A young Taiwanese assassin codenamed "Glass Heart" committed suicide by jumping off a building, and her heart was pierced by metal fence. Miraculously, her life was saved by heart transplantation. During her recovery she began to experience strange dreams, which lead her to Japan looking for the donor of her heart, who happens to be Kaori Makimura, former partner of City Hunter Ryo Saeba.
The author mentioned in the first tankoubon volume that Angel Heart only shares the same characters of City Hunter but not its continuation. The events are all parallel universe, therefore it has nothing to do with City Hunter. (Source: Wikipedia)
Note: This series is a spin-off from another show called City Hunter, and uses many of it's characters. All I did before watching this series is read the synopsis for City Hunter, and I've had no problems following the story. It still may be preferable to watch City Hunter first though.
Angel Heart starts by following professional assassin (trained from a child), Glass Heart, as she attempts to escape from her life of killing, by ending her own. But after a heart transplant, and a couple of years sleep, she's good as new. The new heart brings it's owner's spirit with it, and refuses to let Glass Heart die, and so, Glass Heart escapes, to try and find out about the person the heart belonged to.
The series is made up mostly of seperate story arcs, the first following Glass Heart's escape, the rest following her new life as she starts accepting missions to help people in dire situations, and in doing so, learning about life.
The first arc is generally more plot-driven and a lot more fast-paced. After the first arc, things start to meander into character development, with far less in the way of action. If you have a short attention-span, you should be able to watch the first arc alone without worries, as it's a self-contained story.
Since the series mainly follows character-development, the characters are important, and in my opinion, they've done well. The regulars are a variety of interesting characters that you should have no trouble watching for the length of the series. The characters that need help are also well made, with realistic reasons for needing help. Honestly, some of the coincidences in the series are a bit of a stretch, but still, they're well used.
I'll also note that there are a fair few flashbacks about how Ryo became the City Hunter, and his relationship with Kaori. These may have been covered in the original series, but if you haven't seen it, then these will fill in a few gaps.
This is a 50 episode series, but there's no real 'ending', things simply keep going without any further resolution beyond that of the first arc. And it is kind of disappointing. Also, with so many episodes, despite the series being good, it does start to drag towards the end.
The art goes for a more realistic style than usual, (most notably, the eyes are smaller) and it's well done.
One thing I wasn't expecting from this series was that it contains a fair chunk of humour. The humour is mostly character-based. For example, Seaba Ryo, the City Hunter, is a bit of a clown, and lot of a woman-chaser.
The realistic art-style makes seeing the silliness of some situations that much stranger, and in my opinion, that much stronger. For instance, the gigantic wooden hammer (that makes only a couple of appearances) is obviously ridiculous, but it does actually look like a real object.
To summarise, this is a good, mostly serious, character-driven series, that involves combat specialists helping people out of dangerous situations, though there's not that much action after the first story. There's also regular silliness to mix things up.
And people with short attention-spans may only want to watch the first few episodes.
You'll just have to decide whether to watch City Hunter first. If you haven't already.read more
Angel Heart is such a beautiful and heart-warming show that can bring even the most hardened people to tears. Can it be fate? Or can it be a new start in life?
The show starts off with a quick pace. It starts with Xiang Ying aka Glass Heart assassinating a man in the park, but while she’s walking away, she over-hears a little girl trying to give that man an ice-cream cone and telling her dad that he can’t sleep or the ice-cream will melt. As a result, Glass Heart (the assassin) then decides to commit suicide by jumping off of a building. A year later, after seeing some memories of the organ donors past, she wakes up in a mysterious place and finds her way to Ryo aka City Hunter. And that is where the story begins.
The main concept this show uses is using many different stories over the course of 7 years to help shape Xiang Ying’s personality and help her start her life over and become human once again. The stories that the show covers is typically romantic and heart-warming, yet filled with danger and excitement. They show basic morals and values and help Xiang Ying understand that her assassin skills can be used for good and not always just for bad. Throughout the show, you’ll see Xiang Ying become more like Kaori (the organ donor whose heart was stolen) and make almost everyone’s life she comes across, better.
