Plot: The world has been under siege for over a year by mysterious nanomachines that turn people into goo the instant contact is made. A mech called Devadasy is the only thing that can be used to combat these nanomachines, and the organization called Spirits recruits teenagers to help pilot it. A boy named Kei has signed up for Spirits in order to avoid schoolwork, and he soon finds himself in the midst of battle…..And for those that have seen this show, I know I’m omitting a very important aspect of the plot. I will get to it, my friends. Trust me.
This is another of those works that I caught onto due to reading THEM anime reviews, and they pretty much hated it. Another one-star wonder on their radar. So I went into this thinking it would be either rage worthy awful or hilariously awful.
To my disappointment, it’s both yet neither.
Let me back up, we have to address something first. De: Vadasy, I have no clue why it’s separated like that in the title, is a huge Evangelion rip off. I know that phrase is tossed around all over for shows that meet the criteria of;
– Post apocalyptic
– Mechs (piloted only by teens)
– Mind fuckery
but trust me, this is an Eva clone to the bone. Even the art style, animation and backgrounds are reminiscent of Evangelion. Kei also seems to wear the same school uniform as Shinji.
Want more? Okay. The mech is basically ‘alive’, bleeds, and when the mech suffers from any kind of damage, the pilot suffers from similar injuries.
The main character is named Kei Anno, which could be ignored if not for the fact that Evangelion was created by a man named Hideaki Anno, and Kei sounds insanely similar to Rei.
Not enough? There’s a girl with blue hair and red eyes that ends up essentially being Kei’s mom despite the fact that she seems like she’s a teenager.
They seem to preface the title of the show as ‘The Tale of Genesis: Devadasy’ in the next episode previews. Had enough yet?
The main differences between Eva and Deva……Oh god, I just realized that…..Anyway, the main difference between the two is that while Eva was mostly taking a beat from Christian references, Deva works very loosely from Hindu culture.
To save you from a long lecture, devadasy or devadasi are basically Hindu prostitutes. From what I read, they weren’t technically always that, but they are strongly linked to prostitution, either because it was a part of their initial practice or because they needed the money after the British Rule started, but there ya go.
What does a Hindu prostitute have to do with this Devadasy? Well, the big aspect I omitted from the plot is that Devadasy differs from other mechs, and even the Eva units, because of its power source. In Devadasy, there must be two people in the machine in order for it to function, a male and a female. The male is set as the pilot and the female is used as a source of power.
This power is generated by sexual energy.
Yes, you heard me. The world is about to be saved by the power of horniness.
As the pilot controls Devadasy, more energy is pulled from the female, and nanomachines, taking the form of green scales, slowly cover the female and she feels increasingly turned on, as does the pilot. In fact, in a weird way, it’s heavily implied that merely piloting Devadasy is like having proxy sex with the battery.
The amount of power reaches its peak when the girl does. *wink wink wink wink wink wink winkNUDGENUDGE*
So…..yeah….that’s a thing. If that’s not enough, it’s implicated that the Spirits organization is purposely making Kei and all the girls horny somehow, and when Kei starts to get too sexually aggressive, our Misato stand-in (Whose name is, of all things, MisaKO) has sex with him.
I know what you’re thinking – no, this isn’t a hentai. And yes, this is one of those titles that really should’ve just given in and become a hentai. Why not? Afterall, the show is already produced by Green Bunny and Media Blasters, two of the biggest producers and distributors of hentai and hard ecchi in existence.
That really is one of the biggest problems here. It could’ve worked as a hentai spoof of Eva. It actually could’ve been a pretty good hentai spoof of Eva, but the show takes itself so seriously you’d think it was actually striving to be the next Eva, and it just isn’t happening.
It also seems like….maybe that was the intention seeing as how there are six other girls in Spirits, to make a nice good harem for Kei, but despite the fact that all of the girls are included in the end credits’ stillscreen, they….do….nothing. They’re there to gawk at Kei and might possibly be friends of Naoki, but that’s it. I don’t even think they get names.
The story is just confusing as hell, something else they probably wanted to mirror from Eva. A year ago, nanomachines ‘landed’ on earth. They take the form of huge globs of red and pink goo and if they get anywhere near people, the people melt, or I guess they’re assimilated into the goo to make more goo. No explanation as to what these things are called outside of ‘nanomachines’ nor where they came from or anything.
The only thing that can beat them is a mech called Devadasy, which Kei’s grandfather found 20 years ago. Why is Devadasy not affected by the nanomachines? I dunno. It has nanomachines of its own so, like Evas are technically Angels, it’s possible that Devadasy was made from the same kinds of materials as the enemy nanomachines. Why these don’t melt the pilots I don’t know either.
For that matter, why are teenagers only able to pilot the Devadasy? In Eva, they’re chosen for how well their body signatures correspond to the Evas, right? And because they were born around the Second Impact? Well, no explanation is given as to why the teens are chosen here. It might be because they have healthy sex drives, but so do adults.
