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Dante (Devil May Cry)

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Dante
Devil May Cry character
Dante (DMC).png
Dante as he appears in Devil May Cry 5
First appearanceDevil May Cry (2001)
Created byHideki Kamiya
Designed byMakoto Tsuchibayashi, Daigo Ikeno (Devil May Cry 2 & 3)
Tatsuya Yoshikawa (Devil May Cry 4, Devil May Cry 5)
Alessandro Taini (DmC: Devil May Cry)
Voiced by
Motion captureReuben Langdon (Devil May Cry 3, 4, 5)
Tim Phillipps (DmC: Devil May Cry)

Dante (Japanese: ダンテ) is a fictional character and the recurring protagonist of the video game series Devil May Cry, created and published by Capcom.[2] In the first four games Dante is a mercenary, private investigator and demon-hunting vigilante dedicated to exterminating them and other supernatural foes, a mission he follows in pursuit of those who killed his mother and corrupted his brother. He is the son of Sparda, a powerful demon; as a result of his heritage, he has superhuman powers which he uses with a variety of weapons to reach his goals. The character also appears in several Devil May Cry novels and manga volumes, and is featured in the 2007 anime television series. Dante has also made multiple guest appearances in crossover games, and has been voiced by several different actors. An alternate version of the character was created by Ninja Theory for their game DmC: Devil May Cry, which is set in a separate universe to the main series.

Named after the Italian poet Dante Alighieri, the character was designed to fit Devil May Cry game designer Hideki Kamiya's vision of a "cool and stylish" man; his personality was based on the title character of the Cobra manga series. Dante has been modified in response to criticism of his role in the first sequel; Devil May Cry 3 features a younger, cockier Dante, and he was older (but still cocky) in Devil May Cry 4. Capcom handles the character in the main Devil May Cry series, while Ninja Theory was in charge of his persona in DmC: Devil May Cry.

Dante's characterization as a cocky demon hunter with supernatural abilities has turned him into one of the most iconic protagonists in gaming. Reuben Langdon's voice acting has also been the subject of praise due to the tone he gives to the character. Comparatively, his redesign and characterization in DmC: Devil May Cry was seen as highly controversial.

Concept and design[edit]

Concept and influences[edit]

Dante debuted in Devil May Cry, a game originally intended as part of Capcom's Resident Evil franchise.[3] Series creator Hideki Kamiya rewrote the story, taking it from Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy.[4][5] According to Kamiya, the title character of Buichi Terasawa's Cobra manga series was the basis of Dante's personality. He based the character's idea on "stylishness", dressing him in a long coat to make him "showy" and making him a non-smoker (since Kamiya saw that as "more cool"). Dante wears red (the traditional Japanese color for a heroic figure) in contrast to Leon S. Kennedy, another character Kamiya created for Resident Evil 2 (who wears blue clothes).[6][7] Kamiya said that he saw Dante as "a character that you would want to go out drinking with", someone who was not a show-off but would instead "pull some ridiculous, mischievous joke" to endear people to him (and familiarize the character with audiences).[8] When asked about the relationship between Dante and Trish, Kamiya stated their bond was superior to love.[9] Although Kamiya was not the main writer of the first two Devil May Cry novels, he saw Shinya Goikeda's depiction of Dante as similar to his own.[10] In development, Dante was originally called Tony Redgrade and did not carry a sword.[11]

Artist Yuichiro Hiraki felt Dante looked like a "nihilistic anti-hero with a bit of a dark side", based on his early concept art by character designer Makoto Tsuchibayashi. As a result, he wrote him as a character who would rely on his demonic powers (Devil Trigger) during the game. Shortly after the game's development, Kamiya said that his personality would be more animated (which gave Hiraki the idea that Dante would be an "incorrigible joke-cracker") and the Devil Trigger was downplayed. Hiraki began drawing the character stylishly, working on Dante's gameplay, his swordsmanship Stinger (スティンガ, Sutinga) and his handling of the guns (Ebony and Ivory). Other gameplay elements were based on the fighting-game series Virtua Fighter and Tekken. Dante's use of a shotgun was retained for Capcom's horror game, Resident Evil 4.[12] Devil May Cry was designed from the ground up around Dante's acrobatics and combat abilities.[13]

Further development[edit]

Dante's appearances in the first four games; his design changes, due to his age in each game.

