Akira Fudo is informed by his best friend Ryou Asuka that the demons will revive and reclaim the world from the humans. As the humans do not stand a chance against the supernatural power of the demons, Ryou suggests fusing with a demon. Akira becomes Devilman, with the power of a demon and the heart of a human.
As a devilman fan, I'd been looking forward to this anime since it was announced. I'd dabbled in yuasa's work before so I was excited to see how he'd adapt one of my favorite Mangas. The anime itself, though it was toted as a true adaptation, changed a lot of things from the manga for better or worse.
Story: like I said, much was changed from the original material, but I actually didn't mind it so much. It cleared up a lot of the muddy parts from the manga and it structured it in a way that was fun to binge for the Netflix format. Plus,
the modern take on the setting was interesting to see!
That being said, it had a few flaws, including the ridiculously obvious foreshadowing and some changes from the original manga that really should've been kept in.
Overall, If you like devilman, go into this anime without expectations, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised with how new it all is. 8/10
Art: bomb as hell. I was hoping for some nice experimental stuff from science saru and they delivered. Looks chic, animates well, and the colors/ cinematography had me bald. Really great. That being said, it doesn't look like a normal polished anime, which might put some people off, and ryos bowl cut just kills me. 9/10
Sound: frankly, it's just good. I could listen to Devilman no Uta on repeat for like 5 hours 10/10
Character: great characters. Miki is so good compared to the OVAs and Ryo and Akira are both amazing as well. Miko's personality and role are much different than the manga, but she's complex and fun to watch anyways. I think for the main 3, crybaby really did them justice. 9/10
Enjoyment/overall: I might be watching it through rose tinted glasses but God. I loved this anime. Give it a try. It won't disappoint you.
When Devilman Crybaby was first announced, I was pretty hyped. I was a huge fan of Go Nagai's iconic and influential manga. So a more modern take would be pretty cool. The 70's series, while fun, certainly never hit any of the darkness the manga got to. The two OVAs from the 80's did an OK job at adapting some of the manga but were cheesy in many regards. The 90's OVA (Amon Devilman Apocalypse) was cool but was a strange "What if" story. So hearing of getting a new adaptation in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Go Nagai's career was
cool. And seeing one of my favorite directors Masaaki Yuuasa and Code Geass Co-creator Ichiro Okuchi on the project certainly heightened my hype. And after just binge watching all 10 episodes on Netflix (Easily a wise platform choice), I can honestly say my expectations were not only meet. They were in many ways surpassed. So in this spoiler free review, I'll discuss exactly how.
This adaptation respects the manga's narrative while also taking some risky choices that make this not only stand out on it's own but still show love for it. The story is more or less the same. For the most part, this adaptation nails the story, carrying all the beats of what made the original great. Iconic moments from the manga are kept. Great scenes are adapted well. Even allot of moments are expanded upon and given a boost. Some scenes never happened in the original but were great choices narrative wise and really added a sense of originality and greatness. I also really like the fact the modernized setting is used to heighten the story. Parasyte The Maxium did this when it came out, and while I think that adaptation was good, the modernized setting and elements weren't at all utilized. They felt more cosmetic and underutilized. Here, they're utilized giving the anime a modern/classic feel. It helps make it stand out from the source material. It even helps with much of the themes of the manga.
All in all, the story is a great blend of what made Go Nagai's manga incredible while it's own additions are great too.
Speaking of things that made the original manga incredible, lets discuss the cast and characters. Which are not just as great as they were in the manga, but in many cases better.
Each character in this adaptation ascertains their original elements, pathos, and overall development. The hearts of the originals are still kept in tact. From Akira's empathetic but sometimes goofy nature, Ryou's cold and stoic ideals, Miki's sweet but strong sense of self respect. The list goes on. Hell even the characters they take some liberties with are still at heart who they were in the manga. And many of the ones who felt minor still feel like they have just as much narrative purpose as the original and still feel like fleshed out characters. While not every character gets the most development, it does go to the ones where it's needed.
So yeah. They did good here too.
Animation & Art [10/10]:
This was a point I knew I was going to enjoy given the director. Masaaki Yuasa is a phenomenal director of anime and I knew his visual style was going to make it's way here. He's given us other visual delights such as Mind Game, Ping Pong The Animation and many others. And here, it's on point. His hand-drawn art style and color schematic is all over this adaptation and it really works.
Moments fly off the screen and stand out. The action sequences all have a visceral sense of impact and weight to them that really make it great. And even the slower dialogue moments, when they happen are well paced and have just enough.
And the character designs, most of which were redesigns, still look really good and resemble their respective characters. Each one still left me believing that the 70s characters were who they were here wonderfully. They do stray from Nagai's character designs but I feel it was a choice that does work out in the end.
And let's talk about this series use of color and lighting. Because like most of Yuasa's work, it shows really well here and deserves mention. This series utilizes a very lurid aesthetic that I feel really helps with the ambiance and tone of certain scenes. Each one feels as they should. When a scene looks warm, it kinda feels warm. Same with cold, dark, bright, etc. This series knows how to handle this.
And the background and environment art looks great too. Very dynamic.
Great looking overall.
Sound, Music, Atmosphere [9/10]:
So the sound design on this series is for the most part good. Not anywhere near the greatness of the other points but it certainly does it's job when need be it. If I had to nitpick anything, it'd be that on occasion, some sound effects are kinda reused to such an extent. Not to say the sounds they reuse don't fit the scenes they're reused in, but overall it can be heard a fair number of times. Makes you wonder what sound real-estate could have been like with a bit more tweaking and some additional sound effects. I also felt the voices for the demons could've used more work. Aside from the actors trying to sound demonic or the occasional filter put on the voices didn't add as much. So it does the job well. Just not as well as the other points before or as it could have done.
