If you were paying attention at all to social media over the past couple of weeks, you’ll have noticed the hype surrounding Devilman Crybaby, a Netflix original release at the start of the winter 2018 season. Instead of forcing viewers to wait months to watch the Yuasa/Nagai love child, they did the opposite and provided all ten episodes at once. Doing so fits right in with the Netflix binge mentality, as well as suits the addictive flavors of this show. Devilman Crybaby bombards the viewers’ senses with sex and violence, and while this may repel some people, the barrage also acts like a super drug with an immediate high that carries you straight to the end.
This is not a tale for the faint of the heart, nor one I can in good conscience recommend to others despite my respect for what it has accomplished. It’s ugly. You’ll probably feel nauseated. In the end, you may even hate it for existing. I know that’s how I felt. I woke up the next day hoping the ending was a nightmare, that I could go back for a different result. But I wouldn’t undo the experience. Given a second chance, I would watch it all again. Like the most toxic relationship of my younger self, I would knowingly throw myself straight into the fray with all the lust and obsession, the fury and grief, that magnificent soundtrack.
And that’s one of the simplest messages of Devilman Crybaby: the appeal of humanity with all its ups and downs. Humans suck. We destroy almost everything we touch. We also have the capacity for incredibly selfless acts that uplift others. Humans and demons are more alike than they’d like to think. If they could find common ground and come to a peaceful agreement, then perhaps our world could do the same.
“Crying for other people…and thinking about other people. That might just be a fantasy. But…if it’s a person with a heart like that…whether they are demon or human…I’ll accept them. And love them unconditionally. Peace will come if everyone believes that. Even if I’m powerless on my own, even if each of us is powerless, if we all believed that…the world would change in a second.”
(Makimura Miki, “Go to Hell, You Mortals”)
Maybe if Ryo had grown up with Akira, they could have grasped a different future. Or maybe this is the ending we’re headed for, one without love, or hope, or life.
I’d rather stand in Miki’s lane with my hand outstretched for the baton.
Rating: 2 dango
Watch Devilman Crybaby on Netflix.
- 0 dango – average and forgettable.
- 1 dango – very good in its category.
- 2 dango – excellent show that is worth a try.
- 3 dango – exceptional show one must watch
“Go to Hell, You Mortals.” Devilman Crybaby, written by Ichiro Okouchi, directed by Takashi Kojima, Netflix, 5 Jan. 2018.