After the success of the first Devil May Cry game, Capcom inserted Dante into a game already in development. The forced development of the game matured his characterization.[14] Dante's change to a more-taciturn character was the decision of a producer who disliked his previous incarnation. The staff aimed to make him look older than his original self (in his 30s), implying that something dramatic had happened to change his personality.[15] Dante and Lucia in Diesel fashions appealed to the developers.[16] The staff still felt that Dante's stylishness remained true to the original character (despite his change in personality) because of his movements.[17] Daigo Ikeno was responsible for Dante's appearance in Devil May Cry 2 and 3. In developing the former, he attempted to make Dante more handsome. In retrospect, Ikeno was disappointed with the character's inaction in the game.[18]

In the prequel game, Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Dante was a younger, more arrogant character than in the previous installments.[19] The designers of Devil May Cry 2 returned to design his new look, which was based on the Japanese band Johnnys. Dante exposed more skin under a jacket, which the staff believed would fit his younger persona. Trying to remain true to Kamiya's original take, the staff worked carefully to make his actions and personality appealing.[16] Bingo Morihashi said that Dante's characterization was meant as a departure from Kamiya's style, and more of a team effort. According to Morihashi, despite seeing the character in three games he had trouble understanding him. Although Dante is a strong character, he opens up to others. Fan response to this Dante led Morihashi to say that the team was inspired by the Devil May Cry Dante, but needed to change him. Nevertheless, the character's role in facing the world impacted the writer.[20] Dante and Vergil's relationship represents one of the themes of Devil May Cry 3: familial love. While initially Dante only wishes to have fun while fighting demons, he is moved by Lady's determination to stop her father. He decides to stop both Lady's corrupted father as well as Vergil who wishes to open the gate to the demon world.[21]

Dante's final design was left up to Kamiya, who discussed with Morihashi how the character should be portrayed. Kamiya felt that early depictions of Dante were too quiet, and wanted a character who was more "wild" and wore different clothing (such as his sleeveless jacket).[21] Dante's Devil Trigger forms were designed by Kazuma Kaneko of Atlus.[22][23] The Capcom staff was impressed with Kaneko's work, and Ikeno felt that it was not difficult to model.[24] A wallpaper with Dante and Vergil's Devil Trigger forms was designed, as a tribute to the Japanese show Super Sentai once defeating the game.[16] Dante was designed to be easy to control, in contrast to Vergil (who was more difficult, but stronger).[4]

Devil May Cry 4 producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi noted before the game's release that they wanted to make Dante seem significantly more powerful its other protagonist, Nero, to create a difference between the strength of a "veteran" compared with a "rookie"; the series' continuity also dictated that Dante display the power he possessed after the events of the first game and its prequel (Devil May Cry 3).[25] The use of a new protagonist was discussed multiple times but Capcom did not get the approval for it, Kobayashi said that Dante also had to be in the game.[26] The staff were afraid of negative feedback similar to what happened to Konami's 2001 game Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, controversial because of switching protagonists. As a result, the team tried balancing Dante and Nero's strength.[27] In order to balance the two protagonists, Dante and Nero were given unique gameplay; Dante retained his change of styles from Devil May Cry 3 but now could change between each of them within a battle rather a stage.[28] Due to physical similarities between Dante and Nero, the staff aimed to make their designs more unique and make their personalities stand out in their interactions with other characters; an example was the Devil May Cry 4 antagonist, Agnus. Nero remained at odds with Agnus in cutscenes, but Dante mocked Agnus in a musical taunt before the boss fight with him which signified how different were the two playable characters in term of personality.[15]

