Devilman features Akira Fudo, a shy and timid teenager who has gone mountain climbing in the Himalayas with his father. While in the middle of the expedition, both father and son are killed in a tragic accident. Akira's body is found and possessed by the demon soldier Devilman, who uses his new human form as a disguise in order to fulfill his mission of causing chaos on Earth in order to pave the way for a demonic invasion of the planet.
Before his mission can begin in earnest, Devilman meets Akira's childhood friend Miki Makimura and quickly falls in love with her. Devilman resolves to protect Miki and humanity as a whole by battling against his fellow demons. Demon Tribe leader Zennon becomes greatly angered at Devilman's betrayal and is quick to send Devilman's former comrades to destroy him. The other demons soon learn that Miki is precious to Devilman and he must now work to protect her, as well as protect himself. Will the power of love be able to overcome that of true evil?
Note: both the anime and manga are two completely different stories but as long as you bear this in mind, Devilman TV is an episodic series super hero series that can be very repetitive but manages to provide gruesome horror or other times some intentionally ridiculous entertainment.
The story begins rather unsettling as the main character Akira Fudo is killed by Devilman, thus he takes over his corpse and becomes Akira. So, in other words our main characters is actually Devilman (or Amon to be more specific with other Devilman material). Despite this key difference, Devilman falls in love with Miki and has sworn to
protect her from the Demon Tribe. This leads to Devilman being branded a traitor where Demon Lord Xenon will send demons to kill Devilman. As you may have guessed, the series follows a formula where the beginning of the episode features the demon's murderous abilities which sets up the horror mood. Afterwards, Devilman has to fight him or her and usually ends the battle with a Devil Beam or a Devil Arrow.
A basic flaw of the show as a whole is the repetitive problems that it presents itself. As this Devilman is very much like a Tokusatsu series with Devilman turning into a giant and the demons usually arriving one at a time. While we all know it would make more sense to send everyone at once to get the job done, you have to watch this show knowing that it will play out like this. Of course this does hinder its story and instead relies on a fun factor which often led to some hilarious moments such as the iconic "Devil Jump!" . I think appreciating events such as that is what makes Devilman TV enjoyable.
What amazes me about this show is despite being aimed at a children audience, this is NOT a kid-friendly show. For its time and possibly even now, the series is too violent for any public broadcast with its constant use of human casualties, especially ones involving car crashes and airplanes. In a very Go Nagai fashion, many civilians aka extras are constantly killed adding to the dark tone of the series. A lot of demons are very over powered but certainly made their presence almost unforgettable due to their fearsome strength as some episodes are genuinely scary.
However, like any show there are some things that can't be ignored. One of my personal problems with Devilman TV is that the series may have been better is some battles lasted 2 episodes instead of a self-contained story. For example, a lot of the episode's time is spent on creating a terrifying atmosphere which leads to a few minutes of actual fighting. I don't mind short fights but it does get a bit annoying that a lot of the fights end very abruptly with Devilman struggling in a one sided match only to save his skin by using a Devil Beam (which you will hear a lot of.)
Basically, I had a lot of fun watching this version of Devilman but I can certainly see why people wouldn't like it, especially if they read the manga for it. The structure of Devilman TV is very similar to the other 70's Go Nagai series Cutey Honey & Mazinger Z due to their basic superhero plots. And very much like Cutey Honey, the series does end open-ended with Devilman never fighting Xenon or completely eradicating the Demon Tribe. However, I was really surprised to see Devilman gradually change throughout the series where he began as a despicable, violent person and by the end of the series he's an honest to heart good guy. The quality certainly shifts per episode but there's definitely something good to be found in this superhero anime. It's not a must watch series because its so good nor is it a show so bad its good; Devilman TV is the episodic journey of a devil whose becoming more and more human who vows to protect his love. As simple as it is, this type of series can only be enjoyed by a certain few who love tokatsu or just a monster of the week show in general. A recommendation that is inspired by Devilman but is better written is the series Hell Teacher Nube which offers more in terms of characterization and touching moments.
A very problematic show worth more for its historical value rather than the entertainment. the over all premise of the show is generally intriguing, intense, sweet and romantic but the whole potential is going to waste. I'd really love to see a new series that would try to bring this story to life.
I've watched it now for the 1st time so there was no nostalgic appliance for me. The show has an extremely episodic structure, and past the first 3 episodes there's no importance to the order you're viewing them, including the final episodes!
I myself got fed up with the show's static and unprogressive nature
around episode 12 and skipped to 37 - I was amazed at how much nothing was changed storywise, and it seemed like a smooth continuation of where I left off. The last episode's later moments does have a small dramatic turn of events but it's way too little and way too late to be respected.
The monster of the day episodes, which are probably 100% of the show, are watchable and some has ok ideas but they have no effect on the story and they are all repetitive (monsters arrive, Devilman beats everyone, everything comes back to normal - Miki doesn't find out Akira is Devilman). Also, an average episode contains an unlimited amount of inconsistencies, questions left unanswered and plot holes.
Regardless of the story's undevelopped mess the show's strong side is its character balance and chemistry. I liked Akira and Miki's general archetypes. He might have been too aggressive for his own good, unlikely for modern shounen heroes, but Miki had the upper hand and Akira was hers.
On the visual department I actually like the art style although it failed to maintain its quality and the animation and movement is laughable, but you should expect that and besides it's the least of the show's problems.
P.S. I must say i got along quite well with the HK rips if you're looking for English subtitles.
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