‘Devilman Crybaby’ Delivers a Hellish Reincarnation of a Classic Manga

By Juan Vasquez

Cover of “Devilman Crybaby.”
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

At its core, Netflix’s new “Devilman Crybaby” is a bloody, perverse, visceral masterpiece that appeals to the ear and eye. A 2018 reboot of the classic anime-nasty “Devilman,” originally released in 1972, this modernized take directed by Masaaki Yuasa is filled with freestyle hip-hop, drugs, graphic sex, and gore. 

The plot follows Akira Fudo on his quest to save humankind from demons. With some help from his friend Ryo Asuka, Akira merges with a demon and becomes the titular Devilman as he visits a drug filled, sex crazed nightclub.

The shining gem of this new “Devilman Crybaby” is how faithfully it adapts the original manga while introducing a modern twist and a few plot alterations. One such change is the addition of a track team subplot. While I must admit that the subplot seems like a weird addition to the dark, ultraviolent world of Japanese Manga artist Go Nagai, I came to like it and was shocked to see how it added to the plot and setting. Similarly stunning is the more savage killing of a certain main character. While the death in manga was certainly gruesome and leaves quite the mark with you, “Devilman Crybaby” kicks this up to an eleven. 

The animation quality is also a cut above your average anime production. The animators at Science Saru clearly put a lot of effort into “Devilman Crybaby.” While there was one scene that may have been animated in Flash, creating a downgrade in animation quality, the studio made sure that this limited OVA (Original Video Animation) series was a feast for the eyes. 

This leads to my one criticism of the series: this is not an anime that you can watch with your family. There is a ton of graphic sex, graphic death scenes, casual nudity, and enough diabolical themes to shake a stick at. If you are planning to watch this anime in public or with sensitive friends and family, my one piece of advice would be: don’t. 

While viewers may want to advise the utmost discretion while watching this series, Devilman Crybaby is not to be missed.