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Devilman manga cover.jpg
Cover of Kodansha's Shōnen Magazine #25 released on June 11, 1972, featuring the first chapter of Devilman.
Written by Go Nagai
Published by Kodansha
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Magazine
Original run June 11, 1972June 24, 1973
Volumes 5 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Masayuki Akehi
Tomoharu Katsumata
Produced by Ken Ariga
Yoshifumi Hatano
Written by Masaki Tsuji
Music by Goh Misawa
Studio Toei Animation
Licensed by
Original network NET (now TV asahi)
Original run July 8, 1972April 7, 1973
Episodes 39 (List of episodes)
Shin Devilman
Written by Yasutaka Nagai
Illustrated by Go Nagai
Published by Kodansha
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Shōnen Magazine Special
Original run May 25, 1979May 8, 1981
Volumes 1
Novel series
Shin Devilman
Written by Yasutaka Nagai
Illustrated by Go Nagai
Published by Asahi Sonorama
Imprint Sonorama Bunko
Original run May 13, 1981March 31, 1982
Volumes 4
Devilman: The Birth
Written by Yasutaka Nagai
Illustrated by Kazuo Komatsubara
Published by Kodansha
Demographic Male
Published July 7, 1987
Original video animation
Devilman: The Birth
Directed by Umanosuke Iida
Produced by Toshio Tanaka
Ryohei Suzuki
Katsuhiko Hasegawa
Koichi Murata
Written by Go Nagai
Umanosuke Iida
Music by Kenji Kawai
Studio Oh! Production
Licensed by
L.A. Hero / Dark Image Entertainment
Released November 1, 1987
Runtime 50 minutes
Original video animation
Devilman: Demon Bird Sirène
Directed by Umanosuke Iida
Produced by Toshio Tanaka
Ryohei Suzuki
Hirohiko Sueyoshi
Written by Go Nagai
Umanosuke Iida
Music by Kenji Kawai
Studio Oh! Production
Licensed by
L.A. Hero / Dark Image Entertainment
Released February 25, 1990
Runtime 50 minutes
Novel series
Devilman: The Novel
Written by Yasutaka Nagai
Illustrated by Go Nagai
Published by MediaWorks
Demographic Male
Imprint Dengeki Bunko
Original run May 25, 1999August 25, 1999
Volumes 4
Devilman G
Written by Go Nagai
Illustrated by Rui Takatō
Published by Akita Shoten
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Champion Red
Original run March 2012February 2014
Volumes 5 (List of volumes)
Original net animation
Devilman: Crybaby
Directed by Masaaki Yuasa
Written by Ichirō Ōkouchi
Music by Kensuke Ushio
Studio Science Saru
Licensed by Netflix
Released Q2 2018scheduled
Live-action film
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

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. This 39-episode anime series was developed by Toei Animation in 1972, while Nagai began the 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.


Akira Fudo is a shy, gentle teenage boy who lives with Miki Makimura and her family after his parents died on a trip to the Arctic. One day, Akira's best friend, Ryo Asuka, asks him to help him when his archaeologist father died after uncovering a mask during an excavation of the ruins of an ancient temple from the Maya civilization confirming the existence of demons. Demons have the ability to possess and control includes humans and other demons and to evolve and become stronger. This mask turns out to be a fossilized demon skull, which upon putting the mask on, shows its wearer what the world was like thousands of years ago when demons ruled the Earth. Ryo's plan is to prevent the revival of demons: "To fight a demon, one must become a demon".

Ryo believes that people like Akira with a pure heart may be able to harness a demon's powers when possessed and Akira agrees to help after they encounter demons in Ryo's house. Ryo takes his friend to a nightclub in his father’s basement then picks a fight and draws blood to attract demonic attention. Demons begin to possess the clubbers and threaten Ryo and Akira, until a demon known as Amon - the Lord of War, also called as the Beast of Hell - 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.

Once transformed into Devilman, Akira inherits some of Amon's demonic traits along with his bravery. He becomes very aggressive as well as more confident and courageous, and no longer lets anyone push him around. Throughout the series, Devilman has many battles with the demon hordes, encountering 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 betraying Akira and revealing him to be the Devilman through a TV broadcast. Despite that the Makimuras still accept Akira as their friend. Enraged Akira confronts Ryo and discovers that his friend Ryo is actually Satan in a dormant state. Satan reveals to Akira that he convinced Akira to be Devilman in order to survive in the world he was planning to create. Miki's parents are arrested by the government 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, Akira states that he has no one left to protect and to have his final fight with Satan. Satan reveals that he has fallen in love with Akira during his years as a human and is a hermaphrodite. 20 years later, humanity is extinct, the demons and Devilman being the only beings left on earth. 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 demons still had a right to live. He convinced them to enter a state of hibernation in the ice, to conserve their 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 this damage, Satan led the demons in a war to exterminate humanity. While Satan explains this to Akira, he also realizes that in the end, he and the demons were no better than God. He begs Akira to forgive him. At this point, it is revealed that Satan was actually addressing 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, however Satan is shown looking sad and forlorn. Finally, the sun rises and an army of angels appears to destroy the remains of Satan's army as Satan weeps for the death of his friend and the love of his life.

