Kazuo Koike is a prolific Japanese manga writer, novelist, and entrepreneur. Early in Koike's career, he studied under Golgo 13 creator Takao Saito and served as a writer on the series. Koike, along with artist Goseki Kojima, made the manga Kozure Okami (Lone Wolf and Cub), and Koike also contributed to the scripts for the 1970s film adaptations of the series, which starred famous Japanese actor Tomisaburo Wakayama. Another series written by Koike, Crying Freeman, which was illustrated by Ryoichi Ikegami, was adapted into a 1995 live-action film by French director Christophe Gans. Ryoichi Ikegami was born in 1944. He got his start as a manga artist as an assistant to Shigeru Mizuki in 1966. Ikegami has produced art for a number of popular series, including Mai, the Psychic Girl, Crying Freeman, Sanctuary, Spider-Man: The Manga, and others. He won the Shogakukan Manga Award for general manga in 2001.
fWhen beautiful Japanese heiress Emu Hino witnesses an assassination, she finds herself drawn to the handsome killer, who begins weeping after completing his task. When he comes to cover his tracks and kill her, she asks him to make love to her first. He does so and is moved to spare her life and tell her his story: he is Yo Hinomura, a renowned Japanese potter who's been programmed and trained by the Chinese mafia to become their assassin. Yo has murdered the leader of the yakuza (Japanese mafia), and the yakuza know that Emu can identify him. He tries to hide her, but the yakuza are on the hunt. Koike (Lone Wolf and Cub; Lady Snowblood) turns in another strongly written and deadly serious killer's tale. Ikegami's artwork is accomplished and strongly realistic. Previously released in the United States by Viz, this edition features a new translation. There's a great deal of gore, nudity, and sex, and although the primary private parts are hidden by mosaics or shadows (unlike in the Viz edition), this is still for adult collections only. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.