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[Crying Freeman box art]
AKA: クライング フリーマン
Genre: Espionage drama / suspense
Length: OAV series, 6 episodes, 30 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Discotek Media, available streaming on Retrocrush.
Content Rating: R (sex, violence, adult situations, all portrayed really badly)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: N/A
Notes: Based on the manga by Ikegami Ryoichi, available from Viz. There is also a 1995 live-action movie based on the same story.


Crying Freeman


Crying Freeman is about a gentle artist who is turned into a merciless killer against his will. He fights to get his life back, as well as fighting for the clan who "adopted" him. The top assassin in the trade, he will always cry after killing, hence the codename: Crying Freeman.


And that's about a much a synopsis as you need for this TOTAL turkey. It borrows some elements from the manga, but takes only the worst of them, and animates (and I use this term VERY loosely) them on the screen.

Wait: did I say this was animated? I guess, in a way it is, but that is if you count those children's tapes that were so low-budget they would take still pictures and move parts of those pictures around to simulate movement as "animation". This is *beyond* yick. It looks like they scanned pictures from the manga (that's one way to get the art style faithful ... who needs artists?), scribbled them with marker, and had the guy wiggle the page beneath the camera lens just to make it look remotely like it's animated. ("The page is moving, right? Therefore it's animation!")

As if this treatment wasn't enough, they chopped out everything in the story that made you sympathetic towards Freeman. You honestly couldn't give two swats of a guinea pig's tail (yes, I know they don't have tails!) for any character in this series. Well, they didn't take out ALL the content ... there's still sex and violence, but the sex is anything but erotic and the violence was anything but graphic. Doesn't that sound wrong to you? It does to me too ... That I watched six episodes full of this dreck amazes me to this day. Maybe I did it for love of the manga, and I could not accept this hideous abomination of his work as being anywhere near authentic.

If you really, really want to see this video series ... have a lobotomy. It will soften the blow. Or better yet, wise up and go buy the manga series instead. The manga is a gripping, disturbing, sad, and ultimately compelling tale that it definitely worth trying out. The video series ... is simply disturbing and sad, but not in the same way the manga is. I know now the real reason Freeman always cries ... because he's trapped in such a truly awful "anime" series.

Move over MD Geist. We have a new loser in town. (You do realize I'm a saint for giving this thing one star, right?) — Christi

Recommended Audience: No one should ever, I mean, EVER, be forced to watch this. Being flogged on a rack in a vinegar bath is a far more pleasant experience than viewing this thing.

Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (6/6)
Crying Freeman © 1988 Toei
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