Amon Volume 4 (Manga) Review

Rating: 5.5/10

Plot: Satan has gone missing, and while Amon has saved many of the demons, he’s also not making himself known. A new greatly powerful demon named Asura arrives and offers the demons a chance to become as powerful as Amon. All they have to do is merge together over and over. Most of the demons are more than willing to go through with her plan and see her as leader, especially the demon who wishes for nothing more than be beautiful. However, Silene’s not giving into her claims. Asura has more going on behind the scenes than just a lush future filled with demon gods.

Breakdown: Our first chapter title page is a butt shot. Starting out well, Amon.

This whole volume was just very uninteresting. It focuses mostly on Silene, Demiko (still given no name) and a new enemy named Asura, who seems like a half-human, half-demon crazy person who is trying to take over as leader of the demons since Satan mysteriously disappeared. She’s trying to convince all of the demons that they can be like Amon if they agree to merge together over and over. However, her true intentions are to use the demons in their merged state to find Satan and kill him for revenge on how her body looks and acts.

Asura is two beings, Earth and Terra, merged into one. She used to be angelic-like with beautiful white wings, but when Satan fucked up in the last volume, the two were merged into one crazy being with two personalities, a weird body and small black wings that couldn’t handle flight.

In the end, Demiko gets killed by Kaim who kills her after she tries to steal Silene’s wings for Asura, under a semi-brainwashed delusion that she could be made beautiful if she helped Asura.

Silene’s part is almost entirely stagnant through this whole volume. She meanders and mopes, longing for her precious Satan to return. She’s not buying into Asura’s lies, especially in her statement that they can surpass Satan, but she mostly whines and mopes and cries out for Satan.

The very last chapter is where the only thing of interest happens, though it’s a bit confusing. We find out why there seem to be contradictions between Devilman and Amon. The events of Devilman did happen, but they’re also in the future. God, as punishment for the events of Devilman, apparently put Satan in a time loop so he’ll constantly be tormented by losing his love (Amon, or moreso Devilman, though I thought Akira was a bigger part of that) He’s destined for the events long passed, and he’s damned to start all over again when it’s over with no memory of what happened.

It’s still not entirely clear in some respects, but it’s an explanation at least.

Amon’s role is mostly just to escort Silene to Satan as Asura goes to him with her new pile of merged demon goo to take him on, but she’s ironically defeated by the demons she gathered, granted powers or abilities by the sleeping Satan, who all turn into little Saiyaman angel things that range in size from a few inches to a few stories tall. The little ones stab her over and over with a bunch of tiny needles and they mutate her into some glob. She tries to assimilate with Silene, but gets stopped by Amon who’s again mostly just annoyed by everything around him. He rips off Silene’s wing as it’s trying to be merged with Asura and kills her.

Then the weirdest part of the volume…No….weirdest part of the manga happens. A gravely wounded Silene rides on Kaim back to their nest and quickly becomes pregnant. She reveals that silene continue to grow larger and larger in preparation for childbirth. However, if a silene’s life is put in mortal danger before then, they can basically force asexual pregnancy and give birth to one child very quickly before they die. She does indeed give birth to a young child (not a baby) that Kaim names Silene and starts to raise.

So….does that mean the Silene we see in Devilman is actually this Silene?

The very end has some nice action, answers some questions and ends….interestingly, but it didn’t hold my attention very well through the read. It was either boring or confusing. I don’t know what the next volume holds, but hopefully it will at least make more sense and be more interesting.

Oh and fewer butt shots, yeah that would be nice. Seriously, what is with all of the lone panels with pure butt shots? What is the point, Mr. Nagai?

Recommended Audience: Still lots of gross imagery, gore, and damn near full frontal nudity. 16+

Shin Devilman (Manga) Review

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Rating: 4/10

Plot: Akira and Ryou are suddenly thrust through various points in time where they’re tasked with defeating a demon in each time period that is set on ruining the timelines.

Breakdown: It’s a Devilman/Doctor Who crossover! 😀

……………………..No, it’s not. *sigh* I can dream.

This is a series of kinda short stories in that they are indeed separate stories but there’s the main theme and characters of Devilman/Akira and Ryou keeping them all together, and they’re still technically part of the canon in the Devilman series.

This…is kinda an odd duck. I never expected Devilman to be in this type of manga, yet here we are. Devilman and Ryou traveling through time fighting time stream hating demons. There are five stories in all spanning across numerous time periods and locations, so let’s just plow through them all real quick.

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Story 1: Late Spring in Vienna – So, believe it or not, the first story is actually the oddest of the bunch. The first chapter involves them going to pre-war Vienna where they detect the faint scent of a demon around an artist and his distributor. For those who are already making internal connections here, yes, it is what you’re thinking, but oh it is a lot crazier than that.