Dante was designed in that game by Tatsuya Yoshikawa, who called the character in his original appearance "the ultimate Hollywood action superstar." Yoshikawa wanted to make Dante older, in his 30s or 40s. His design included a stubble which reflected his "cool" personality (since he did not care about shaving).[29] For Devil May Cry 4, Dante's body was more suitable for fighting and his personality was more intense; Yoshikawa emphasised the character's sternness and naughtiness. Dante was given a variety of costumes, with one intended to indicate mystery.[30] Several weapons in the series are character-specific. One is Pandora, a firearm designed by Kobayashi (who noted that he wanted to include a "transforming, multi-purpose AWD in Dante's arsenal. Something that could be used as an over-the-shoulder rocket launcher, or a crossbow, etc. In its final form, I wanted it to transform into something that would be even bigger than Dante himself." The weapon was inspired by anime series such as Macross and Gundam.[25] The staff felt that Dante received more missions and weapons than they had originally intended.[15]

Dante and Nero's appearance was changed in the E3 2018 trailer for Devil May Cry 5, confusing fans who wondered if Nero was Dante. After seeing the older Dante at the trailer's end, Capcom noted that fans realized who was who and were pleased with the designs.[31] According to company, Dante "hasn't gone wild for no reason".[32] Because the graphics of the game are meant to be as realistic as possible, Dante's face was modeled after an actor named Adam Cowie.[33] In regards to how Dante will play like, Itsuno stated he will be more like his Devil May Cry 3 persona. Nevertheless, he stated that Dante is more mature from a personality standpoint as he still wishes to protect humanity and honor the legacy of his father, Sparda.[34] Furthermore, Dante and Nero will have a good respect toward each other as they became friends in the ending of the previous game.[35] The weapon Balrog, which acts as a reference to Street Fighter character Balrog, was the first weapon conceived by the team. It was made to be one of the most appealing weapons but at the same time hardest to master. The motorcycle that works as a weapon, Cavaliere, was based on a Devil May Cry 2 picture somebody made based on a motorcycle.[36]

Ninja Theory redesign[edit]

For DmC: Devil May Cry, a reboot of the series, Dante was completely redesigned by Italian concept artist Alessandro Taini (known as Talexi), in response to comments by the Capcom staff. Although his original design was meant to resemble those in previous games, Capcom told the Ninja Theory staff that he needed a redesign to appeal to a younger demographic.[37] Motohide Eshiro said that this Dante was completely different from the previous ones, which was expected to generate criticism.[38] Although the original Dante was designed from a Japanese perspective, the new version was made from a Western perspective.[39] After several drafts of Dante's new appearance,[37] the designers settled on a look inspired by Christopher Nolan's film The Dark Knight. Dante's coat is shorter, only reaching his lower back; his hair is black and shorter, and he has a Devil Trigger form which resembles the original Dante. Art designer Alessandro Taini drew the character as a child, and explained in the reboot's origin story why he has white hair.[40] Director Tameem Antoniades denied rumours that Dante was modeled on him.[41]

Dante was made young in this game, inexperienced and consumed by hatred; his fighting style was more like a street brawler than a skilled swordsman.[42] DmC: Devil May Cry's theme is rebellion, and most of Dante's actions are based on it.[43] Antoniades said that Dante is about "being cool and making you feel cool when you're playing it", and they felt that his attire from previous games would be found comical.[44] Antoniades added that the original Dante was no longer appealing, and when he compared the new Dante with the title character in Bayonetta her style was not what he wanted for DmC: Devil May Cry.[45] Antoniades responded to criticism by saying that Dante would not be changed (since the character suits the game's setting),[46] and he liked the new version.[43]

Voice actors[edit]

In the first Devil May Cry game, Dante was voiced by Drew Coombs. Coombs was happy to be chosen to voice him, since it was his first job involving a video-game character, and found the game's recording process fun. According to Coombs, he was offered a script for the job and was told that Devil May Cry was a "spin-off" of Resident Evil. He said that he did not wear anything specific while playing the character, and had basic storyboards in front of him when his movements were videotaped. Asked if he recognized himself in the character's actions, Coombs said that he could not think of anything in particular and his main job was to "bring [Dante] alive" with his voice.[47] Matt Kaminsky voiced Dante in the sequel.[48]

Toshiyuki Morikawa onstage at a microphone
Toshiyuki Morikawa is Dante's Japanese actor.

