Devilman OVA Vol.1 – The Birth Review

Synopsis

Devilman tells the story of Akira Fudou, a normal high school student. He receives the shock of his life when his former classmate, Ryou Asuka, appears out of nowhere and saves him and his girlfriend, Miki Makimura from bullies by pointing a gun at them. Ryou tells Akira a dark secret.

Ryou’s father committed suicide after being possessed by a demon. His father left him a letter saying that in order to defeat the impending demon invasion from Hell, you must become a demon yourself. Ryou shows Akira an ancient demon mask and Akira puts it on. Akira has a vision of a time when demons ruled the earth and humanity did not exist.

After fighting off an attack from some demons, Ryou tells Akira that he must be possessed by a demon in order to defeat the demons. Ryou tells Akira that since he is pure of heart, he can resist the demon’s control over his mind, but if the demon takes over, he will have to commit suicide.

They go down an elevator to a nightclub that is also a demonic ritual and almost everyone is possessed. Akira Fudou is soon possessed by the demon known as Amon. Amon is the god of war in hell and is blessed with incredible strength and powers. Akira becomes Devilman and has full control over his powers in order to save the human race.

Devilman OVA Vol.1 Review Section

Devilman is an anime that I first saw in the mid 90’s when I was ordering my anime through a Central Park Media mail order catalog.

Central Park Media distributed many adult-oriented anime in VHS and Laserdisc formats to the North American market in those days. The Devilman OVA was one of many violent adult titles licensed in America at the time.

It was also shown on Sci-Fi Cable Network when they used to have anime marathons. Devilman Vol. 1 The Birth is a bit strange in how the simple but effective plot plays out.

Apart from the strange opening and the short scene where Ryou and Akira are attacked by a couple of demons at the beginning. Most of this OVA episode is dialogue-driven drama. Violence and blood do not reach the club scene.

There is some nudity that involves only showing the breasts, but it does not have sex. The quality of the animation is good for its moment. Devilman The Birth OVA features vivid colors throughout. The OVA has mythology and biblical references.

The music that is played in the club at the end is very good. It may sound cheesy to some, because it’s 80’s guitar-driven rock. I’ve seen both the original Japanese with English subtitles and the dubbed version.

The dubbed version Fran├žaise has bad voice actors. The violence at the end of the OVA is very messy as Akira cuts, punches, and smashes all the demons in the club. Expect a lot of blood and gore in the chaotic climax.

The two characters Akira and Ryou are great. I especially like Ryou’s entrance. He has just come out of the forest with dark and haunting music in the background. You don’t know if it’s good or bad.

All Devilman demons have unique terrifying designs. Some of them seem weirder than hell. The demons featured in this OVA episode fuse with animals or humans to become even more powerful.

Akira Fuduo looks badass as Devilman, the antihero. The slowness of the action can alienate some people.

It gets a lot better with the next OVA episode, Devilman Vol. 2 Demon Bird. Violence, blood, and intensity increase several notches as Devilman fights for his life. Devilman anime is not for children as it contains graphic violence, strong language, and gratuitous nudity.

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