The music and score for this series however, is fantastic. Working with a nice balance of poppy techno music and electronica with great drum beats and works and other score elements that really help. I especially love the modernized Devilman 70's Theme. Really catchy and honestly a banger. Just a shame it wasn't used as the series actual opening. Which the actual opening is just... OK. It befits the narrative and series tone overall, but the former track mentioned, is just doesn't have a big theme feel to it. Same with the ending track (per the exception of the one used in the credits of Episode 9. Which is really grand) more often feels like a continuation of it. Not bad. But a good case of what could have been which is a bit of a downer.
Also given that this is by many ways a horror based series, ambiance and tone are really important to note here. And here it's really good. Each scene utilizes it's music, silence and other elements perfectly.
Yeah this is no shocker given the prerequisites of this review. My enjoyment was really high. Not only did it exceed my expectations, it captured the same emotion and then some I got from reading Go Nagai's original manga. The action had me on the edge of my seat and pumping my fist, the drama felt gripping, the sad moments were heart wrenching, the horror was really good, and was fairly on point with the music and sound design. If any nitpicks, the sound real estate was on the low side in some regards. But aside from that, this was one of my favorites. Favorite anime, anime of the year 2018, favorite show, favorite Netflix original.
All in all, Devilman Crybaby is a perfect anime. It works well as an adaptation that respects it's source material and takes it's own liberties to stand out and nails the landing. If any disclaimers, emotionally prep yourself since it goes to dark territory on many occasion and has more than it's share of violence, gore, nudity, drug use and sex. Definitely an NSFW title. But a must watch NSFW title.
Devilman Crybaby is available to stream in it's entirety on Netflix.
There’s an interesting thought that a good adaptation is one that is completely true to the source, not missing a moment and not changing anything. While this has a basis, I would rather argue that a good adaptation is one that stays true to the source while adding something in return, taking full advantage of the different medium along the way. Otherwise, what’s the point in making it?
Devilman: Crybaby is an adaptation of Go Nagai’s controversial manga, infamous for its extreme content and polarizing conclusion. Nagai’s original work is high in concept but lacking in cohesion. The skeleton for something truly great is there, and
many panels ooze brilliance, but the work doesn’t flow smoothly as a whole. The central theme, while ever prevalent, is only touched on during key moments, causing a somewhat disjointed experience. Devilman: Crybaby tackles this by fleshing out that which was bare, creating something truly remarkable with the help of the original, not in spite of it.
It’s very faithful, carrying over the themes, characters, plotlines, and many key scenes. There are a few new characters and events, but they fit into the world Nagai created perfectly. It would be hard to be disappointed if you’re a fan of the original work. However, if faithfulness were the only criteria for a good adaptation, Crybaby would be a pointless endeavor.
For an adaptation to stand out, the new author’s voice should be added while keeping the original clearly heard. As is the case with Crybaby. Yuasa’s distinct style is recognizable within the first few moments. But instead of stealing the show, his charm works cooperatively with Nagai’s directness. This not only enhances all that is good in the original, but also polishes the bad. All the quirks are lovingly still there, but instead of feeling out of place they are twisted in a way which makes them feel essential to the overall product. Long information dumps are almost self-parodied, while abrupt shifts in tone are heightened to create an almost surreal narrative. Exaggerating what takes the viewer out of an experience can actually have the opposite effect when handled expertly, as is the case here.
Crybaby does have its fair share of flaws. There’s inconsistency throughout, some action is very hard to make out, and poor attempts at English are almost always jarring. The abundance of explicit content would be enough to turn many viewers off instantly, even if it’s intended to be extreme. None of this hurt my experience, but mileage will always vary.
A clear understanding of what made the original Devilman so great is shown throughout, not by mindlessly rehashing but rather by enhancing. This is what makes Crybaby easily one of the best adaptations I’ve experienced, along with one of the best shows in general.
Story: The Story in Crybaby was very good, the pacing was solid throughout the entire story, it never felt like there was unnecessary dips, and it managed to push through to the end and conclude in a satisfying way, which many shows nowadays fail to do.
As someone who had never previously read Devilman or watched any adaptation, all of the twists that were present in the classic series were new to me, and most were well done, they are hard to predict until the show wants you to know or gives large hints, it does well at subverting your expectations.
Art: Art is something that
I felt was not a high point in the series, it had solid animation and went for a very deliberate style, and did well in capturing the feel of the classic art style of Go Nagai, however doing something for the sake of homage is not necessarily always the best possible choice, I'm sure many will disagree with me here, but again I have no ties to original series.
Sound: I loved the music in this show, especially the Opening which is one of my favourites that I've heard in general, but beyond the music the sound effects and such were consistently good, but nothing really beyond just good.
Character: Easily the best part of Devilman Crybaby is the characters, every single character is so well done, everything is deliberate, everything is consistent, and interesting Akira is one of the best characters I've seen in a long time, he doesn't fall into any overarching category, he as a character is incredibly unique and his relationships with the other characters especially Miki and Ryo are just incredible.
Enjoyment: This series was really damn enjoyable the action was solid if a bit sparse but when it did happen, it was incredible, with the soundtrack and voice acting backing it up, the switch flipping at the end of episode one is when I knew I was going to love this series
Overall Rating: While I'd love to give this a 10, I didn't think everything was executed as well as it could have been, it's extremely close to a 10 but it's not quite there, some things did feel like they were passed over fairly quickly, and some aspects of the show did feel more standard than outstanding.