''Maō Dante'' or ''Demon Lord Dante'' is a 1971 {{manga}} by Creator/GoNagai. Remakes of the manga were released in 1994 and 2002. A [[TwelveEpisodeAnime 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.

In spite of what others may have claimed, the anime adaptation is indeed very true to the source material (as the manga was literally only three 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, 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) and writing a conclusion for the story.

Many themes from ''Maō Dante'' recur in other works by Nagai, including ''Manga/{{Devilman}}'' and ''Manga/DevilmanLady''. In fact, ''Devilman'' came into being because Toei producers became interested in ''Dante'' and asked Nagai for a similar yet LighterAndSofter series.


* AdaptationNameChange: Ryou's sister, Saori, has her name changed to Aya in Shin Maou Dante 2002. She also has a different hair style.
* AttemptedRape: [[spoiler:Lamia]] to [[spoiler:Medusa]].
* BattleOfTheStillFrames: the majority of the anime's action sequences were this.
* DecoyProtagonist: 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 [[spoiler: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.
* EyeBeams: [[spoiler:Dante]] starts using these out of nowhere in the last episode.
* FanService: This is written by Creator/GoNagai, so it's expected to pop out here and there.
* GeckoEnding: As the manga only ran for three volumes and ended up with NoEnding, more or less half of the anime is original, including the second part and conclusion.
* [[spoiler:GodIsEvil]]
* HeroicSacrifice: Ironically, most [[spoiler:demons]] get this treatment, especially [[spoiler:Medusa]] in her CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* HijackingCthulhu: 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 [[spoiler: [[Literature/TheBible Judas Iscariot]] ]].
* HotbloodedSideburns: Subverted. Ryo, while having sideburns, actually starts out more half-boiled [[spoiler:until he encounters Dante]].
* LightIsNotGood: [[spoiler:God]] speaks to his followers via a pillar of light.
* LighterAndSofter: 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 [[spoiler: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. [[spoiler: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 HumansAreTheRealMonsters trope that Devilman established.
* LostInTranslation: Official subs have... questionable quality. Prime example is calling Beelzebub "Veil Zebub". His demon form is even a giant fly.
* MaleGaze: Comes up during {{Fanservice}} parts. Shower scenes come to mind.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Dante and Medusa are combinations between dinosaurs, mechas, humans and even God's pure power. Typical cooking, right?
* NippledAndDimed: Zig-zagged in the manga. The sacrified girl was drawn with nipples, but Medusa was not.
* PowerOfLove: In the final episode [[spoiler:Ryou and Saori's]] mutual love destroys the BigBad. Subverted in that it also [[spoiler:seemingly[[labelnote:note]]it's all left a bit vague[[/labelnote]] destroys the world, kills everyone else, and puts them in the roles of Adam and Eve of the new world]].
* RapeAsDrama: While it was never shown on screen, one can guess how [[spoiler: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. [[spoiler:He's actually a pretty nice guy]].