The Devilman Crybaby shows a scenario where the world is in danger as demons are going to take over the world. Most humans have nothing to do with them and they are being slaughtered. In this, Akira Fudo is convinced by his best friend Ryo to become a devilman. He gets the powers of a demon but retains a human heart. Hopes for an anime series are really high when you see Masaaki Yuasa’s name as the director and trust me Devilman Crybaby stands up to its expectations. Based on the manga (Devilman) written by Go Nagai in 1972, the franchise has had many anime adaptations so far, yet the 2018 anime adaptation stands out due to its vibrant art style – the very thing Director Yuasa is known for.
Superficially seen as an anime with gore and nudity, Devilman Crybaby speaks volumes about the fragile nature of the human race and in turn, the modern socio-political issues such as societal labeling, manipulative mass media, and distrust among nations. The series starts with some moments from their childhood of Akira when he met Ryo who was seemingly a pessimistic and anti-social child. In contrast to Ryo, Akira is a crybaby and has high hopes for things that might have gotten out of hand. The moment in anime where Akira insists on taking care of a rabbit that was on the verge of death and Ryo simply tells him to give up on it marks the stark difference.
Ryo and Akira separate afterward and are reunited when Ryo discovers the existence of demons. He is reluctant to prove it and hence, wants to save humanity. He convinces Akira to join him and to become a Devilman as per the Sabbath ritual he arranges. Akira fuses with a demon named Amon and overcomes his will; continuing with his human heart.
The fusion gives Akira immense power to kill demons and his friendship with Ryo deepens until Ryo decides to use one of Akira’s competitors to prove his speculations. This risks a lot of innocent lives and yet Ryo succeeds. Being a famous scientist, Ryo gets interviewed internationally when he puts out his thesis. Here begins a path of betrayal, bloodbath, and ultimately the chaos that culminates into humanity’s doom.
Devilman Crybaby manages to effectively deliver its message throughout the series. Devilman Crybaby makes it clear that the good and the bad cannot be separated with a sharp line; the boundary between them will always be smudgy. The anime does not hold back portraying the horrors of the human community and in short, holds a mirror in front of one’s face.