The distributor shows a sold painting of a woman that the artist fell in love with but lost her to an army captain. Despite the distributor being very much money hungry, the artist cares more about putting tender care and detail into his paintings.

Akira and Ryou decide to leave, resigned to the fact that a demon’s not around. They later follow the artist and the distributor to a huge house where the scent of demons gets stronger. The painting from before is being sold to the head of this house, despite the artist’s desire to keep it. His distributor, however, will have none of that and hands it over.

The head of the house accidentally gives them too much money, and while the distributor is more than happy to keep the extra, the artist finds it to be a mistake and runs back to return the money. As he enters the house, he sees the man, Schultz, slashing at the picture in front of his long lost lover.

Schultz states that her husband died on the battlefield and that she’s now his somehow. He relishes in the supposed fact that the artist has given up on her entirely, the proof being that he sold the painting of her.

He bursts into the room in an outrage and finds that Schultz is actually a fire demon, who promptly burns up his love, Stephanie. Devilman rushes into the scene and destroys the demon. The artist watches on as the house burns to the ground. As his distributor, Mr. Harnisch, runs to ensure that he’s alright, the artists yells at him to stay away and says that he hates all of ‘his kind’ and that he’ll dedicate his life to eradicating all of the Jews….

For all of you playing along at home, the correct answer is: Adolf Hitler.

Yup, the artist in this story is Adolf Hitler, and while he had already shown a disliking of Jewish people before this whole thing happened, the story makes it out like the main reason behind the mass genocide of Jewish people was that his first love was killed by a Jewish fire demon. A Jewish fire demon…..a Jewish fire demon. Oh manga. The things you make me type.

I just have all sorts of questions right now. Let’s start with the main plot of this whole side story. Why time travel of all things? Time travel is so touchy of a plot thread since it just causes so many plot holes and continuity errors that it’s a nightmare to deal with. This story in itself is causing plot holes.

So does that mean, since Devilman saved Hitler, that leaving him there would’ve killed Hitler and kept the holocaust from happening? Did Devilman just inadvertently cause the holocaust? Did Devilman really have any impact on the events of that day since the time that they were in at the start seemed to have experienced WWII?

Also, it’s not like it’s some surprise as to who it is either. Unlike what I did here, the manga gives the artist’s name right at the start, though they don’t divulge that his last name is Hitler until the very end. Gee, an artist in pre-war Vienna who dislikes Jewish people and has the first name of Adolf. Golly gee, who could he really be?

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Story 2: Jeanne D’arc in Hell – Next chapter, we learn that Ryou, unknowingly utilizing his satanic powers, is the one making them travel through time in order to, I suppose, combat time traveling demons that are trying to mess up history.

This time, Devilman goes to France where Jeanne D’arc is trying to end the Hundred Years War. Demons decide to kidnap her from the battlefield and bring her to hell where she’s put on trial for her sins. The sins in question being trying to end war, which the demons find to be beneficial to humanity in regards to progress, and hearing voices, which they claim are really demonic and not heavenly.

She’s saved by Devilman and continues her quest, though the chapter ends on a rather somber note as it reminds us that shortly after this event she was arrested and put on trial for being a witch (though, technically, the charges were heresy and repeated instances of cross-dressing.) She was found guilty and burned at the stake.

Would’ve been a little better to also add that there was a retrial later which not only found her innocent, but found that the previous trial was not conducted justly and the person who convicted her was implicated with heresy for his biased view on the trial. But then again this is Devilman, wouldn’t want to have any happy-ish endings.

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Story 3: The Beautiful Goddess of War: Nike of Samothrace – The next chapter is a bit intriguing. The goddess of victory, Nike, is giving modern weapons to an army in ancient Samothrace, allowing them to easily take down their enemies in hopes of taking over Greece.

Akira combats her when she ‘reveals’ that she’s actually Amon’s long lost lover and coaxes him into remembering her, proving their love by stating that he fell for a human who looked like her while he was in his human form. Devilman basically falls for it, but Ryou breaks him free of her ‘spell’ and lops off her arms and head with a sword, leaving a famous statue of her also without its arms or legs.

I guess it’s intentional that we not know if she really was telling the truth or not. Devilman still seems to harbor feelings for her after her death since he clutches her head with a somber look like he does with Miki later on. It’s possible that Ryou’s more Satan-y side took over for a bit and killed her for the sake of either keeping Amon for himself or protecting him legitimately. *shrug*

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Story 4: The Bewitching Queen of Versailles – In France, Ryou and Akira travel to just before the French Revolution where they learn Marie Antoinette is being controlled by a demon who is planning on forcing the armies of her native Austria to completely overpower the French revolutionaries and take over Europe. They go inside her heart and beat the demon and the chapter ends with both the demon and Marie Antoinette getting beheaded……Pretty lackluster story, to be honest.

