Devilman Crybaby (Masaaki Yuasa's new show)


#1

Devilman dropped today on Netflix (all at once - Netflix policy) and i wanted to hear anyone else’s opinions on it. I’m currently 6 episodes in and the key animation and storyboarding are definitely the most standout star of this whole thing. Episode 9 in particular has just one key animator credit (Takashi Kojima) so I’m excited to see that.

Be forewarned just in case, since it’s a Go Nagai adaptation there is a lot of sex and violence and Yuasa cranks it up quite a lot.


#2

Obviously extremely excited to see this, but don’t want to pay for Netflix right now. Gotta find someone to bum off. His two movies from last year has found a distributor as well, so hopefully they will be available for viewing somehow soon.


#3

I’ve been seeing a lot of strong reactions to this on Twitter so far, so I’m going to start in tonight and then check back in later.


#4

I’M EXCITED
I’m not really sure why I don’t know very much about this but people’s whose tastes I mostly trust on twitter seem excited so, here we are


#5

Ended up finishing the whole series in one go (I had to dogsit anyway), really enjoyed it overall and I feel like the story was largely successful, especially in its changes. In terms of animation Takashi Kojima absolutely killed it animating episode 9 and the animation in general was pretty good quality, although some select shots were painful to watch (mostly in more static parts where they did Flash tweening).

Also right after I went back to my Hannibal watch through so I feel like I’ve watched enough gore to last a lifetime.


#6

It’s a hell of a show but man is it greasy. It’s so wild and up it’s own ass that it’s kind of hard to be mad at it.


#7

This show is wild and awesome and also sleazy as hell and funny. So it’s basically peak Devilman. Great adaptation too as it changes a lot of stuff but still nails all the ideas the original was going for. It really is so far up its own ass it comes back around to being totally rad.

One gripe though, they made Miki not nearly as aggressive or cool as she was originally.


#8

It’s a bonkers show. Was not expecting the explicit R-rated violence and nudity subject matter as much as was present but it was mostly campy (and visually fun) so I didn’t mind it. Also, you could argue the themes of the show almost necessitate it. My biggest problems were when it tried to be a bit too self-serious. The show’s concept involves the two-facedness of humanity, it’s fear and discrimination going hand in hand with both desire and survival and how easily good and evil can be mislabeled and conflated because of this. I’d enjoy this a bit more if not for its execution being a bit overwrought and cheesy. Sometimes the good guy’s speeches about virtue felt a bit too shonen. That downplay of the silliness got in the way of the show’s potential to breach these serious issues so I’d rather it pick one side of the court and stay there. For me, it was the court of pulpy over-the-top fun and not it’s philosophical aspect. So when it decided to get a bit heady and dark towards the end I felt like my expectations were a bit betrayed. I did like how references to the Bible ended up being a factor in the lore and even if a bit contrived it ended up making enough sense.

I kept waiting for the show to turn me around and just wow me with some exciting revelation or plot twist that would provide some sort of victory or silver-lining but then it just ended. I just finished it last night and I still am left with a lonely feeling of emptiness, confusion, and anxiety. It was certainly a deep impact but not I wanted or needed from it. The lengths it took to be affecting just left me with a sad feeling in my gut that I couldn’t do anything with but feel kind of miserable. Couldn’t really decide on a tone. The writing, visuals and narrative kind of felt like they all came from different shows. I’d still highly recommend it though. Would still prefer art-house anime that take risks and do things differently to the droves of safe, typical and predictable shows that come out each season.


#9

Watching this reminded me how much I like this director’s work. It’s cool that netflix is putting money into anime like this.
I’d reccomend Kemonozume (2006) by this director if you liked Devilman Crybaby. It’s a romeo and juliet story between a demon and a demon hunter with a lot of weirdness in between. Similar super expressive animation style (reminds me of Bill Plympton) similar moral ambiguity.


#10

Looking forward to watching this. Only other Yuasa thing I’ve seen is Mind Game (which was a lot of fun)… I should really get around to viewing more of his work.


#11

Definitely watch ping pong. Its an adaptation of a taiyo matsumoto manga (who really doesnt get enough credit for being so good) and despite being something of a rushed production because of scheduling they do some really good work.


#12

I watched the first episode and found it really hard to follow, but I’ll keep going and give it another episode or two.


#13

Having only watched the 1987 OVAs, The Birth and The Demon Bird (dubbed, naturally), I expected episodes 5-10 to continue the established “monster of the week” pattern. Like, Akira fights a water monster in episode 3, Akira fights a bird lady in episode 4, so I figured episodes 5 and 6 would have a big talking tree and a lava golem or whatever.

Apparently they ended the OVAs where they did because it was the last logical stopping point before shit got really wild all the way until the end of the manga. I had no idea that the back half of that series was (metaphorically speaking) the End of Eva x Asura’s Wrath crossover I never knew I needed in my life.

Lastly, I’ll leave this here without any further comment.


