Demons exist and their power is beyond what humans can fathom. In fact they are so strong that humans do not stand a chance against them in a fight.
The only thing strong enough to defeat a demon is another demon and it is trough this logic that Ryo Asuka hatches the plan to have his good-hearted friend Akira Fudo possessed by a demon. If a person is of pure of heart then he might be able to control the demon that posses him and thereby acquire power equal to a demon. After raising some hell in a club the plan works and Akira is possessed by the powerful demon known as Amon.
Now Akira is humanities sole champion of justice against the hidden demon menace that has plagued humanity since the dawn of time.
Okay remember how the first Devilman movie had a lot of explaining and build up until the last 15 minutes before the awesome gore fest began…well this movie does not follow that same formula. Mostly, it just gets straight to the point.
This movie to me feels like three separate action sequences crammed into one great movie. The first involving a demon who lures Akira into his hideaway just to torture him with a horrifying revelation about his parents. Second is an ambush attack at home targeting the family that is providing Akira with his temporary accommodation. Then lastly the movies core focus is on the
Demon Bird Silene (pronucened differently) who wants to kill Devilman to make an example out of demons who choose to meld with humans. Actually about 50% of this movie is focused on the bitter grudge match between Devilman and Silene and it turns out to be a great fight to the death!
Considering how much things go on in this movie I’d say the pacing is fantastic and the action scenes in this movie are excellent but also when it does slow down a little it usually focuses on some minor character development otherwise it’s pretty much action packed.
Near the end of the movie it’s unclear who will come out on top…I mean it looks like Devilman will get the last laugh…but how it actually turns out is actually quite interesting. Everyone I know who has watched this movie really like s the ending in particular. It’s a cool one indeed!
Keeping in mind this is early 90’s animation The animation for the first movie was pretty decent…I mean the character designs looked a bit cutesy at first but when the demons get involved things change quite dramatically.
This movie was made a couple years after the first one and things look a lot better. The anime on a whole has a MUCH darker tone and where Akira looked like a sweet kid in the first movie he now looks like a pumped up thug ready to pound anyone that gets in his way.
However I’d say overall the animation style looks pretty simplistic but not in a lazy way. A standout point for me is the demon character designs. They really look like morphed, spliced animal creatures…which really feels disturbing…I mean to this day Ginman is one of the most F’ed up demons I’ve EVER seen in any anime. If someone did a live action Ginman costume / CGI effect I would be vomiting all goddamn day, I swear!
Anyway, compared to today’s level the animation is pretty average but I still think it’s aged pretty well over the years regardless.
I like the music in Devilman…its got a melancholy feel to it. The English dub is really quite comical to me but not in a bad way…I mean, re-watching this now I can understand why some people may find it korny but overall I think it works out very well. Devilman in particular say’s some really funny shite when he’s killing demons…certainly not the sweet boy Akira he was before.
Overall sound is pretty decent…compared to the original Jap language it’s a bit spicier which worked out well imho.
Devilman has an extremely small cast, which works in its favour. There’s pretty much Akira / Devilman, Ryo, Miki (barely) and the various demons Akira and Ryo have to face.
For such a short anime I think the characters are developed well enough…In particular you get a good foundation for Akira’s character which is the most important thing.
Another surprising thing about this movie is that the demons are quite cunning and not just your typical stock throw-aways. Particularly in this movie most of the demons have a connection with Akira’s demon counterpart and often comment on how surprised they are by the fact that the demon (Amon) has joined forces with a human (well that’s not exactly correct but I don’t wanna spoil anything for newcomers).
Like I said for the first movie I enjoy this anime on two levels, the first being nostalgia. I remember how confused and weird I felt about rooting for a demon to succeed…..this was way before the more recently accepted anti-hero boom we are surrounded by today.
The second level is the action in this anime is pretty hardcore, barebone and enjoyable to watch.
Unlike the first movie however the pacing and content is consistently engaging and theres never really a dull moment from start to finish!
It’s another short fun crazy ride… I have enjoyed this title for many years and still find it of a high standard even after all these years.
Value / Final Thoughts
Over time Demon protagonist’s have become more common place in movies (Hellboy) and especially in anime, to name a few: Hellsing, Vampire hunter D, Inu Yasha, the cast of Saiyuki, Chrono from Chrono Crusade etc. So Devilman kinda loses the shock value it had around the original time it was made.
But like I said before being very young and coming from a Christian upbringing made this anime quite the shell-shocker.
I was hesitant to write this review at first as I did feel a lot of my praise for it would come down to nostalgia but after re-watching it I am now reassured it is actually a quality title that still holds up to this very day
It’s short and sweet and many do hail it as an anime cult classic.
Surprisingly though I found more reviews for both the Devilman OVA’s on IMDB than on various anime sites….saying that though it seems the manga is vastly more popular than the anime incarnations.
As a side note I will say I was disappointed with the third sequel: Amon the Apocalypse of Devilman – which in my mind had a different tone and strayed away from the Manga’s original perfect ending….a total letdown on what could have been a great trilogy. So alas no Amon review from me!
You can also check out my mega-blog on the other Devilman anime releases here if you please: http://bit.ly/OtguhB
Part 2 of the 80's/90's OVA Devilman trilogy is Devilman: The Demon Bird. As the title implies, this anime is largely just about the fight between Devilman and the "harpie lady" known as Sirene. It's funny because this fight doesn't even happen until like halfway through the hour long OVA, with the first half consisting of Akira battling 2 other demons. That's it. There's really no story or character development to speak of here. The art/animation is once again very detailed, far surpassing the Netflix Devilman Crybaby in that department. I'll also praise the sound design here, since the "buzzsaw sound effect" when Sirene shot
her homing missile arm was very effective. I do think it's beyond dumb that she can detach her arm and use it as a projectile when she's purely organic--and it always comes back to her somehow---and I need to stop thinking so much about this anime!!
