Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Anime is Great...It's the Fans That Suck...No Wait, We're Talking About Devilman

If Lol-Kotaku loves it, it's garbage.

Now I admit that is not a completely reliable measure, except when it is... Which is pretty much always.

Alexandra: That was the moment that worked the most for me. I’m always a bit wary of using demons, magic, or fantasy creatures as allegory for minorities, but I think Crybaby makes up for some of that by making some of that subtext into text. Miko admits that she loved Miki and Miki loves her right back even though she also loves Akira. Koda was in a gay relationship with his running partner. It’s not necessarily at the forefront of everything, but it’s there and visible and transgressive in a way I appreciate. To say nothing of Akira and Ryo.

Person: I was gonna say, those boys are in love.

Alexandra: The entire series hinges on their relationship. Crybaby’s leading up to one moment: Ryo crying over Akira’s corpse as the world ends. Akira’s the only person that Ryo has any connection with. Even after we learn that Ryo is actually Satan, he never stops caring for Akira.


Okay, so Netflix has a new show that I hate called Devilman Crybaby.  And as you may have guessed I hate it.

Why? You ask.

Because they took an absolutely crappy but drastically over rated story like Devilman and actually managed to make it worse.  That took some doing.

Okay quick over view of  Devilman courtesy of the Manga Video release

I first saw this version when it was being distributed by US Manga Corps in the early 1990s.  They were sub-releasing Manga UKs version.  When Manga Video invaded these shores they reclaimed the property.  Something of a blunder for a company that was as successful as Manga Video was.

Streamline was the first US distributer to take Anime seriously in the US but Manga had the bigger impact in the 1990s.  Manga Video released both high brow stuff like The Wings of Honnêamise (possibly the best (hard science) science fiction of all time) and Perfect Blue.  As well as more popular fare like Ninja Scroll and Ghost in the Shell.

However nobody can have that many hits without some misses.  Devilman fills that gap in the record nicely.  

Devilman started out as actual Manga in the 1970s.  As you gathered from the clip Akira Fudo rather than being possesed by a demon actually posses the demon and gains it's powers because his heart so fucking pure.  During the 1970s atheism really got it's hooks into the uppercrust of western civilization. It was during that time that the "Is God Dead?" shtick became common place.  It spawned a lot of supernatural nihilist garbage.  Probably the best known in the US was Rosemary's Baby but there were certainly others.  Devilman was Japan's entry into that crappy genre.

Spoiler Alert. The Apocalypse happens and the Armies of Heaven do not show up as sceduled.  Everyone except Satan dies.  Satan is just really lonely at the end of it all because his peep Akira is dead.

The thing about Christianity that a lot of Christians miss is that it tends to absorb regional characteristics of the previous religion it displaced. Most of these are harmless if they don't lead to heresy.  For the Romans it was moving the birth of Christ to December 25 so they could still celebrate Saturnailia. For the Germans it was the Chirstmas Tree.  For Mexico it was Tantric Catholicism.  For Japan the yōkai, obake, yūrei, and other legendary creatures more or less got rolled into service as demons.

This thing has been remade several times in the past thirty years.  I have no idea why because it doesn't improve with time.  They are enslaved to the plot, the concept art and Devilman's version of the Red Wedding the Horrible Bloody Dismembering and Death of  Miki. 

 It's not that Miki was all that memorable a character but then neither was Robb Stark and his death was still the end of the books so far as I was concerned.   

The crazy and disgusting thing is that the author Go-Nagai...

Look at him!
This guy is the Japanese John Scalzi of manga
and I'm about to prove it

****TRIGGER WARNING: Actual artwork by Go-Nagai is posted below.****

...wasn't done defiling Miki's corpse.  Oh, no not by a long shot.  He brought her back to life so he could do this to her.

Just because she wouldn't go out with you in high school?

Apparently in that version after Miki is killed, again, she gets reincarnated as a dog, which is supposed to make things better?

So now you have the background.  Anyway Netflix decided to foot the bill to remake this thing for I think the fifth time but I could be wrong on that and I honestly don't care anyway.

So how could they make this worse?  With Japanese Rap and an explicit homosexual love affair.  Also some really weird art work that I wouldn't call anime at all.  It looks like Ralph Bakshi's stuff from the seventies.  It did make the sex scenes hilariously funny. Other odd changes, Miki is now mixed race with a Gaijin Father (who is named Makamura?!?!) for no apparent reason other than Japanese Diversity Points. Basically this thing screamed that it was seeking SJW approval, which Lol-Kotaku gave it and that is reason enough to hate anything.

Avoid like the plague. 


Jew613 said...

Enough people were raving about the original Devilman that I took a look back in the day. It was not good, the characters were forgettable and the whole intolerant people/G-d are the real villains was gay.

L. Beau said...

I never saw the original Devilman, and I was enough of an anime fan (at one time) that I own The Wings of Honnêamise on VHS tape and Perfect Blue on DVD.

From what you tell me, I'm now glad that I've successfully avoided Devilman, in all incarnations.

Wynn Lloyd said...

Sounds atrocious.
You would think anime would be the last medium to be converged.

Back in the 90s there was a series called "Vampire Princess Miyu" that I enjoyed. That was horror done right.

Cataline Sergius said...

You can still find plenty of good stuff.

The problem is Anime is subject to the "Pop-culture Blurring Effect" like every other bit of entertainment. The farther back in time it came from the more likely it is to have market impact built in.

There are other properties that are getting the same treatment. Yamato 2199 is remake of Star Blazers but I will grant that that one is done right. Yes, it is a beat for beat remake but they have expanded the characters by inserting new ones, (mostly girls) to bounce development points off of.

Devilman on the other hand was born rotten. The overarching theme of that piece of shit has always been (as Jew613 pointed out) that "humans are the real devils."

Feather Blade said...

The crossover Cyborg 009 vs Devilman was alright, probably because it was more 009 and less Devilman.

But you have to really enjoy man's inhumanity to man to like the unadulterated property.