‘City Hunter’ Netflix 2024: Cast, Plot, Review | CoolJapan

Netflix is breathing new life into the legendary ‘80s manga City Hunter. It recently debuted at No. 1 on Netflix’s Weekly Global Top 10 Non-English Films.

'City Hunter' Netflix 2024 Review

Gear up for a wild adventure. (Photo from: Netflix Media Center)

City Hunter: cast, plot, and review

Before we dive into our thoughts on the film, here’s what you need to know about City Hunter. It’s based on a shounen manga — a genre wherein boys are its target audience —  written and illustrated by Tsukasa Hojo, and has sold over 50 million copies through the years. It has been adapted into a K-drama starring Lee Min Ho and a movie starring Jackie Chan. 

The live-action adaptation from Netflix is set in modern-day Shinjuku. Ryo Saeba (Ryohei Suzuki) is a skilled marksman and crime-fighter who can’t resist falling for beautiful women whom he sometimes uses against his enemies. At times, this becomes his weakness too.

Ryo and his partner Hideyuki Makimura (Masanobu Ando) are private detectives who make up “City Hunter”. After receiving a mysterious message, they go on the search for a missing cosplayer, Kurumi. Hideyuki gets killed during the investigation which leads his adoptive sister, Kaori Makimura (Misato Morita), to avenge her brother. To do so, she persistently follows Ryo to look for clues about his death. As they face various dangers together, they form an unlikely bond.

Let’s now dive into the review.

The good

1. It’s faithful to the original City Hunter manga

According to Netflix, Tsukasa Hojo, the original author of the manga, gave the film his stamp of approval. He shares: “I really enjoyed the film and was impressed by how well it was done. This film shows the characters running around in Shinjuku and I think this is what the fans expect, giving them the thrills of watching it come alive.”

The movie is packed with incredibly choreographed fight scenes and twists that will give you an adrenaline rush and keep you engaged until the end. Ryo Saeba provides comedic fun to balance the otherwise gory and violent scenes. He would poke fun at his enemies and crack jokes even amid dangerous situations. 

2. The portrayal of the budding friendship between Ryo Saeba and Kaori Makimura

'City Hunter' Netflix 2024 Review

From strangers to partners. (Photo from: Netflix Media Center)

The movie’s depiction of the dynamic between Ryo Saeba and Kaori Makimura felt refreshingly natural. Their contrasting personalities — Ryo's lighthearted goofiness and Kaori's grounded levelheadedness — created a perfect partnership that resonated well.

City Hunter will leave you wanting to know more about their future adventures. In the manga, the two move from crime-fighting partners to lovers, so there’s a lot of room for a second installment or even a series. 

The not-so-good

The first part of the movie can be a little off-putting for someone without any background knowledge about the series. Establishing Ryo Saeba as a pervert might be lost on those unfamiliar with the original series. 

It is said that the manga delves into Ryo Saeba's complex past, providing context for his sometimes unconventional actions. For first-timers, this backstory remains unexplored in the film, potentially creating a barrier to fully appreciating his character.

If you're patient and curious to find out what's beneath the surface of Ryo's words and actions, stream City Hunter here.

(Cover photo from: Netflix Media Center)