Maō Dante or Demon Lord Dante is a 1971 manga by Go Nagai. Remakes of the manga were released in 1994 and 2002. A 13-episode anime was released in 2002. Unfortunately, the animation of that series was extremely poor, the story was filled with plot holes, and to get it worse, the English dubbed version was dreadful at best.The story is about a boy named Ryo Utsugi who, after a series of nightmares, eventually encounters a powerful demon named Dante in the Himalayas. After being eaten by said demon, Dante is consumed by Ryo's memories, allowing his mind to be taken over. The rest of the story focuses on Ryo's life as he discovers the true nature of God, the Demons, and Dante himself.Despite of what others may have claimed, the anime adaptation is indeed very true to the source material (as the manga was literally only 3 volumes long) with only a few minor changes. The anime adds a lot of extra material to meet the thirteen episode limit such as filler set in between scenes from the manga, adding some anime original characters, and making connections which weren't really shown nor mentioned in the manga (such as the leader of God's Will being Ryo Utsugi's adoptive father).Many themes from Maō Dante recur in other works by Nagai, including Devilman and Devilman Lady. In fact, Devilman came into being because Toei wanted to make a Lighter and Softer version of Dante.
- Attempted Rape: Lamia to Medusa.
- Battle of the Still Frames: the majority of the anime's action sequences were this.
- Decoy Protagonist: Played with. Since the beginning, Ryo Utsugi was essentially set up to be this as Dante takes over his body with Ryo's memories taking over Dante. However, it is revealed at the end of the manga/anime Ryo Utsugi is the reincarnation of Dante's human self created right before God imprisoned him inside Cocytus making Ryo essentially both a decoy and the real protagonist at the same time.
- Eye Beams: Dante starts using these out of nowhere in the last episode.
- Fanservice: This is written by Go Nagai, so it's expected to pop out here and there.
- God Is Evil
- Heroic Sacrifice: Ironically, most demons get this treatment, especially Medusa in her Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Hijacking Cthulhu: The title demon tricks Ryo into freeing it, then rewards the boy by eating him. But somehow, Ryo's personality survives this, taking over Dante's body and displacing its previous human identity Judas Iscariot .
- Hot-Blooded Sideburns: Subverted. Ryo, while having sideburns, actually starts out more half-boiled until he encounters Dante.
- Light is Not Good: God speaks to his followers via a pillar of light.
- Lighter and Softer: The anime, ironically, is this compared to Devilman. While the latter is set in a CrapsackWorld where the only truly good person is the main character, Dante's world is actually pretty nice with one of the few downsides being that the modern day humans are actually just apes that inhabit pieces of God's essence, making them essentially God.
- As the anime progresses, it would seem that this would be remedied. Sort of, but not in the way you would think; after God regains the ectoplasm that he had planted into the apes, modern humanity starts reverting back into the mind of said apes and start killing eachother which, while still dark, tosses out the Humans Are the Real Monsters trope that Devilman established.
- Lost in Translation: Official subs have... questionable quality. Prime example is calling Beelzebub "Veil Zebub". His demon form is even a giant fly.
- Male Gaze: Comes up during Fanservice parts. Shower scenes come to mind.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Dante and Medusa are combinations between dinosaurs, mechas, humans and even God's pure power. Typical cooking, right?
- Power of Love: In the final episode Ryou and Saori's mutual love destroys the Big Bad. Subverted in that it also seeminglynote destroys the world, kills everyone else, and puts them in the roles of Adam and Eve of the new world.
- Rape as Drama: While it was never shown on screen, one can guess how Lamia impregnated dozens of kidnapped women in her dimension/lair. Scene with them hanging down naked and pregnant from her nets.
- Satan: One of the sealed Demon Lords. He's actually a pretty nice guy.