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Story 5: The Demon of Little Bighorn – The final chapter starts out with Ryou and Akira kicking back as a part of the Cheyenne Native American tribe. They’re particularly close with the chief of the tribe, Crazy Horse, and his little sister Tiana, who has shown to be quite smitten with Ryou, though he states that he has no interest in girls and even nearly confesses his attraction to Akira.

They go off to do some hunting and fishing for a while, and Crazy Horse prepares for a meeting with the Sioux tribe to join forces against General Custer and the 7th cavalry.

As Ryou and Akira fish and hunt, they discuss the odd fact that they’ve been in this time period for quite a while (maybe a few weeks or months) yet no demon has attacked.

Just as they ponder that, we discover that General Custer and his troops were possessed by demons and have executed a sneak attack on the Cheyenne tribe as Crazy Horse and his men were meeting with Sitting Bull and the Sioux. They viciously slaughter the villagers with guns and swords and are gone before Ryou and Akira put the pieces together.

They find Tiana raped and murdered, and Akira, in a deep rage, slaughters all of the 7th cavalry, and history supposedly embellishes the story saying the Native Americans were the ones to beat them.

Now you must be wondering, ‘Hey, that’s the final chapter? How do they get home? Does beating demons through time five different times really just end everything?’ Well, the answer is……..

I have no friggin’ clue.

Immediately after the end of the Battle at Little Big Horn, we cut to Akira walking through what seems like a burning desolate wasteland of an earth while carrying a suitcase. He remembers various battles from the past, but mostly he remembers his time with Miki.

He continues to walk and remember her before he halts and opens the case. It contains Miki’s severed head, which just raises all sorts of questions as to where and when we are right now. I’m almost entirely certain this manga started before Miki’s death.

He buries Miki’s head and gives her a cross as a headstone before Ryou calls him over. Akira walks past him through the destroyed earth and we end.

What….the….hell…

What was the point of all that? Seriously, what was the point? Despite bringing us to various points in time and space, the main plot stays the same. A demon is going to do something that threatens something that is supposed to happen in history. Devilman beats the demon with absolutely no problem and they jump to another point in time and space to do the exact same thing. Wash, rinse, repeat.

They try to bring more Devilman-y things to it like saying Nike was Amon’s lover, but that went no where and those instances are few and far between.

And what was that ending? Was that hell? They looked like they were still on earth. The earth’s destroyed yet Ryou’s not in his Satan form? Akira’s not dead? How did they get back? I know Ryou was the one sending them through time because demons were infiltrating time but why were demons infiltrating time if Ryou/Satan is the one calling the shots with the demons? He told them to go through time and screw it up just to go back in time and fix everything? Did the demons give up after five tries or were the rest of the demons in the time stream in the cavalry at Little Big Horn?

Bottomline: I don’t want to say that this manga’s a waste of time……but I’m pretty much gonna. Really the only story worth reading is the first one because Hitler and Jewish fire demons…..Just…you have to actually read it to believe it.

If the other stories had been as baffling as that one, I could’ve gotten into it more. But like I said, it’s really just historic stories with Devilman V. Demon shoved in there somewhere. They bond with some people through time, but it’s hard to establish any sort of true connection in a 40-60 page chapter. I never really felt bored reading these stories, but they just don’t bring much to the table, Devilman-wise.

Additional Information and Notes: Shin Devilman was written by Go Nagai and Hiroshi Nagai (under the pen name Hiroshi Kouenji), illustrated by Go Nagai and published by Shougaku Sannensei.

Chapters: 5

Year: 1979

Recommended Audience: Being Devilman, there’s still plenty of gore and several instances of nudity. There’s also an implied rape and kinda an implied shot of a silhouetted closeup sex shot, if that even was a sex shot and not just kissing. The final chapter in particular is just a huge blood bath. 16+

Devilman (Manga) Volume 5 FINALE Review

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Rating: 9/10

Plot: As humans continue to be pitted against each other and the anti-demon forces mowing down any and all suspicious people in their path, it seems like Akira’s biggest threat isn’t the demons but a majority of humanity. When Satan finally shows his face, and hope for humanity seems at it’s dimmest, can the devilman army rise up and save what’s left?

Breakdown: Well, just…wow. That was incredible…and massively depressing.

In this volume, our finale, Akira’s devil identity has been revealed on live television by Ryo, who has recently come to realize that he’s been Satan all along. Miki’s family eventually understands his plight, but tells him to leave in order to help protect the family from the anti-demon forces who may attack them for harboring a demon.

Despite him immediately leaving, the anti-demon forces storm the Makimura house and take Miki’s parents. They eventually torture, dismember and kill both of them before Devilman has a chance to save them.