Also, there’s only one Devadasy and Kei is our sole male teen in the group. Yes, the offer of legally skipping school and getting to fight battles was mostly taken up by teenage girls with only one guy in the entire region interested in taking part.
Nothing much of note happens for a good long while, and they jump all over the place from different points in time. At least in episode one they tried to explain these jumps by pointing out when one was taking place and to what time. In subsequent episodes, though, there are no cards or text to explain it. We just hop, hop, hop and hope we keep up, which I couldn’t half the time.
Let’s discuss the characters. The only three you really need to worry about are Kei, Naoki and Amala.
Like I stated in the plot, Kei randomly signs up for Spirits just because of the promise that he can skip school for it. Kei’s also a pervert even before he goes there, so there’s that. He’s not a Shinji clone, but he’s actually less enjoyable to watch. At least you can justify Shinji’s whining and moping to a degree. At least Shinji sometimes smiles, laughs and has comedic moments to break up his mopeyness. Kei is constantly either just being flippant, perverted, an attempted rapist and just an overall unpleasant guy. Even his VA is annoying.
He treats his best childhood friend, Naoki, like crap and becomes psychotic when piloting Devadasy. If he is likable beforehand, it’s never shown. He spends so much of his screentime at Spirits, which means he’s always influenced by the drugs that are making him crazy and sex starved. The few scenes before Spirits have him slacking off and perving on a group of girls as well as perving on Naoki. That’s it.
Naoki is…..meh. She’s the only prominent character that I can say doesn’t have an Eva counterpart. She’s a good friend to Kei, even if he treats her poorly, and obviously has a crush on him. There’s really not much to say about her besides that….Oh except she’s willing to forgive Kei for nearly raping her not even a day after it happened. Such a kind soul.
Amala…..oh boy. Amala is a being that is never adequately explained. Kei’s grandfather found her alongside Devadasy (I think) 20 years ago. Despite this, she still looks like a teenage girl. For the most part, it seems like there’s purposely a sexual link between Kei and Amala. She’s the first ‘battery’, they have sex a couple of times, Kei seems to always be drawn to her somehow, and there’s always a sexual connotation when he goes to her.
Oh yeah, that thing about her being his mom.
Amala, back when she was discovered, decided to create Kei in order to have him give birth to something through her and Devadasy. I don’t know what, I don’t know why, I don’t understand Kei’s past or what he really is at all if this is true, but there ya go.
Amala, Kei’s essential lover this whole time, was his mommy.
You know, story-wise, while being disjointed, confusing, somewhat pretentious, and slightly dumb…..there is still something there that could’ve been turned into something pretty good. At the very least, decent. I was actually getting into it pretty well through episodes two and half of three….then we get the ending.
We find out Kei is pregnant – I’ll let that sink in for a minute, because that’s not even the weird part of this sentence.
……Good now? Good. We find out Kei is pregnant with a mech……. I’ll give you another couple of minutes. Please take your time.
Ready? Okay. We find out Kei is pregnant with a mech, and was impregnated by Amala, Devadasy and an enemy mech who kinda tentacle raped him earlier.
Did you hear that? That’s the sound of ‘what the hell am I watching?’ And…..wait for it…..wait…for…it…..ah, there’s the sound of ‘well, crap, it’s too late to stop watching now.’
He starts to give birth while inside Devadasy and Devadasy seems to be giving birth too….through astral projection?????
I wish the world made sense again.
It starts a huge panic as they believe there will be a massive nanomachine outbreak while this is going on. The nanomachines in Devadasy have already started attacking Spirits personnel like the enemy nanomachines in an effort to get enough energy to go through the birthing process, which just confuses me further. They make the painstaking decision to level Spirits headquarters and destroy Devadasy as well as the nanomachines that are emerging from Devadasy.
However, before they can do that, Kei tops off Amala which causes Devadasy to go crazy with pink beams of energy that level everything within what seems like a two mile radius. Don’t worry, though, the Spirits underground headquarters is completely unaffected somehow and everyone who matters is alive. Thousands of no-names are dead and untold amounts of destruction happened, but nothing we’re meant to care about! Hooray!
After that happens, Kei and Amala stand before the ‘baby’ that was created, which is a black mech that doesn’t really look any different than the other enemy mechs. And yes, a mech gives birth, literally, to another mech in this series. If you have that oddly specific fetish and never found anything to sate it, you’re welcome.
The mech is surprisingly piloted by Naoki. How’d she get in there? Why does this thing need a pilot? Especially when it seems like, unlike Kei and Devadasy, she doesn’t seem to be in control at all.
“We’re not going to give you answers because then it wouldn’t be deep.”
Kei’s forced to battle her, but doesn’t want to. He wonders why she’s trying to kill him…..yes, he actually believes that Naoki’s doing this of her own volition. He then remembers the near rape and thinks this is revenge, so he tries to kill her. Our hero, everyone!
