How familiar are you with Go Nagai’s Devilman? Which one? The story has had several iterations across the years, ranging from gory and terrifying to Saturday morning cartoon (literally)! And there’s about to be another remake of the story, which Go Nagai considers his “magnum opus.”
The original Devilman debuted in two very different forms. On television, it was an edgy, but still youth-targeted, anime series about a demon named Devilman who assumed the life of Akira Fudo in order to wreak havoc on Earth, but found himself warming to humanity (and Akira’s childhood friend Miki) instead. But as a manga, it was a far grittier story.
Akira was very much alive — and very much a shy, kindhearted boy. Recruited by his friend Ryo, Akira fused with an ancient demon named Amon. Why? According to Ryo, demons were coming back to destroy mankind for taking over the world, and only a being with the power of a demon and the heart of a human could fight them. Akira’s gentle heart allowed him to tame Amon’s influence over him and became Devilman.
(Now, whether Ryo was telling the truth or not… that’s a whole other matter, and things get pretty messy the further along you read.)
2018 marks 50 years of Go Nagai’s professional career, and it’s being marked with a brand new take on Devilman from Netflix Japan and Science SARU, who worked on Typhoon Noruda and Lu Over the Wall. The new series is called DEVILMAN crybaby, and all we know so far is that it looks gorgeous and gruesome.
So why “crybaby”? The title could well be a throwback to Akira in the manga, whom Miki referred to as “the fire alarm” of their old elementary school because of the way he would wail. It’s the weakness that makes him strong: the emotion so deep and so gentle that even bonding with a demon doesn’t make him lose his humanity.
So will this be yet another retelling of Devilman’s origin story? Or will it be a new storyline, potentially examining his humanity? Either way, we’ll know next year when DEVILMAN crybaby premieres. For now, check out the trailer on the official Netflix Japan YouTube channel!