Dante was voiced by Reuben Langdon, who also did motion capture for some scenes, in Devil May Cry 3, 4, and 5.[49] Langdon auditioned for the character four times before he was chosen. Although he played the first Devil May Cry game, he was not aware of the title's popularity. Before the release of Devil May Cry 3, Langdon said that fans were angry with the new teenaged Dante's look. After its release, however, he said that the fans had come to enjoy the character's new incarnation. Langdon enjoyed his work on the game, saying that "it was one of the most difficult, frustrating and yet rewarding character of anyone I[Langdon]'ve ever played", and felt that he could enjoy the character even more in Devil May Cry 4.[50]

During the development of Devil May Cry 3, Langdon found Dante's motion capture difficult. He consulted the staff, since they wanted "a different spin" on the character. Eventually, Langdon decided to do his own rendition of Dante because the staff's suggestions confused him. He was told to make Devil May Cry 4's Dante similar to his Devil May Cry 3 persona, but more mature. Despite the staff's concern about the difficulty of such a portrayal, Langdon had no issues after choosing Roy Focker of the anime series The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (who was near Dante's age) as his character model.[51]

For the Japanese Devil May Cry installments, Dante was given a Japanese voice actor: Toshiyuki Morikawa. Morikawa believes that the character's appeal stems from his courage and lack of concern about money. Overseeing his characterization, Morikawa joked that female viewers would only enjoy seeing him fight; he is less adept at daily life, and constantly interested in eating. However, he said that Dante might have a sex appeal which would attract female viewers.[52]

Tim Phillipps did Dante's motion capture and voice acting in DmC: Devil May Cry. During auditions for the game, he was quickly selected by Antoniades. The actor had no knowledge of the franchise or the reboot until the reveal teaser. He was disappointed that DmC was not an online game since those games allow him to interact more and demonstrate his work. Phillipps enjoyed Dante's characterization, he could relate to him, and the motion capture enhanced his interest. Thinking that DmC was a prequel rather than a reboot, Phillips did not play the previous games before he worked on Dante's character.[53]

Characteristics[edit]

Dante is a mercenary and private investigator specializing in paranormal cases, preferring those which require demon-slaying.[54] He is muscular, with silverish white hair and piercing icy blue eyes, and usually wears a red duster or trench coat. Dante's arsenal usually consists of firearms and melee weapons, including Ebony and Ivory (エボニー&アイボリ)—twin semi-automatic handguns which never need reloading—and a variety of swords, such as the Rebellion (リベリオン, Riberion), Force Edge and Devil Arms (created by his father).[55] The guns are handmade by the gunsmith Nell Goldstein, with "For Tony Redgrave, By .45 Art Warks" written on the slides (Tony Redgrave is Dante's alias).[56] He has superhuman strength, agility, stamina, reflexes, coordination, and a resistance to injury approaching invulnerability as a result of his half-demon heritage.[57] This gives him the ability to enter a heightened state, known as Devil Trigger. In this state Dante possesses greater strength and speed, his health regenerates at a steady pace, and he has greater abilities (including flight) with his melee weapon.[58]

He is one of the twin sons of Sparda, a demon knight who sided with humanity and drove back an invasion of the human world by demons about 2,000 years before the series' events.[59] After Sparda's death, Dante and his identical twin brother Vergil were raised by their human mother Eva. When Dante and Vergil were children, the family was attacked by demons and Eva died. His mother's death led to Dante's commitment to hunt the demons who killed her.[60] Dante is confident against opponents, frequently taunting enemies before fighting them.[61] In the games and anime series, Dante is often seen eating pizza. As a result, the limited editions of Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition were packaged in a pizza box.[62]

