Angel Heart - 25: The Client With A Death Wish

Title:Angel Heart
Episode:25: The Client With A Death Wish
At Christmas time (her second in Shinjuku) Xiang Ying uses a pistol with a silencer to avert an auto accident; one bystander sees her do it. Later, Ryou is angry because she wasn't supposed to be carrying weapons (because she uses them to "solve" any problem she runs into). Ryou notices that a man has been following them. The strange man finally approaches them, prostrates himself, and begs them to kill both himself and his twin brother! Fukutome Yusuke explains that the two of them were abandoned as infants and adopted by a struggling ramen shop owner. Yusuke was happy with the outcome, but his brother, Yuji, wasn't, and after an argument he ran away and fell in with the wrong crowd. Ryou has heard of "Battle Scar Yuji", a minor yakuza leader with a bad reputation. Yusuke wants his brother killed, and "If I'm going to take his life, I shouldn't be allowed to live either". Ryou attempts to scare Yusuke off, but he is quite serious. To Xiang Ying's astonishment, he tells Yusuke he'll accept the job. First, however, they will do some research to verify Yusuke's story...
One of the first things I noticed (apart from a new OP sequence) is that Xiang Ying is acting rather mischieveous (in a cute way), which is good to see; it seems she is no longer feeling guilty about her days as a professional assasin. Ryou comments that she seems to be acting more like Kaori used to, but I don't recall Kaori being naughty. It was fun to see Xiang Ying and Xin Hong collect some information at Yuji's office. As the episode neared it's end, I was thinking this was looking like a standalone one, in which the problem would be resolved within 23 or so minutes, but that didn't turn out to be the case. The solution would have been too easy--I ought to know that Angel Heart episodes aren't like that (though City Hunter ones often were). Indicative of the more sophisticated, clever plots of this series is the fact that nobody got shot or seriously injured. The new OP and ED sequences aren't all that great, in my opinion.

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