#14

I am by no means a horror expert, and even less so a j-horror expert, but I think things like Devilman better exemplify the kind of horror that Lovecraft worked in. So much western “cosmic horror” concentrates on the “cosmic” aspect and just insert a bunch of squamous tentacled horrors and call it “Lovecraftian”. But the horror aspect of Lovecraft was always about a terrible truth about the world that will destroy humanity and humanity being powerless to stop it; indeed, the greatest mercy in Lovecraft is ignorance and, barring that, being destroyed first so that you’re spared a majority of the horror.

(I apologise in advance for my forthcoming abuse of “scare quotes”.)

I don’t think the fact that this was the kind of horror Lovecraft wrote and the fact that he was a deeply bigoted, fearful man are unrelated. The essence of the reactionary world view is that the “dark”, “savage” corners of the Earth are not only scary but existentially dangerous. That the role of civilization is not too elevate people in general but, rather, to make the world safe for the"civilized". Civilizing the savage is a nice side effect if possible, but only if they’re properly grateful.

This is why reactionary power fantasy hinges so completely on “seeing the world as it is” and amassing limitless power and security in the face of that truth. See Death Wish, The Punisher and badge/troop fucking in general.

It’s why the reactionary isn’t horrified by a cops shooting people who are not threats: it’s a dangerous world, he reached for his waist, they ignored instructions the kill was justified less civilization succumb to savagery.

Money (or Bitcoin), walls, guns, “facts” about “biology”, security; they all serve to soothe the existential fear of the reactionary and any call to give those up in the spirit of social justice are immediately suspect. Indeed, progressivism is “obviously” suicidal because it vilifies the generational fight for survival and invites “savagery” in.

The flip side of that power fantasy is reactionary horror: that no matter how clear eyed you are to the “facts”, no matter how much power you accumulate, it won’t be enough. That you will still fail, you will still be consumed by the terrible truths of the universe.

That is the horror of Devilman. The culmination of which isn’t the destruction of the Earth (which the last episode concerns itself with and is largely just numbing Devilman fan service) but the violation of the sacred virgin Miki by actual spear shaking, hooting savages despite Akira’s great power and conviction.

That it why I think it’s so simultaneously thrilling and troubling. It starts by showing the impending doom germinating in the dark corners of civilization; the young indulging in sex, drugs and general hedonism. Later, it is revealed that Ryo literally coming from the dark heart of the jungle. The danger presented by the demons is infiltration and their way in is through the immorality and dissatisfaction of the civilized. There is no subtext. That is the politics of Devilman.

That Devilman fails and humanity is destroyed isn’t a subversion of the reactionary worldview, it’s just genre flavor.

The show is gorgeous and thrilling and transgressive in a way but I’m surprised I haven’t seen more ambivalence. Am I way off in the weeds in this?


#15

One of the things I like are the relationships of the characters have changed in interesting way than the original. I believe Akira & Ryo was always leading to a close relationship but Crybaby was a lot more forward to it and not taken as negative till the end (Saw a manga clip where Miki complained about how Akira was always going to see Ryo.
Miki & Miko has really good symbolism Miko fighting her feelings of both hate but leading to confession of their love


#16

It’s interesting to read these takes on the show.
I do not have any lasting impressions because the story had the momentum of a boulder, symbolism and metaphor bouncing off or quickly being absorbed into the fleshy insanity (picture the Legion boss from Castlevania SOTN).


#17

all i’d ever seen of devilman before this were a couple of pages from the manga that people posted because they were dorky and weird, so even the early demons were a surprise, let alone the places it went in the end.
i really liked it, and i’m making a point of following up with the director’s other work, because damn what a unique style.


#18

it didn’t occur to me that Crybaby being on netflix would expose Yuasa’s work to an audience that hadn’t seen his stuff before! he’s probably my personal all-time favourite director and i’m thrilled to see him get praise on something that is at the same time extremely good at showing off his style and sensibilities but also pushes his form forward in ways i haven’t seen before.


#19

I’m two episodes into this show and already this is about 100x hornier than literally anything I’ve seen in the last year. It’s really weird how much people just kind of… gloss over that when they talk about the show, especially considering some of the things it leads into. I have to reiterate that I’m on episode two, not even finished with it, and there’s already a scene where it’s implied a girl is raped, and then later gets off to it or something?

And it’s weird no one mentions any of these aspects of the show. All I’ve heard is “oh it’s good” and “oh you should watch it”. Whether they’re a veteran of this dude’s work or just getting into it, it seems like something you should, I don’t know, maybe drop a hint about in your post or tweet when you recc this to people?

The entire thing took me entirely by surprise and it was kind of horribly unpleasant all around. There’s horror I like, and this is not it. Big pass on my end. I’m not gonna be finishing this.


#20

i guess for me personally, i’ve known about Devilman and what Devilman as a franchise has been historically so i was able to temper my expectations accordingly, and i certainly would not in good faith recommend this to anyone who didn’t already know what to expect out of Devilman as a franchise. it is a story that, in its best interpretations, requires a certain level of violence to work as a cohesive thought, and it is a gigantic barrier to entry that no one should by any means force themselves to stomach

go nagai was, for better or for worse, inarguably one of the most influential manga authors of all time. and i think this adaptation, for better and for worse, is the best representation of his work that i’ve seen in a modern era