A bold kidnapping foreshadows a desperate plan by the lusty female leader of a deadly army of mercenaries. It is simple: transform Freeman - the enigmatic leader of the powerful crime syndicate The 108 Dragons - into a min... more »dless "killing machine" fueled by desire and self-indulgence. Once again Freeman is forced to fight for his life, this time against combat-hardened "gladiators." Later, Freeman must ferret out a traitor bent on destroying The 108 Dragons. Freeman's final pulse-pounding battle is bracketed by a bittersweet journey of enlightenment punctuated by vice, violence and vengeance. Contains 2 complete episodes!« less
Superb anime version of solid crime-themed Japanese manga
Brian Camp | Bronx, NY | 08/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"CRYING FREEMAN: PORTRAIT OF A KILLER (1988) is the first of six Japanese anime volumes based on the manga (comic book) by Kazuo Koike and Ryoichi Ikegami about a handsome young sculptor who is forcibly recruited by the 108 Dragons, an ancient organization of Chinese assassins. We see him trained as an assassin and programmed to kill on their orders. His uncontrolled stream of tears after each killing and his yearning to be free give him the name, Crying Freeman. Things get complicated when Freeman is forced to undertake the elimination of a witness to one of his killings. She is a beautiful, lonely, single Japanese woman and, like Freeman, an accomplished artist. They recognize each other as soul mates and he risks his life?and hers?to convince the organization of her value to him. This 52-minute animated production is almost a perfect adaptation of the manga story and stands out as the best of the CRYING FREEMAN animated series. The dramatic mood and visual elegance of the black-and-white drawings are surprisingly well-captured by the anime, despite the bright colors and lighting. Daisuke Nishio, the anime director, knows how to pace a scene and establish the proper sense of time and place. It helps that Ikegami?s drawings and his sense of cutting and composition are so astutely cinematic in the first place.The Crying Freeman manga is notable for its high doses of nudity, near-pornographic sex and extremely bloody violence. The anime doesn?t stint on these elements either, although it takes great pains to stay within R-rated limits. However, the sheer beauty of their presentation here may win over otherwise hesitant viewers, while fully satisfying the already jaded fans of more hard-edged anime. The "Crying Freeman" manga has also been adapted, considerably less faithfully, into two live-action films, CRYING FREEMAN (France, 1995), directed by Christophe Gans (BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF) and starring Mark Dacascos, and KILLER?S ROMANCE (Hong Kong, 1990), starring Simon Yam and Joey Wang."
Ken Davis | 05/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the LIVE ACTION VERSION of the Crying Freeman anime. This is a truly well done masterpeice of a film. Mark Dacasca's potrayed The Freeman perfectly. This by far one of the best if not the best live action adaption of an anime film. But seriously folks, No film is worth 99 dollars. I don't care if it is the film to end all films. They will sooner or later put this on DVD for 20 dollars."
Truly a Work of Art
Uryo | Akron, OH United States | 12/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Crying Freeman is a true work of art ahead of its time. Viewing this great anime is candy for the anime lover's eye. Kazuo Koike and Ryoichi Ikegami wrote the magna that turned into a smash hit. The plot is revolves around an assassin from the Chinese Mafia. Originally, an acclaimed pottery designer, Yoh Hinamura is drawn into a crime ring when he finds film that contains photographs of a murder. Brainwashed to be a killer he murders people and after every person, he kills, he weeps. When a woman by the name of Emu Hino (age 29 and a virgin) witnesses a murder. They briefly and awkwardly talk for a moment before Yoh flees. Afterward she fears for her life.
When the Chinese Mafia, a drug and arms dealing business, expands into Japan police and a Japanese gang with a following of 26,000 members team up to stop the Mafia. In the first episode "Portrait of a Killer" Freeman, setting the plot into motion, assassinates the leader of the Japan gang. At that crime, by chance Freeman runs past Yoh. Their eyes never meet but she knows it was him.
When Freeman goes to assassinate Emu, she tells him that she knows she will be killed. Her final request is that she does not die a virgin. (Over protective late father kept her from experiencing love). She tells that she is a virgin to Yoh and he states that he is also a virgin. They have sex, revealing Yoh's intricate dragon tattoos. Both experiencing love for the first time, they start to car for each other and speeding up the process, she is shot in a scuffle immediately after they have sex. He rushes her to the hospital. Knowing that she will never be safe, he takes her in.
This anime is not for children or young teens for that matter. Crying Freeman has a mix of mild language with a large amount of upper nudity and several sexual orientations. All of this is heavily coated with pools of blood. This is a graphic anime but as stated earlier, this is geared toward a mature audience. Recap: Beautiful anime that pushed the boundaries of acceptable anime when released in 1986. Till this day, Crying Freeman is still a crowd please. I loved it. If you are looking an anime with class but still contains a sexual and action packed adventure then you have found the right anime. Five Stars!"
MORE ACTION AND EXCITEMENT THAN THE ANIME VERSION!! :D
Francisco Cortes | 11/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I preffer this version than the short anime serie because I saw the animated serie and it wasn't THAT good. :( The animation was so-so, the graphics were not so inspiring, some of the characters looked stupid, the action was NOTHING great and the storyline was a little slow.
NOW THIS ONE! is the "worth buying it". There is SLOW-MO ACTION like in the John Woo films, FAST gun-fights, BIG explotions, good acting, GREAT martial arts movements and COOL one man army swordman scene!!! ;D If you think that the story is more important then I recomend the anime version, but if you are looking for COOL FAST action then I recomend this one.
This movie have basically the same story as the animated serie but a little summarized.
About the dvd: The picture quality is very good but when the camera goes to "close-up" there are some brieff purple lights in the picture but is not THAT annoying, besides, it's only at the begining of the movie, the last best action scenes doesn't have that. The sound hears good but is low volume, so you have to turn up your tv volume to hear the sound much clearer.
Should be better
Gwan Gung | California, USAi | 06/12/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed the 5 graphic novels of Crying Freeman by Dark Horse. The animated movies were good but not as good as the graphic novels. This movie compared to the animated version and graphic novels is a disappointment. It is disjointed and the actors left much to be desired. This movie is in English with Chinese subtitles. But there are portions of the movie were Chinese (Cantonese dialect) or Japanese is spoken only that was not background chatter, but dialogue that I think was important to the storyline and flow of the movie. These conversations leaves the movie viewer clueless unless he/she can understand or read Chinese or Japanese. The important scene where Freeman falls in love with Emu is weak and not convincing. The dialogue strayed from the graphic novel at that scene and it was disappointing because the script replacing it was poor. The acting in that scene was also disappointing. As a stand alone movie, I rate this movie no more than three stars. As the first Crying Freeman movie, it is a disappointment."