Netflix is going in hard on their anime content this year, and a lot of it is “Netflix Original”. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve come up with the original idea; more that they’re bankrolling the development.
DEVILMAN Crybaby is the first one to hit our screens this year, and it’s a corker. Like most animes, it’s based on a manga series. I hadn’t read it, so was able to go in completely fresh.
It’s set in modern-day Japan, and centres around a high-school student called Akira and his best friend Ryo. Spoilers follow, but all from the first episode: Ryo reveals to Akira the existence of demons, and Akira manages to get himself merged with a demon, giving him great powers. This is how he gets the moniker DEVILMAN; half devil, half man. As for the “crybaby”? Well, that’s an additional plot point that I’ll leave unspoiled.
It’s got an attractive art style – closer to the Studio Ghibli look than some of Netflix’s other previous offerings (such as Seven Deadly Sins). The design of the various demons adds some great variety to proceedings too.
The overall story is a good one, and I got to know the characters really well over the ten episodes. There are plenty of twists and turns, some of which are loudly telegraphed, but others which, really, come out of nowhere.
The final episode was quite something. I actually had to go back and watch it again the next day to make sure I wasn’t imagining half of it. It was a bit of a nuts ending, but different in a good way.
Ultimately, if you’re into anime, this is one of the best new shows available on Netflix. It’s a bit weird in places, but nothing you shouldn’t be used to.
🥄🥄🥄🥄🥄 of five spoons.