classic anime in a hip jacket

Devilman Crybaby is an anime from 2018 that can be seen via Netflix. A remake of a remake, and adapted to this generation on all fronts. I have watched this modern horror series for you and give my verdict as a fan of the genre!

The story

Devilman Crybaby is about schoolboy Akira Fudo, a gentle boy who lives with his uncle’s family. Besides his popular niece Miki, his only friend is Ryo Asuka; a very rich and hyper intelligent ice rabbit. Ryo has discovered the existence of demons through his research. To gather evidence, Ryo takes Akira to a Sabbath-style party in a nightclub. Here demons, lured by violence, drugs and sex, take over people and the nightclub turns into an abattoir. Akira is also possessed by the supreme demon Amon, but resists him and becomes a Devilman: a symbiosis between man and demon. The power and charisma of a demon, but with the heart and conscience of a human being. He wants to protect humanity from the demons, but are they worth it? Gross violence, envy and paranoia bring out the worst in everyone and the situation degenerates into hell on Earth.

The source material of this anime is the manga Devilman released in the 1970s. In the same period, the manga was already translated into an anime series, and just like the manga it received several spin-offs and remakes. Of these is the last Devilman Crybaby, true to the original manga but with a major update in style and cultural influences (despite the many nods to the first Devilman anime). And that’s surprisingly nice – I love horror manga and anime, and I’ve never seen the modern style of this series before. Refreshing! Social media and Japanese rap (how cool that sounds!) Are used to express the grim zeitgeist. And current problems such as the media as a catalyst for violence and major social divisions are clearly highlighted.

The style

The drawing style is very simple for an anime, with a dull color palette interrupted by violent flickering colors when chaos breaks out. So quite minimalist, which also fits the electronic, synthwave-like soundtrack (totally my taste in music, plus for that unconventional choice). Both underscore the nihilistic tone of Devilman Crybaby. Action is often portrayed surrealistically, to the point of being laughable (running Devilmans, you have to see that).

Then Devilman Crybaby was still in the concept phase, there was talk that it would be a hentai (hentai = anime meets porn). It didn’t work out, but the influences are still uhm .. very clearly present. For that reason, and all the explicit violence, this anime is NOT a good idea for kids. Because this series is explicit. Heads are pulled from hulls, people are eaten and stamped flat, and children also have their turn. So there is not much to laugh about except for running Devilmans.

My verdict

you have to keep your wits about you to follow all plot developments. A lot happens in 10 episodes, but the tempo of the story changes: in some episodes not much happens until a sudden revelation, which then seems to have relatively little weight because it is not thought about for long (until later on come back – so it was important). And in some episodes so much happens in quick succession that it has the emotional impact and the ‘damn, now I get it!’ lacks feelings that are intended. Most of the characters are sufficiently explored in the short space of time, although I don’t quite understand the emphasis on Akira’s parents and the group of rappers – why is their role so great when they add little substance to the story? It therefore feels like too much has been crammed into 10 episodes, and Devilman Crybaby should have been longer for the intended effect of the fate of the characters and the ending (although some scenes hit me quite a bit though!).

I like that horror anime with Castlevania and now Devilman Crybaby has been boosted again via common platforms. You can discuss the message behind the series and the meaning of the ending, I like that. Devilman Crybaby brings something new with its modern influences and unusual style choices. That is why I think it is a great series for people who already love the genre and want something new, or are new to it, but who like gory on screen violence. Do you like a slowly built story and artfully elaborated animation, hit Devilman Crybaby Well then, hey, within 5 hours you have seen the whole series so it is not such a big investment of your time. As it stands now, there is no season 2 coming.

Do you have Devilman Crybaby already seen, and what do you think? I’m curious!

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