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Devilman
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/31/1999

Synopsis:
Gentle and good-natured Akira is just like any other teenage guy... until the day his good friend Ryo reveals a terrible secret. Demons are planning to take over the world, and nobody is powerful enough to stop them! Ryo tells Akira that the only way to stop the demons is to become demons themselves, and so the two friends undergo a ritual that may very well send their souls to hell. But Akira succeeds in gaining the power of Amon, one of the most powerful demons who ever existed. With this, Devilman is born... ready to vanquish the evil that threatens mankind!
 
Review:
I've always been curious about Devilman, but not curious enough to actually buy the videos myself. Luckily, a friend of mine recently snapped it up and was kind enough to let me borrow. To be honest, when I started watching, I never thought I'd end up giving Devilman a four-star rating.
 
Kicking things off is a scene wherein the main character Akira is bullied by punks in school. Notice that Akira looks like a docile teenager with big round eyes and a perpetually mild expression on his face. Not exactly an exciting guy, but that's before he becomes Devilman. After he gains the demon Amon's power, Akira's overall look changes as well. Gone are the doe-like eyes and any trace of his once wishy-washy features. Amon-ized Akira is portrayed with more machismo -- from the thicker eyebrows and slantier eyes to the more muscular build and stronger personality.
 
The plot's originality and intriguing nature is quite impressive, especially considering the fact that the original Devilman popped up around three decades ago. Characterization is good. The main players are given sufficient development and depth in the two episodes that comprise this remake. Be warned that there's plenty of blood and gore. The demons go all out when they attack -- ripping off body parts, spilling guts and gallons of blood... the works. Strangely enough, even as I felt a tad grossed out by all the violence, I was very amused at the same time. Then there's also creator Go Nagai's penchant for nudity. While you get loads of breast exposure, there is nothing outrightly sexual.
 
The art and animation are basically okay and fitting for the series. The characters look funny when they laugh maniacally. I don't know if this is good or bad but I felt this insane urge to laugh during some of the monstrous battles, and this title is by no means a comedy. I also must mention that the ending is done very well. It gives one a good sense of closure and yet leaves room for possible follow-ups. Devilman is a surprisingly fun trip despite the dark premises in which the story is anchored.
 
Miscellanies:
This 4-episode OAV series is a remake of the original Devilman TV series released back in the early 1970's.

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Devilman
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Review Title:
Devilman
Alternative Titles:
The Birth, The Demon Bird
Type:
OVA
Episodes:
2
Duration:
100 Minutes
General Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Aired:
1987-1990
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Genres:
Action, Horror, Supernatural
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