Back at the Makimura household, a huge group of people are enraged that the anti-demon forces left Miki and Tare alone when they’re probably demons as well. They attack the household and despite a great effort by Miki and one of the thugs who has allied with Akira, all three of them end up getting horribly murdered by them. Miki in particular is made out to be an example, and her corpse is dismembered and placed outside the house on pikes.

Devilman is horrified by how far humanity has fallen and completely loses his drive to save any of them since they’re all lost in his eyes. However, there’s one person he still wishes to protect – Miki. When he returns to the Makimura house and finds his beloved murdered outside, he loses all hope and only wishes to take down the one who started it all.

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20 years later, humankind reaches extinction. The earth is in ruin, and only devilmen and demons remain. After a long and hard battle…..

Akira fails. He dies in the aftermath of the final battle, and Ryo sadly recants his tale to Akira’s body without realizing he is dead. Once he realizes that the man who was his best friend, the man he fell in love with, is dead, he mourns his loss as an army of angels comes to exterminate the last of the demons from the earth.

See what I mean? In the end…it was all for naught. Humanity went to hell before going extinct, the devilmen lost, Akira died, Satan and his army took over and it wasn’t even a victory for them because in the end Ryo/Satan feels like he made a big mistake and lost the only person he really cared about in the process, and the demons still end up losing in the very end.

One could say it’s a bit of a happy ending because if the angels arrived to take out the demons, there might be some plan to revitalize the earth and humanity, but in the end it’s a very dim finale.

I will say that Ryo’s reveal as Satan was really not what I expected at all. I always assumed he was taken over by Satan during the Black Sabbath, but he was actually Satan for his entire life. He assumed the identity of Ryo Asuka, who was the technical first victim of the demon apocalypse, and had his memories erased by one of his henchmen in order to truly immerse himself in humanity and understand them in order to fully defeat them. His falling in love with Akira is also what prevented him from getting killed by the demons on one occasion.

If there are a few things I feel this finale did wrong, though some of this is because I read the first volume of Amon before this.

Miko amounted to nothing. She doesn’t appear in this volume at all. Some weird-haired devilman speaks with Akira a few times, but really no other named devilmen appear which is really weird considering the devilman army is a huge part of this story. In addition, it really seemed like they were starting something with Miko in the previous volume but just forgot about her, which is a damn shame because she seemed like she’d be an awesome character.

Dosuroku didn’t do much either. In fact, I have no clue what happened to him. Akira calls him ‘Roky’ once and he entrusted him with the knowledge that he was a devilman, which implies they became good friends, but he disappears and is never even seen dying. I mean, considering all of humanity was wiped out in the 20 Year War, it can be safely assumed that he quickly died, but I would’ve liked to have seen something come of his character.

Despite Miki not being annoying for the first time in ever (except stupidly saying she won’t fight the army of people charging her house with torches and weapons intending on killing her and her little brother. I understand why, but come on. Look where you are, take in the situation and toss a molly.) and even being a little kickass, her relationship with Akira just wasn’t done well enough for me to give two shits about her dying.

She was incredibly annoying for a majority of the series, Akira treated her like crap several times and they just never shared any really good moments of connection. Near the middle of this volume, they share a nice embrace, but that’s it. The romance just wasn’t handled well enough for me to really care when she died.

In fact, I was way more impacted by Tare’s death. That poor kid didn’t deserve to go out that way.

The ending also leaves a few notes to really think about. Did Akira’s cause really matter in the end? Humanity proved to be just as selfish, fearful and vile as Satan believed they were from the start. Men, women, children, babies; all of them mercilessly murdered by humans and demons alike.

You could also say that the ending is perpetuating the lesson that Satan learned. God wished to destroy the demons because they were violent and evil beings, and Satan wished to destroy humanity because he thought the same of them. When the angels arrived to supposedly wipe out the demons yet again, could this start the cycle again? If humanity is restored, is it just damned to another massacre at the hands of something else?

Despite the dark ending, I am actually perfectly content with it. Sometimes you need a story with deeply tragic ending. Not all stories can end happily. Not all heroes can save the day. We may escape into media like this to get the happy endings we’ll never have, but sometimes the sad endings can really make you appreciate the good endings; both in fiction and real life.

Devilman is an awesome series, and while it does have its problems it is still a really great read. It’s not for those without a stomach for gore or dark and tragic tones, but it’s still a great manga that I’d fully recommend.

ENTIRE SERIES RATING: Based on an average of all of the volumes, Devilman gets a final rating of 8/10

Final notes: I really loved this one shot of the people who attack the Makimura household, It’s purposely drawn erratically and colored in sloppily in order to give them people a monster-like look.

