Crying Freeman (Koike Shoin version) Vol. #02 (Mania.com)
By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Release Date: Friday, July 14, 2006
Writer/Artist:Koike Kazuo/Ikegami Ryoichi
Translated by:Carl Gustav Horn
What They Say
Crying Freeman, the deadliest assassin of the 108 Dragons clan of the Chinese mafia, has taken a bride, and she has passed the harsh tests of the Dragons and been given a new name: Hu Qing Lan, "Tiger Orchid." And despite Freeman's Japanese heritage, he has been chosen to become the eventual leader of the Dragons. But someone inside the Dragons wants Freeman dead, and Tiger Orchid should make a fine hostage to draw Freeman into the open - where a monstrous killer awaits!
Was it a song that said "love shall set you free"? In this latest volume of Crying Freeman, love breaks the chains of suppression as Emu is given a new life entirely. At the same time, Yo is given additional freedom as he breaks from the path written for him by the 108 Dragons. Their love and their freedom did not come without some suffering. They threw away their past. All memories of their existence was to be erased. Ultimately having to go through trails of the heart to prove themselves worthy of the dragon and the tiger, the power of the 108 Dragons, will be a testament of the strength of the bond and the true earnest challenge of their freedom.
It is one thing to be challenged by the yakuza establishment from Japan. Koike does not ignore their sense of duty and honor. However, Crying Freeman and the 108 Dragons he represents are an international organization with the power of small European nations. Yo is standing up against what might be an entire community, but behind him he has a nation! And even though their freedom will them closer to their clan, he will be given the freedom to rule in whatever way he pleases. Such is the life of a Freeman.
In this latest volume we can see just how far the arms of this Dragon can stretch and what firepower this monster can unleash. Koike has always alluded to how broad his underworld was. Once Yo and Emu escape the Yazuka, he turns to present just what the scope is. The series begins to read less like an action than a politics title. Espionage, military strategy, economics and terrorism are all present. There is even a political struggle from within what could be considered a cabinet. Every action involves so many. And the reach can extend from Hong Kong to Japan and all the way across to Africa. For a series where the focus is on the individual strength of character and honor, Koike makes sure that anything could be possible in this world. If there were limitations they come from the strength of Koike�s characters. However, Koike never allows for them to be restricted. His leads are as talented, as sexy and dutiful as imaginably possible. As a reader, that keeps each arc suspenseful and unique. Yeah a little outrageous at times, but this is male fantasy at its best. Action, romance, sex and politics - the range is classic Koike and a must for seinen fans.
Mania Grade: A+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
Orientation: Right to Left