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YMMV / Devilman

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  • Adaptation Displacement: A rather complicated example. While the manga and the Toei anime were conceived and launched more or less at the same time, the whole franchise was created in the first place because a Toei executive liked Nagai's Demon Lord Dante and asked him if he could create a series with more humanlike devil hero, leading to the creation of Devilman. Its success made it uber-known, but Demon Lord Dante became pretty much a historical curiosity and wasn't even given attention by anime producers until The 2000s.
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  • Animation Age Ghetto: Unsurprising, knowing most video stores. The OVA is well known for its incredible brutality and the dub is full of swearing. The 1972 anime on the other hand was aimed to kids, having lots of changes in comparison with the original manga.
  • Apocalypse Wow: In the live action film, the end of the world is visually stunning.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Devilman No Uta, the Japanese opening of the original anime series.
    • The 80's OVA's have really nice and haunting music throughout, which is a breath of fresh air if you don't to hear a J-Pop or J-Rock playing.
    • Anthem's "Show Must Go On" and "Light It Up" in the Devilman: The Birth and Demon Bird OVAs.
  • "Common Knowledge": Satan Possessed Ryo Asuka’s corpse after he was killed in a car accident. In actuality Satan only assumed Ryo's identity and the two look nothing alike, a major factor in Ryo discovering their true identity. This misconception was likely born from the fact in the 1972 anime Devilman possessed Akira's body after killing the latter.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Jinmen, the depraved turtle-like demon, eats humans alive to devour their souls, leaving an imprint of them on his shell trapped in agony. Jinmen targets vulnerable humans on purpose, with children being a favorite meal, including a ten-year-old named Sachiko who had befriended protagonist Akira Fudo. Those he devours are left alive and conscious, but trapped until Akira kills him. In Devilman Grimoire, Jinmen adds the rape of Illuge to his list of crimes. In the OVA series, Jinmen is just as vile as his manga counterpart. Upon awakening from suspended animation, he kills Akira Fudo's parents—with Akira's mother being dismembered and bisected—and traps Akira's mother's soul on his shell in a state of agony along with several other souls. When Akira is distressed by the sight of his mother's suffering, Jinmen exploits his weakness to discourage him from transforming into Devilman and severely beats him he is still in human form.
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    • Amon: The Darkside of the Devilman: Cadney was a Serial Killer before achieving great power. In the post apocalyptic world, Cadney ekes out a power base by convincing humans there is no such thing as Devilmen, resulting in purges of countless peaceful humans believed to be demons. Cadney takes delight in the deaths of the innocent and simply enjoys wielding power over others.
  • Creepy Cute: Some consider Psychogenie to be this.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: From Amon: the Apocalypse of Devilman; Devilman ripping the breasts off of a female demon and taking a bite out of one of them.
  • Crossover Ship: When Akira appeared in episode 7 of Shin Cutey Honey, some fans clearly began shipping him with Honey. It helps that Akira gets slightly flirty at the end of the episode, and there's a possible Did They or Didn't They? moment teased.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Due to a notoriously mistranslated subtitled version of the 1972 anime, DEBIRU-Man has become a popular nickname for the title character.
    • Some fans are more inclined to refer to Devilman from the 70s anime by his name from the manga, Amon.
    • Ultimate Devilman for Devilman Grimoire.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Downplayed, but some fans would like to forget/ignore the tidbit where Ryo/Satan claims that he fell in love with Akira because of his female side (for Values Dissonance reason).
    • Many fans don't watch the 1972 anime due to the fact that it lacks Ryo Asuka's existence. And also because the show is incredibly and lighthearted, since most fans are use to the dark and grim tone of the manga and its other anime adaptations.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • In the anime incarnation, Devilman starts suspecting that Miki may be under attack because she's growing weaker and her usually "beautiful incarnate" is growing pale and clammier, with every other human character blaming some mild illness. Since in the 1972 series Devilman isn't Akira Fudo anymore, but a powerful superman wearing the looks of a mere human, this makes perfect sense: Devilman has no knowledge of human illnesses, as the Demon Tribe is composed by strong, battle-fit specimens, and the very idea of the girl he loves growing ill with no apparent reason is enough to make him restless, worried and confused.