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Recommended Audience: There’s still plenty of gore around every corner, and a graphic small child death. A couple of instances of nudity, no sex, minor swearing, dark tones. 17+

….Previous Volume

Devilman Volume 3 (Manga) Review

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Rating: 8/10

Plot: The demon threat is getting worse by the day. More and more people are being attacked by demonic beings, and Devilman is trying his hardest to keep up. With a new worldwide attack launched by the demon king, Xenon, the demons aim to make humans crazy and play off of their fears, hopefully allowing them to form a window which will ultimately allow the devils to wipe out humanity and take the planet back.

Devilman realizes that their newest plan has resulted in the creation of several other devilmen in the world, and he plans on making a devilman army to stop the demons before they wipe out humanity, or before humanity wipes themselves out.

Breakdown: This volume is more broken up than the previous ones as it actually involves several stories instead of just one long story.

The first story involves a spider demon called General Demon Zan possessing, but not merging with, everyone at Akira’s school, forcing the students to attack him. He’s forced to hold himself back and try his best to kill the spiders instead of the people. After saving their lives and earning their gratitude, Akira enlists the help of the thugs that have been appearing time and again in the series. They manage to help him beat the spiders, but Zan ends up escaping.

This story is a bit on the boring side, other than some creepy and cool visuals. Miki is at her worst so far, as she’s almost entirely relegated to being Akira’s fangirl…No, no, I’ll do you one better; she’s his lap dog.

He barks orders at her and treats her like crap, she backs down and obeys and even apologizes for being a very mild nuisance. She gushes over being told to grab his back when they’re attacked by possessed thugs with spiders on their heads all the while thinking that Akira smells good as it’s ‘the smell of manliness’, doesn’t try to fight the possessed people at all and only starts batting them away with her book bag in a panic while screaming for Akira.

And the cherry on top, later she gets jealous of a five year old girl who is Akira’s friend because she seriously believes something romantic is between them. She even calls her a brat just because Akira was nice to her.

Oh and she finds the thugs who tried numerous times to rape her and possibly kill her ‘sooo cool!’ after they decide to help Akira with the possessed people. *huff*

This story did get us an interesting view on the demon situation, likening it to predators and prey, and we get more hints that something is seriously off with Ryo (in a demon sense. He was always kinda crazy even before the Black Sabbath). However, it’s definitely the weakest arc so far.

The next story, however, is probably the strongest and most emotionally impacting story thusfar. The kid I mentioned before is named Sachiko, and she used to be Akira’s neighbor back when he lived with his parents (he lives with Miki’s family now as his parents are away, I believe). She doesn’t stick around with Akira and Miki for long before she’s set off on a train back home. The train enters into a pitch black cave that is revealed to be the stomach of a turtle demon, Jinmen, one of Zan’s henchmen.

Jinmen possesses the ability to consume human beings and replaces sections of his shell with their faces. While he claims the people are actually still alive within his shell, dialogue suggests that the people truly are dead; if not, they’re very close to death and will die soon with no way of saving them.

Devilman shows his first signs of true emotion since his merging, even crying several times when he’s realized what’s happened to Sachiko. He’s horrified that his attacks hit the faces of the shell, ‘killing’ the person that they hit. this leads him to the terrible realization that the only way to kill Jinmen and free Sachiko and the others is to punch a hole right through the shell, and subsequently Sachiko’s face, weakening him enough to finish him off.

I really like this story. Despite Sachiko having an incredibly minor part before her death, she seems like a very sweet kid who loved Akira dearly. Her sad monologue after Akira finds her only adds more weight to the situation. While her final death was very sad and impacting, I felt the most for her when she saw the face next to her get destroyed. She understands and accepts that she’s dead, yet she still has to witness something that horrible.

They did a great job with writing Sachiko to fit right in for an emotional impact for Akira without feeling shoehorned in. I especially like how the second to last page shows a split of Devilman’s face and Akira’s face with Akira’s crying in his section. Plus, they broke the taboo of killing a kid, meaning there’s even more tension since now we know that no one is truly safe.

The next story kinda compounds that sentiment, and while the story is also very sad, I felt it should’ve been placed somewhere other than directly after Sachiko’s story.

Tare, Miki’s little brother, is out late at a park with his friend, Susumu. He wants to go home, but Susumu says he’ll stay at the park tonight since he doesn’t want to go home. When asked why, he says his mother beats him all the time, and apparently there’s been a trend of mothers killing their children. She not only beats him, but she frequently sics her dog on him, even trapping him alone in a room with the dog.

He’s covered in scars because of the incidents and only feels safe when his dad’s home, despite the fact that his dad doesn’t believe him about his mom. However, his dad is usually very late so it’s not worth it to go home.

