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Anime Review: Devilman Crybaby (2018)

Updated on August 6, 2019
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing videogames.

Promotional artwork for Devilman Crybaby.
Promotional artwork for Devilman Crybaby. | Source

Quick Info

Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Distributor: Netflix
Released: January 5,00 2018
Runtime: 250 minutes
Availability: Streaming exclusively on Netflix

Devilman is an old Classic Revamped for a Modern Audience

The original Devilman manga by Go Nagai, it was originally published on June 11, 1972. Being 46 years old they did modernize the story by adding social media, which didn’t exist in the 1970s.

The art style of the anime is also different compared to the original manga. The art in the 1970s the old art kind of looks doll-like but this anime adaptation made the characters look different but I can still see the similarities to the characters in the manga.

Modernizing the anime may have worked for the new audience but the art style is something you’ll either like or dislike.

The Story Is Infamous for Not Being Completely Adapted

The Devilman manga is one that has only been partially adapted until now, mainly because it’s such a dark story, but now it has been completely adapted with some changes.

Whether or not this is a good idea depends on how much you enjoyed the story, but that’s personal preference.

0:30 / 1:19 Devilman Crybaby OFFICIAL English Dub trailer

I Don’t like the Art Style, But That’s just my personal Preference

I don’t really like the art style of this anime; I don’t find it visually appealing at all. I think the art is ugly. But it is very fluid when it comes to the fight scenes for the anime.

There’s also something that bugs me about the anime and that the scenes are dark, not the story, the scenes are dark. Fight scenes take place at night and while that’s usually not a problem, the backgrounds are dark and it hides most of the action, including the gore.

It’s hard to see fight scenes that take place in places so dark you can’t see what’s going on.

The animation is something that is divisive in the anime community. You’ll either love it or hate it. I don’t like it, I think it’s ugly but whether you like it or not is something you’ll have to decide for yourself

It’s a very unique art style that I don’t like but I am impressed with how fluid it looks. If you like fluid animation you’ll probably like the animation of Devilman Crybaby (2018).

Akira crying over a cat.
Akira crying over a cat. | Source

Audio and Subtitles

 
 
Engliish
English
German
Traditional Chinese
Spanish
Simplified Chinese
French
Spanish
Japanese (Original)
Japanese [CC]
Japanee [Audio description]
 

The English Dub is Fantastic!

Griffin Burns voices Akira Fudo and he did an amazing job. I’ve never heard his voice work before but he did a great job in his role. He sounded like he fit the character and gave a very emotional performance as Akira.

Kyle McCarley did a great job voicing Ryo Asuka. I’ve always enjoyed his voice work and I think he gave a terrific performance. This is probably the most unique role that I’ve heard him in.

Cristina Vee did a great job as Miki Makimura. I think she did very well in this role. Her vocal performance and her character are very memorable.

Cherami Leigh is very impressive as Miki "Miko" Kuroda. I’ve heard her in many roles and this was her most interesting role. She got to show off her vocal range because she uses a very deep pitch for Miko during part of the anime and it’s different from what I’ve usually heard from her.

The entire English dub cast is fantastic and I think they all did an amazing job in this anime. It’s a stellar dub for the English and if you like English dubs you’ll enjoy this one.

DEVILMAN crybaby OP/Opening Theme - MAN HUMAN (DEVILMAN crybaby Ver.)

The Soundtrack is Excellent!

Kensuke Ushio’s soundtrack is amazing. It has extremely memorable instrumental songs and it’s one of the many reasons Devilman Crybaby (2018) has a strong impact on the viewer, the soundtrack suits the anime and it is able to draw out an emotional response from viewers.

The opening is MAN HUMAN (DEVILMAN crybaby Version.)" by Denki Groove. I do know that people find it catchy, I find it a little annoying, but that’s only my personal opinion.

There is a special ending song for episode 9, "Konya Dake" (Tonight Only) by Takkyū to Tabibito.

The soundtrack is very well done and memorable. It’s a highlight of the anime. It enhances the anime and is emotionally impactful.

Female high school students admiring Akira.
Female high school students admiring Akira. | Source

This Anime is Heavy and Depressing

This anime is heavy, not only in the story but its themes. Although the anime altered what the main theme of Devilman Crybaby (2018) is, as it’s not obvious to viewers that the theme of this story is anti-war, the anime chose the theme about society and how the Devilmen were ostracized for being different from everyone.

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 parallels 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." –Go, Nagai, Printed in the English translation by Kodansha.

Although it might not be as easy to spot for some viewers, I think that the anime does show the anti-war message due to a long war montage of humanity destroying themselves at the end of the anime.

