Devilman

I was a bit deceived when I watched Devilman. It looked like a horror title, and I was expecting a horror title. However, what I ended up with turned out to be rather entertaining nonetheless. It took me a little while to figure out exactly what kind of anime this was. The story involves a young man named Akira who can transform into a being called Devilman in order to stop demons from taking over Earth (of course). There's a pretty strong horror theme in the early going with mutilated rabbits and a mysterious artifact being dead giveaways. Then some ugly monsters show up, are promptly dispatched via shotgun, and I'm thinking, "Night of the Living Dead". Finally, Devilman makes his appearance and things settle on a superhero theme. The end result is good, but it took its time getting there. Don't go looking for a deep plot or complex character development here. Like any traditional superhero tale, those elements are skimped on in favor of lots of action. It's not completely devoid of character depth, for we get a little insight into the main character's background. Some of the monsters have a bit of depth to them, as well. Plot-wise things are pretty much the old-fashioned "good guy versus bad guys" which allows for an easy dispersal of action. And what fine action it is. While the first episode doesn't feature anything terribly exciting, the second episode has a couple neat monsters and fun action sequences. I particularly enjoyed the extended battle between Devilman and the demon bird, Siren. It was tense, well-choreographed, and had a good finish. The artwork was decent, even though some of the monsters looked rather hokey. The animation was fairly smooth, but not award-winning. If you're looking for some good action with a bit of a horror theme, then give Devilman a look. If you're expecting a more traditional horror tale then this series isn't for you. The Verdict: * * * 1/2 (above average)

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