Monday, December 17, 2012

Rosy's scrawled manga recommendation: Crying Freeman by Koike Kazuo

Crying Freeman
Koike Kazuo

From Anime News Network Yo Hinomura was an ordinary Japanese potter when a run-in with a Chinese mafia changed his life forever. Now an assassin for the 108 Dragons, Yo is the perfect killing machine. As a sign for remorse over his victims, he sheds tears after eliminating his targets. Because of this, he is infamously known by the Dragons and every other crime gang as "Crying Freeman".

Alternative names
Kuraingu Furiiman


Manga reader sites (free)
Manga HereManga Anime

Rosy's scrawlings on Crying Freeman
For a manga comic that went on to be republished multiple times and went to anime and live film the story wasn't as I'd expected. I'd had some expectations of the manga being well polished and the story smooth from successive work but instead I found a piece that's rather raw. This is not to say that the story is bad or the construction hard to deal with but rather that when reading this story it is best to get an imagine in your mind of early martial arts action movies where straw hats were worn by the enemy ninjas who fought with varied competence and the stunts are a little less than convincing. Crying Freeman definitely has the flavour of of B-rated martial arts action but is of higher quality and greater impact.
Crying Freeman is a manga I'd recommend not entirely because it is brilliant and not entirely because it is as my husband calls stories of a certain level "crap-tastic". It falls somewhere in between. The action of Crying Freeman is nicely written, as is the successive assassinations, Freeman's personal history and the characterisation of the older pair previously in charge of the 108 Dragons. At the same time, the story seems to lurch between stillness and swiftness, between explanations and action and it incorporates some of the most unsexy sex scenes I've ever read. Seriously. For the inclusion of so many sex scenes I'll say that this one is for adults but I'll also say so for the fact that they're terrible scenes that only those already active in such an area can laugh at and because there's quite a few twisted scenes. Voyeurism, multiple partners, rape, loss of virginity for both partners at once, attempted rape, death while masturbating... the list goes on. You can't even be horrified by some of the acts because they're so badly written they're just funny. The only bit of truth is that when two virgins attempt sex the results can be a tad disappointing.
Otherwise, Freeman is created through hypnosis, unwillingly sent on a series of missions, which bring about many an attempt at retribution and solidify his role as an assassin. Plots thicken, crime explodes and the death toll rises and rises. Betrayals lead to new alliances and more deaths. And through it all Yo Hinomura continues to cry, find new women to adore him and kill by the dozen. He does slowly become used to his position as the new leader of the 108 Dragons and could, possibly, be said to enjoy the power. If only he'd admit it himself then he might just stop crying.
The art of Crying Freeman is a little rough around the edges but this matches the raw nature of the story and the terrible sex scenes. Roughness aside, the depictions of Freeman are physically accurate, as are those of his wife, but the remaining characters vary in physical accuracy. For example, the giant (in all respects) granddaughter of the previous leaders is quite unbelievable but then her sexual preferences are also over the top. Otherwise, nakedness abounds whether it is called for or not. Everyone strips off randomly to fight, kill, dive, have sex, wander through a building - whatever. A positive note is that no-one is sexy. A negative note is that no-one is sexy. Generally, if they do manage to look pretty they have the worst characters. Only Freeman and his wife seem to escape this trap on occasion, if not the constant nakedness.

I'd recommend this manga to: adults only. And of the adults, those who enjoy assassin stories, B-rated action movies and laughing at sex scenes done badly. This is one for those who don't mind delving into iffy works to find their entertainment.

Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.

No comments:

Post a Comment