City Hunter wants you to join the Osaka Prefectural Police, but is he really the right spokesman?

The Osaka Prefectural Police are looking for new recruits, and to help get the word out, they’ve recently put up posters featuring one of Japan’s most famous and popular anime characters. Since being a good police officer requires a commitment to protecting innocent people from the wicked designs of evildoers, the Osaka Police obviously wanted a spokesperson who’s known for having a strong sense of justice, and so they chose Ryo Saeba, star of the City Hunter franchise.

In a way, it’s a great choice, since Ryo has been thwarting criminal plots and taking down the bad guys since his debut in 1985, and just this month is back on the big screen with an all-new animated theatrical feature (which we thoroughly enjoyed). However, he may not be the most appropriate spokesperson for a law enforcement agency, for several reasons.

“The Osaka Prefectural Police need people like you,” says Ryo in this photo from Twitter user @WakeUpDaddy1.

First off, as implied by the smoke rising from the barrel of his gun (a non-police issue Colt Python, by the way), Ryo is a pretty trigger-happy guy. Sure, as an iconic anime hero he never outright murders anyone, but the amount of gunplay he needs to utilize to get the job done would be a nightmare scenario for any civil service organization.

▼ Trailer for the new City Hunter-Shinjuku Private Eyes movie

But what’s even more off the mark is that Ryo isn’t a police officer, he’s a “sweeper,” which in City Hunter means a combination private detective/mercenary. In other words, he’s a civilian packing heat in a country where private firearm ownership is extremely restricted, and generally only allowed for hunting purposes.

▼ In the actual eyes of the law, Umibozu, who regularly helps Ryo on his missions, would be considered less “faithful friend” and more “criminal accomplice.”

In addition, because of Ryo’s deep-down heart of gold, he doesn’t always even get paid for his heroic battles, which technically makes him a vigilante. Even when he is working under contract, his clients are coming to him with problems that the police can’t solve, and which can only be rectified by Ryo’s legal gray-area methods.

▼ Ryo has no time for the Japanese police’s low-impact taiho-jutsu submission techniques.

For all these reasons, the City Hunter recruitment posters have been getting chuckles from Twitter commenters, who’ve made remarks such as:

“So are they gonna play “Get Wild” [City Hunter’s ending theme] at the police academy graduation ceremony?”
“Or maybe every time an officer closes a case?”
“Wait, in the City Hunter anime, doesn’t Ryo work in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood?”
“Do the Osaka police really need recruits who’re popping boners all the time?”
“Sounds like the making of a lot of sexual harassment charges.”

Those last comments are in regards to how Ryo isn’t just a cunning detective and skilled marksman, but also arguably anime’s biggest pervert of all time, which, considering the medium’s love of sexy antics, is quite an accomplishment.

Still, despite all the problems applying Ryo’s methods and psyche directly to reality would cause, at its core, City Hunter’s basic premise, that there are bad people in the world and a need to protect the innocent from them, lines up with the Osaka police’s mission, and Ryo himself ultimately ends up putting others’ needs before his own desires and fulfilling the role of protector. This isn’t the first time the organization has used some action movie-like imagery in its recruiting materials, either.

And actually, now that we think about it, when Ryo, on the poster, says the Osaka police need “someone like you,” maybe his specific choice of words is because he realizes that someone exactly like him wouldn’t be a good real-life cop.

Source: Twitter/@WakeUpDaddy1 via Hachima Kiko
Images: YouTube/アニプレックス

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s happy that the Cat’s Eye cast gets a cameo in the new City Hunter movie.