So to be fully clear from the start, Devilman Crybaby is 100% an R or I guess NC-17 rated anime series, that is 100% made for people 18 years and over, and as we will discuss, there is more to it than just violence and nudity, but there is a lot of that so if you can’t get past that don’t even waste your time. With all that out of the way, what exactly is Devilman Crybaby? Its a new anime series on Netflix based on the original manga “DevilMan”. It tells the story of a world invaded by ancient demons who start regaining power in the world by possessing people in an attempt to take over control of the world It follows Akira and Ryo, who devise a plot to fight back against the demons by becoming half devil and half man (a devilment) to try and fight on equal footing.
So that all sounds standard enough about a fantasy, action type anime, where’s all the controversy? Well, like I referenced before, this is DEFINITELY made for adults. The first half of the series especially, is filled with copious amounts of nudity, sexually content, drug use, murder, violence, gore and all that stuff, and on the surface, I can see why people would have a problem with it. And if that was the only purpose of those things then maybe it would be an issue, but like a lot of anime, the purpose of many things is kept hidden till its needs to reveal itself. That in a nutshell, is probably one of the best ways to describe this series.
It starts by hitting you over the head with loud and out there imagery and actions, but it does so to prove a point, a point though, that it proves later on in the series. And this time delay, is where the series works the best, but is also what could put people off of this show. The shock and owe of the first few episodes, only becomes apparent when you get into the real meat of the story, and then you realise you’re hooked, and when you realise you’re hooked, everything comes into to focus. What this show does, is actually trick you, and by tricking you, it can have a more profound affect on you later on, and that makes what does happen later on, so much more impactful. There is a brilliance to that, that I don’t think should go unnoticed.
Best of all though, the true brilliance of Devilman Crybaby, is that it manages to take you on a roller coaster ride from such a seemingly vulgar beginning, to a very surprisingly beautiful and poignant ending. And to be able to take the viewer on a ride like that, makes this show really worth seeing. If you’re a fan of anime ( and you really probably have to be for this one) Devilman Crybaby is a rare combination of things. It has an interesting and unique animation style, it uses a non traditional arch of story telling, it goes from seemingly one type of show to the polar opposite, and it manages to do all of this in 10, 20 some odd minute episodes that are as compelling and fun to watch as anything recently.