Appearances[edit]

Devil May Cry video games[edit]

In the original Devil May Cry from 2001, Dante is hired by Trish (a mysterious woman who resembles his late mother) to stop the return of the devil king Mundus.[63] However, Trish is actually arranging for Mundus' agents to kill Dante as he makes his way to Mundus. During the game, Dante is also reunited with his brother Vergil, who (controlled by Mundus) tries to kill him.[64] Trish eventually betrays Mundus to save Dante, and they work together to lock Mundus in the demon world. They later become partners in Dante's demon-slaying business, now renamed Devil Never Cry.[65]

In the first sequel (Devil May Cry 2) from 2003, Dante habitually flips a coin to make decisions; at the end of the game, it is revealed that both sides of the coin are heads. Set some time after the first game, Devil May Cry 2 focuses on helping Lucia defeat Arius (an international businessman who uses demonic power and wants to conquer the world).[66] At the end of the game, Dante must go into the demon world to stop a demon lord from escaping; the gate closes behind him, and he is trapped. With no way back to the human world, Dante heads deeper into the demon world on his motorcycle.[67]

The third game, Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening from 2005, is a prequel of the first game and features a cockier, younger Dante. He is drawn out by Vergil, who is trying to reopen the portal to the demon world to obtain Sparda's full power (which remains on the other side in the Force Edge sword).[68] Dante meets Lady, who is in pursuit of her father Arkham[69] (who is working with Vergil, but has plans of his own). At the end of the game, Dante claims ownership of the Force Edge and Vergil chooses to remain in the demon world.[70] Inspired by Lady's courage and commitment to her family, Dante continues his business with a greater sense of purpose. They become friends, and he decides to call his shop Devil May Cry (after something Lady had said to comfort him).[71][72]

In the 2008 video game Devil May Cry 4, which takes place after Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 2, Dante and Trish are informed by Lady that Sanctus, the religious leader of the Order of the Sword founded under Sparda, is using the religious order to engineer his scheme of world conquest. Trish infiltrates the Order as Gloria to confirm Sanctus by handing him Vergil's Yamato sword, with Dante ending up as a boss character against the game's protagonist Nero when he seemingly assassinated Sanctus. Dante falls back while convincing Nero that the Order is more than it appears.[73] Dante later befriends Nero in another match, having intended to take back Vergil's restored sword before deciding to let Nero keep it as they now have a common enemy in Sanctus.[74] After Sanctus kidnaps Nero to use him to power the Savior, Dante become playable for the second half of the game as he fights to completely disable Sanctus while saving Nero and his girlfriend Kyrie after they were used to give life to the Savior colossus that Sanctus made into his vessel.[75] Once Sanctus and the Savior are destroyed after Nero and Kyrie escape, Dante entrusts Nero with Vergil's sword.[76]

Dante makes a return appearance as one of the main characters in Devil May Cry 5 in 2019.[31] He is hired by a mysterious man who calls himself V to battle the demon Urizen, but is defeated by him in the game's opening scene and spends the next month in a coma.[77] V rescues him, and he spends the next several hours fighting Urizen's forces. Dante uses Rebellion's power to absorb the Sparda into himself, acquiring his new demonic powers alongside a new sword simply named "Dante" (ダンテ).[78] He still discourages Nero from taking part in the battle against Urizen, having learned that Urizen is Vergil who is also revealed to be Nero's father.[79][80] After Dante defeats Urizen, V merges with him to reconstitute Vergil. Dante reveals that Vergil is Nero's father before facing his brother in a climactic duel, but Nero intervenes and forces the two to reconcile.[81] Dante and Vergil embark on a one-way trip to the underworld to undo the damage Urizen caused, leaving the human world in Nero's hands.[82] In the final scene, Dante is shown having a friendly spar with Vergil and working with him to combat demons in the underworld.[83]

