else knew what Glass Heart looked like. It starts out where Xiang Ying didn’t want to kill anymore people and attempted suicide. She survived and got a heart transplant. The heart plays an important role in the story and the title.

Xiang Ying was taken into the organization’s assassination department. She was trained at an early age to be an assassin. This is very much reminiscent to “Naked Weapon” starring Maggie Q. In one scene, she had to assemble a gun in a certain time limit while someone aimed a gun at her. In the beginning, Xiang Ying was being taught to be a ruthlessly efficient assassin.

However, Xiang Ying’s new heart belonged to a woman named Kaori Makimura. She was Ryo’s sidekick and girlfriend in City Hunter. In Angel Heart, it’s explained that Kaori got killed when she got hit by a truck. Her heart was harvested and implanted into Xiang Ying. As a result, Kaori acts as a guardian angel. Xiang Ying has all of Kaori’s thoughts and memories. This too plays a very important part of the Angel Heart anime series.

It is through Kaori’s heart that Xiang Ying and Ryo Saeba are drawn to each other. Ryo is still the lecherous skirt-chaser as he is portrayed in City Hunter. However, Ryo is a grieving man this time. As Kaori died, Ryo shut down the City Hunter business. As a result, Xiang Ying ends up becoming his foster daughter. Xiang Ying is trying to adjust to life while having an assassin’s train of thought. In a sense, Xiang Ying tends to take Kaori’s role in keeping Ryo in check.

The two of them are the main characters. As Ryo reopens the City Hunter business, Xiang Ying joins in. In a sense, it’s a journey about Xiang Ying becoming more human at the same time learning how to protect people. She follows in Ryo’s footsteps.

While there is seriousness in Angel Heart, there certainly is a lot of comedy.

Familiar characters such as: Umibozu and Saeko Nogami are present. New characters such as Xin Hong Liu and Chief Chin are present that play a part as support characters for Xiang Ying. However, Xin Hong is very much an important character to Angel Heart as Xiang Ying is.

The creator said that this is an alternate universe. However, fans insist that this is a sequel to City Hunter. The death of Kaori didn’t help things out as there was a huge backlash from fans. There are big differences between City Hunter and Angel Heart.

However, Angel Heart has an interesting premise about an ex-assassin trying to become “human.”