Angel Heart – 17
Shanin has been recently having a nightmare where a young version of herself is unable to find Ryo. Then, at her regular medical examination, the doctor mentions how Kaori used to work there when she was a nurse. And so while waiting for Ryo to pick her up, Shanin falls asleep and starts dreaming again. This time, she’s in an alley with a bleeding man – Ryo. He falls down from the shoulder wound and death seems imminent, so the young Shanin tries to find someone to help. However, she’s a ghost and passes right through all of the pedestrians. That is, until she finds a certain woman who comes to help Ryo. Recognizing that woman as Kaori, Shanin realizes that she’s witnessing the first time that Ryo and Kaori met. In the real world, Ryo hears Shanin mutter the word “Kaori” in her sleep and figures out what Shanin’s dreaming about.
The scene in the dream changes to Kaori’s home where she is preparing her brother’s boxed lunch. Her brother, who is a detective, questions why she’s becoming a nurse and deciding her future so hastily. Shanin is then taken to the hospital room where Kaori is watching over Ryo. From the next room, she hears Kaori’s brother saying that all of Ryo’s identification is fake. Because he thinks that Ryo is dangerous, Kaori’s brother wants the Doc to hand Ryo over to them (the police). Kaori refuses to hand over someone who hasn’t even regained consciousness yet. When her brother once again expressed his confusion about why Kaori chose nursing, the Doc makes him realize that she did it so that she could protect him. Night falls and Shanin finds that Ryo has waken up. To her horror, he breaks a glass and prepares the sharp end as a weapon. Shanin realizes that the Ryo here doesn’t trust anyone, just like how she used to be. Kaori comes in to examine Ryo and then starts to head back out, but turns around and returns to his bedside. In a voice indicating that she knows he’s already awake, she asks him to open his eyes. Shanin’s yells go unheard as Ryo raises the glass to strike Kaori.
I like how they build up the suspense in that last scene. I definitely feel a certain tension even though I know that Kaori will live through the incident. This whole trip down memory lane is pretty interesting, but I imagine it’d be even more exciting for fans of the original City Hunter (which I have neither read nor seen). From what I understand, Makimura Hideki was an ex-cop who became Ryo’s partner before his ultimate demise. Here in Angel Heart, he’s still a detective, but he’s just met Ryo. Angel Heart is supposed to be an alternate retelling, but maybe this could still fit into the other storyline? I don’t know how much of Ryo’s early years they talk about in City Hunter. Maybe next episode, which is going to continue this dream, is going give City Hunter fans even more to like about this series.