City Hunter vs Healer

I have seen a lot of comments about how Healer is similar to City Hunter, and those refuting that, so I decided to do a compare and contrast to see just how much City Hunter and Healer really have in common. There will be many, many spoilers.

Similarities

  • Father’s Betrayed– The next generation had to deal with the betrayals of their fathers. In City Hunter, Yun Seong’s foster and adoptive fathers were betrayed by leaders who were friends. In Healer, Jung Ho’s father was betrayed by a close friend. The events of the present were all set into motion by someone betraying their fathers.
  • Secret Identity– Both guys disguise themselves to get access to people and information they need.
  • Work Place Romance– Don’t think I really need to expand on this one 🙂 Though I should point out that in both shows while the OTP met before working together and the girl had the job first, the guy did not get the job for the girl.
  • Smart Girl– In both shows the love interest figures out the secret identity, rather than the guy telling her.
  • Life Goal– For both guys, their main/driving dream/goal is a desire for normal, happy life with the girl he loves.
  • Is that…?– Same actress played the heroine in both shows.
  • Nickname– Both of the guys are known to the public by an alter ego/pseudonym.
  • Cinematography-The style and feel of a lot of the shots were similar, as well as similar styles in doing the action scenes.

Differences

  • Revenge vs Survival– City Hunter is all about revenge, while Healer is trying to find out the truth about the past and get the freedom to live a normal life. Both end up finding out the truth of their father’s deaths, but they have different initial reasons for digging into that mess of a past..
  • Strengths of the Girl- In City Hunter Na Na is physically strong, while Young Shin’s strength lies more in her versatility and wits.
  • Course of the Romantic Relationship– Yun Seong pushed Na Na away once he realized his feelings, while Jung Ho pulled Young Shin closer. When the girl’s life is placed in danger that trend continued, especially with Yun Seong not communicating as well as Jung Ho regarding the actions taken to protect her. Yun Seong and Na Na met for the first time as adults while Jung Ho and Young Shin were friends as children and have connections through their parents. Plus Jung Ho and Young Shin are a lot more physically affectionate than Yun Seong and Na Na.
  • Team– City Hunter doesn’t have a team. Yun Seong has Bae Sik Joong and works with the prosecutor, but they’re not a team. He doesn’t even truly pull Na Na into his team and work with her to accomplish his goals/tasks. Healer has an actual team that gets bigger as he makes more connections, and Young Shin becomes a part of it and helps him accomplish things.
  • Source of conflict– In City Hunter, the most interesting/compelling conflict is between Yun Seong and his surrogate father regarding the method of revenge. The conflicts with the various “bad guys” are not as compelling, and are essentially just pawns between the two. In Healer, the most compelling conflict is between Jung Ho and the Elder. The conflicts slowly build upon each other, and conflict within Healer’s adoptive family is only a source of brief conflicts, not a main narrative thread.
  • Family– Yun Seong doesn’t have blood family, or even much history, so creates a VERY small family. He knows it’s something he wants, but doesn’t feel he can have yet. Na Na had a family, but is now alone. Over the course of the show Yun Seong does find his birth parents but only has a (potentially) lasting relationship with his mom. At the end we have the potential of Yun Seong creating a new family with Na Na. Family is much more tangible and present in Healer. Jung Ho doesn’t have a family aside from his partially estranged mom, and thinks he wants to be alone and is working towards that. Through the course of the show he gains a family and finds the value in it. Young Shin has adopted and blood family, and shows the value of both. Plus we have the show ending with Jung Ho and Young Shin definitely starting together as a new family even without a wedding.
  • Supporting cast– Other than the OTP and villains, in City Hunter we basically have the prosecutor and vet. The other characters are there as comic relief or supportive minions and they aren’t given much development. This is very different in Healer. Moon Ho is equal with our OTP, plus we have Min Young,  Min Ja, Teacher, the detective, and Dad. They are rich characters who are deeply connected with our OTP who have lives and motivations beyond the OTP.
  • Romantic Rivals-There is a lack of other love interests in Healer (Moon Ho was always a venerated idol/mentor and never a real love interest) vs in City Hunter we had  prosecutor daddy long legs. It’s not much of a love triangle, but it is most significant than in Healer.

Verdict

While the cinematography and fighting styles are similar once you get into plot and character there are far more differences than similarities. Of course the final and biggest similarity is that they are both really good shows that are worth watching time and again.

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