City Hunter: Bay City Wars
Bay City is a state-of-the-art resort area located in ground reclaimed from what was formerly part of Tokyo Bay. During the grand opening party, a South American dictator takes everyone hostage (including Miki and Kaori) and attempts to use Bay City's supercomputer mainframe to hack into the American nuclear program to take revenge for his deposition. It's up to Ryo Saeba and his buddy Umibozu to save the day!
City Hunter has never been about subtlety, whether in regards to its treatment of female characters or its popcorn-action storylines. Anyone looking for a thriller with a profound take on 1990s geopolitics is way out of place here ... but hey, look, hot chicks and explosions!
If that's all you need, then Bay City Wars fits the bill pretty well. Sure, there's a plot here, but that doesn't really matter much - one of the highlights here is an obvious and crude pastiche of Die Hard, complete with Ryo swan-diving off a skyscraper roof tied to a fire hose. And it wouldn't be a City Hunter feature if Ryo weren't blatantly trying to get some "nookie" from every girl he meets, up to and including the antagonist's daughter.
This is very clearly a relic from the 90s on every level. The "automated hotel" concept feels pretty quaint in our age of wifi and cellphones that probably have more functions than any of the computers in this show could possibly handle, but it's all just a plot device in the end. You aren't meant to be truly impressed by the "sci-fi" aspects of this show; none of the technical aspects here will grab you either. The soundtrack is perfunctory, though never unpleasant; the animation is about on par with any other OVA from the time, though not unnecessarily clunky or cheap either.
How a supercomputer controlling the internal systems of a resort hotel complex is supposed to be able to tap into the inner workings of the United States Department of Defense is never adequately explained, but then, trying to make sense of the average City Hunter plot is generally a fruitless affair. Thankfully, it doesn't take long before the City Hunter crew blow stuff up in order to avert the whole United States from going up in radioactive smoke, and i's practically unnecessary to say who wins here, but hey, they sure look cool doing it!
Bay City Wars is a big ball of dumb fun that, unlike the movies, isn't long enough to overstay its welcome. It's not quite as good as the TV series for establishing the what, where, and why of its characters, of course, but it's a reasonable dose of what you'd expect from the City Hunter franchise. No more, no less.
Old-school action nonsense for certified bros; people looking for smartly written stories or moe fan-service should opt for something else. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Not really for children, thanks to the combination of Ryo Saeba's usual brand of lechery and a fair amount of violence. Teens and up.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (1/1)
City Hunter: Bay City Wars © 1990 Tsukasa Hojo / Shueisha ・YTV ・ SUNRISE
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