The 1972 anime television series has no such an apocalyptic conclusion and the ending is a happy one for Akira and Miki. In the final episode, Devilman's identity as a demon is exposed to Miki, but she accepts that she is in love with Devilman, even if he is not human.

The plot differences from the manga are:

  • Akira and his father are killed while mountain climbing in the Himalayas, and Devilman chooses Akira's body as a cover to disguise himself.
  • When Devilman/Akira moves in with the Makimuras, he falls in love with Miki and is distracted from his mission to cause death and destruction on Earth and to pave the way for a demonic invasion of the human world. When the lord of the demons sends a succession of demons to eliminate Miki, Devilman/Akira fights to protect her.
  • Miki survives at the conclusion of the series.
  • Lala is introduced as a rival to Miki for Devilman/Akira's affections. She is actually a demon, appearing to be a beautiful teenage girl, but is harmless.
  • Satan does not appear, and instead a demon named Lord Demon commands the Demon Tribe from the Realm of Ice. Lord Demon appears as a shadowy figure that appears very similar to Demon Lord Dante.
  • Ryo does not appear, and instead there is Iwao Himura who acts a rival to Akira.


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.[1] 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.[citation needed] Along with the television series, Devilman was also produced as a serialized manga in Shōnen Magazine beginning in 1972.[2] Go Nagai designed the manga to be more horror-like and mature than the anime version.[1]

Nagai designed Devilman as an anti-war work; 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."[1]



The manga was originally published by Kodansha from June 11, 1972 (1972-06-11) to June 24, 1973 (1973-06-24) in Shōnen Magazine.[2] 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.[3] The manga has been translated into English in a series of five bilingual manga volumes published by Kodansha.[4]

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[5] 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 (1979-05-25), January 25, 1980 (1980-01-25), September 15, 1980 (1980-09-15), March 6, 1981 (1981-03-06) and May 8, 1981 (1981-05-08). 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.[6] The rest of the chapters were done by Nagai. The manga is sometimes known as Devilman 2 and Neo Devilman.[3]

A one-shot, which is not originally part of Shin Devilman, but that has always been compiled along with the series in tankōbon, was published in the magazine Variety by Kadokawa Shoten.[6] 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.

Seven Seas Entertainment announced the publication of the original manga for 2018. [7]


The anime television series was 39 episodes long and ran from July 8, 1972 (1972-07-08) to April 7, 1973 (1973-04-07) on NET (now TV Asahi).[8] Outside Japan, the TV series was broadcast in Italy in 1983 and enjoyed great popularity there.[citation needed] A DVD box set of the series was released in Japan on September 21, 2002.[9] The TV series has been licensed for the first time in North America by Discotek Media who released the series on DVD in 2014.[10]

Original video animations[edit]

Devilman: The Birth (デビルマン 誕生編, Debiruman Tanjō Hen) was released in November 1, 1987 (1987-11-01) by King Records.[11] It was followed by Devilman: Demon Bird Sirène (デビルマン 妖鳥シレーヌ編, Debiruman Yōchō Shirēnu Hen), released in February 25, 1990 (1990-02-25) by Bandai Visual.[12] 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 (2003-03-28).[13] 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.

In 2015, Cyborg 009 VS Devilman was released. The 3-episode OVA features Devilman battling the cast of Shotaro Ishinomori's Cyborg 009.[14]

A new anime adaptation produced by Science Saru and directed by Masaaki Yuasa, titled Devilman crybaby, is scheduled to premiere in Q2 2018 exclusively on Netflix.[15]


Mazinger Z Vs. Devilman is a crossover animated film between Devilman and Mazinger Z produced by Toei and released in July 18, 1973 (1973-07-18). The movie features alternative versions of the events from both series, and is therefore not canonical to either one.

