Houjou Tsukasa 北条司

[born: 5 Mar 1959, Fukuoka-prefecture; bloodtype: ?]

Another Shounen Jump celebrity of the 80's, though he hasn't had much success since City Hunter finished. He started his career by participating in a drawing concourse, in which he got the second prize in 1978. Made his pro debut with "Ore wa otoko da" in 1980.
He almost always wears sunglasses and has an obsession for weapons.

See also:

Cat's Eye
serialized on Shounen Jump, 1981-84
18 volumes @ Y360
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aizouban 10 volumes @ Y1000
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[ 10:9410]
bunko 10 volumes @ Y610
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[ 10:9604]
This is a story about three sisters in search of their lost father, who was a famous artist. They steal his works of art from museums/galleries to make him recognize their presence in the world. The three sisters' gang is called Cat's Eye as well as the coffee-shop they own. This coffee shop is located right in front of the police-headquarters. Hitomi, the middle sister is betrothed with the police inspector Toshio who is in charge of the investigations regarding Cat's Eye. Toshio falls in love with Hitomi as Cat's Eye too. The manga contains a lot of secondary characters, especially in the team of inspectors which make up for a lot of the humour in the story. This is also the biggest difference with the anime in which only Asatani and the chief have been kept. In 1997, a live-action film of Cat's Eye has been made.
Cat's was one of Houjou's first works, so his drawing technique is not so good, especially in the first volumes. Even though the drawings may not be so appealing as those in City Hunter, the stories are much better IMO. (It has been said that some of the techniques and methods portrayed in the manga come from a Gu Long novel about Che Lieu Xian the master thief.)

See also:

TRA:(F)Tonkam(I)Star Comics
APG:(TV)(36)830711-840326(Tokyo Movie Shinsha)
APG:(TV)(37)841008-850708(Tokyo Movie Shinsha)

Tenshi no okurimono [Gift from Angel]
short story collection 1
published by Shuueisha, 1988
1 volume @ Y400
[ 01:8811]
One story is about a pair of lovers always quarrelling and not admitting that they're suited for each other. But their future daughter comes and helps them realise their love. There are also two early city hunter stories in this book.
1. Tenshi no Okurimono
2. Ore wa Otoko da!
3. Neko-manma okawari
4. City Hunter - XYZ
5. City Hunter - Double Edge


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City Hunter
serialized on Shounen Jump, 1985-92
35 volumes @ Y390
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bunko 18 volumes @ Y600
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About Ryou Saeba, the sukebe troubleshooter and Kaori, his long-suffering, hammer-wielding female assistant. (Houjou was compelled to draw City Hunter because he was tired of drawing from a woman's point of view.) Jackie Chan stars in the Hong Kong movie of the same name. Ryou Saeba is a good-looking man, with a mysterious past, the best gunshot in the world (even at the point of becoming unbelievable), but with a big weakness: females. As City Hunter he is a man for hire in the big city (presumably Toukyou). He promised to his dying partner to protect his partner's sister, Kaori. From then on, Kaori becomes his partner. Kaori Makimura is undeniable in love with Ryou but she won't admit that. She spares no trouble in keeping other women safe from Ryou's advances and uses mainly a gigantic hammer to that means. The feelings of Ryou are less pronounced but he cares for Kaori a lot and will protect her at any cost. He likes to tease her by not seeing her as a woman at all which earns him often the hammer-treatment. Being a real sukebe, he only accepts jobs when it concerns beautiful, adult women. These women find Ryou always repulsive because of his lewd and hentai ways of treating them, but in the end they almost always fall in love with his other ego, that of the cool and perfect man as he protects them when it counts.
The story contains a lot of action, a lot of humour which will leave you ROTFL (the humour is not very refined though). Be aware that the first three volumes and the last two volumes have a darker and less humouristic mood.

TRA:(F)J'ai lu(I)Star Comics(E)
Click to buy English translated volume 1 at Amazon.
Click to buy English translated volume 2 at Amazon.
Click to buy English translated volume 3 at Amazon.
Click to buy English translated volume 5 at Amazon.
APG:(TV)(13)910428-911010(Sunrise)City Hunter '91





Sakura no Hanasaki kukoro
short story collection 2
serialized on Shounen Jump, 1993
1 volume @ Y400
[ 01:9305]
Collects four stories.
1. Sakura no Hanasaki Kukoro
An early "Komorebi no moto de" story.
2. Family Plot
3. Taxi Driver
A story about a vampire who works as a night taxi driver. His victims are his clients.
4. Shoujo no Kisetsu - Summer Dream


Shounentachi no ita Natsu
short story collection 3
serialized on Shounen Jump,
1 volume @ Y400
[ 01:9602]
No Synopsis.

Hojo Tsukasa Illustrations
published by Shuueisha, 1991
1 volume @ Y1000
[ 01:9103]
Collection of color illustrations, mostly for City Hunter and Cat's Eye. Most of them have appeared on the covers of the tankoubon from those two series. There is a special "Gallery Tsukasa" in the first chapter of the book. The artbook is really interesting for the special story SPLASH that appears in here. This is a full color story of 28 pages that has appeared in Super Jump in 1987-88. Here it is reproduced in full color. At the end there are also a number of interviews.

