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What's the Work?
Kind of a dual post for two...related works. Namely Devilman and Devilman Crybaby...Akira Fudo is a sensitive, purehearted young man who thanks to his pure heart can contain the soul of a demon. His friend Ryo Asuka manipulates him into taking on the soul of the demon Amon, becoming....Devilman, who will fight the demons that threaten humanity...except it's never that simple, so let's talk Ryo Asuka, or...as he's known by another name: Satan.
Who is Satan?
In both versions, this is largely similar, so I'll talk about where it diverges later. Long ago, Satan rebelled against God out of love for the earth and the forgotten demons. Cursed and condemned for it, Satan found his place among the demons, while seeing the damage mankind would bring. Revolted, Satan began to hate humanity as well for what they did to one another as well as the world, and plotted to raise the demons above them. However knowing the power of God, subtlety was...required. So Satan decided to play the long game. Using one of his lieutenants, he had his own memories wiped and had himself reborn as a human being, who would be Ryo Asuka, who'd meet Akira and have him become Devilman. Little by little, Ryo helps to reveal the existence of demons, manipulating Akira flat out into attending the party that summons Amon so Akira can be possessed.
Through the series, Ryo himself shows shockingly good manipulative abilities even as a human, constantly spinning Akira to where he needs him...until he regains his memories and remembers his purpose. Ryo then gives a speech online about the existence of demons, while concealing information and facts just enough to throw humanity into an utter excess of paranoia and fear while he marshals his forces. After Akira's love interest Miki and his friends are murdered by an angry mob, Akira furiously confronts Ryo, and the two realize they're destined to be enemies.
Ryo...proceeds to rally the demons in a final, successful attack as years pass in the war, and it ends the only way it can: Akira and Ryo facing each other down, ending in one of the most infamous Downer Ending types in manga history: as Ryo talks to Akira about all that has come to pass, reflecting on everything that's come before, and everything that's gone wrong....only to realize he's speaking to Akira's corpse. In the original manga, Satan sadly sheds a few tears....in Crybaby? He realizes how much he loves Akira, by the time it's far, far too late and breaks down sobbing Akira's name and begging him to stay with him...just as God annihilates the world and resets it, so Satan will forever be forced to live this cycle and lose his beloved Akira again, and again, and again unto eternity...
Is he charismatic? Charming? A good planner?
Nothing but. His memory gambit is crazy impressive and he completely turns the world upside down without trying. He's charismatic as all hell, extremely so when he's Ryo, and even after he's Satan. Now, the manga version is more friendly than the far colder Crybaby version, but both of them, IMO, qualify. Worth noting he intends to wipe out humanity and in both completely succeeds. The only guy who takes him out is, y'know, GOD.
Is he a bastard? Too much?
Let's not mince words. He's a manipulative bastards who gets innocent people killed when he's Ryo, fools his best friend into becoming a half-demon monster, causes massive bloodshed around the world, wipes out humanity and does a lot of horrible things besides without any real remorse for it.
Now, this said...he has a sympathetic backstory as Satan. He truly believes the world will be better without humanity. The manga version has some...good qualities the Crybaby version lacks. In the manga, Satan is noticeably not mournful he got Miki killed but he is saddened that he's made Akira his enemy and comes to the realization that his deeds have made him no better than all he's hated. The Crybaby version accepts Akira's hatred far more stoically and coolly...but the one thing they have in common is their deep, intense love for Akira. The manga version is aware of it all along and when Akira dies, he whispers that he wishes Akira a pleasant 'eternal sleep,' silently weeping for him...the Crybaby version, in an odd way? The stoicism makes it all the more poignant when he realizes how much he loves Akira just when it's too late and his breakdown is a tearjerker for the ages as he begins crying without knowing it, saying "Akira...I'm feeling something. Akira, stay with me. Don't leave me alone!" And ends the series holding Akira's corpse, openly sobbing...and it should be noted that as bad as Satan is, there are demons and humans far more evil and sadistic than he is. Hell, God is indicated to be far worse, tyrannical and cruel, forcing him into an endless loop to relive losing the person he truly loves for all time, with only some other Devilman sequels implying that a hopeful end is possible as Akira and Satan manage to cause variations or even new ends by allying together at the end.