The music in this show is absolutely wonderful. It ranges from Goofy to Romantic and always seems to fit perfectly with the moods. The dialogue moves quickly at times, but that doesn’t make the experience any less fantastic. It’s nice to see that there can be some comedy and romance in a show that so often has violence.
The characters are well thought-out. The background story of Kaori and Ryo is very romantic and subtle. The other supporting characters, don’t receive such a wonderful look at their personalities or backgrounds. Xiang Ying has the best character development, seeing how she had so little personality to begin with. At first, I didn’t like Ryo, I thought he would be evil and kill the person who received Kaori’s heart, but he turned out to be a wonderful guy who is goofy and clever. The synopsis and some reviews made me think that this show was brutal and unappealing, but in fact, it’s a very wonderful show and I hope others find it fascinating too.
Overall, I really enjoyed this show. Almost every episode I found myself crying because the stories are just so wonderful. It’s nice to see that assassin skills can be used for good and not only for evil. This show can teach people a few good lessons and don’t let the number of episodes scare you either. Each story roughly covers 3 to 5 episodes each and the action is plentiful. I never found myself getting bored and I often felt that I had to continue watching the show and as a result, I lost a lot of sleep. A three day sabbatical should be a requirement to watch this show.
Please note that this story is a sequel of City Hunter,so it contains spoilers!
Angel Heart tells the story of Glass Heart, a girl risen as a professional killer whose life is all about killing people. Tired of her life,she commits suicide: however, she survives thanks to a heart-transplant. The heart of Makimura Kaori,City Hunter's partner,dead in a car accident. When Glass Heart wakes up,she feels she had to go to Shinjuku,while Kaori's feeling starts to overwhelm her, pushing her to find a certain Ryo Saeba...
The starting plot is really involving. It hurts to know Kaori's dead,City Hunter isn't working anymore, and the story really looks interesting. However, it soons become a following of predictable-plot episodes,where nothing really happens. Moreover,there are some remakes of City Hunter's happening,like Kaori's sister meeting,which are now rewrited,distructing the nice feeling they had in City Hunter. It's a thing I really hated: as a sequel it should have respected the original story: maybe a shortage of ideas?
Adivce: watch just the first episodes or watch this anime if you are a great City Hunter fan.read more
Why is it that good anime seem to only get 12 episodes and then they are done and yet mediocre stuff like 'Angel Heart' drag on through 50?
You can read the synopsis of the story to find out what it's about so I won't repeat that here, but the show had some good and some bad points.
Good points: I like the main male character, the 'City Hunter' very much. Like the old series, he's interesting and fun, but this series focuses more on the young assassin girl who's gotten City Hunter's wife's heart. The story's art is consistent and solid - good backgrounds and no sloppy drawings. It works very well for this somewhat dated story. The show also has lots of potential and a somewhat interesting pre-romance that unfortunately never goes anywhere (also very typical - ugh!)- just like most of the series' other story arcs.
Bad points: The story has about 40 different 'arcs' and never really completes any one of them to satisfaction. It really feels like 10 separate stories that kind of loosely tie together but there's a lack of consistency or focus to the series as a whole. You have one arc about the girl's implanted heart giving her memories of the woman it came from's life - highly implausible, but if they'd worked on that arc for a while, I'd have bought it. There was also the one about the girl's real father - that one was mentioned and left hanging. The one about the childhood friend / fellow assassin that was completed pretty well, but the romance that they hint at never develops past 'yeah, I kind of like you but don't come any closer or I'll kill you'. You get the distinct impression that that poor boy (whom I grew to like) is really NEVER going to get any... I ended up feeling really sorry for him!
Really, the bad points of this story are almost entirely story and character based. I really wish the people that make anime would spend the time and talent that they obviously did illustrating, animating and producing this one on a story that more deserved it. This one came off as wholly mediocre.read more