Warning: This review includes heavy spoilers for the 10-episode long series.
“Devilman Crybaby,” the captivating anime series that took the world by storm in 2018, continues to leave a lasting impression with its unique blend of action, horror, and supernatural elements. Adapted from the manga and available exclusively on Netflix, this 10-episode ONA (Original Net Animation) invites viewers into a world where devils and humanity collide. In this article, we delve into the depths of “Devilman Crybaby” and explore its themes, storytelling, and artistic prowess.
The series introduces us to Akira Fudou, a compassionate and unsuspecting young man who finds himself entangled in a chaotic battle between devils and humans. Joined by his enigmatic childhood friend Ryou Asuka, Akira becomes a Devilman after merging with the demon Amon, gaining extraordinary powers to combat the demonic threat. As Akira embraces his newfound abilities, he grapples with the darkness within himself and the moral complexities of his mission.
The Theme of Love
The metaphor of the Relay Race in “Devilman Crybaby” serves as a powerful symbol of the transfer and endurance of love. Throughout the series, characters such as Akira and Miko struggle in their respective relay races, representing the challenges and obstacles they face in allowing themselves to love and be loved.
These struggles reflect the complexities and vulnerabilities inherent in forming deep emotional connections. However, as the narrative progresses, we witness the characters’ growth and resilience as they continue their relay races, demonstrating their willingness to open their hearts despite the risks involved. This metaphor emphasizes that love is not a stagnant or isolated experience but rather a continuous process of passing the baton from one person to another, perpetuating the flame of affection. Miko grows to love Miki. Miki loves Akira. Akira loves Ryou. Each love is transferred between our characters.
The Relay Metaphor
The metaphor of the “Relay Race” beautifully encapsulates the transformative nature of love and its potential to overcome adversity and inspire growth.
In the midst of the overarching theme of love in “Devilman Crybaby,” Miki’s character stands out as a beacon of openness and compassion. As the track star of the school, she embodies the spirit of determination and resilience. When Akira faces persecution from humans due to his demonic nature, Miki fearlessly takes a stand for her friend, displaying a triumphant act of love.
However, the tragic reality of human nature is revealed as Miki’s selfless act is met with treachery and violence. In the grip of a mob mentality, the very humans she sought to protect turn against her, ruthlessly ending her life as she tries to escape with Miko. The horrifying scene where Miki’s head is placed on a spike symbolizes the depths of human cruelty and the irrationality that emerges when fear and anger dominate. Through Miki and Akira’s tragic fates, the series portrays the harsh reality that love can be met with unimaginable cruelty in a world plagued by evil and driven by irrational impulses.
The Ending (Spoilers Ahead)
“Devilman Crybaby” leaves a lasting impact with its bold and tragic conclusion. As the series reaches its climax, we witness the devastating act of Ryou murdering Akira, resulting in a dystopian world devoid of love and consumed by chaos. This dark turn of events highlights the profound consequences of Ryou’s actions and the tragic loss of the one thing he cherished most: his friendship with Akira. In this desolate hellscape, the absence of love is palpable, serving as a poignant reminder of the importance and power of this fundamental emotion.
However, the narrative takes a profound turn as God intervenes, purifying and resetting the universe. This moment signifies a crucial lesson taught to Ryou, who embodies the persona of Satan. Through this experience, Ryou is confronted with the undeniable truth that even he, as the embodiment of darkness and evil, is not immune to the transformative power of love. God’s intervention serves as a powerful demonstration that love transcends all boundaries, ultimately teaching Ryou the profound lesson that love is an integral part of the human experience, regardless of one’s nature or past.
This compelling portrayal of love’s significance, even in the face of darkness, adds a layer of depth and introspection to the series. It underscores the complex themes of redemption, self-discovery, and the capacity for change that permeate throughout “Devilman Crybaby.” The emotional impact of the series, coupled with its masterful storytelling and breathtaking visuals, solidifies its status as an anime that pushes boundaries and challenges viewers to contemplate the depths of the human experience.
If you haven’t seen Devilman Crybaby by now, you may be avoiding it because some people are very vocal about the fact that they dislike it. After all, this series deals with metaphors — ew, gross, amirite. In an anime sphere oversaturated with generic Isekai and Shounen Anime, many people aren’t interested in seeing these sorts of themes in anime, no matter how beautiful it looks.
And, y’know, that’s okay.
Not everyone likes this sort of anime. But if you watch it with the analytic glasses — you may find some enjoyment here.
What do you all think? Do you love it, or hate it? Let us know in the comments below!
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