Akira and Ryou have lost all sympathetic traits from part 1 and are now just hungry for battle alpha males. I will say that Miki's personality is better here than in her Crybaby version, where she was just the perfect "good girl." This Miki doesn't take shit from ANYONE, and is even willing to punch Akira in the nose if she thinks he deserves it! She's got spunk and that goes a long way with me (I just hope she has a better fate in store for her than her ending in Crybaby). Sirene herself has a cool, sexy design, I admit, but she's just a monster of the week, nothing more. I really don't remember much about her personality. We don't know why she hates Akira so much, or how she even tracked him down in the first place for that matter. When her friend the rhino guy sacrifices himself so they can combine, we don't really know why. They had an off-screen romance I guess? Instead of killing himself so an already-dying Sirene could use his body, why couldn't rhino guy just finish off Akira himself? Also who was this Xenon guy teleporting monsters in to help Sirene at the end? Couldn't he just fight Akira himself (and probably win)? Will Xenon be showing up in part 3? I feel like the show will forget about him, even though he seemed important. So yeah I had a lot of issues with the Sirene fight, mainly that went on WAY TOO DAMN LONG! Literally the last half hour of this OVA is the 2 of them fighting back and forth changing location like 10 times, no joke.
Out of the two earlier fight scenes (this anime is just a collection of fights btw, no exposition this time) we have one against Jinmen and one against a pervy water demon. The water demon fight was OK but clearly just an excuse to see Miki naked in the bath. I liked the part where a possessed Miki attacked Akira, but he back-handed her and knocked her out almost immediately. So anti-climactic! Why couldn't they drag out THAT fight!? And the Jinmen fight was just terrible. They make the same mistake as the Crybaby version, where Jinmen just shows up out of nowhere and has absorbed Akira's mom somehow and we're supposed to give a shit even though we've literally never had a scene of Akira with his parents until now. Wait, didn't Akira's mom die in the Arctic? What was Jinmen doing there?! How did he travel from the Arctic to Japan and track down Akira so quick!? Also there's a super cringe moment where Akira starts crying after killing Jinmen and his tears drip down through a hole in the floor and JUST SO HAPPEN to land right on his mom's face on Jinmen's shell on the lower level. Oh my God WHAT A COINCIDENCE! Ughh.
Devilman: The Demon Bird is a poor anime, 3/10. Oh boy, I just CAN'T WAIT to see how they wrap up this mess with part 3...
The problem with this movie was the story was set up correctly, but it had a bad flavor to it. I've summarized the key points below.
There are actual nasty demons generals sent by Satan to fight against Devilman which could've led to some potentially good fights.
Devilman is useless and not a good fighter. No Jeet Kune Do, no Chun Kuk Do, no Tae Kwon Do, no nothing.
Devilman has very few special powers compared to the demon generals. Ironically, Devilman is known as the strongest. That's not even feasible.
Devilman gets his ass kicked like the cover implies. He literally gets tossed
around cause he is so skinny and shrimpy. Rather than trying to emphasize the fangs on his face, he could use some wide, broad shoulders.
Devilman's fights are corny, cheesy, and also a drag. There is obviously no equal footing.
4 cons outnumber 1 pro. Every 1 minute watched is 3 minutes wasted. This movie could not live up to its prequel. I'd say a score of 4 is just about right.
Story - 3
Art - 5
Sound - 6
Character - 3
Enjoyment - 3
Overall - 4
If the first ova has most about exposition and few action scenes, then this one is the opposite with plenty of action scenes and few exposition. Kind of.
Instead of explaining what the demons are, we see them now in action. The OVA in 1990 is made by the same company and has most of the cast from the previous OVA.
This OVA now follows Akira Fudo who has now become Devilman, a demon who fights demons hidden in society for sake of justice and humanity. As he gets more used to his power, an old lover to the once demon Amon appears in order
to kill Devilman for his betrayal. Here we not only see Devilman more, but we have here is something that resemble more the source material.
With this OVA being gory as ever, Demon Bird has more fights which is accompanied with a good soundtrack. Even if the fights are switched in order compare to the counterpart, these fights feel more existing and involved to the characters. The first fight puts our character into a dilemma which will have consequences.
Speaking of characters, this time around we see how Akira has changed from the previous OVA. He gone from being a supporter to a more dominant alpha male, but it still shows that his kind hearted. Ryo is the same but is more vulnerable and calmer than the previous ova, for obvious reasons.
The villain in this is the Demon Bird herself, Sirene, a former lover to Amon. And boy is she one cranky bird. For me, she’s okay and serves as a good opponent.
The OVA is more action oriented, which loses the horror aspect from the previous one. It also doesn’t explain much why or where the demons comes from or how Akira can transform to Devilman. But if you watched this right after the previous one, this will just pick up where it left off. I would recommend anyone to watch this and the previous OVA in one sitting for the best experience.
I also don’t think you need reason or explanation for why when it’s about DEMONS WITH BLOODLUST. It’s all for sake for good old violence.
Without a doubt, these two OVAs are my guilty pleasure. Even if these aren’t that special, these two have a good enough charm for me re-watch them. But these two OVA makes it feels that this is incomplete. But I think the next one will help out,