Netflix announced on Thursday that the Japanese live-action film of Tsukasa Hōjō‘s City Hunter manga will launch on Netflix worldwide on April 25. Netflix revealed the news as part of its announcement of live-action Japanese titles releasing on the service this year, noting that Japanese-language content was the third most-viewed non-English content in 2023, behind Korean and Spanish.
(The short preview for City Hunter is from 1:53 to 2:06 in the below video.)
Ryōhei Suzuki (HK/Hentai Kamen, Tokyo Tribe, Tokyo MER) stars as Ryō Saeba, and Yuichi Sato (Kisaragi, live-action Nōnai Poison Berry) is directing. Misato Morita (One Week Friends, Koi Suru Haha-tachi) plays the heroine Kaori Makimura.
While the manga has inspired live-action adaptations in Hong Kong, South Korea, and France, this is the first City Hunter film to be shot on the real-life streets of Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward. The film shifts the setting from the late 20th century to modern day, but retains Saeba’s long coat from the manga, instead of the jacket seen in the anime adaptations. (The film turns the manga’s Balmacaan coat into a belted trenchcoat.)
Tatsuhiro Mishima (live-action Yu Yu Hakusho) is writing the screenplay, and Yoshihide Otomo (INU-OH, Lupin Zero, live-action Orange) is composing the music. Shinichi Takahashi is the executive producer, and Keisuke Sanpei and Kosuke Oshida are producing. Netflix is producing in collaboration with HoriPro and Office Shirous.
Coamix and Imagineer‘s MangaHot app and website is publishing the City Hunter manga in English, and MangaHot describes the story:
Ryo Saeba, a.k.a. City Hunter. A sweeper who fulfills all his client’s needs. He’ll do anything from bodyguarding to contract killing, but he’ll only take the job if a pretty woman is involved, or the client’s sincerity makes his heart tremble. Together with his partner Kaori Makimura, the kid sister of his late best friend, Ryo fights the evil haunting the shadows of the city!!
Hojo’s City Hunter manga ran from 1985 to 1991 and has 35 volumes. The manga inspired four television anime series, one earlier anime film, and several video and television specials including a 2015 original anime DVD. ADV Films released most of these anime projects in North America. The original anime premiered in April 1987. The City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes anime film opened in Japan in February 2019, and the City Hunter The Movie: Angel Dust film on September 8.
Discotek Media announced its license of the original City Hunter anime projects and the recent City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes film in April 2019. Crunchyroll is streaming the City Hunter television anime series, specials, and films.
Jackie Chan starred in a 1993 Hong Kong live-action film that very loosely adapts the original manga. A Korean live-action television series adaptation premiered in 2011, and Hulu streamed this version in the United States. A French live-action film adaptation opened in France on February 2019. A separate Chinese live-action film adaptation has been green-lit in China.
Sources: Netflix (Kaata Sakamoto), Cinema Today (入倉功一)