DmC: Devil May Cry[edit]

In DmC: Devil May Cry (2013), a Devil May Cry reboot, Dante has a very different appearance.[84] In his early twenties, he is attacked by a seemingly-sentient town known as Limbo City which is inhabited by demons.[85] Dante meets Vergil, who is the leader of the Order—a rogue vigilante group trying to free the world from demons. The city is controlled by the demon king, Mundus, who killed Dante's mother Eva (an angel) and later imprisoned his father (Sparda, a demon and Mundus' former lieutenant) in an attempt to kill the children; Nephilim (a half-angel, half-demon offspring) had the power to kill Mundus. Dante joins Vergil's group to oppose Mundus, eventually taking him down and freeing humanity from the demons; however, Vergil's intention to take Mundus' place triggers a fight between the brothers.[86] Dante wins, and Vergil escapes.[87] In the downloadable content sequel, Vergil's Downfall, a replica of Dante appears to oppose Vergil in his quest for power and is killed in combat.[88]

Other appearances[edit]

Dante is also a playable character in several games outside the Devil May Cry series. In the Viewtiful Joe series (also created by Hideki Kamiya), he is playable in the PlayStation 2 version of Viewtiful Joe and the PSP version of Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble. In both games he frequently talks with Alastor, the embodiment of the identically-named sword in Devil May Cry.[89][90] Dante appears as an enemy and (optional) ally in the director's-cut version of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. His inclusion was suggested by the Atlus staff, who thought that he would fit the game's plot and convinced Capcom to include him.[91]

There is a Dante character card in SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS. Although he was also intended for inclusion in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, he was removed from the game.[92] Dante made his second fighting-game appearance as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, and is playable in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite with the latter detailing his fight against a being named Ultron Sigma.[93][94] He was scheduled to appear in Soulcalibur III, but did not make it into the final game.[95] Dante is a playable character in the tactical role-playing game Project X Zone, with Demitri Maximoff of Darkstalkers as his partner. He returns in the sequel, Project X Zone 2, with Vergil as his partner.[96][97] Dante is a playable character in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale in his DmC: Devil May Cry persona.[98] The use of his DmC look (instead of his original persona) was criticised by fans, who were advised by SuperBot Entertainment to enjoy the character's gameplay mechanics.[99] Dante also appeared in Capcom's mobile fighting game, Puzzle Fighter.[100]

He appears in other media based on the video games, including two light novels by Shinya Goikeda. A young Dante (as "Tony Redgrave") is chased by assassins, and he searches for a demonic statue (known as the Beastheads) in a Devil May Cry 2 prequel.[101][102] A Devil May Cry 4 novel by Bingo Morihashi reprises Dante's role in the game, revealing his interest in Nero after discovering his resemblance to his brother Vergil.[103] A Devil May Cry 3 manga follows Dante before the game's events, a comic of the first game was published by Dreamwave Productions,[104] and an anime (Devil May Cry: The Animated Series) follows him as he solves cases involving demons while guarding a young girl named Patty Lowell.[105][106] DmC: Devil May Cry's version of Dante appears in the game's prequel comic The Chronicles of Vergil, when he receives the Rebellion sword to fight demons.[107] In a play, Sengoku Basara vs. Devil May Cry, he was played by Hiroki Suzuki.[108] Ken Masters has an alternative Dante skin in the video game Street Fighter V.[109] The popularity of the Devil May Cry series led to a line of action figures, produced by Toycom;[110] Kaiyodo produced a similar line for Devil May Cry 2 and a Devil May Cry 3 Dante action figure.[111][112]

Reception[edit]

A jacket based on Dante's from Devil May Cry 5 was used to promote the game.