Let me remind everyone that she told Kei that she forgave him for the near rape hours ago.
Once he’s nearly murdered her, he realizes that she’s not in control and starts feeling guilty. I’d feel bad if he weren’t dumb.
He also reveals something odd. The battery in the baby-Deva….is a weird black and white version of Kei, which is where we get the explanation of Kei’s birth which really doesn’t explain why that thing looks exactly like Kei does now nor what its function is, but whatever. You now have to stomach that Kei gave birth through a mech with astral projection to a mech and a zebra clone of himself that somehow insta-kidnapped his childhood friend and brainwashed her……Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to anime.
He destroys the weird Kei clone, manages to save Naoki, hooray, everyone else is rescued and the world is still in turmoil under threat of the nanomachines. Hooray?
What of our heroes? Naoki survives and undergoes treatment to get rid of the mech’s nanomachines. I still have no clue why these nanomachines are different than the melting ones.
However, the fate of Kei and Amala….is…weird and confusing. What a surprise.
We cut to Kei in school. It….appears like this isn’t a dream since one of his classmates makes a remark about him saving the world. But why is he in school if he’s still a pilot? He spots a child version of Amala sitting in a nearby desk and then we just end.
What the hell was that? What happened to the actual Amala? Is that her? Why is she so young now? Why is she in school? What happened to the nanomachines or Devadasy? Why did Kei’s body go through so much graphic damage only to have him continuously end up fine? What the hell is up with the gigantic solar-system-sized square black hole thing that was headed to earth that was mentioned a few times? Is it the monolith from 2001 on super space crack?
Art and Animation: It’s actually fairly decent. The character art is a bit lacking and there’s nothing really special about it. Plus, the art and color are so reminiscent of Eva that I actually feel weird trying to review it properly.
The designs for Devadasy are the highlight here. While I can’t get the image out of my mind that it’s a mech version of Palkia, it’s a pretty original design given most mech designs which are usually either Gundam or Eva clones. It even turns into a jet.
Music: Mostly forgettable in terms of the BG and ED. There is no OP. There was some music that was fairly ominous and creepy, but still not really noteworthy.
Voice acting: Japanese – The voice acting’s alright. Kei’s VA seriously annoyed me when he was yelling. He also wasn’t terribly good with regular dialogue either.
Bottomline: It is indeed a terrible anime, but I don’t think it’s quite as atrocious as some people make it out to be. There is some semblance of an original-ish plot there that could’ve made for a better series instead of a bad OVA, if they got a writer who made sense. The sexual stuff is enough to put people off or make people think it’s completely ridiculous, and I do think it was a little dumb to take that route without just making it a hentai or at the very least a harder ecchi.
I’m not saying the only way to improve this show would’ve been to rely on fanservice and porn, that’s really the exact opposite of how to make a show ‘better’, but considering that the main subject matter is sex, it seems pointless to go down the cleaner route. Even Eva had raunchier scenes than this show, and sex wasn’t focal there…..well, unless you overanalyze everything.
The characters aren’t memorable with our main being damn near unlikable, the story’s really confusing with the narrative being broken and hard to follow, the ending is just awful, the tone is pretentious and need I repeat that this really is too much of an Eva clone?
The very least I can say about it is that they did try. They failed horribly, but they tried. I really believe that something better could’ve come out of this if there were more episodes and more things were explained and better written, but they simply weren’t and never will be. Some aspects just aren’t salvageable anyway, but it could’ve been something better.
As it stands, though, I can’t in good conscience tell people to give it a shot. There are much better ‘Eva clones’ out there to watch that actually make sense and have characters that are likable.
It could be said that the worst aspect about it is that the entire thing is ultimately pointless. There’s no character development, really, and we don’t learn much about this world nor the enemy. The giant square black hole thing I mentioned before is still coming towards earth and there are still nanomachines covering the planet. Devadasy could be down for the count, who knows what’s really up with Kei and Amala, and while the ending battle was pretty entertaining, it was with an enemy that suddenly sprang up without warning in that episode and ultimately did nothing.
While Eva’s various ends are confusing, at least they were actual ends in some way whether they were apocalyptic or otherwise. At least something happened. This ending is almost exactly where we started.
Additional Information and Notes: De:Vadasy was directed by Kondo Nobuhiro, director of over 200 episodes of Sgt. Frog, and it was written by Sho Tokimura, who also wrote seven episodes of Medabots. It was produced by AIC and Studio Gazelle. It is licensed in the US by Media Blasters.
Recommended Audience: There’s a lot of blood, people melting, bones being broken slowly, attempted rape, a few sex scenes done mostly with stills but a couple of shots are animated for a second or two, nudity, but nothing below the waist, possible statutory rape, I don’t know how old Kei is, and incest. 17+
See, Devadasy? Even just going the ecchi route, you still don’t appeal to audiences low enough to warrant not being a spoof hentai. I’m not trying to nag, but seriously, why bother with this kind of thing if you’re not just going to go the extra mile?