Crying Freeman (Koike Shoin version) Vol. #04 (Mania.com)
By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Release Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Writer/Artist:Koike Kazou / Ikegami Ryoichi
Translated by:Kumar Sivasubramanian
Adapted by:Kumar Sivasubramanian
What They Say
Cult leader Naiji Kumaga is poised for a hostile takeover of Japan. He has the tools - 1000 submachine guns in a land with few firearms - but needs expert hands to wield them, and the assassins of the 108 Dragons definitely have what it takes. Kumaga's plan: capture the Dragons' leader, Crying Freeman, and replace him with a trained double. Snatching the world's deadliest killer is a tall order, but maybe not too tall for the merciless giant, Tohgoku Oshu!
Volume 4 finishes what had to be the most ridiculous arcs in this series ? the bear-god worshipers. A group of Japanese cult members want to take over the country by kidnapping Freeman and installing an impersonator in his stead. The faux-Freeman would then hand over the reigns of the 108 Dragons to the cult and the underworld would then respect this cult as they�fd be the most powerful criminal organization around. Sounded like a good idea, but their plan was pretty shallow. Basically most of the training the imposters would undergo would be sexual. One woman after another would try to get him erect and those who were skilled enough could never have him climax. Without that sexual prowess no impersonator could trick Freeman�fs many lovers and thus their plan would fail. Drugs, torture, hypnotism, nothing worked on Freeman�fs member. But his charms were enough to help him out of that mess. The mafia world tour then lands in an unnamed island run by Vietnam veterans. This time Freeman�fs going to have to fight his way off the island or die trying. After three volumes this is starting to be second nature for Freeman. He has a tendency to get caught and then break the circle from the inside but this time he has to deal with an entire army of trained experienced killers. Thugs and guerillas might have the mindset but they lack the killing instinct of a warrior. And after you have faced combat, no amount of rehabilitation can take away the memories - the sounds of gunfire, the sight of tracers in the dark, the heat from an explosion, the fear of an ambush... None of that can be replicated. So Freeman is now up against an army without fear or identity. They have nothing to lose!
If you ever had doubts about Crying Freeman, then you haven't read volume four of this series. This volume should solidify this manga's place in sequential art history. Visually this is a stunning book. Volume four is filled with detailed realistic nude scenes presented in every set of context imaginable for a seinen title. Nude wrestling, nude swimming, nude boxing, nude paintings, nude 3D sex training simulators, nude psychological torture, nude sex... Koike and Ikegami basically write a porno with a plot and men (and women) eat it up! And that would have made this A+ material as is but don't forget there is a story as well. Yeah by this point the plot is razor thin. Nevertheless, Koike being the master of scenarios that he is, turns the series into a gang of the month title and proceeds to unleash the wildest sex scene in non-ero ero manga - Freeman defeats two women by not getting an erection! Enough said...
Crying Freeman as a manga you are every man's fantasy. Just the thought of all the violence, politics and sex bring tears to my eyes. You are Koike's best and even at the age of 21 you are still a must read for every mature manga reader.
Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Crying Freeman (Koike Shoin version)