Angel Heart - 27: Am I In Love!?

Title:Angel Heart
Episode:27: Am I In Love!?
Xiang Ying and Xin Hong have just gone to a movie together--he thought of it as a date whereas she felt she was just hanging out with a friend. In fact, she admitted to Ryou earlier that she doesn't even know what "romance" is. In a park the two come across an artist sketching people, and Xiang Ying's heart starts pounding inexplicably. As she poses for him, Xiang Ying apologizes for her odd behavior. He says she must have mistaken him for someone else, but she's certain she knows no one anything like him, yet he seems so "familiar". Surprisingly, the man says he cannot complete a satisfactory drawing of her--for some reason he can't capture her soul, which seems "blurry, as if it's been doubled". Afterwards Xiang Ying notes that when she thinks of this man she gets a feeling similar to the one she experienced when she first met Ryou. She wonders if Kaori might be responsible, but gets no answer. The next day Xiang Ying finds herself back at the same spot, but the artist hasn't returned. While wandering about the town she is startled by an unmistakeable drawing on a poster advertising an art exhibition...
Other than a bit of slapstick comedy, there is no violence at all in this episode, and I haven't a clue where any might come from in part two. I'm not complaining, it's just that something like this would seldom, if ever, happen in the old City Hunter series. The characters are so much more well-rounded in Angel Heart that this series can support plots of this sort--a sign of growth and improvement, perhaps. One aspect where there might still be room for improvement would be making character designs more distinctive. When I first saw Natsume Yoshiki (the artist) I thought for a moment it was Ryou. Depicting a sketch in anime must be tricky, as it would look ridiculously amateurish if it were even simpler than the chardesigns, and might be even more realistic than the characters themselves if taken too far the other way.

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