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Cover of Kodansha's Shōnen Magazine #25 released on June 11, 1972, featuring the first chapter of Devilman.
|Genre||Action, horror fiction|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Magazine|
|Original run||June 11, 1972 – June 24, 1973|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masayuki Akechi
|Produced by||Ken Ariga
|Written by||Masaki Tsuji
|Music by||Goh Misawa|
|Network||NET (now TV asahi)|
|Original run||July 8, 1972 – April 7, 1973|
|Written by||Go Nagai (with Masaki Tsuji and Yasutaka 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|
|Shin Video Shousetsu – Devilman: Tanjou Hen|
|Written by||Yasutaka Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Kazuo Komatsubara|
|Published||July 7, 1987|
|Original video animation|
|Devilman Tanjo Hen|
|Directed by||Tsutomu Iida|
|Produced by||Toshio Tanaka
|Written by||Go Nagai
|Music by||Kenji Kawai|
|Released||November 1, 1987|
|Original video animation|
|Devilman Yocho Sirène Hen|
|Directed by||Tsutomu Iida|
|Produced by||Toshio Tanaka
|Written by||Go Nagai
|Music by||Kenji Kawai|
|Released||February 25, 1990|
|Devilman: The Novel|
|Written by||Yasutaka Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Go Nagai|
|Original run||May 25, 1999 – August 25, 1999|
|Directed by||Hiroyuki Nasu|
|Produced by||Rioko Tominaga
|Written by||Machiko Nasu|
|Music by||Goro Yasukawa
Hiro (theme song)
|Released||October 9, 2004|
Devilman (Japanese: デビルマン Hepburn: Debiruman?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Go Nagai which originally started as an anime adaptation of the concept of Nagai's previous manga series, Demon Lord Dante. A 39 episode anime series was developed by Toei in 1972 and Nagai began Devilman as a manga in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine, barely a month before the anime series started. The series has since spawned numerous OVAs, manga, novels, and films.
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.
Devilman is about a teenager named Akira Fudo. At first, Akira is very shy, modest and gentle, trying to avoid conflict. When his parents are lost on a business trip in the Arctic, Akira goes to stay with his childhood friend Miki Makimura and her family (mother, father, and bratty kid brother Tare). Both soon form a close relationship. Miki, a tough, smart, self-sufficient girl, loves Akira but wishes that he would stand up for himself when he gets pushed around, and is frustrated by his lack of backbone. She often has to defend herself from bullies even when Akira is with her. In the first OVA, she saves Akira from a gang of bullies who are threatening him.
One day, Akira's best friend, Ryo Asuka, asks a favor and completely changes Akira's life. Ryo's father had discovered the existence of demons when he found a mask during an excavation of the ruins of an ancient Mayan temple. This mask turns out to be a fossilized demon skull, which shows whomever wore it what the world was like when demons ruled over it. Ryo shows Akira this and informs him about the demons' revival. Akira then sees Ryo's plan: "To fight a demon, one must become a demon."
Demons have the ability to possess and control humans. However, Ryo believes that people like Akira may be able to harness a demon's powers when possessed, due to the fact that Akira has a pure heart. Ryo takes his friend to a nightclub and picks a fight to draw demonic attention to the club. Demons possess the clubbers and threaten Ryo and Akira, until a demon known as Amon the Lord of War, also called the Beast of Hell and one of the strongest demons, attempts to possess Akira. However, Akira manages to gain the upper hand of the possession process with Amon and transforms into Devilman. Devilman contains the strength and power of the demon Amon, as well as the heart and soul of Akira, giving Akira complete control.
After he becomes Devilman, Akira is no longer timid and shy. He becomes very aggressive and no longer lets anyone push him around. This change pleases Miki, although she is unaware of Akira's newfound powers.
Throughout the series, Devilman has many battles with the demon hordes. He encounters many foes such as Sirène the demon bird, the water demon Geruma, and a large turtle-like demon called Jinmen.
