Devilman (Japanese: デビルマン, Hepburn: Debiruman) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Go Nagai. The manga focuses on a high school student named Akira Fudo who absorbs the powers of the demon Amon with help of his friend Ryo Asuka in order to battle creatures hidden in human society, thus calling himself the "Devilman" in the process. The series was originally ordered by Toei Animation as a toned-down anime version of Nagai's previous manga series, Demon Lord Dante. However, Nagai wrote a darker-tone manga in order to alert readers of the dangers of the wars based on how dark the narrative becomes with each of Akira's challenges.
Cover of the first volume of Devilman, as published in Japan by Kodansha
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Magazine|
|Original run||June 11, 1972 – June 24, 1973|
|Anime television series|
|Written by||Masaki Tsuji|
|Music by||Goh Misawa|
|Original network||NET (now TV Asahi)|
|Original run||July 8, 1972 – April 7, 1973|
|Written by||Yasutaka Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Go Nagai|
|Magazine||Shōnen Magazine Special|
|Original run||May 25, 1979 – May 8, 1981|
|Written by||Yasutaka Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Go Nagai|
|Published by||Asahi Sonorama|
|Original run||May 13, 1981 – March 31, 1982|
|Devilman: The Birth|
|Written by||Yasutaka Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Kazuo Komatsubara|
|Published||July 7, 1987|
|Original video animation|
|Devilman: The Birth|
Devilman: Demon Bird Sirène
|Directed by||Umanosuke Iida|
|Music by||Kenji Kawai|
|Released||November 1, 1987 (The Birth)|
February 25, 1990 (Demon Bird Sirène)
|Devilman: The Novel|
|Written by||Yasutaka Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Go Nagai|
|Original run||May 25, 1999 – August 25, 1999|
|Written by||Various (anthology)|
|Original run||June 21, 1999 – February 21, 2000|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Original run||March 23, 2007 – July 3, 2009|
|Devilman vs Getter Robo|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Dynamic Pro|
|Published by||Akita Shoten|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Published by||Nihon Bungeisha|
|Original run||August 9, 2012 – February 9, 2013|
Devilman's 39-episode anime series was developed by Toei Animation in 1972, while Nagai began the Devilman as a manga in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine, barely a month before the anime series started. The manga was published between June 11, 1972 and June 24, 1973, while multiple editorials have released it in collected volumes (tankōbon). Seven Seas Entertainment published the English translation of the original manga in two volumes in 2018. The series has since spawned numerous OVAs, manga, novels, films, and a sequel. Devilman and other characters from the series have shown up in cameo appearances numerous times in Go Nagai's other works. The most notable is Tomoharu Katsumata's 1973 feature film Mazinger Z vs. Devilman, which features Devilman teaming up with Nagai's titular robot to fight Dr. Hell. In 2018, a remake titled Devilman Crybaby directed by Masaaki Yuasa was created showing an alternate more modern-like retelling of the manga.
The manga has sold 50 million copies worldwide. Despite mixed reception in regards to whether or not the art was appealing, critics enjoyed Nagai's darker take on the superhero tropes mostly due to how violent the manga was and recommended the manga to most readers who are not sensitive to gore. The series' themes and Akira's design have influenced multiple other series such as Neon Genesis Evangelion and X.
Akira Fudo is a shy teenager who lives in his friend Miki Makimura's house as his parents work abroad. One day, Akira's childhood friend Ryo Asuka reveals to him that the Earth is about to be invaded by demons, monstrous beings hibernating for centuries in the ice that are about to return to the surface. According to Ryo, demons would have lived on Earth before the appearance of man, and now they want to claim possession of it. The only way to defeat them is to take control of the powers of the demons themselves to fight them on equal terms. Ryo then involves his friend in a ritual during which Akira merges with Amon, the most powerful and terrible of the demons, and transforms into a creature known as the Devilman. Only the boy's pure spirit and his great love for the beautiful Miki allows him to control Amon and to use his powers to defend the human race.
Upon absorbing Amon's powers, Akira uses his demon persona to fight multiple enemies hidden in society. However, Akira starts to question his own methods when killing demons who showed emotional shock over Amon. Akira learns about more Devilmen who can control their powers and wishes to unite with all of them to defeat the demons. However, during a TV broadcast Ryo reveals to mankind that demons exist but claims that Akira and the Devilmen are also dangerous to mankind. This panic causes major incidents in the world. Akira is shocked when humans kill Miki and her family for being associated with him. Akira confronts Ryo to get revenge with the latter revealing himself as Satan, a demon who was sealed by God years ago and has his own army. This causes the Armageddon where Akira is killed by Satan and mankind stops existing. As Satan reflects on Akira's death, God invades Earth.
