Crying Freeman: Portrait Of A Killer (Japan 1988)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 5/22/05

An excellent adaptation of Kazuo Koike and Ryoichi Ikegami's classic manga tale, "Crying Freeman." The 108 Dragons is a secret Chinese organization that controls a single super assassin known as "The Freeman." When a pretty and lonely woman named Emu Hino witnesses the Freeman killing a target, she knows that he'll be coming for her next. She is smitten by the killer's tears and thrilled by the prospect of death by his hands. As a final request, she asks him to make love to her and he awkwardly complies. At this point, they become destined as lovers and he can't take her life. The 108 Dragons are none too pleased and beat him nearly to death before they finally agree that he can have a mate - so long as all traces of their previous lives are destroyed.

A fine piece of animation that perfectly captures Ryoichi Ikegami's sexually charged and homoerotic style. It was also made in the late 80's, so it has a nice nostalgic feel. Unfortunately, the frame rate is rather low and a lot of static images are used to cut costs. The Japanese voice cast is excellent and the music is appropriately dramatic. Good stuff, but make sure you listen to the original Japanese soundtrack instead of the lackluster English dubbing.