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Crying Freeman 5: Abduction in Chinatown (1992)

Kuraingu furiman: Senjô no kishimojin (original title)
In L.A.'s Chinatown, the crime cartel known as K.O. hatches a plot to bring down Ron Tayan and the 108 Dragons. Ron joins forces with the computer-savvy daughter of the local boss; she ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Toshio Furukawa ...
Chiharu Kataishi ...
Gara Takashima ...
Nina Heaven
Mika Doi ...
Wô-Chuò (Wanshaku)
Osamu Saka ...
Boss Wáng
Seizô Katô ...
Larry Buck
Kôji Totani ...
Lucky Boyd
Kazumi Tanaka ...
Lee
Rumi Kasahara ...
Wô-Cí
Michitaka Kobayashi ...
Co-Pilot
Shinobu Satouchi ...
Killer A
Yukimasa Kishino ...
Killer B
Hisao Egawa ...
Man
Dump Matsumoto ...
Bái-Yá-Shàn
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Steve Bulen ...
Freeman (voice)
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Storyline

In L.A.'s Chinatown, the crime cartel known as K.O. hatches a plot to bring down Ron Tayan and the 108 Dragons. Ron joins forces with the computer-savvy daughter of the local boss; she tracks the attacking gang via electronics, Ron goes to their stronghold via plane. They are kidnapers of young children, using ransom money to fuel their other activities. The troops are ex-Green Berets; the leaders are Larry Park, an expatriate Yank, and Nina Heaven, a killer with a soft spot in her heart for Ron. He's her captive, but she wants him to be her partner. Meanwhile, Fu, armed with her Muramasa sword, and Dark Eyes arrive on the island surreptitiously. The battle lines are drawn. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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anime | based on comic | See All (2) »

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Lust, Larceny and Loyalty...


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TV-MA | See all certifications »

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Crying Freeman 5: Abduction in Chinatown  »

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Followed by Crying Freeman 6: The Guiding Light of Memory (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

5th CRYING FREEMAN anime offers a naked, tattooed killer blonde
17 August 2002 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

CRYING FREEMAN 5: ABDUCTION IN CHINATOWN (1992) is arguably the second best in the series, after CRYING FREEMAN 1, in terms of artwork, animation and design. The story is not as good, however, and greatly simplifies the original manga story as written by Kazuo Koike and drawn by Ryoichi Ikegami. Most of the CF stories have exotic settings and interesting locales, but this one takes place mostly on a dreary island, home to a ruined fort that houses the Kidnappers' Organization, an army of mercenaries recruited from combat-hungry ex-Green Berets and their equivalents around the world. Designed to go after other criminal organizations, their target in this episode is the 108 Dragons, the Chinese fraternity of killers headed by our hero, Crying Freeman (so called because he yearns to be free and sheds tears after each killing). Once Freeman is transported to the K.O.'s island, all the action takes place there when it would have been far more exciting to see the mercenaries taking different actions in varied places against their organized criminal quarry.

The story unfolds after Freeman is called in to intervene when the K.O. kidnaps family members of the head of the Los Angeles Chinatown mob. Freeman allows himself to be captured and taken to the island so he can learn the inside structure of the K.O. and put an end to it. His counterpart there is one Larry Buck, a beefy ex-Green Beret who runs the military side of the operation. Interestingly, Buck is drawn and designed to look exactly like venerated Hollywood character actor Ernest Borgnine, who is famous among action fans for such films as THE DIRTY DOZEN and THE WILD BUNCH. (No word on whether the producer of the English dub thought to try to get Borgnine to do the voice!)

Freeman is assisted at various points by three female members of the 108 Dragons, including his Japanese wife, Fu Ching Lan (a renamed Emu), and by the computer-savvy daughter of the L.A. Chinatown boss. All four women tend to strip nude almost as soon as they're introduced and spend most of the entire film that way. One of the women, Freeman's oversized adopted sister, Beya-san, weighs several hundred pounds, yet is never seen with any clothes on. At least the animators don't discriminate on the basis of size.

In the activity of clothes-shedding, however, Freeman's women are no match for Nina Heaven, the ostensible head of the K.O., a voluptuous blonde with a snake tattoo winding along her body. Nina's obsession with Freeman takes on quasi-pornographic dimensions, given her compulsive quest for orgasms, which can only be achieved through some kind of contact with Freeman, even if she's only stimulating herself at the sight of photos of him taken (by her) during the very first killing he performed as a member of the 108 Dragons. (Nina's activity with the photos happens to be the very first thing we see in this episode). During the climactic showdown, as Freeman fights Buck, and as Freeman's nude women launch their assault, there are frequent cutaways to Nina as she excitedly fondles her naked self in the midst of all the carnage.

The animation, artwork and character design are all expertly done and represent quite an improvement over the previous CRYING FREEMAN sequels. The faces are quite detailed, the settings nicely rendered and the character movement fairly fluid. There's not as much violence or bloodshed as in the other episodes of the series nor is the sexplay between Nina and Freeman as explicit as it is in the manga. There are far too many closeups of Nina, for instance, a not unexpected strategy in light of the fact that she seems to be doing all the work. Freeman is, after all, her prisoner and his refusal to get aroused makes the whole sequence considerably less erotic than it could have been. (Just compare it with his love scene with Emu in the first anime volume.)

The fetishistic sexual pathology of the CRYING FREEMAN series will bother some anime fans while titillating others. Because it's all so artfully done, with strong emotional undertones, it's hard to brand it as sleazy. All the women characters spend most of the series in the nude, ostensibly, one could argue, to show off their spectacular tattoos. Most of the women carry weapons as well, either knives or automatic firearms. The powerful, ambitious women who take on Freeman tend to have voracious sexual appetites and seem able to achieve satisfaction only with Freeman, who remains in complete control of his emotions at all times. (He resembles Golgo 13, another anime hitman hero in this regard.) Freeman is often nude as well, although the anime/manga convention of blatantly omitting male genitals makes him seem neutered. The conflation of sex and death is a constant motif in this series as so many of Freeman's sexual partners or attractive opponents are either doomed or face death in one way or another. (In fact, his very first sex scene in the series is with a woman he intends to kill--a fact she's aware of although it doesn't stop her from offering him her virginity, not to stave off the execution, but as a condition for allowing him to kill her. The woman is Emu and he winds up falling in love with her.) The final confrontation in this episode between Nina and Freeman is a provocative collision of sex, naked tattooed bodies, obsession, tenderness and blood-spurting violence. There's something distinctly unhealthy about it, yet it remains poignant and strangely beautiful.


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