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City Hunter was an 1980's Japanese manga/anime written by Tsukasa Hojo 1. It is famous for popularizing the use of the attitude readjustment mallet (ARM) in manga. The comic was drawn in a realistic style, with the main characters (both men and women) drawn very attractively. The mostly serious action/suspense/thriller story line taking place in modern Tokyo is interrupted by comic relief supplied by the main character, Ryo Saeba.

Ryo Saeba is a sweeper for hire. He's your typical James Bond-type hero -- good looking, suave, cool under pressure, expert at his job, and essentially a good guy.

Ryo would be a lady killer if it weren't for his one major fault: Whenever he meets an attractive woman, he turns into a hormone-overloaded, slobbering, pervert. Not only would he hit on the woman but he would also grope her breasts and behind, without her permission, right there in public. If he has a female client, he would raid her bedroom to try to score with her.

However, his efforts are always thwarted by Kaori, his partner. Whenever Ryo gets close to his prey (almost there), Kaori would take out the ARM and smash him.

  • The ARM is a wooden mallet with a big head and small handle.
  • The ARM is always at least as big as a face, and usually about half as tall as a person.
  • The ARM varies in weight anywhere from 1 to 1000 metric tons. It is often marked with tonnage. Kaori usually sticks with the 100t and 250t sizes.
  • Most times it should be heavier than Kaori could possibly carry.
  • The ARM can only be used by women for defense against perverts.
  • Kaori can summon the ARM at will, at any time, any place.
  • It is never revealed where Kaori keeps her mallet when not in use. It is theorized that she keeps in a special "mallet dimension" which only women have access to.
  • Other female characters often utilize the ARM as well.
  • After the smashing, Ryo will often be smashed on the ground, smashed on the wall, or just smashed on the face of the ARM. Sometimes he would be launched into the sky. If the mallet was small, only the face would be smashed.
  • Often little birds would be flying in a circle around his head after he was blasted.
  • In Looney Tunes style, Ryo doesn't get seriously injured from the flattening, but in the subsequent few frames, he will be seen with bandages on his face.

And of course, there's that standard plot device where the two main characters are in love with each other but never get together. Ryo and Kaori were actually in love, but don't admit it to either themselves or to each other, but it's obvious to everyone else. Ryo treats Kaori like a sister and Kaori treats Ryo like a pervert.

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  1. Japanese names rendered without vowel repetition to match those found on the web.

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