IMDb > "Crying Freeman 1: Portrait of a Killer" (1988)

"Crying Freeman 1: Portrait of a Killer" (1988) More at IMDbPro »"Kuraingu furiman" (original title), TV mini-series 1988-

Crying Freeman 1: Portrait of a Killer: :  -- Emu Hino, a 29-year-old virgin, witnesses a mob hit and fears that the killer will now find her and kill her...


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Lust, Larceny and Loyalty... See more »
Emu Hino, a 29-year-old virgin, witnesses a mob hit and fears that the killer will now find her and kill her... See more »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Solid anime adaptation of great manga crime thriller See more (4 total) »


 (Series Cast) (in credits order)
Toshio Furukawa ... (voice)
Steve Bulen ... Yô (US 1994) (voice: English version)
Chiharu Kataishi ... Emu (voice)
Edie Mirman ... Emu (US 1994) (voice: English version)
Ryûsei Nakao ... Kô (voice)
Jeff Winkless ... Kô / Walla (US 1994) (voice: English version)
Yûsaku Yara ... Nitta (voice)

Michael McConnohie ... Nitta (US 1994) (voice: English version)
Takaya Hashi ... Ryûji (voice)
Kerrigan Mahan ... Ryûji / Walla (US 1994) (voice: English version)
Masako Katsuki ... Kimie (voice)
Catherine Battistone ... Fu / Kimie / Mitsuko (US 1994) (voice: English version)
Kôhei Miyauchi ... Lèi (voice)
Nobuyo Tsuda ... (voice)
Yumi Tôma ... Mitsuko (voice)
Yasurô Tanaka ... Sergeant (voice)
Masaharu Satô ... Cop (voice)
Eddie Frierson ... Cop / Walla (US 1994) (voice: English version)
Ken Yamaguchi ... Cop (voice)
Kirk Thornton ... Cop (US 1994) (voice: English version)
Masato Hirano ... Cop (voice)
Dean Wein ... Cop (US 1994) (voice: English version) (as Dean Wein)
Kôji Totani ... Thug (voice)
Yukitoshi Hori ... Thug (voice)
Daisuke Gôri ... Thug (voice)
Kazumi Tanaka ... Thug (voice)
Simon Prescott ... Mark (US 1994) (voice: English version) (as Sy Prescott)
Mike Reynolds ... Elder (US 1994) (voice: English version)
Nobuo Yana ... Shûdô (voice)

Michael Forest ... Shûdô (US 1994) (voice: English version)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gregory Snegoff
Carl Macek ... Sergeant (US 1994) (voice: English version) (uncredited)

Directed by
Daisuke Nishio 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ryoichi Ikegami  comic
Kazuo Koike  comic
Gregory Snegoff  dialogue: english version

Produced by
Carl Macek .... producer (english version)
Shoko Takahashi .... producer
Original Music by
Hiroaki Yoshino 
Production Management
Scott Narrie .... production manager (english version)
Sound Department
Ernie Sheesley .... sound re-recording mixer (english version)
Ernie Sheesley .... sweetening: english version
Dave Walsh .... sound mixer (english version)
Visual Effects by
Mark Richardson .... paint artist: english version
Casting Department
Carl Macek .... casting (english version)
Other crew
Frederick Patten .... story editor: english version
Kara Redmon .... production coordinator: english version
Janice Williams .... dvd coordination

DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Kuraingu furiman" - Japan (original title)
See more »
60 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »

Did You Know?

Continuity: The old woman yells at Freeman that he broke the 101 Dragon's law, but the name of the organization is the 108 Dragons, not 101.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Crying Freeman (1995)See more »


What are the differences between the British BBFC 18 Version and the Uncensored Version?
See more »
25 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Solid anime adaptation of great manga crime thriller, 17 August 2002
Author: Brian Camp from Bronx, NY

CRYING FREEMAN: PORTRAIT OF A KILLER (1988) is the first volume in what was ultimately a six-part series of animated adaptations of the celebrated "Crying Freeman" manga (comic book) series written by Kazuo Koike ("Lone Wolf and Cub") and drawn by Ryoichi Ikegami ("Sanctuary"). The first part tells the story of how Yo Hinamura, a sensitive young Japanese sculptor, is forcibly enlisted by the Hong Kong-based 108 Dragons and trained and programmed to become one of their top assassins. He gets his name, Crying Freeman, from the fact that he yearns to be free despite his programming and sheds a visible stream of tears after each killing.

The core of this chapter is Freeman's relationship with a lonely young Japanese woman, Emu Hino, after she witnesses his killing of a Hong Kong crime lord. She knows Freeman is coming to eliminate her as a witness and he knows she knows it. Before he comes for her, she paints a portrait of him with his gun outstretched. When he does arrive and sees the painting, he begins the process of changing his mind about her. A real love develops between the two and eventually he has to convince the leaders of the 108 to let her join him wherever he goes. The police and the Yakuza gangs in Japan learn of her connection to Freeman and go after her as well.

The romantic elements of the story include a passionate sex scene between Freeman and Emu that falls just shy of the near-pornographic depiction of it in the manga. There are additional scenes of sex and nudity. The widow of a Yakuza gang boss has sex in a funeral home closet with a corrupt police inspector during her husband's funeral. The attractive widow later cuts a striking figure in tight pants and knee-high boots while wearing nothing from the waist up but a shoulder holster as she goes after Freeman in the final confrontation.

There's quite a lot of bloodshed and killing as Freeman performs his various assassinations (generally of underworld figures) and fends off attacks by other killers out to stop him. Freeman's ability to hit his targets with dead-on accuracy with knives or bullets and his practically superhuman acrobatic skills, enabling him to leap up or down out of harm's way, give the fight scenes a slightly fantastic air that recalls Hong Kong action films in the way the act of killing is transformed into an act of performance.

Most importantly, although the anime is rendered in brilliant colors, it painstakingly captures the drama and elegance of the manga's black-and-white drawings with breathtaking accuracy. Daisuke Nishio, the director of this installment (better known for his DRAGON BALL Z films), captures the sense of time, place and mood so expertly conveyed in the manga, but also knows how to expand on the action and how to pace a scene properly for animation. The whole sequence at Emu's dark, sprawling mansion as she waits for Freeman to come after her is a masterpiece in the use of lighting, décor, closeups and staging of the characters to enhance the mood of foreboding, death, erotic passion and hope. Time and again in this 52-minute adaptation the anime captures the stark imagery and swift, violent action of the manga as beautifully as this reviewer has ever seen it done.

The "Crying Freeman" manga has also been adapted into two live-action films, CRYING FREEMAN (1995), directed by Christophe Gans (BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF) and starring Mark Dacascos, and a Hong Kong action film, KILLER'S ROMANCE (1990), starring Simon Yam and Joey Wang. Neither compares favorably with this first anime adaptation.

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