I'd give both the manga and Crybaby versions easy yeas. A far deeper and tragic villain than is initially suggested.
to Jowy and Ryo Asuka Plays Devilman no Uta and Susumu Hirasawa Town 0 Phase 5 in the background
jowy and ryo X2 (Crybaby is a bit weird though when it comes to him, to say they took away like most of his redeeming qualities execpt for his love of Akira would be an Under Statement).
Edited by miraculous on Jul 11th 2018 at 8:15:14 AM
For manga Ryo, for Crybaby Ryo, who was way less sympathetic imo.
I'd also specify that since the OVA series never ended we can't say if Ryo was evil there, so he also doesn't count in that adaptation.
Edited by PhiSat on Jul 11th 2018 at 11:39:21 AM
I agree Crybaby Ryo is way more bastard, but the scope of his manipulations are just as, if not more, impressive. And the final scene where he breaks down over Akira does show he loved him but couldn't admit it until he lost him.
Also, Phi, on my list? Sinbad from Magi.
Edited by Lightysnake on Jul 11th 2018 at 10:46:54 AM
It's not the scope of the manipulation that the issue for me, more just the degree of which he's entertaining to watch, and he was much less entertaining to me in Crybaby because I felt less sympathy for him.
Sinbad could qualify. I'd make an effortpost on him at least, though again a lot of people were fed up of him by the end or thought he crossed the Moral Event Horizon during the Time Skip.
Edited by PhiSat on Jul 11th 2018 at 11:52:07 AM
Honestly. I feel few sympathy for Satan in either version. Mainly because his endgoal is -IMO- pretty silly.
But No Ryo/Satan. Is one of those cases where I cant vote in good confidence because I have read the manga myself.
His plan is certainly one that I cant make sense of ("humans are too violent, so the constantly fighting demons would be better") and more importantly, Ryo is doomed to fail no matter what, and is not only because God Is Evil, but also because his plans effectively amount to breaking his loved one and then, only after all the mess, realizing "oh fuck".
Ryo is someone who is his own enemy besides God Himself (and honestly, how much He had to do? He just resets the world after the mess is over), in that sense, he reminds me to Char, another smart character but whose goals and emotions are too self-destructive to count.
Edited by KazuyaProta on Jul 11th 2018 at 1:31:47 PM
I should note this is inaccurate. Later Devilman sequels introduce the fact that the loop can be broken and it's likely that it eventually will thanks to Akira and Ryo working together. Devilman Lady ends with the whole thing having been an extended gambit from Satan to bring Akira back and ends with them teaming up to bring down God together, with the ending being ambiguous if they've succeeded, and Devilman Saga promising to conclude things for good.
His plan is also that humans are both violent and have made a complete mess of earth with rapacious greed, but he realizes by the end he was wrong to have judged them so.
I'll save argument on Char for my effortposts on him
Edited by Lightysnake on Jul 11th 2018 at 11:07:21 AM
Ok, that ending sounds dumb. So much that honestly, I am solidifying my vote on Ryo.
His personality is too self destructive, he is a complex villain, but is precisely that complexity what makes him not qualifying. His entire point is that he is as self destructive as the humans that he hates.
The Char comparation was just because that is how I felt about him.
Some things are just too extreme that I cant avoid but calling them Ass Pull.
I am really dubious on anyone from a tragedy qualifying when they caused their own tragedy in first place. Its not about the genre, is about the character. If you caused your own tragedy, I hardly can call it Magnificent.
Edited by KazuyaProta on Jul 11th 2018 at 1:33:59 PM
That addressed absolutely none of my arguments.
I mean, part of that seems to be the work being a tragedy prevents one from qualifying, and given we've voted up a character from King Lear...
I'd note the entire point of the end scene of crybaby is Ryo having been trying to cover his emotions and refusing to accept them, but had them all along and buried them. Hence the whole 'you're crying too" scene.
