Devilman OVA Vol.1 – The Birth Review

Synopsis

Devilman tells the story of Akira Fudou an ordinary high school student. He gets the shock of his life when his former classmate, Ryou Asuka appears out of nowhere saving him and his girlfriend, Miki Makimura from bullies by pulling a gun on them. Ryou tells Akira a dark secret.

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

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

They descend down an elevator into a nightclub which is also a demon ritual and almost everyone gets possessed. Akira Fudou soon becomes possessed by the demon known as Amon. Amon is the god of war in hell and blessed with incredible strength and powers. Akira becomes Devilman and has complete control over his powers so he can save the human race.

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Devilman OVA Vol.1 Review Section

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

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

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

Apart from the bizarre opening and the brief scene where Ryou and Akira gets attacked by a couple of demons early on. The majority of this OVA episode is dialogue driven drama. The violence and blood don’t really come till the club scene.

There is some nudity involving just breast flashing, but no sex in it. The animation quality is good for it’s time. Devilman The Birth OVA feature’s vivid colors throughout. The OVA has mythology and biblical references.

The music played in the club at the end is very cool. It might sound cheesy to some, because it’s 80’s guitar driven rock. I have watched both the original Japanese with English subtitles and the dubbed version.

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The dubbed English version has bad voice actors. The violence at the end of the OVA is very messy as Akira slices, punches, and tears apart all the demons in the club. Expect a lot of blood and gore in the chaotic climax.

The two characters Akira and Ryou are very cool. I especially like Ryou’s entrance. He just comes out of the woods with some dark haunting music playing in the background. You don’t know if he is or good or evil.

The demons in Devilman all have frightening unique designs to them. Some of them look more alien than demon. The demons featured in this OVA Episode merge with animals or humans to become even more powerful.

Akira Fuduo looks badass as Devilman, the anti-hero. The slow pace build up to the action might turn some people away.

It gets a lot better with the next OVA episode, Devilman Vol.2 Demon Bird. The violence, gore, and intensity is turned up several notches as Devilman is in the fight for his life. The Devilman anime is not for children since it contains graphic violence, strong language, and gratuitous nudity.

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by Randy Wheaton