In the manga, the story ends with Ryo revealing Akira to be Devilman via a TV broadcast, yet the Makimuras still accept Akira as their friend. Akira then confronts Ryo and discovers that his friend Ryo is really Satan in a dormant state. Satan reveals to Akira that he convinced Akira to become Devilman in order to survive in the world he was planning to create. Miki's parents are arrested by government human devil-hunters and tortured and killed, due to their association with Akira. After Miki and the rest of her family are brutally slain by a paranoid human horde (in a particularly famous scene, Akira retrieves Miki's dismembered body from her burned house and later is seen holding her head in his arms), Akira states that he has no one left to protect, thus has no reason to exist except to have his final fight with Satan. Satan reveals that he has fallen in love with Akira and is a hermaphrodite. 20 years later, humanity is now extinct, the demons and devilmen being the only beings left. The final battle between Devilman and Satan and his armies ensues. At the war's end, Satan reveals to Akira the truth behind his reason for defying God: even though God unintentionally created demons, he wished to destroy them. Satan was appalled at this, believing that even though demons were a violent, bloodthirsty race, they still had a right to live. He joined the demons, then convinced them to enter a state of hibernation in the ice, in order to save strength for the final battle with God. Upon awakening, Satan discovered the beautiful planet they fought for had been ruined by the human race. Enraged at the damage this new race had done, Satan led the demons in a war to exterminate humanity. While Satan explains this to Akira, Satan realized that in the end, he and the demons were no better than God. He begs Akira to forgive him. At this point, the audience is shown that the Akira that Satan was addressing was Akira's corpse; Satan had won the final battle against Akira/Devilman and killed him. The series ends with all of humanity (including Akira/Devilman) dead and destroyed in the apocalypse, and with Satan and the demons triumphant, though with Satan however looking sad and forlorn. Finally, the sun rises and an army of angels appears to destroy the remains of Satan's army.
The 1972 anime TV series has no such apocalyptic conclusion and the ending is happier for Akira and Miki than in the manga. Devilman's identity as a real demon is exposed to Miki in the final episode, but she accepts that she is in love with Devilman, even if he is not human.
Powers and abilities
Devilman possesses a variety of powers that are mostly consistent with every appearance.
- Devil Cutter: Slicing discs from the belt buckle.
- Devil Wing: Bat-like wings from the back that allow flight.
- Devil Beam: Summons lightning from the sky and turns into green beams from the palms. Can also be used as a large fire ball.
- Devil Arrow: Orange energy bolts from the antennae. Can also be used as a sonic attack.
- Devil Eye: Allows Devilman to see in pitch black darkness and find an enemy's weakest point.
- Superhuman Strength: His raw strength is immense.
- Superhuman Speed: He can accelerate his movements to superhuman velocities.
- Healing Factor: His cells regenerate at amazing rates and even allows him to grow back limbs in a matter of hours.
- Heat Resistance: He possesses high resistance to heat and acids except for his wings.
- Other Abilities: In the television series he could use echolocation to locate his opponents, survive in space, and could change his size, usually being around 20 feet tall. This tied into a weakness of Devilman, where injuries he sustained as either a human or in a smaller form would become worse in giant form. In the live-action film, Akira couls morph his right arm into a clawed demonic gauntlet capable of smashing demo skulls and heating to become red-hot. Also in the live-action film, Devilman could trasform into a giant of blue fire with enough power to smite all demons except Satan.
- Eader: A minor demon that was destroyed by Akira. His shadow was engraved in the floor.
- Jinmen: A demon similar to a tortoise. His specialty was consuming people, then manifesting their heads (and, by extension, their consciousness) on his shell. He uses this to shield himself from Devilman by using someone connected to him (This differs depending on the version. In the Manga, it's a young girl who lived next door to Akira; in the OVA, it was Akira's mother; and in the live-action film, it was a friend). Encouragement from the person captured, assuring him that they were truly dead, gives Devilman the courage to fight back and kill Jinmen.