Dante's characterzation has often made one of the most celebrated characters in gaming. Game Informer called him "one of the most bad-ass characters around" when he was introduced, citing the contrast between his character and those previously seen in the Resident Evil series.[61] Dante's design and personality was praised by a number of reviewers; IGN described the character as "a dark antihero kind of guy even a down-in-the-dumps, disgruntled teenager would love."[113] SNK artist Falcoon called him an anti-hero, comparing him with K' (a character in The King of Fighters series).[114] GameSpy described Dante as "awe-inspiring to look at", with attire reminiscent of Vincent Price.[115] Empire ranked him 38th on their list of 50 greatest video-game characters, describing him as "surely one of the coolest" characters in the history of video gaming.[116]

He was ranked third in ScrewAttack's list of the "coolest" video game characters in 2007.[117] GameDaily called him one of their favorite Capcom characters, ranking him seventh and saying that the varied aspects of the character made him an "unstoppable force".[118] GamesRadar listed Dante as one of the decade's 25 best new characters, calling him "unforgettable" and saying that he had set the template for "smartass action heroes".[119] GamesRadar found Vergil and Dante to share one of the best brothers rivalries in gaming based on their differences despite being twins.[120] In 2010, he finished 23rd in a Famitsu poll determining Japan's most popular video-game characters.[121] Dante was voted the 13th-best character of the 2000s by Game Informer.[122] GamesRadar said in 2012 that, despite Dante's multiple characterizations, "he's a guy who you'll always have a hell of a time playing with."[123] Dante and Trish were included on The Inquirer's list of most memorable video-game love teams, with comments focusing on how they join forces to defeat their enemies.[124] Despite finding the initial relationship between Dante and Trish weird due to the latter being physically similar to the former's mother, Cheat Code Central liked the development these two characters got in the first Devil May Cry game and expected to see more likable relationships in the future of the franchise.[125] Dante has also been noted to share a sex appeal that attract gamers of the series. GamesRadar called Dante "Mister 2001" in their article on the sexiest new characters of the decade; compared with Devil May Cry's female characters, he was the "hottest" of all because of his muscular build, his hair, his fighting abilities and his attitude.La Nueva España included the "ephebe that exudes testosterone from every pore" in their top ten sexiest video-game characters of both genders.[126] [127]

Dante has often been compared with Bayonetta's title character, especially in his Devil May Cry 4 persona, based on their personalities and actions.[128][129] Hideki Kamiya, now with PlatinumGames, has said that he was approached about having the Sega character Bayonetta included in this game; he refused, wanting Bayonetta and Dante to meet "on his own terms". Kamiya came to regret his decision, realising that fans would have enjoyed the interaction between the characters; if there is a Project X Zone 3, he would strongly support Bayonetta's inclusion.[130] He conducted a poll in 2016 to determine the incarnation of Dante fans would most like to see interact with Bayonetta; the most-popular version was the Devil May Cry 4 Dante.[131]

Early impressions of Dante's appearance in Devil May Cry 5 trailer was also positive. GameSpot noted how fans enjoyed his role as well as design, while Vg247 found him more "charmer" than in his previous incarnations due to his interactions with other characters.[132][133] While still finding him similar to the previous games, GamesRadar liked Dante's new appearance, his Cavalier weapon and also his returning cocky attitutde.[134] Hobby Consolas liked that while Dante retained some of his original skills and weapons, the best part about him was Cavalier based on how he can wield it in combat.[135] The Guardian highly enjoyed Dante's traits in the game, enjoying his cocky personality despite being far older than in previous games.[136] Metro agreed, finding his dynamic with the younger protagonist, Nero, to make enjoyable cutscenes whenever they are featured.[137] PC Gamer enjoyed Dante's hat as it approaches entertainment in both cutscenes and gameplay.[138] In Japan, there were limited releases of the game that included a jacket based on Dante's.[139] Destructoid enjoyed the impact Vergil has on both Dante and Nero as in the story both his brother and son become far more serious as they take it on themselves to stop the threat of their relative. The reviewer further found his story to give him and Dante's to give further closure giving Capcom the potential to put Nero as their successor to replace them in upcoming games.[140]