Komorebi no moto de... [Beneath the Dappled Shade]
serialized on Shounen Jump, 1993
3 volumes @ Y390
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A sensitive story about two kids: Sara, who can emphasize with plants, and Tatsuya, her friend. The power Sara has enables her to help the people around her, like for instance bringing friends together... Where Sara comes from is not very clear, not even to Tatsuya. With her father (an "Umibouzu"-lookalike, from City Hunter) they have a mobile flower store with which they go from one town to another. Even more mysterious, Tatsuya discovers a photograph from several years in the past with Sara in it, but she hasn't changed at all. Not only can Sara talk to plants, but she can also detach her "spirit" from her body. Her spirit- form turns out to be an adult. One of the best works of Houjou. The stories are moving and will cause the occasional tear in your eye without becoming melodramatic.

See also:



serialized on Shounen Jump, 1994-95
2 volumes @ Y390
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The main character is a Kaori-like nurse with a tendency to beat people up. Mercilessly (or mercifully) terminated by Jump editors. Houjou himself has admitted that it was a failure.

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Family Compo [F Compo]
serialized on Allman, 1997-present
14 volumes @ Y530
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Just before entering university, Yanagiba Masahiko's 柳葉雅彦 father died in a car accident. His mother died when he was two, which makes him now really an orphan. But even before the death of his father he didn't have a family life, his father being busy or abroad. When his mother's younger brother and his wife decide to invite him to live with their family, his life takes a turn. But it is not going to be the normal family life he is imagining himself. What is the "terrible" secret that lead his parents to break the bonds with his aunt and uncle? What could be the true nature of his niece, Shion? And last but no least, will this "terrible" secret eventually get Yanagiba too?

Houjou has hit the charts again with this series, after several years of unsuccessful works. F. Compo, being targeted at a slightly older male public, contains gorgeous artwork, a good story and a lot of humour. Highly interesting is the depiction of the work of Yanagiba's "uncle" who makes his living as a successful mangaka. It is clear that Houjou is having a lot of fun in doing so.

See also:

TRA:(F)Tonkam(I)Star Comics

Jump J books Cat's Eye
written by Takayashiki Hideo 高屋敷英夫
published by Shuueisha, 1996
1 volume @ Y760
[ 01:9612]
Illustrations throughout the book by Houjou. He has also drawn nine pages in the beginning of the book. Comparing it with the original Cat's Eye drawings, one can see how drastically his style has improved over time.

Jump J books City Hunter I
published by Shuueisha,
1 volume @ Y?
[ 01:____]
No Synopsis.

Jump J books City Hunter II
published by Shuueisha,
1 volume @ Y?
[ 01:____]
No Synopsis.

Parrot - Koufuku no Hito [Parrot - The Blessed Man]
short story collection
published by Shuueisha,
1 volume @ Y952
[ 01:0002]
The short stories collection done in color, with CG backgrounds. A break through title (At least I have not see one like it before) which cover many new grounds, like in credits they have for computer company, models, photographers, stylist, customs, and makeup artists, etc.

The main story is the 9 scenes Parrot, A guy who can imitate any voice he heard. Plus 4 short stories of The Eyes of Assassin, Air Man, Cat's Eye, and Portrait of Father. The stories tend to be melodrama and nice. Houjou seems to be writing scripts for a TV productions. The artwork quality is typically Houjou, consistently good. Houjou's story and taste has obviously changed from his City Hunter day. People who can enjoy a small, nice and quiet story should have no problem with this one. At this price I can only recommend it to people with that particular taste.

On a side note. As a Mac user I like to point out this marks another mangaka who prefers the use of Mac like Masamune Shirow, Yui Toshiki, Kozou Youhei, and Terasawa Buichi, etc. {CPK}

Note the appearance of Kamiya Akira (the seiyuu) of City Hunter's Ryo as the Airman. {PVH}

Houjou Tsukasa Mangaka Nijuu Shuunenkinen Illustrations
[Houjou Tsukasa's 20th anniversary Collection]
published by Shuueisha,
1 volume @ Y2400
[ 01:____]
Half of the book are F-Compo covers and inserts, the other half contains City Hunter, Cat's Eye, even some short stories like Rush... Even if some of the series in it are old, it features new drawings. In the City Hunter part, there are a few manga cover pictures which did not made it into the first illustration collection, and some new artwork for the TV movie (98. 99. etc.). Ryo looks like in his earlier 20's instead of his earlier 30's (page #53). In fact, he rather takes on the look of the guy in F-Compo. Some artwork was used in City Hunter novel, there's the Cat's Eye's artwork for the novel, wideban and live movie also are included.

Definitely his best art book ever, (well, he only has two so far) if you have seen F-Compo volume #13's cover, you know what I mean.

If you get your paws on this one, don't throw away the wrap around banner, in the back is a pretty full length picture of the cover for Shion. Check it out. {CPK}

Angel Heart
serialized on Comic Bunch,
8 volumes @ Y505
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Houjou has left Shuueisha and went to Shinseisha to create this series which is a sequel to City Hunter. Be forewarned: if you liked City Hunter and felt emotionally attached to the characters, this manga may not be for you, as you may not like what Houjou did with the City Hunter characters. The story is based on a short story Houjou has done before: "The eyes of the assassin".

Short summary of the premise: some years after the end of City Hunter. Angel Heart is the codename of a professional female assassin. She got mortally wounded, but the organisation she worked for didn't want to loose her experience so they arranged a heart transplantation for her. After a long coma, she awakens and immediately escapes. But she's troubled: it seems as a second consciousness interferes with her thoughts. It clearly must be the spirit of the previous owner of the heart... {PVH}

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