After 45 years in existence, it’s unsurprising that a story will have many versions. Take Go Nagai’s Devilman, for example. While the creator has single-handedly changed the anime industry in many ways, he considers this series his masterpiece. And after several decades, it’s celebrating its birthday with another interpretation. Plus, fans now have a chance to look back on the series that started it all!
The OG Devil Returns
If you’re only familiar with the Devilman anime, the manga is likely to throw you for a massive loop.
Most elements are the same. Our hero is Akira, who can turn into the terrifying hero(?) Devilman. He has a childhood friend named Miki with whom he is in love. Demons are returning to the earth’s surface, and only Akira as Devilman can stop them.
Other than that? The cartoon will likely seem gentle by comparison.
In the anime, Akira Fudo dies on an expedition and Devilman takes his place, learning to be human in the process. But Akira in the manga is quite alive, and fuses with the demon Amon in the middle of a terrifying drug-fueled orgy called the Black Sabbath. Prior to this, Akira is quiet and something of a crybaby. But his transformation into Devilman makes him stronger and more daring.
Oh, also Satan’s there and is a hermaphrodite.
Devilman Grimoire: A Magical New Take
New manga Devilman Grimoire gives yet another reason for Akira’s possession: Miki. In the modern manga, she’s a self-proclaimed witch and summons demons — including the one that possesses her shy childhood friend Akira.
And while Miki may have been around largely for rescuing in earlier versions, Grimoire sees her in a much more active role. In fact, she ends up becoming a Devilman herself, fusing with two demons to gain more power!
You can see Miki as Devilman Faim Medoc, along with the original Devilman, in the first volume. Devilman Grimoire is now available.
What’s your favorite version of the Devilman story? Tell us in the comments!