GamesRadar called Reuben Langdon the character's best voice actor, noting that the two other actors did not fit the character well.[141] Anime News Network agreed, saying that it made the character far more likable in the anime series despite flaws in its writing.[142] IGN concurred, finding Langdon a better actor than Toshiyuki Morikawa due to his experience with the series.[143] DVD Talk liked the interactions between Dante, Lady and Trish; the reviewer expected more of them in the anime, rather than stories focused on Dante facing enemies. He found Dante appealing in the anime series, based on his personality and actions.[144] According to a FandomPost reviewer, Dante's role in the anime differed from the games in his childishness about food and money; however, he was still "a great character".[145] Otaku USA said that the anime Dante remained faithful to his game version in his actions, most notably the gory (but limited) fighting.[146]

Dante's characterization has also been criticised. His cocky attitude was largely absent from Devil May Cry 2, a major criticism of the game.[147][148] Noting that Dante underwent character arcs in the anime series due to his relationships with other cast members, IGN felt that it differed from his game character.[149] According to UK Anime Network, his personality in the Devil May Cry 3 prequel manga lacked development; he appeared unlikable, and the script gave him strange lines.[150]

The character's use of combos in the crossover Marvel vs Capcom 3 was praised by Eurogamer, although the website wondered if he was overpowered.[151] Prima Games ranked his Flaming Sword Strike the 42nd-best technique in gaming, due to its impact on an enemy if the move connects.[152] The "weird" appearance of Dante's face in the fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite was criticised.[153][154] Dante's inclusion in Nocturne and Project X Zone was also met with good response.[155][156] GamesRadar listed him as one of the best unlockable characters in gaming while commenting about his inclusion in Viewtiful Joe despite being an alternate skin of the title character.[157]

Reaction to the reboot's Dante[edit]

Fan reaction to the character's design in the DmC: Devil May Cry reboot was mainly negative.[158][159] Hideki Kamiya said that it was based on modern, rebellious youth; although he missed the original Dante, he hoped that people would get used to the new version.[160] Dave Riley of Anime News Network compared the reboot's character with the young Dante from Devil May Cry 3, criticising him as a "pretty generic adolescent power fantasy" (including swearing when he confronts enemies).[148] Reuben Langdon was disappointed with Dante's characterization in the reboot after looking forward to it.[49] Writers on several websites criticised the fan base's negative reaction, saying that they were solely influenced by the character's look; his personality was very close to the original Dante.[161][162][163] Response in East Asia was also negative.[164] Hideaki Itsuno himself was bothered by Dante's change in the reboot alongside the major changes in the game to the point he thought about quiting Capcom. According to Langdon, Itsuno decided to stay in Capcom when he expressed desire to have control in regards to the franchise.[165]

1UP.com praised Ninja Theory for removing some of Dante's old, unappealing characteristics and making him an approachable protagonist for players. Its described the reboot as "a fresh and imaginative take on Dante".[166] According to IGN, the redesigned hero is more relatable for players.[167] Eurogamer also praised Dante's re-design, calling it one of gaming's best reinventions of a character.[168] However, a VideoGamer.com reviewer said that the new Dante lacked some of the original's iconic features.[169] Comparing Dante and Vergil's characterizations in the reboot, Destructoid found Vergil a more entertaining character in spite of gameplay issues.[170] Dustin Chadwell of Gaming Age said that Vergil's gameplay was superior to Dante's, but was confused about his storyline because his survival was not explained.[171] On the other hand, Angelo M. D'Argenio of Cheat Code Central liked Vergil's story and also found his gameplay superior to Dante's.[172] Metro was harsher to Dante's characterization in DmC, finding him sexist due to his treatment towards women, mostly in the introduction scenes to the point of finding him as a pervert.[173]

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Further reading[edit]