When Tare offers to have him sleep over at his house, Susumu’s mother arrives while acting pretty normal. She claims that Susumu makes up crazy stories since he’s alone so much, and even proves that the dog loves Susumu by letting the dog loose and walk up to him. After hearing his father’s home early for a change, Susumu agrees that he was lying, and he and Tare part ways.

When he arrives home, he finds his father is not there and his mother is mad at him for revealing her secret, also revealing that she and the dog are demons. When his dad arrives home, he shows that he’s also a demon and Susumu’s disembodied head is seen in a pool of blood in the final panel.

Again, Go Nagai does a great job of making Susumu a real character to us while also not having any other scenes before this. Susumu seems like a realistic enough abused kid. He seems somewhat numb about what’s happening to him and gets really excited when even minor positive things happen. His expression changes to that of defeat when his mother reveals that his dad isn’t home and he turns into a simple frightened child when the demons reveal themselves.

While I feel this would have more impact either further before or further after the Sachiko story due to the fact that it’s two child death stories back to back, this is a good, albeit short, story. Rest in peace, Sachiko and Susumu.

The final story arc is the big scene of the volume to lead into volume four. The demons have set out their biggest attack yet, which is to not really attack at all. They’re purposely merging with people who still have reason, something that needs to be gone in order for a proper merge to occur, hence the Black Sabbath.

When this happens, the demons and the humans they’re trying to inhabit quickly die. The sudden rash of people turning into monsters before dying sparks public panic all across the world. It’s so bad that a hydrogen bomb is launched to Russia in an effort to tamper the threat. With the various governments of the world and everyone else panicking, the world is on a fast track to destruction.

This is solidified when the gargantuan demon king, Xenon, emerges, blocking a majority of the view of the sky over earth, claiming that in five minutes the first wave of attacks from the demons will truly begin. Those who survive the first wave will be sure to die in the second, and if any stragglers remain after the second, they’ll continue until every last human is wiped out.

Realizing that the string of failed merges has resulted in the formation of some devilmen, Akira plans to create an army of devilmen to help him combat the demons. However, Ryo stops him as time runs out as there’s nothing they can do at the moment, even with Devilman’s power. The only thing they can do is sit and watch the war between the humans and devils unravel, forcing them to watch what Ryo calls the greatest show of history.

This is also the debut of Miko, who is an ex-thief who has recently changed her ways after a demon tried to merge with her. I guess the merge was a success because despite the fact that her body changed, her consciousness is still very much her own. She believes this malformed body is a punishment from God in response to her bad behavior.

Also, we learn that she can shoot acid from holes in her chest that can melt people into puddles in seconds.

Awe. Some.

This entire story is a big buildup, but on it’s own, it’s pretty awesome. The aspect of wanting to attack humans psychologically is very interesting and definitely a believable thing for devils to do. Xenon’s introduction was just fantastic. Showing him as such a huge being that he casts over a large part of the sky and can be seen from every country at once is just amazing. His design isn’t terribly great, but meh.

Plus, the end of the volume really leaves you on edge for what might happen, especially considering that it seems like Devilman may actually sit this war out, at least until they have a game plan. The humans have no chance against the demons, so I’m expecting an all-out massacre until Devilman and Ryo get their shit together.

Recommended Audience: All of the previous warnings remain except maybe nudity. The gore and creepy factor seem amped up in this volume, though. 14+

Next Volume…..

…Previous Volume

Devilman (Manga) Volume 2 Review

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Rating: 7.5/10

Plot: Now a Devilman, Akira Fudou tries to continue on with his everyday life, though he finds his newfound lust for battle to be insatiable. A devil called Silen arrives at Miki’s house with her two lackies, Agwel and Ghelmer and they start an assault to kill Amon, the demon Akira merged with.

Breakdown: Our first major devil on devil battle of the series involves the winged demon Silen, a demon who can merge with water called Agwel and another demon called Ghelmer. This battle takes up over half of the volume, but it’s certainly a very intense and awesome one.

Silen is a great first enemy. Unlike a lot of first-time enemies, she’s not made out to be incredibly weak or stupid for the sake of an easy battle to make Devilman look badass. She actually almost seems like she may win several times and gets tons of damage out on Devilman before the tides obviously turn. She can create high powered winds, manipulate the weather, has incredibly strong and sharp claws that even render a demon’s powers useless when ensnared by them, and she can control disembodied limbs.

I will say that the very end of the battle was a bit weak, though. Essentially, Silen gets terribly wounded by Devilman and calls out to her boss, Xenon, who appears in the first volume of Amon, to help her. A different demon named Kaim, who may or may not be in love with her, arrives and merges with her to help her win.