- Rosushido: A snake headed demon that is sent down to attack the Makimura Family, Was able to fly and throw snakes from his head.
- Agwel: One of two demons that serve Sirene. He possesses the Makimura house, holding Miki's family in the walls, though not killing them. He makes the walls malleable to slow Akira as he tries to save Miki from Ghelmar.
- Ghelmer: One of two demons that serve Sirene. Ghelmar can merge with and manipulate water. He can manifest through steam, and even control people who swallow part of him. Akira uses pyrokinesis to dry him out, leaving Ghelmar vulnerable to physical attack.
- Welvath: A female demon who is briefly seen at the nightclub, she was the first to be killed by Akira.
- Illuge: A female harpy demon, she could fly and emit sonic screams from her crotch.
- Texsch: A female squid demon, she had no known powers but was able to survive being shot in the head.
- Sirène: A powerful demon with characteristics of a bird. One of the few characters to appear in both the manga and the anime. She leads a hoard of Demons to attack Akira in his home before facing him herself. Various side-stories imply that Siren was Amon's lover, with their origins being closely tied together in Amon: The Dark side of Devilman.
- Caim: A powerful horned demon who was in love with Sirene. When Sirene lost to Devilman, he allowed her to kill and fuse with him, in order to stand a better chance at trying to kill Devilman.
- Psycho Jenny: Another demon from the manga that appeared in the anime, she has great mental powers which includes hypnotism. She re-wrote Satan's memory into believing he was Ryo Asuka, on his instructions, and was responsible for showing Akira and Ryo the history of the demons through the fake demon remains.
- Xan: Full title General Demon Xan, sends spider to control humans in an attempt to kill Devilman. He was the one who order the demons not to kill Akira by orders of Satan.
- Amon: The most powerful demon and arch-rival of Satan, he was the demon that fused to Akira for him to become Devilman. According to Amon: The Darkside of Devilman, Amon was actually the very first demon, created by God and sealed in the moon when he grew too powerful. The humanlike offshoot of Satan managed to obtain Amon's power, becoming the Demon that would merge with Akira. What became of the original Amon is unknown.
- Lord Xennon: The three-faced ruler of the demons while Satan is dormant. He sends thousands of demons on suicide missions to expose the existence of demons, then publicly declared war on humanity, helping to set into effect the events that would lead to the end of the world. In the series he replaces Satan entirely as the ruler of the demons.
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. 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. Tsuji would go on to write scripts for other Nagai manga adaptations, including the anime TV series of Cutie Honey, Dororon Enma-kun and Majokko Tickle, and the 1992 live-action video version of Oira Sukeban.
Along with the television series, Devilman was also produced as a serialized manga with over 53 issues in Shōnen Magazine beginning in 1972. Go Nagai designed the manga to be more horror-like and mature than the anime version, making it similar in tone to Demon Lord Dante. It was later reprinted in a five-volume series, and has enjoyed over a dozen reprints in five different languages. The manga's occult horror elements, extreme violence, and complex apocalyptic story made it an instant hit.
In an essay written three decades after the debut of the original manga and TV series, Nagai commented that he designed Devilman as an anti-war work. According to Nagai, the fusion of humans and demons is an analogy for the draft, and Miki's gruesome 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."
The manga was originally published by Kodansha from June 11, 1972Shōnen 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. In this manga, Akira and Ryo travel to different epochs and places from human history in order to stop demons from causing hate between humans and thus make humanity destroy itself. In the first chapter they meet a young Adolf Hitler, in the second the French heroine Joan of Arc, in the third the goddess Nike, in the fourth Marie Antoinette, and in the last chapter the Cheyenne and Custer.
A one-shot, which is not originally part of Shin Devilman, but that has always been compiled along with the series in Tankobon, 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.