Edited by Lightysnake on Jul 11th 2018 at 11:12:11 AM
Kazuya could you explain why its dumb ? Some of your ideas that have come up on this thread are very odd.
I also think to put Devilman in its proper context you have to look at it as a war metaphor that Nagai intended. The 'humans being violent and being judged by other dangerous beings who are in truth no more moral or different than they are' is nowhere near subtle or delicate for a manga about the dangers of war in the 60s.
We were discussing the original manga which is the only one that I have read and then Lighty mentioned that new info which is just like...uh...
I mean that the idea of a Satan that actively did work to broke the cycle, suceed and got Akira at his side (seriously, Akira working with Satan. That just sounds...weird) is something that was just totally absent from the original story.
I know the metaphor. And is precisely why I am downvoting him. Humans Are Bastards and Ryo being Not So Different is a point of the series. When the aesop itself is basically saying "Ryo was really dumb too", I doubt that we can call it a MB.
I mean the ending of Devilman Lady, not Lighty arguments, is just that the idea of Ryo actually having managed to got Akira at his side...geez, it sounds like Out of Character for both. A point of Ryo is that he is his own enemy and that he himself is putting himself against Akira.
Edited by KazuyaProta on Jul 11th 2018 at 1:20:21 PM
Alright, Iím a yeah for Ryo and while Iíve no qualms on someone being downvoted, under no circumstance do I want to see you telling someone their argument is dumb. Doing so tries to cut off debate on a thread made for debate and is frankly disrespectful. I canít believe I have to explain that but seriously man, no one shoots down your opinions, so have the decency to do the same to others, shouldnít take much to understand why thatís frustrating diction to deal with.
Satan isn't aware that his plan is ultimately self-defeating because every time the cycle repeats his memory is wiped. It's not like he's trying to get the world destroyed (well, the Earth, anyways). He doesn't know.
And Devilman Lady is in the same continuity as the original manga, so info from it should count. It's just a new incarnation of the world.
Edited by PhiSat on Jul 11th 2018 at 12:20:38 PM
Technically, all of the Devilman Saga is one repeating endless loop. I forgot about Lady when I was doing the EP and couldn't include much on Violence Jack due to a dearth of it being in English, but oftentimes, it seems they only recover their memories at the VERY end.
Yeah. He wasnt trying to get the world destroyed, he still got it. That is exactly the reason why I downvote him, Ryo is too self destructive.
Ryo and let it there. I know that he tends to be prone to Alternative Character Interpretation in many ways (from Ryo did nothing wrong to Ryo did everything wrong with several middle points), so...yeah, let it there.
I read Devilman myself. I mistook the trope, I know that "did nothing wrong" is usually associted with Griffith, but is a regular term for Draco in Leather Pants in general.
Edited by KazuyaProta on Jul 11th 2018 at 1:37:50 PM
Are you confusing him with griffith (His expy) as Ryo is probably one of go nagai's most well-liked characters. He's not really divisive in the fandom (Not that it really matters TBH as people shoehorn shit on the ymmv page on thi site, all the time).
So Alternative Character Interpretation happens all the time, not sure what the problem would be there. Plus Im pretty sure we've already approved a few characters who recive DILP treatment in there fandom already. It just indicates fans who do that are idiots, shouldnt affect anything on this thread.
Edited by miraculous on Jul 11th 2018 at 11:45:01 AM
I don't think he really wants counterpoints, he's cast his vote, so let's just leave him at that.
Alright, one more today. Perhaps a less...divisive candidate...let's talk one of the best, fiercest characters DC has to offer...Amanda "The Wall" Waller.
Who is Amanda Waller?
The Wall. Amanda Waller was a wife and a mother to five kids in Cabrini-Greene's low-income housing projects. She lost her husband and two of her kids. She eventually majored in political science and excelled, going into American intelligence. And soon...she became the head of the Suicide Squad. In fact, she was the one to propose the creation of its third incarnation: her plan was a secret squadron of criminals. None too evil, but none too good, so their losses wouldn't affect any morale or cost the government too much, fighting for reduction in sentences.
