For those of you who haven't heard of this one, Crying Freeman is a manga about an ultimate assassin named Yo Hinomura, a member of the 108 Dragons (Chinese Mafia). He was apparently "psychologically programmed" to kill people on command, and he sheds tears after every kill out of regret. I guess.
I've now read two volumes of this manga, but I'm still not quite sure what to think of it. The plotline is interesting, if you like Mafia stories, that is. But there are a number of elements that are in the manga that keep me from liking it.... or at least make it harder for me to.
Nudity. Now, I'm definitely not a prudish person, but in a manga, I just don't really like nudity without reason. And this series has a helluva lot of purposeless nudity. For example, the main character likes to take the time to strip completely down before each fight, for some reason. Sure, he has a kick-ass tattoo, but exactly why does he need to kill everyone in the buff? There's no reason for it. The other characters strip down just as often. After a daring rescue by her lover Yo, the main female character Emu (not related to the bird) for some reason - that I'm thinking doesn't actually exist - yanks off all her clothes. Every female in this series will be naked once, and usually out of nowhere. Even the old grandmotherly assassin goes around nude, to show off her own tattoo, I guess. This series is a bloody nudist colony advertisement. In other words, the nudity here, for the most part, feels like complete and utter fanservice, in the worst sense of the word.
Females. Another thing that has annoyed me so far is all the females' reaction to Yo. He strips off his clothes, and all of a sudden, none of the women, even the hardcore killing machine women, can resist him. Or if they do, he'll kill them, and as they die, they beg him to kiss them or some crap like that. It's all a load of BS. It's extremely exasperating.
End of volume 2. WTF? Nine highly powerful Mafia members who are supposedly killers themselves just jump in the way of a bloody gun without trying to disarm the killer who has infiltrated their HQ? One after the other? Like lemmings?! What the hell was the writer smoking? Alright, okay, so I can see one dying as the others mob the gunman and take him out. But no. They all just leap out for no reason, like they're lined up in a bloody queue waiting to die, while the Top Assassin Crying Freeman stands back like a dumbass, only at the last moment leaping in to kill the gunman. You've got to be kidding me.
In the end, my impression of this manga is that it's some guy's fantasy: to be someone who's basically an unstoppable killer, who can make women swoon at the sight of him, and who walks around all day... naked.
I'm not seeing much I can stick with, here, besides the strong female lead, Emu. Even though she swoons too, at least she's got some brains.
I suppose I can feel happy, though, that I got so much content for the price I paid. If only all manga were as thick as these two volumes are. 400+ pages each? <3!