    • In the OVA first episode, Akira looks at Ryo at their first meeting and paused for several seconds until he recognized him. The scene went on so long that it came off Narm and ridiculously hilarious. This could had been intentional as the manga revealed all of Ryo's childhood memories are fake, implanted by Psycho Jenny as Ryo himself is literally Satan in disguise, and Psycho Jenny also modified Akira's memories to connect with Ryo. Thus, Akira and Ryo never spend time together or even met until that moment. Granted the third and final OVA episode was never made, but this would explained the long pause from Akira.
    • Why is the 70's series Lighter and Softer than the other adaptations? After considering that Satan doesn't show up and Akira's effectively dead, leaving Satan without somebody to fall in love with, there'd be no point for God to dole out his usual punishment.
  • Fridge Horror: In Devilman Grimoire, actually. Remember how, in the original Devilman, Miki and Tare were horribly murdered by a psychotic lynch mob consisting of their own neighbors, because they thought she was a witch? When one considers that the cast is pretty much the same in Grimoire (with a few additions), it stands to reason that the Makimuras' neighbors most likely are also the same people. Which then leads to the realization that the whole neighborhood is a ticking time bomb, ready to go off under the right conditions. It doesn't help that Miki goes around announcing to anyone who's willing to listen that she is a witch. Then again, as of the latest chapters in Grimoire, Miki herself is now a Devilman, so killing her just became that much more difficult.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The 1972-73 TV series is probably more popular in Italy (where it aired on TV in 1983) than anywhere else, even Japan, where, although it was quite popular, it was dwarfed by its Go Nagai stablemate MazingerZ (which aired on a rival channel).
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In the opening of the original anime, while fighting a giant demon snake, the snake bites the lower half of Devilman's body. Akira lost the lower half of his body when he died at the end of the story.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Between Akira and Ryo. Made more complicated by the fact Ryo is in reality the hermaphrodite Satan. On the other hand, Satan is outright stated to be in love with Akira, and the world ending and being recreated over and over again, is a way by God to punish him, by Satan watching Akira's suffering repeat itself.
  • Ho Yay:
    • The OVAs play this up. For example, Akira is so happy at the sight of Ryo that Miki literally begins to be jealous of Akira and even asks "is he more important for you because he is more handsome?". Moreover, Ryo soon tries to drive her away with a knife, saying "there is no need for women".
    • Also the multiple and overly long stares between Akira and Ryo fuel this to the roof (the English dub unintentionally take this Up to Eleven with this scene).
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Ryo is an amnesiac Satan and is in love with Akira.
    • Miki's death.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ryo Asuka, in truth the fallen angel Satan, is the one who connives to have Akira Fudo become Devilman by tricking him into being possessed by the demon Amon. Upon regaining his memories as Satan, Ryo exposes the existence of demons and sets the world into a full-blown panic to make humanity turn on itself while he sweeps in with his demons to eliminate them, eventually facing and killing Akira himself to his great sorrow. Even after God resets the world, forcing Ryo to relive losing Akira over and over, Ryo shows hints of subtly altering things to eventually change the fate forced on him, showing why he is both Akira's greatest friend and deadliest enemy.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Narm:
    • Satan's immortal line: "For, you see, I am a hermaphrodite."
    • The live-action movie is filled with this.
    • Ryo looks incredibly cute... and silly when he puts the Devilman mask on himself and tries to convince Akira to become him. His completely deadpan expression only adds to it.
    • The finale to the Devilman vs. Amon fight in the OVA. Devilman grabbing Amon by an impaling arm and punching him in the face? Awesome. Punch a second time? Still pretty cool. Fast forward, high speed punching with reused footage looped over and over again? Hilarious.
    • Ryo's plan for turning Akira into Devilman involves gathering a bunch of hippies together in his basement. It Makes Sense in Context, yes, but it's hard to take the line "These people here are rogue hippies I've gathered together" seriously.
    • The art style takes a bit of getting used to, and could even be described as 'cute', which makes it a bit jarring when everything starts going to hell and ends up just looking silly.
  • Narm Charm: The original anime can also be enjoyed this way. Depending on the viewer, its campy qualities can be a positive.
