Angel Heart - 14: The Return of City Hunter!

Title:Angel Heart
Episode:14: The Return of City Hunter!
At the Cat's Eye Saeko is criticizing Xiang Ying for "lacking common sense" and overreacting when a jerk made a pass at her. She advises her to make some friends and learn proper behavior from them. Xin Hong has just recieved his first paycheck and has bought Xiang Ying an interesting gift. Ryou arrives with his first client since going back into business as City Hunter--a teenage girl named Nagisa-chan. However, it turns out that Nagisa is a small-time thief who needs help because she unknowingly robbed a Yakuza member--needless to say, not exactly the sort of client Ryou had been expecting. Ryou assigns Xiang Ying the job of escorting the girl to their apartment. Nagisa offers to become Xiang Ying's friend, but she's only interested in completing her "mission". Nagisa is desperate to have some fun somewhere, and tries to accost a strange man, but Xiang Ying won't hear of it. They argue, and Xiang Ying declares that her job is only to deliver Nagisa to the apartment, and she won't protect her if she gets herself into trouble. Their squabble has drawn the attention of the Yakuza, who catch Nagisa in an alley. Xiang Ying refuses to help, until she has a (literal) change of heart...
I was confused at first why the thoroughly professional Xiang Ying didn't consider protecting Nagisa to be part of her mission. I guess being a trained assasin, the notion of "protecting" someone was quite alien to her--I just wish that had been made more clear. Anyway, this series in general seems a good deal more clever than the old City Hunter series. The word "touching" seldom applied to those episodes, which tended to be a mix of bawdy humor and villain-of-the-week shootouts, and were very episodic. Here we get a well thought-out long term plotline. Kaori's spirit taking command, and Xiang Ying's bewilderment afterwards were neat touches. I wonder if we will see any more of Nagisa?

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