In October 9, 2004 (2004-10-09), a live-action tokusatsu film directed by Hiroyuki Nasu was theatrically released in Japan.[16] 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.[16][17]


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 (1972-07-10)
Devilman EP record Columbia SCS-502 August 10, 1972 (1972-08-10)
TV Original BGM Collection: Devilman LP album Columbia CX-7088 March 1983 (1983-03)
TV Original BGM Collection: Devilman CD Columbia 28CC-2295 May 21, 1988 (1988-05-21)
TV Animation Drama Series: Devilman CD Columbia COCC-12398 March 1, 1995 (1995-03-01)
Animex 1200 Series 71: Devilman CD Columbia COCC-72071 September 22, 2004 (2004-09-22)
Original Soundtrack Devilman Tanjo Hen Ongakushu LP album King Records K20G-7359 1987 (1987)
Original Soundtrack Devilman Tanjo Hen Ongakushu CD King Records K30X-7094 November 1987 (1987-11)
Visual Sound Series Devilman Shin Mokushiroku CD King Records K32X-7055 1987 (1987)
Devilman Tanjo Hen / Yocho Sirène Hen CD King Records KICA-10 March 21, 1990 (1990-03-21)
Devilman Densetsu ~ The Legends of DEVILMAN CD Pony Canyon FSCA-10054 October 21, 1998 (1998-10-21)
Nagai Go Hero Densetsu Onkyo Geki Devilman Armageddon Hen CD First Smile Entertainment FSCA-10209 February 20, 2002 (2002-02-20)
Devilman Densetsu + 3 ~ The Legends of DEVILMAN CD BeeSmile BSCH-30011 March 10, 2004 (2004-03-10)
Eternal Edition Dynamic Pro Films Files No.11 & 12: Devilman CD Columbia COCX-32285/6 July 23, 2003 (2003-07-23)
Devilman no Uta (21st century ver.) CD single TEAM Entertainment KDSD-95 February 22, 2006 (2006-02-22)
Hikari no Naka de CD single Sonic Groove AVCD-16051 September 23, 2004 (2004-09-23)
Devilman Original Soundtrack CD avex trax AVCD-17543 October 6, 2004 (2004-10-06)

In other media[edit]

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.[18] 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.[18] 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 (1989-04-25).[19] Bandai also released a game based on Devilman for the Sony PlayStation and Windows 98 on April 13, 2000 (2000-04-13).[20] 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).[21]

Devilman and other characters from the series have shown up in cameo appearances numerous times in Go Nagai's other works. 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. In 1997, Nagai created Devil Lady, based on his 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. Fudo's silhouette briefly appears in the opening credits of Devil Lady. 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.


The manga has sold over 10 million copies as of April 2015.[22]

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."[23] A character designer from SNK admitted that Devilman was an influence in designing Kyo Kusanagi.[24]


  1. ^ a b c "Devilman Revelations". Archived from the original on 2006-06-20. 
  2. ^ a b "Go Nagai works list 1971–1975". Nagai Go Special Corner (in Japanese). Japan: eBOOK Initiative Japan. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  3. ^ a b "Shin Debiruman – Devilman 2". Nagai Go Special Corner (in Italian). Japan: d/visual. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  4. ^ "Devilman (Kodansha bilingual comics)" (in Japanese). Japan: National Institute of Informatics. 
  5. ^ "Gekkan Kanzenban Devilman x Cutie Honey Vol.1" (in Japanese). Japan: JIVE. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  6. ^ a b "Go Nagai works list 1976–1980". Nagai Go Special Corner (in Japanese). Japan: eBOOK Initiative Japan. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Devilman (1972's anime television series) -". Japan: Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  9. ^ "Newtype". 18 (10). Kadokawa Shoten. June 2002: 12. 
  10. ^ "Discotek Adds Devilman TV, Cardcaptor Sakura Film, Jin-Roh, Dallos". Anime News Network. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Devilman: Tanjo Hen" (in Japanese). Japan: allcinema. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  12. ^ "Devilman: Yocho Sirène Hen (Digital Beat – Work detail)" (in Japanese). Japan: Bandai Visual. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  13. ^ "Devilman OVA Collection (Digital Beat – Work detail)" (in Japanese). Japan: Bandai Visual. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  14. ^ "Cyborg 009 Vs. Devilman Anime Reveals Main Devilman Cast - News". Anime News Network. 2015-07-13. Retrieved 2016-11-08. 
  15. ^ "Masaaki Yuasa Directs New Devilman Anime for Netflix". Anime News Network. 2017-03-15. Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  16. ^ a b "Devilman film" (in Japanese). AllCinema. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  17. ^ Devilman on Internet Movie Database
  18. ^ a b "Devilman variation novels" (in Japanese). Japan: Viva! Dynamic. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  19. ^ "Devilman for NES". 
  20. ^ "Devilman Release Information for PlayStation – GameFAQs". USA: CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  21. ^ "CB Chara Wars Release Information for SNES – GameFAQs". USA: CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  22. ^ デビルマン : 新作アニメを制作 今秋イベント上映. Mainichi Shimbun Digital (in Japanese). April 16, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  23. ^ Zoth, Thomas (January 12, 2010). "10 Most Iconic Anime Heroes". Mania Entertainment. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  24. ^ "King of Fighters ’94 – Developer Interview". Shmuplations. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 

External links[edit]