Devilman Crybaby: One Year Later
Written by Aesthel
It’s almost hard to believe that the iconic Netflix original “Devilman Crybaby” was released on this day last year. This show brought an incredibly fresh take on anime and opened a lot of new (strange and sometimes uncomfortable) doors. We just wanted to take a moment to look back on this iconic show one year later.
Often times anime gets a reputation for being a very “child oriented” genre. Devilman absolutely breaks this stigma, being one of the most adult anime pretty much ever. Despite its adult tones, Devilman Crybaby is still a mainstream anime, even spending a lot of time on the front page of Netflix around the time of its release. Devilman has themes that are sexual, violent, religious, and extremely symbolic.
To call the first episode a shock would be an understatement. Right out of the gate Devilman Crybaby opens up with an underground nightclub, tons of nudity and sex,drugs, a demon attack, some pretty disgusting body horror, and the transformation of the main character Akira into the title character Devilman. The show is not just about sex and violence though. As the title implies, Akira is a very emotional character and the show takes after him in many ways, bringing the viewer on en emotional heart-wrenching (and gut-wrenching) journey. This show does a great job of making the viewer feel connected to its world while also feeling disgusted by it. Over the series we eventually see the world we know and relate to turn into a terribly dystopian society where murder and other heinous acts are out in the streets. In short, the experience of watching Devilman Crybaby can be summarized by “Can they do that? Oh. Yep. They’re doing that”. It has such a strong connection with humanity, it knows exactly how to figuratively grab the viewer’s heart right out of their chest and crush it.
Through its story Devilman Crybaby makes a lot of commentary on the world we live in ourselves. It critiques the media and its portrayal of world events. It questions the viewer’s ideas of right and wrong. Morality is a huge theme in this show and the more you think about the events in the series the deeper it gets. Devilman is also able to touch on themes of religion, mass hysteria, meaningless conflict, misunderstandings, war, and what makes a person really “human”. While Akira has been fused with a devil, he is arguably one of the most human characters in the show. Meanwhile the human race eventually gets to a point of decay where humanity acts more like demons than people.
Another really fresh take that Devilman Crybaby brought to anime was its distinct animation style. Most anime works to get a polished and clean look. Devilman Crybaby on the other hand is very fluid with its line and movements. The art style of Devilman Crybaby is very surreal. It’s unlike any other mainstream anime in this way. Things are exaggerated and stretched. The show does a great job of using things like perspective, color, and line to convey how the characters are feeling while also giving the show a really raw and weirdly realistic feel to it.
And how could an article on this show be complete without mention of that truly ICONIC soundtrack. Devilman No Uta is a bop. The whole show has such a good soundtrack that perfectly ties in with the story and the emotions it makes the viewer feel.
Devilman Crybaby was a show that was unafraid and cruel. Most people have never seen anime in this way before. Looking back it was such a stand out classic of 2018 and we hope to see more shows like this in the future!
Want more of Devilman Crybaby? Check out the Dystopian issue of Cosplay Realm Magazine for a full Devilman spread, available now!