Devilman (Manga) Volume 4 Review

urbokch

Rating: 7.5/10

Plot: The worldwide attack of the devil army is underway, and Devilman is forced to watch humanity fall in front of his eyes. As millions of people are wiped out by the demons, it seems like even more human on human violence and insanity is erupting as the demons, having taken over numerous government heads, start launching attacks against each other. There are still numerous devilmen out there who can help save innocent human lives, but will they be wiped out before Akira even has a chance to start his devilman army?

Breakdown: Whoo boy the first quarter of this volume is insane. It is just non-stop massacre and destruction; they really weren’t playing around with wiping out humanity. Even though it seems like the killing definitely slowed down substantially after the initial blow. And here Ryo said nearly everyone would be wiped out after the first wave.

After the insanity starts to calm a bit, we see that the demons end-game is for humanity to destroy itself with nuclear weapons. They purposely spark war between the nations and send out hundreds of missiles towards Russia. However, the missiles mysteriously disintegrate in mid-air, and all of Russia is wiped off of the map by a huge sphere of white light.

Ryo believes that this is actually the apocalypse as foretold in the bible. While this theory brings about even more worry as the threat of Satan himself leading this army makes hope dwindle, it also invigorates Akira even more to find the other devilmen and make an ‘army of god’.

However, it really seems like humanity itself is the biggest threat to his cause here as I guess the Japanese government has been hauling ass in mere hours as it not only has numerous ways of combating the demons now, even avoiding the various powers of the demons, but they’ve also developed an incentive that is surely designed to be the downfall of humanity in every way.

Yeah, after this is over, could you guys direct your attention to finding a cure for cancer? Because you seem to really have it together.

Some scientist believes he has found the reason behind the creation of the devilmen and failed mergings lately; frustration, stress, anger and anxiety. The government decides that anyone showing such symptoms is a demon and will be killed on sight. However, they don’t realize that the devils have mostly retreated from merging with humans and most of the people who will be killed will be innocent people and devilmen.

Meanwhile, a major hint is given as to Ryo’s nature as his body starts to emit light just as the sphere of light in Russia has been. However, no one else immediately near the light has shown such symptoms. He also believes that he’s been a little too spot-on with his predictions and feels like he’s actually been dictating things that will happen.

We also meet back up with Miko who is sadly being horrifically tortured in a government facility and being used as an experiment. Luckily, she’s saved by Devilman at the end of the volume, though.

Despite wars erupting in every country, the devils still attacking every which way, the governments of the world killing everyone who shows natural human emotions, especially in times of war and mass panic, and a suicide rate probably so high that they’re killing themselves faster than anyone else is killing them, humanity is still around and kickin’ at the end of the volume which seems to be at least a few weeks or months after the government has called for these measures.

Akira has formed an underground rebellion of sorts, and he has found a handful of devilmen to help him with his attack. Dosuroku and the other thugs have joined up with them as well, acting as their information gatherers and security.

A band of monks contact the devilmen telepathically, revealing that they are also all devilmen who have maintained great composure and sense of mind after much training. They promise to provide Akira and the others with a great devilman army in one month, and Akira states that as the moment when they’ll strike on the demons.

This is another great buildup to what I hope to be a fantastic finale and battle. The opening was insane and really made you lose hope for humanity. I mean, even if the devilmen win, it would be incredibly hard if not impossible for humanity to come back from this.

Akira’s frustration here was well-done, even if you can understand where Ryo’s coming from too. Regular Akira shines through here several times, which is nice to see every now and then. Despite his desire for fighting seeming to take hold of him, you can see where Akira has the bigger hold several times.

Miki also wasn’t terribly annoying for a change. She did keep worrying about Akira when he was gone during the attack, but that’s understandable. She also had one moment of irkness when she acted like she knew all along that humanity would be fine and beat the demons, but that’s also not terrible considering that she could just be trying to make light of a bad situation and latch onto some hope.

She also didn’t really do much in this volume. She and her family did get attacked by a demon, but Dosuroku and his gang beat it and saved them off-panel.

The art has even gotten a bit better, especially in the softer shadows and shots where they try to be realistically detailed, possibly to give us a realistic view on what’s going on to connect to the situation even more. It’s very effective, especially in one scene with an air force pilot that was affected by the light. That was awesome.

This is a fantastic volume and I’ll be sad to see it end, but here’s to volume 5!

Recommended Audience: Wow, they really amp up the gore even more here a few times. They even kill a baby on-panel, though it’s in silhouette. There are some instances of nudity, no sex, a few swears; 16+

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