However, there’s a catch. Merging is random when it comes to consciousness. If Silen’s consciousness stays as the dominant one, her wounds and resolve will most likely damn them to defeat. If Kaim’s consciousness is dominant, they have a much better chance of winning but even Kaim states that he has no hope of making it out alive, possibly due to Silen’s injuries being taxing on his body after merging. Basically, either way, Silen/Kaim will die. It’s just a matter of whether Devilman will go with her/him, which he obviously won’t because then we wouldn’t have a manga.

Despite the fact that the ending is predictable after that point and we know nothing of Kaim, they handled Silen/Kaim’s death in a very good way that almost makes you feel kinda bad for her/him in a screwed up way.

This volume also pokes at the fact that Ryo seems to have gained powers of some kind from the previous volume. Ryo was in bad shape and lying under the body of a demon at the end of the last volume. However, he recovered incredibly quickly, showed enhanced healing abilities later on as well, and seems to have some telepathic powers at least in regards to Devilman. I know who he turns out to be later thanks to Amon, but meh.

I did receive a somewhat unpleasant surprise in this volume, however. That of which being Miki. She gets some more characterization here and it’s huge mixed bag. On one hand, holy crap she was ready to take on three thugs with swords and intentions on raping her while she’s armed with a big serrated knife. And she’s still telling them off like a badass through the whole thing.

Then Akira steps in and…..she basically becomes an Akira fangirl. She gladly steps aside and even gushes over the fact that he’s protecting her and finally not being the little wuss he was in the previous volume. I swear, she grins from ear to ear when Akira steps in. Later, she even tries to excuse her use of the knife by claiming she was just scared and doesn’t want Akira to think she’s a tomboy. *sigh*

She’s also constantly flirting with him and even frequently poking at the possibility of them having sex or him seeing her naked. It gets to be really annoying after a while.

All in all, this was a great first battle, but the first quarter of the volume kinda tarnishes it a bit with Miki being a good chunk of the focus. Silen was a great enemy who got a pretty great cast off, and even her lackies were pretty powerful.

While I know what he turns into, I definitely look forward to Ryo’s development in future volumes.

Recommended Audience: There’s still nudity, though still no sex. Some swearing, a bit more gore than the previous volume. There’s even some creepy imagery involving Miki’s parents. 15+

Next Volume…

….Previous Volume

Devilman Volume 1 (Manga) Review

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Rating: 8/10

Plot: Akira Fudou is rather cowardly yet kindhearted person who suddenly gets dragged away by his best friend, Ryo Asuka, who claims his father recently committed suicide and he wants to talk with Akira about his inheritance. He explains that demons used to rule the earth yet vanished long ago. Now they’re steadily coming back, and Akira and Ryo are the only ones who have any hope of saving the world from their reign. In particular, Akira is needed to merge with a demon due his kind nature and will to fight the demons hopefully allowing him to overcome the influence of the devil within him to become Devilman!

Breakdown: Well I certainly am glad I went back to read this series, because it explains a hell of a lot that I was missing in the first volume of Amon. I also got to understand the weight of a particular line from the first volume of Amon. In Amon, people keep calling him Akira and there’s a big buildup to him saying that his name is Amon, showing that Akira is either dead or sleeping within him and now the demon has full control. In Devilman, the devils around him keep trying to call out to Amon, but Akira proclaims that he is not Amon and that he is a being made of Akira and a demon, making him Devilman. I thought was pretty cool.

This first volume does have a pretty big problem, though, and that’s that most of it is a gigantic exposition dump. It was just page after page after page after page of Ryo telling us what happened prior to him picking up Akira. It’s a pretty good story, but it kinda drags due to the fact that a character is merely telling us about it instead of allowing us to see it as it went on. Even when the devils first start attacking it didn’t seem horribly exciting.

It’s not until the Black Sabbath scene where things really get crazy, intense and just awesome. It is an insane scene that makes up for all of the waiting though the previous chapters.

A problem I had in going through the first chapter of Amon was that I really didn’t know much about Akira throughout the entire thing. I knew his backstory, that he was in love with Miki and he was a nice guy with good friends, but that was about it.

Now that I’ve gotten to know Akira more as a character, I feel like he’s very believable but also slightly confusing. Akira is a pretty big wuss and he seems like a pacifist to the point where he won’t try to fight thugs who are trying to sexually assault Miki. She’s the one who has to tell them off and Asuka is the one who has to make them leave. Even when the demons start attacking, he has no real courage to fight them.

However, he is very noble in that he willingly accepts this deal with Ryo to merge with devils both to help save the world and to prevent Ryo from suffering alone.

It’s not until he finally has merged with Amon before he starts kicking some ass, but it’s a good buildup and pretty believable given his personality.