The anime series was 39 episodes long and ran from July 8, 1972TV Asahi). The series enjoyed high ratings while it was on the air, though its popularity was dwarfed by that of Nagai's longer-running Mazinger Z on Fuji TV. The storyline of the anime series is different from that of the manga and of the OVAs.to April 7, 1973 on NET (now
- Akira and his father are killed while mountain climbing in the Himalayas, and Devilman chooses Akira's body as a cover to disguise himself. Although Devilman takes on Akira's appearance, Akira Fudo no longer exists, and his body is occupied only by Devilman.
- Devilman's mission is to cause death and destruction on Earth to pave the way for a demonic invasion of the human world. However, when he moves in with the Makimuras under the disguise of Akira, he finds himself falling in love with the tough, no-nonsense Miki, and is thus distracted from his mission. The lord of the demons sends forth a succession of demons to eliminate the distraction by killing Miki, and Devilman/Akira betrays his own tribe and fights to protect Miki. His motives for fighting are also completely selfish, as he fights only for Miki.
- The TV series introduced a rival for Miki for Devilman/Akira's affections in the form of Lala. Appearing to be a beautiful teenage girl, Lala is actually a demon, but is incredibly ditzy and stupid and therefore completely harmless. Believing (wrongly) that Devilman reciprocates her love for him, Lala flirts constantly with him, much to Miki's annoyance. Lala is a regular character for the last arc of the series.
- Unlike in the manga, Miki survives at the conclusion of the anime series.
- The characters Ryo Asuka and Satan do not appear in the anime series. In Satan's place is a demon named Lord Xenon who commands the Demon Tribe from the Realm of Ice. Lord Xenon appears as a shadowy figure that appears very similar to Demon Lord Dante. Conversely, the character of Lala appears in the TV series but not the manga. While Ryo does not appear, the character Iwao Himura appears in his place. Himura acts a rival to Akira.
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 will release series on DVD in 2014.
Original video animation
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: Chapter of the Demon Bird Sirene (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. It covers the period between the humans becoming aware of demons and the semi-final battle between Devilman and Amon. The battle between Devilman and Satan does not occur in this OVA.
Mazinger Z Vs. Devilman is a crossover film between Devilman and Mazinger Z produced by Toei and released in July 18, 1973 . The movie features alternative versions of the events from both series, 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., a live-action
This movie topped an annual poll by the magazine Eiga Hihō for the worst movie, attracting five times as many votes as the second-place film, and also got first place at the Bunshun Kiichigo Awards and Sports Hochi's Hebi-Ichigo Awards. It was voted the worst Japanese film of the 2000s in an online poll, which noted that the excitement of the manga series getting a film adaptation increased the universal disappointment with the film. (It was not, however, labelled the worst film ever.)
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 media
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. The most notable is Tomoharu Katsumata's 1973 feature film Mazinger Z Vs. Devilman. 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. Fudo's silhouette also briefly appears in the opening credits of Devil Lady.
Remakes and sequels
In total there are 30 different manga relating to the Devilman mythos.
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 form. 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.
In 1997, Nagai created Devil Lady. Devil Lady is based on Nagai's 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.
The storyline in Devilman made it stand apart from other manga of the time. However, its extreme violence made it a major target of protest for the PTA and other groups.
Go Nagai is said to have been highly shocked that his giant-robot work Mazinger Z, which was on Japanese TV at the same time as Devilman and which he originally did not take very seriously, surpassed Devilman in popularity. The reason was that he had worked especially hard on Devilman and only made Mazinger as a way to blow off steam.
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."
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- "Devilman variation novels" (in Japanese). Japan: Viva! Dynamic. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- "Devilman for NES". GAMESPOT.com.
- "Devilman Release Information for PlayStation – GameFAQs". USA: CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- "CB Chara Wars Release Information for SNES – GameFAQs". USA: CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- Zoth, Thomas (January 12, 2010). "10 Most Iconic Anime Heroes". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- Devilman (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Devilman (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Devilman (OVA) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Devilman at the Internet Movie Database