A young demon, Devilman, is sent to Earth to upset mankind and make the kingdom of darkness triumph. To fulfill his purpose, Devilman takes possession of the body of a boy, Akira Fudo, who was killed together with his father by himself. Back home in the guise of Akira, Devilman is adopted by the Makimura, friends of Akira's parents, and falls in love with their daughter, Miki Makimura. Love for a human girl represents a wrong that the kingdom of demons, led by the Great Zenon, who had sent Devilman to earth to annihilate mankind, cannot tolerate. Thus a terrible war between Devilman and his former allies begins.
Devilman evolved from Go Nagai's previous manga, Demon Lord Dante, after Toei Animation approached Nagai about turning Dante into a television series. The producers wanted certain elements toned down, and a more human-like anti-hero created. Devilman was born as a result of this. Devilman's outfit seems be inspired by a villain from his 1972 anime Gekko Kamen. Go Nagai worked on the anime's scenario along with renowned screenwriter and science-fiction novelist Masaki Tsuji, who wrote the scripts for 35 of the TV series' 39 episodes. Along with the television series, Devilman was also produced as a serialized manga in Weekly Shōnen Magazine beginning in 1972. Go Nagai designed the manga to be more horror-like and mature than the anime version. When developing the Devilman manga, Nagai was told by his editor to write an alternative take of the anime aimed towards a more mature audience.
Nagai designed Devilman as an anti-war work; the fusion of humans and demons is an analogy for the draft, and Miki's violent death symbolizes the death of peace. "There is no justice in war, any war," wrote Nagai, "nor is there any justification for human beings killing one another. Devilman carries a message of warning, as we step toward a bright future."
In further exploring themes of war, Nagai stated that he wrote this manga to alert the world in regards of the narrative's chaos possibly happening in the real world. He further stated that despite Satan's actions in the manga, he was not a stereotypical villain as Nagai believes that God would fit more into this category as a result for the actions he committed against demons years before the series' start.
The manga was originally published by Kodansha from June 11, 1972Weekly Shōnen Magazine. The series has been published in tankōbon format several times, most of them by Kodansha. Starting with the 1987 publishing, most Kodansha editions include Shin Devilman, which originally was not meant to be included in the canon of the original series, as a part of the volumes. The manga has been translated into English in a series of five bilingual manga volumes published by Kodansha., to June 24, 1973 , in
The manga has also been published along with Cutie Honey in the magazine Gekkan Kanzenban Devilman x Cutie Honey (月刊完全版デビルマン×キューティーハニー, gekkan kanzenban debiruman x kyūteī hanī) published by JIVE during 2004 in order to take advantage of the release of the live-action films of both series.
Shin Devilman (新デビルマン, Shin Debiruman) was originally published in Kodansha's Shōnen Magazine Special in May 25, 1979 , January 25, 1980 , September 15, 1980 , March 6, 1981 , and May 8, 1981 . All chapters were drawn by Go Nagai, but the first chapter was written in collaboration with Masaki Tsuji, while chapters two and three were written by Hiroshi Koenji. The rest of the chapters were done by Nagai. The manga is sometimes known as Devilman 2 and Neo Devilman.
A one-shot, which is not originally part of Shin Devilman, but that has always been compiled along with the series in tankōbon, was published in the magazine Variety by Kadokawa Shoten. This 16-page story does not have any text and it presents the moments of Akira after the death of Miki in the original series, but before the battle with Satan, as he buries the remains of Miki and encounters Ryo.
Go Nagai published the manga Devilman Saga in Shogakukan's Big Comic from December 25, 2014 to March 10, 2020. The story takes place in the year 2025, a roboticist named Fudou Yuuki joins a project involving a large mural depicting humanity's true past as well as the ancient but advanced technology found in Antarctica. Shogakukan compiled its chapters into thirteen tankōbon volumes, released from June 30, 2015 to May 29, 2020.
The anime television series was 39 episodes long and ran from July 8, 1972TV Asahi). Outside Japan, the TV series was broadcast in Italy in 1983 and enjoyed great popularity there. A DVD box set of the series was released in Japan on September 21, 2002. The TV series has been licensed for the first time in North America by Discotek Media who released the series on DVD in 2014., to April 7, 1973 , on NET (now
Devilman: The Birth (デビルマン 誕生編, Debiruman Tanjō Hen) was released in November 1, 1987 , by King Records. It was followed by Devilman: Demon Bird Sirène (デビルマン 妖鳥シレーヌ編, Debiruman Yōchō Shirēnu Hen), released in February 25, 1990 , by Bandai Visual. Kazuo Komatsubara, an animation director on the original TV series, was the character designer for the OVAs, which were animated by his Oh Production.
