The Deadly Demon with a Human Heart
- Episodes: 10
- Genre: Action, Horror, Demons, Supernatural
- Airing Date: January 2018
- Studio: Science SARU
Devilman: Crybaby Preview (No Spoilers)
This modern reimagining of Go Nagai’s legendary 1972 manga Devilman tells the story of Akira Fudo, a normal teen whose life is uprooted when his childhood friend Ryo drags him into a war against terrifying demons who prey on humans. Akira gets possessed by a demon, but retains his human soul, so he vows to protect the world with his new powers as Devilman. But his demonic urge to kill, Ryo’s unclear motives, and society’s paranoia at the sudden appearance of devils may make Akira’s task more difficult than he thought...
Akira Highlights (Spoilers Beyond This Point)
1. Pre-possession Akira is a premium-quality cinnamon roll
Even before he fuses with Amon, Akira is still quite the cutie. His bright smile, cheerful attitude, and boundless empathy all make us want to cuddle him like the little puppy dog he is. His penchant for crying whenever he sees someone suffering gets him weird looks from his classmates, but he isn’t bullied like in the original manga and earlier adaptations. He’s not weak at all – just a precious cinnamon roll.
2. Demon puberty gives him a serious glow-up
But it’s after the fateful Sabbath party that all the girls start to notice him, and for good reason. Amon’s demonic influence essentially skyrockets Akira through puberty overnight, giving him a much more mature body and a wild bad boy look. He also gains an insatiable hunger for food, sex, and violence – which we can’t say is a good thing for anyone involved, but it’s definitely hot.
3. He’s a realistic modern teenager
It may not seem too important to point out that Akira seems just like a real 16-year-old in 2018, but it says a lot about how masterfully Devilman: Crybaby updated its characters to fit with the modern setting. He immediately googles everything he can about Sabbath parties and Devilman (without clearing his search history, since he’s a bit naive) when he gets dragged into Ryo’s plan. And like any other teenager who only knows the small community in which they grew up, he’s quickly overwhelmed when his concerns have to change from just Miki and the track team to something that goes far beyond himself.
Heavy spoiler warning for the rest of the article!
4. He always wants the best for his friends
Akira’s friendship with Ryo is difficult to understand on the surface (why would such a sweet guy associate with someone who hides a loaded machine gun in his coat at all times?), but there’s no doubt that he cares for Ryo and treasures the time they spent together as kids. Even after Ryo betrays him and sows the seeds of paranoia that end up destroying the world, Akira still wants to believe that the friend he once knew is in there somewhere. And when trying to protect Miki during the demon panic, he doesn’t raise any objections to Wam’s gang keeping her safe, even though he has reason not to like them. No matter how he actually feels, Akira wants the best for his loved ones.
5. He never gives up on the human race
Ryo’s plan to turn all of human society against itself with demon-related mass hysteria works a little bit too well, and by the end of the series, the world has essentially turned into the End of Evangelion. Paranoid humans have killed more of Akira’s friends and family than the demons ever did, and Ryo tries to convince him that humans aren’t worth protecting anymore. But even after so much suffering, Akira still believes that people are good. His small victories with connecting to humans as Devilman fuel him, and in the end he chooses them over the demons. This conviction is a departure from the original manga, and one we wholeheartedly appreciate.
Devilman: Crybaby, with its short runtime and deranged animation (courtesy of director Masaaki Yuasa), is a rollercoaster from start to finish. But throughout it all, Akira remains a grounded main character who we can always relate to. Yes, he’s also smoking hot, but it’s his realistic and empathetic personality that we love the most. Who knew this devil had such a warm heart on the inside?
Did you like our list? Tell us in the comments about your favorite Akira moments, or about anyone else you consider your Devilman: Crybaby crush! Thanks so much for reading.