Tears from his eyes, blood from your throat.
"I do not believe that a murderer could weep so piteously... He cried without making a sound. His tears fell like a soft, quiet rain..."Crying Freeman
, a 1986 manga illustrated by Ryouichi Ikegami and written by Kazuo Koike, follows the story of Yoh Hinomura, an internationally-renowned potter from Japan. A Chinese triad organization known as "The 108 Dragons" kidnapped Yoh and turned into an unwilling assassin: after sticking acupuncture needles in him and implanting post-hypnotic suggestions, Yoh became one of their best assassins, killing for the group whenever he is ordered to. Whenever Yoh kills, he cries out of remorse for his victims
(hence the name of the series). When solitary artist Emu Hino witnesses one of Yoh's assassinations, the Dragons order him to eliminate her — but Yoh's love for Hino could become his salvation
...Set in the same universe of Kazuo Koike's Duet
, and presumeably Mad Bull 34
Crying Freeman contains examples of the following tropes:
- Accidental Pornomancer: Discussed as the reason why no woman will ever be able to kill Yoh: he's just such a perfect man, they cannot bring themselves to get rid of such beauty. The alternative? Sex.
- Action Girl: Emu becomes one with time.
- Anti-Villain: Yoh.
- Art Imitates Life: Koike intriduced the 108 Dragons as an enemy faction in Duet, only to find out there actually is a namesake gang in Hong Kong later. Some gang members asked him if he could make a Rooting for the Empire spinoff and gave him a designer watch, so he outright turned them into the Villain Protagonists.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Completely averted for females. Male "equipment" is usually subject to some sort of censoring, but a few panels avert even that.
- Battle Couple: Yoh and Emu.
- Battle Strip: Before many battles, Yoh would strip completely naked.
- So does Emu and...well, a lot of people in this series end up doing it.
- Berserker Tears: Yoh got his moniker of the Crying Freeman because he cries whenever he commits a murder.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Yoh, to a degree.
- Broken Ace: Yoh
- Christmas Cake: Emu.
- Coitus Uninterruptus: When Yoh and Emu make love, apparently anyone else in the clan is free to pull up a seat and Pass the Popcorn. And in the case of Baya San, join in.
- Cool Old Lady: Hu Feng Ling, Yoh's tutor in the 108 Dragons. She's pushing 99 and still got the moves.
- Cool Sword: The Muramasa sword that Emu receives.
- Death by Sex: Subverted. Emu knew Yoh would kill her for witnessing one of his murders, and she didn't want to die a virgin. She asked him to have sex with her as her last wish; however, Yoh couldn't bring himself to murder her — so he made her his partner instead.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Baya San to Yoh.
- Double Standard: Pretty heavy on this—and really unapologetic about it.
- Fanservice: Women frequently get naked for no obvious reason, but Yoh has enough nude scenes to balance the gender scale on his own.
- Fan Disservice: Baya San is every bit as prone to taking off all her clothes as any other woman in the manga.
- Female Gaze: Yoh undressing is usually followed by a full-page splash panel displaying his body.
- Femme Fatale: Kimie Hanada; it backfires when she tries it on Yoh.
- Full-Frontal Assault: And how.
- Going Commando: It would be faster to list examples of women actually wearing underwear.
- Hitman with a Heart: Both Yoh and Emu.
- Hypocrite: At one point Yoh is confronted by an assassin who cannot comprehend why Yoh cannot be faithful to Emu, and mocks Yoh's definition of "family". The hypocrisy here is that the assassin in question raped somebody in the middle of a job.
- In Love with the Mark: And how.
- Lady of War: Emu evolves into this.
- Live-Action Adaptation: There are three: Two made in Hong Kong and one French-Canadian produced adaption.
- Love at First Sight: Emu becomes attracted to the handsome and sad hitman she saw first right after he accidentally killed his targets in front of her.
- Male Frontal Nudity: If you're too squeamish to see a naked male body, don't read the manga.
- Male Gaze: When Emu is waiting for Yoh to come after her, the reader is treated to a full-page spread of her showering, with an insert panel showing a closeup of her nipple. The series continues in a similar fashion.
- Manchurian Agent: Yoh.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Seemingly averted, when Emu reveals she's never been with a man, she's surprised to hear Yoh make a similar confession, and amused when he gets a little flustered about her undressing. However, this is contradicted by a later chapter detailing more of his backstory, where the tattoo artist that puts the clan markings on him has sex with him.
- Meaningful Rename: When Yoh becomes the leader of the 108 Dragons, he is given the name Long Tai-Yang, literally "Dragon Sun". Likewise, Emu takes the name Hu Qi-Lin, "Tiger Pure-Lotus".
- Meganekko: Emu; she is also The Ojou and a Reclusive Artist.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: Enforced; Emu must remain faithful to Yoh, but Yoh can have as much sex as he wants with anyone he wants. It's the law of his clan.
- Nobody Poops: Averted, as Baya San squats down to urinate in one scene.
- 108: The mysterious organization that employs Yoh is "The 108 Dragons".
- Psychopathic Womanchild: Baya San at first.
- Rape as Drama: At one point an associate of Yoh's, Dark Eyes, is violently raped in the middle of a job. After saving her and having her injuries tended to, Yoh allows her to face her rapist and kill him when confronted by the man.
- Resignations Not Accepted
- Sex Face Turn: Kimie tried to seduce Yoh as part of a plot to kill him and replace him with a look-alike; instead, she falls in love with him, and betrays her accomplices to the 108 Dragons.
- Also Zi Yan Zhu, the tattoo artist who drew the dragons on Yoh's body. She was employed by the Mafia to poison him, but she simply couldn't find it in herself to do the job.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Well, for a given value of "good". Emu firsts sets eyes on Yoh when he pulls off a hit, but sees him crying and thinks he's really a gentle person at heart.
- Stout Strength: Baya San.
- Their First Time
- Tiger Versus Dragon: Averted because it's the possible motif of Battle Couples in the 108 Dragons. Yoh has dragons tattooed on his body, and Emu gets tiger tattoos later on. Also, Hu Feng Ling has a full-splash of a tiger on the front part of her body and another on the back.