Both were directed by Umanosuke Iida (credited under his birth name, Tsutomu Iida) and were closely developed in conjunction with Nagai himself. The OVAs' plot revolves around Akira's transformation into Devilman up until his battle with Sirène. Besides a few minor alterations, the OVAs are faithful to the original manga. Both OVAs were released on Laserdisc and on a single DVD by Bandai Visual in March 28, 2003 . The two OVAs were also the only Devilman anime to have been commercially released in the United States (by Manga Entertainment) prior to 2014. The DVD release included only the English-dubbed version (the original Japanese version was previously released on VHS in 1995 by L.A. Hero and Dark Image Entertainment).
In 2000, Amon: Apocalypse of Devilman was released as a pay-per-view event in Japan and was later released on video and DVD. Based on Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman, It covers the period between the humans becoming aware of demons and the semi-final battle between Devilman and Amon, who was unleashed after Akira became demoralised by witnessing the death of Miki. In the final battle, Amon is subdued and remerges with Akira, but instead of Akira then proceeding to battle Satan, he rejects the latter's challenge, and walks away into the wreckage of Tokyo.
In 2015, Cyborg 009 VS Devilman was released. The 3-episode OVA features the Devilman series crossing over with Shotaro Ishinomori's Cyborg 009, with the titular characters from each series becoming rivals before working together to bring down a joint threat.
A 10-episode original net animation adaptation produced by Science Saru and directed by Masaaki Yuasa, titled Devilman Crybaby, was released worldwide on January 5, 2018 exclusively on Netflix.
Mazinger Z Vs. Devilman is a crossover animated film between Devilman and Mazinger Z produced by Toei and released in July 18, 1973 . While the film stars the majority of the characters from each series, it features alternative versions of the events from both, and is therefore not canonical to either one.
In October 9, 2004tokusatsu film directed by Hiroyuki Nasu was theatrically released in Japan. The film starred Hisato Izaki as Devilman, Yūsuke Izaki as Ryo Asuka and Ayana Sakai as Miki Makimura. The cast also included AV Idol Maria Yumeno. The film was criticized for its poor special effects and the casting of various popular celebrities with no prior acting experience., a live-action
A large number of soundtrack albums have been released since the beginning of the original series.
|Title||Format||Company||Standard number||Release date|
|Devilman||Flexi disc||Asahi Sonorama||APM-4016||July 10, 1972|
|Devilman||EP record||Columbia||SCS-502||August 10, 1972|
|TV Original BGM Collection: Devilman||LP album||Columbia||CX-7088||March 1983|
|TV Original BGM Collection: Devilman||CD||Columbia||28CC-2295||May 21, 1988|
|TV Animation Drama Series: Devilman||CD||Columbia||COCC-12398||March 1, 1995|
|Animex 1200 Series 71: Devilman||CD||Columbia||COCC-72071||September 22, 2004|
|Original Soundtrack Devilman Tanjo Hen Ongakushu||LP album||King Records||K20G-7359||1987|
|Original Soundtrack Devilman Tanjo Hen Ongakushu||CD||King Records||K30X-7094||November 1987|
|Visual Sound Series Devilman Shin Mokushiroku||CD||King Records||K32X-7055||1987|
|Devilman Tanjo Hen / Yocho Sirène Hen||CD||King Records||KICA-10||March 21, 1990|
|Devilman Densetsu ~ The Legends of DEVILMAN||CD||Pony Canyon||FSCA-10054||October 21, 1998|
|Nagai Go Hero Densetsu Onkyo Geki Devilman Armageddon Hen||CD||First Smile Entertainment||FSCA-10209||February 20, 2002|
|Devilman Densetsu + 3 ~ The Legends of DEVILMAN||CD||BeeSmile||BSCH-30011||March 10, 2004|
|Eternal Edition Dynamic Pro Films Files No.11 & 12: Devilman||CD||Columbia||COCX-32285/6||July 23, 2003|
|Devilman no Uta (21st century ver.)||CD single||TEAM Entertainment||KDSD-95||February 22, 2006|
|Hikari no Naka de||CD single||Sonic Groove||AVCD-16051||September 23, 2004|
|Devilman Original Soundtrack||CD||avex trax||AVCD-17543||October 6, 2004|
In other mediaEdit
Three novels have been released. The first one Shin Devilman (真・デビルマン, Shin Debiruman) was written by Go Nagai's brother Yasutaka Nagai with illustrations by Go. It was originally published in 1981 by Asahi Sonorama in four books. It is not related to the manga Shin Devilman, from which some chapters were also written by Yasutaka. With the release of the first OVA, in 1987 a single volume novel based on it was released by Kodansha titled Shin Video Shosetsu – Devilman: Tanjo Hen (新ビデオ小説 デビルマン 誕生編, shin bideo shousetsu debiruman tanjou hen). It was also written by Yasutaka Nagai, but it had illustrations by the OVA's main designer, Kazuo Komatsubara. In 1999 a second novelization of 4 volumes titled Devilman: The Novel (デビルマン The Novel) was published by MediaWorks and once again written by Yasutaka and illustrated by Go. All three series of novels are unrelated to each other even though all were written by Yasutaka Nagai.