Let me not mince words. For a fat older black woman, dealing with racism, some of the most uncontrollable supervillains ever put in Blackgate, extra-dimensional threats and monsters from other worlds? Amanda Waller fucking dominated this comic. She sent the squad on mission after mission, never hesitating to defy her superiors, sacrifice team members and get the job done. On her strategies, the team eliminated terrorists, espionage agents and other threats, all while Waller kept it a secret from her Waller repeatedly outplays other nations, terrorist squads and more. I'll detail just a few of her most impressive moments.
Waller uses the Thinker helmet to locate the second Thinker...however, she realizes she's been using it as a crutch and an addiction, as it amplifies her negative personality aspects. When she realizes this? Amanda Waller seizes the helmet, flings it so hard it shatters and roars "I AM IN CHARGE HERE!" because no non-sentient thing gets the better of Amanda Waller.
Now, there are times when Waller's...less savory methods do land her in hot water. What does she do? Kicks back in jail, or whenever she's demoted...and she waits. Because she is damn well aware that some threat is going to rise up and they're going to need Amanda Waller again. Just for the record? Fucking BATMAN is intimidated by her. She's stood him down without flinching.
And my favorite? During one story arc, the teammate Duchess ends up turning out to be an amnesiac Lashina of Apokolips who lures the team there in a massive battle with the New Gods. Waller shows up...just as Doug himself does (IE: Darkseid)...Darkseid calmly offers to revive the dead team members, but Waller, knowing exactly what Darkseid's Deal with the Devil is worth and what it means? Stands her ground before the most powerful force of evil in the universe without flinching, even taking a shot at him, and walks out clear. Because that's how Amanda fucking Waller rolls.
Is she charming? Charismatic? Manipulative?
All of the above. Waller plays everyone at one point. She does have her lapses, as she's...human at times. She has realized her methods are wrong (like mindwiping people is a no-go for her now) and she has succumbed to some lapses at times, but she always, always rallies herself and dominates the scene. She's hardcore as all hell and charismatic as you get. She's a woman who clawed her way from poverty and the slums to make a better life for her and her kids and she'll be damned if you get in her way. She passes here. Easily.
I should note my favorite time someone sorta got the better of her? A corrupt senator is blackmailing the squad and Rick Flagg heads to kill the guy...Waller realizes this is not good and demands Deadshot stop Rick from killing the Senator by any means necessary. ....Deadshot promptly shoots the senator in the head himself, prompting a furious "That is not what I meant!" from Waller, to which Deadshot shrugs and tells her she really should've specified then. But minor thing there. Waller owns.
Is she a bastard? Too much?
She established a black ops hit squad that was deliberately designed to be expendable. She uses them, sends them to their deaths. For her country she will, lie, cheat, destroy, do whatever the hell she feels she has to because at her core, she believes herself a patriot. She does some really screwed up things, I admit, like the Mind Rape of team members who leave the team to make them forget. She has her moments of extreme moral failing...but under it all, she's not a monster. She's a hardcore Knight Templar willing to do whatever it takes for her country. She loves her family and despite herself, she does get attached to some members of the team (except Captain Boomerang who infuriates her with his shenanigans which was usually played for comedy).
I think she fits handily. One of the best in DC...and her DCAU version keeps damn well, too. But when you stare down Darkseid in his place of power without flinching? I think you earna nice spot.
Edited by Lightysnake on Jul 11th 2018 at 12:19:12 PM
Saying yes to the wall.
No to Amanda Waller
Someone actually believe that? Amanda Waller
Edited by KazuyaProta on Jul 11th 2018 at 2:29:10 PM
I thought that was the Suicide Squad version at first and was going to , but the regular version sounds like she qualifies better. .
Edited by PhiSat on Jul 11th 2018 at 1:28:41 PM
Yeah, the movie? Not a chance. She screws up at every term and she's just petty there. The comics version is nothing like that.
And CCH Pounder fucking owned that role in Justice League.
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