  • Never Live It Down: The Live-action movie - much like how Dragonball Evolution will do to anime fans in North America five years later and Batman & Robin did with DC Comics fans seven years before, the 2004 movie made people of Japan lost their faith in the possibility of a good live-action movie based on mangas.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The scene in which Akira puts on the Devilman mask and sees the demon world, are rather psychedelic and ugly enough, reminding a very strong acid bad trip.
  • No Dub for You:
    • Applies with the 1972 TV series in the United States, as Discotek Media's 2014 American DVD release is subtitled-only, unlike the '80s OVA which was given both sub and dub releases.
    • The '70s TV series was also an example of No Export for You for over a decade after its original airing, at least until 1983 when the series was broadcast dubbed in Italy, which may be second only to Japan as the home of Go Nagai's biggest fan base. The TV series is not known to have been dubbed into French or Spanish despite the popularity of other Nagai franchises such as Mazinger Z and UFO Robot Grendizer in those territories.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The 70s anime series adaptation. While its cheesiness (you know it's goofy when Devilman wears a speedo) and repetitive plot structure were quite standard for children's anime of the time, these same elements make it quite dated to a modern audience. This is especially noticeable when you compare it to the manga, which is dated in its own ways (like Nagai's crude art), but which has overall stood the test of time far better thanks to its much darker and more ambitious story.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The battle with Jinmen.
    • The lynch mob scene in general, but a few particular moments stand out:
      • The Wham Shot of a mobber displaying Tare's severed head.
      • Akira returning home to the Wham Shot of Miki's severed head on a pike.
      • Akira's cradling Miki's head while denouncing humanity during his Heroic BSoD.
    • Satan crying over Akira's mangled corpse in the ending.
  • Snark Bait: The Live Action movie, which was the winner of the first Bunshun Kiichigo Awards (The Japanese answer of the Golden Raspberry Award).
  • So Bad, It's Good: The English dub of the OVAs. You can't help but wonder who the hell was in charge of the script and the casting, and yet there's also no denying that the dub provides a lot of laughs, even if it's for all the wrong reasons.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The story heavily criticizes militarism, and how we dedicate more time and energy to building weapons to destroy each other than building bridges to understand one another. Tribalism is bad, because no matter how justified you think your motives are people unrelated to your feud will be victimized. A perpetual atmosphere of hatred and fear can only result in tragedy.
  • Special Effects Failure: The movie version suffers from this. Though, considering it was made in 2004, the CGI was rather impressive for its time.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Depending on the reader and viewer of the original manga, Ryo can come off as an incredibly selfish person when Miki is near Akira as if he hates her presence just by existing. His severe Lack of Empathy when Miki is killed seem to prove how much he disregards her life while Akira is mourning for her. Shin Devilman and the Deluxe edition do change this and show Ryo lamenting what happens even as his pride keeps him from stopping. Though many agree that he's a saint compared to how he is in Crybaby, where nearly all his sympathetic traits are removed, save for his love for Akira.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Ryo's reasoning for falling in love with Akira because he's a hermaphrodite, specifically because of his female side, wouldn't cross well for some, especially the LGBT community, people today. Not surprising since the manga came out in the 70s.
    • In the original manga, Miki becomes more attracted to Akira once he becomes a Devilman, and as a result she often tries to downplay her more aggressive and assertive traits and pretends to be more frightened and vulnerable to get his attention, presumably under the belief that No Guy Wants an Amazon.
  • Values Resonance: The manga's themes of War Is Hell, and its anti-discrimination and anti-xenophobia stance, has arguably become even more powerful today.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The two OVAs are absolutely gorgeous, with some excellent animation quality across the board and some extremely impressive segments of animation, such as Siren and Devilman's fight during the second OVA. It's a shame a third one was never made.
    • The CGI in the live action film. While subpar by today's standards, the film won an award for best visual effects. The end of the world is the best example.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?:
    • The original manga in spades is filled with Gorn and nudity, but it ran in Weekly Shonen Champion of all things, and some of its elements were actually inspired by children media (for instance, the demons's ability to fuse together, called gattai in the original, was apparently a children's play at the time). It's no wonder Nagai's next series, Violence Jack moved to a Seinen magazine after many complaints.
    • While the Toei anime is for kids, it can still be pretty violent by modern day standards, and while there's not as much nudity, its still there to some degree that some people probably feel is too much for kids to see.


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