A video game based on Devilman was released for the Famicom by Namco on April 25, 1989 . Bandai also released a game based on Devilman for the Sony PlayStation and Windows 98 on April 13, 2000 . Along with several of Nagai's other creations, Devilman appeared in the Japanese Super Famicom game CB Chara Wars: Ushinawareta Gag (CBキャラウォーズ 笑われたギャーグ, cb kyarauōzu warawa reta gyāgu).
Devilman and other characters from the series have shown up in cameo appearances numerous times in Go Nagai's other works. Miki is the first female protagonist of the 1974 manga Oira Sukeban, and Akira has appeared in various incarnations of Cutie Honey, most notably the 1994 OVA New Cutie Honey. Miki and Ryo Asuka also appear as dogs (with dog-like bodies and human heads) in the Violence Jack manga. In 1997, Nagai created Devil Lady, based on his idea of if the main character was a woman. The Devil Lady series contains its own original story that stands out from the Devilman series. Fudo's silhouette briefly appears in the opening credits of Devil Lady. The cast of Devilman also crossed over with characters from Mazinger Z and Violence Jack in the 1991 OVA CB Chara Nagai Go World. This release featured the familiar characters in comical and lighthearted antics in super deformed forms. In this series, it is revealed that Violence Jack is a future version of Akira Fudo. It is also revealed that Miki is an otaku and that she knew of Akira's identity as Devilman due to reading the manga offscreen.
Critical response initially focused on Akira's personality and the controversial themes portayed before Akira becomes Devilman. Zona Negativa found the narrative simple since Akira and Ryo learn about the demons and through a party that involves orgies and other controversial themes Nagai is famous for. Anime News Network initially referred to Akira as an appealing hero based on his kind demeanor, but criticized his relationship with Miki due to how she berates these traits. As a result, when Akira becomes a more violent person due to absorbing Amon, the review believes Nagai was expressing the idea of a man undergoing growth but still retaining his kind self. Although Akira and Ryo's relationship is not fully explored, the review felt there was a homoerotic tension between them that was interesting for readers. Manga News found the manga's prologue outstanding based on how Akira becomes a Devilman and how psychologically it affects him.
The dark narrative presented in general was noted especially during Miki's death which felt to Jason Thompson ANN to look "like a visualization of a child's nightmare". In the book Manga Design, Masanao Amano and Julius Wiedemann found the twist involving humans killing other humans as a major plot twist that shocked the audience as well as next generation manga artists, comparing it to witch-hunting. The Fandom Post also found the manga to be too gruesome but hoped that more people read it if they can get past its gore. He also praised Nagai's art for the horror presented and brutal fight scenes. Manga News was shocked that despite Akira's belief in mankind, he sees a disturbing scenario caused by the war between men and devils, resulting in one of the deepest and saddest endings in manga history. Thompson was more critical to Nagai's art, stating "his characters' eyes rarely seem to be looking in the same direction, their limbs look like pipe cleaners, and the women are like blow-up dolls with apples glued to their chests."
Although its controversial depiction of violence made it a major target of protest for PTAs and other groups, the storyline in Devilman made it stand apart from other manga of the time and it impacted the industry as a whole. Devilman was ranked fifth in Mania Entertainment's 10 Most Iconic Anime Heroes written by Thomas Zoth who commented that "Shonen manga developed a dark tone with Devilman's graphic violence, casual blasphemy, and theme of using evil itself to fight evil." A character designer from SNK admitted that Devilman was an influence in designing Kyo Kusanagi. Manga writer Nanase Ohkawa claimed that Devilman was the manga that shocked her the most as a child. Ohkawa was eventually influenced by Devilman to write X due to the themes employed in both mangas, most notably the Armageddon. Neon Genesis Evangelion director Hideaki Anno said the mecha Evangelion Unit 01 was influenced by Devilman. Anno claims that Devilman's scary facial expressions were the basis for the mecha alongside Mazinger Z.
Jason Huff of The Anime Review Notes "a couple of enjoyable bits" in the OVA adaptation, yet ultimately recommends Vampire Hunter D instead "if you want to see a splatterfest of grotesque monsters getting all gooey and split in two",. Helen McCarthy and Jonathan Clements of The Anime Encyclopedia said that the series was brought down by "the messy confluence of Japanese and European mythology".
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