While the change of the main theme from war to society seems strange, I still think the anime shows both messages in its own way. Either way, this anime was really heavy. Watching it once was enough for me. I’m never watching this again outside of watching people react to it. And that’s a compliment too

Parental Warning

Devilman Crybaby (2018) is an anime for adults and not just for the gratuitous violence, blood, and gore, but there’s adult content in this anime. It also contains adult themes that aren’t just the “naughty scenes” either.

This is a very heavy anime that shows very graphic violence and has heavy and mature themes along with adult content.

Also, if you’re a Christian, you’ll probably be offended so you should have figured out with an anime titled Devilman Crybaby exactly what kind of imagery is going to be shown in this anime.

This is not for people who are easily offended by what could be seen as both blasphemous content and adult content. This is an anime that upsets adults and not because of any of the controversial content I have mentioned, but just because it’s a heavy and depressing story.

The Anime is Controversial like the manga Was

The Devilman manga was controversial with the PTA or Parent-Teacher Association for how violent the manga is. The anime is also remembered for its graphic violence and gore, and also the sexual content in the anime. Although ironically the anime hadn’t really caused controversy like the manga. Devilman Crybaby (2018) isn’t even Netflix’s most controversial exclusive, that award goes to 13 Reasons Why for spiking the suicide rate in teens and young adults.

While I understand why the Parent-Teacher Association is upset that the manga was in school libraries, it’s up to the librarian to actually categorize their books in a way where novels are organized between kids’ fiction and adult fiction, the Devilman manga and Devilman Crybaby (2018) both belong in the adult section of the library.

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Akira's new powers changed his body.
Akira's new powers changed his body. | Source

The Anime Escalates Quickly

The major flaw of Devilman Crybaby, is that everything escalates so quickly. It feels like it spirals out of control rather quickly. The pacing feels almost too fast, but then again, the original manga is only five chapters long so it’s not that long.

The pacing of the anime is just weird and can feel very jarring. If you’re not into fast-paced anime then you won’t like this one.

The Creators Can’t Decide on Whether to Hide the Gore or Not

This may be a weird complaint, considering that this is a TV-MA anime, but they keep hiding the gore in episodes for odd reasons, and this is Netflix, so they aren’t required to censor anything, but sometimes it’ll be gratuitously gory in certain scenes in one episode and then they’ll hide the blood because of the dark backgrounds in anoth3er. It’s just inconsistent and weird.

Once was enough, the story is heavy and not one everyone will Enjoy

don’t like Devilman Crybaby, just because I don’t “like” the anime doesn’t mean that it has poor production values or that the voice actors or the soundtrack were bad. I just didn’t enjoy the anime. I don’t feel like I wasted my time, but I’m never going to watch this anime again.

I feel the story and plot are too heavy to say that you “enjoy” the anime. Which is why I didn’t binge-watch the anime when it came out last year.

It has great production values but it’s not one I’m going back to. It is worth your time if you’re not easily offended and you can tolerate heavy story themes, but this is an anime you’ll either love it or hate it. I don’t really love it, but I don’t hate it either. It’s not one I’m putting on my rewatch list.

Quick Summary

What Works:
What Doesn't Work:
Intriguing story, decent characters, and interesting world-building
The pacing is too fast, the story escalates quickly
Excellent English dub
Story may seem too depressing
Excellent soundtrack
They can't figure out if they should censor the gore

My Grade: B-

The anime is very well done, but I remain neutral on a recommendation of this is an anime that everyone should watch. It’s not an anime that’s really for a mainstream audience. If you’re interested in the premise then you’ll probably end up watching it on Netflix.

I will say this is not recommended for kids or young teens, as it’s filled with mature content. I feel like I can’t really give this an enthusiastic recommendation when I didn’t love it or hate it. It does have fantastic production value.

I just feel the story is extremely heavy and sometimes the characters aren’t too developed. I also feel the fast pacing of the story makes it feel like everything spiraled into chaos at a ridiculous rate.

It has great production value but I’m completely ambivalent on it. I don’t love it like it’s the best anime I’ve ever seen, but I don’t hate it either.

If you’re easily offended you should skip this one. If you don’t like strong sexual content or violence you should skip this one. If you don’t feel like being depressed after this is over you should skip this one.

If you want an adult anime that is an interesting take on a classic manga then you should watch this. But I leave watching Devilman Crybaby (2018) up to you. Just know that you’re in for a ride going in and it will leave an impact on you.

I will never watch this anime again, and that is a high compliment I can give it, it is very memorable, and it’s an experience that you should only have if you’re mature enough to handle it.

My Rating

4 stars for Anime Review: Devilman Crybaby (2018)

© 2019 ReViewMeMedia

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