Ryo as a character is also pretty confusing. I’m not even really sure why someone like him is friends with someone like Akira. Ryo seems like a very intelligent and tough person, but he also has his moments where he seems like a stoic punk and even a few where he seems like a complete psychopath. It’s hard to get a real read on him.

Dosuroku is sadly nothing but an asshole thug here, and I don’t know how long it takes him to become a good guy.

Another character we finally learn of is Miki who (spoiler alert) is seen dead at the very beginning of Amon, leaving us with no clue as to her character. (End spoiler) Here, she seems to be a fairly nice girl who can stick up for herself when needed. However, she didn’t have much screentime (or…pagetime?) so she’s also a bit up in the air.

The art, done by author Go Nagai of Mazinger and Cutie Honey fame, is somewhat mixed. The scenes that are meant to be detailed look fantastic, but the miscellaneous scenes with them talking and the regular character models look weird sometimes. I actually laughed when Ryo first appears because his facial expression and manner of dress made me think he was either a drug dealer, ungodly bored or somehow future-channeling Johnny Bravo. And the various scenes of him tearing up look terrible. It looks like his eyes are melting.

All in all, I really liked this volume and I definitely look forward to more.

Recommended Audience: For 1972, this is some pretty graphic stuff. Hell, even for today. There are numerous instances of nudity, though the genitals are always never drawn or hidden in shadowed groins. There is also quite a bit of gore and blood, alcohol and drug use and implied threats of sexual assault. There are no sex scenes, however, and also very minimal swearing. 15+

Next Volume….

Amon (Manga) Volume 1 Review

Rating: 7.5/10

Plot: In an effort to combat demons that have been plaguing the world, Akira Fudou melded his body with the legendary Devilman, Amon. However, when Akira’s love, Miki, gets killed in the wake of the carnage, he loses his consciousness to Amon, allowing him to go on a rampage in search of a battle with Satan.

Breakdown: First and foremost, Amon is a retelling/reimagining of the last chapters of the Devilman manga from 1972. I have yet to read said manga and that was probably a mistake. Then again, this series is meant to stand on its own.

Next, since this is meant to be a reimagining of a manga’s ending, obviously there are going to be a lot of questions mostly in regards to what happened to lead to where we are now. What we know from volume one is that Akira Fudou is a man who tried to help combat demons on earth by merging himself with a powerful demon named Amon. However, his love, Miki, ended up getting killed somehow by the demons, causing his consciousness to sleep within his body leaving Amon to run amok.

As the world basically turns into a giant pile of melted goo due to the various demons of the world merging together with everything in the world, especially the people, Amon plows through everything in his path to find Satan for a battle.

Meanwhile, Akira’s close friends, Dosuroku, Meriken-jo and Miko band together along with a bunch of monks to save Akira. While Miko and Meriken-jo basically do nothing but watch the whole time, Dosuroku takes action that becomes a major turning point of the manga.

Dosuroku holds a great love and respect for Akira, whom he refers to as his brother, and in an effort to save his life he bravely merges his body with several of the most powerful devilmen in existence. While he was still no match for Amon, his powerful feelings and determination were able to reach Akira’s spirit deep within Amon for a second before Amon ended up killing him.

Amon eventually does have his battle with Satan, though it is horribly one-sided, and he does lose in the end. However, Satan returns Akira back to his regular form with a kiss.

As Satan and the other devilmen prepare for an epic battle, Akira wanders around a wasteland seemingly set back to as he was probably a little before the first chapter as he mourns Miki’s death and turns back into Amon again.

Bottomline: I did really like this volume, though I do plan on going back and reading Devilman before continuing on. Despite doing a pretty good job of allowing us to connect with the characters and get a decent grasp on the story without going back to read Devilman, it’s still somewhat confusing without doing your homework. I don’t really care about Miki as we never saw her alive and never saw her interact with Akira. I also don’t care much for Akira as we never see him or hear him say anything until the very end of the volume. We just know he’s a great guy by what his friends say about him.

Miko and Meriken-jo are basically background figures as they really don’t do anything over the course of the volume, but Miko’s odd demonic body is something intriguing. I’d like to know the story behind that.

The standout here is Dosuroku as I really don’t need to read anything else to understand his friendship with Akira. He’s a very passionate, brave and selfless person with a great heart. He really just shines here, especially for a supposed thug character. He kinda reminds me of Kuwabara only he doesn’t have as many annoying stupid/tough guy moments.

The art is gorgeously and grotesquely detailed with some really cool and really ughghguuggh moments.

I look forward to more of this manga, but like I said I’m going to go back and read Devilman to ensure I get the most of it.

Recommended Audience: This manga has about everything but sex. Lots of gore, some of it just really creepy especially in the scenes with the melted demon wave, full frontal nudity by both genders (I think, on Miko’s part anyway) and swearing. 16+