(OWLS POST) Devilman Crybaby: A Little Change in Character

Hello everyone. My name is Scott and it’s that time again. Time to write another post for OWLS. It’s good to be back and writing one of these after a month off, but December was an incredibly busy month for me. This time around, I will be covering an anime series that recently shook the anime world as we know it, Devilman Crybaby. Watch it on Netflix! Despite all the hyper violence and crazy things that happen in the series, the main character Akira Fudo changes so much throughout the show. Not just physically, but mentally as well. It’s kind of crazy how so many things can happen in ten episodes.

For those of you who don’t know what OWLS is at this point, OWLS is an acronym that means Otaku Warriors for Liberty an Self-Reflect. We are a group of otaku bloggers joined together to promote the acceptance of all individuals regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. We all try to emphasize the importance of respect, kindness, and tolerance to every human being alive right now. For more information on OWLs itself, click here to go to the groups’ website.

This month’s topic, written once again by the great Lyn, is Revival.

To be more specific:

A new year implies “new beginnings.” Yet, rather than discussing the “new,” we will be discussing the “revival.” “Revival has multiple definitions, but the meaning we will be focusing on is the improvement, development, or refinement of something. Our posts will be about characters that undergo a positive or negative transformation and what we can learn from them.

With all the OWLS business out of the way, let’s dig more into Akira Fudo from Devilman Crybaby. Multiple warnings here. Not only am I going to spoil the show, but the show has a lot of graphic violence behind it as well. If you grow interested in the show from what I have to say, you have to get through the show’s strong material as well. I won’t be posting any pictures of that material here, but be you should be warned about it if you are interested in the series.

The story behind Devilman Crybaby is interesting. I would say that it starts out as a somewhat demented and messed up super hero story involving demons, but it later transforms into something. I don’t know about anyone else, but it felt like some sort of analysis of human nature to me. The transition happened through the evolution of Crybabies main character, Akira Fudo.

Akira Fudo Base Form

Akira with friends

Yeah, I used a shonen term to describe where Akira started out. In the beginning of Devilman Crybaby, Akira is only a crybaby. He’s a short guy who cries for other people out of the kindness of his heart and is a part of the track team, despite being the slowest member in the team. Our sweet, innocent protagonist is someone who would never hurt a fly. Unfortunately, he doesn’t stay this way, but definitely grows from all of his experiences.

Demonic possession part 1: The Awakening

Akira transformation

After meeting with his long-lost friend from forever ago named Ryo, things start to take a negative turn for Akira. I mean, Ryo takes Akira to a satanic ritual part, which would look like a rave for us normies. When Ryo stabbed a few people with a broken wine glass, monsters start to possess and eat the party members, so maybe not like a rave you’ve seen before. To save himself and complete his goals, Ryo summoned the demon Amon to possess Akira Fudo. That scene has all that crazy demon action that Devilman Crybaby is known for.

The next day at school, we see the results of Akira’s possession more clearly. He grown twice his height, can run faster then anyone on the track down (besides maybe his childhood friend Miki), and requires a lot of food to maintain his new body. Also, I should mention that he is now insanely popular with all the school girls.

Demonic Possession Part 2: A human heart

Amon

After busting and destroying demons at a large variety of demonic possession parties with his pal Ryo, Akira Fudo faces an identity crisis. He discovers that his new demonic body demands more blood and more killing. Something that his human heart and mind do not want. After going through a fight with Amon’s lover, Silene, Akira Fudo truly found himself. He calls himself a Devilman or a demon with a heart of a human.

We see at this moment that Akira has not changed mentally at all. He still cries for other people’s pain, but now he has the ability to help people when he has the chance. That’s an improvement, I think.

Demonic Possession Part 3: Struggling with Society

As you can imagine, society itself does really take this half and half business very well. After human society started falling apart due to Ryo’s madness of showing the world that demons do exist, Akira still believed that the humans would win out. He also still thought that he was a human at this moment too.

Akira called himself a Devilman, which means he is half demon and half human. Despite the fact that he was siding with human kind, not many people accepted him due to their hatred. The same could be said for the demons. Akira’s battle with Silene was the first stepping stone of that lesson. So basically, his half-human-ness did not do him any favors at all anywhere. In fact, the only thing that was holding him down the human side of the conflict was Miki.  Unfortunately…

Demonic Possession Part 4: All about the individual

….Miki was killed by a human lynch mob. This was made even worse by the fact that Miki poured out her heart to why she supported Akira and how he was still a nice, human guy. The death of Miki lead to a third side of this conflict. The Devilman group, which represents the individual nature of this conflict. Akira’s love of both sides is now gone and he is angry. Eventually, he goes after Ryo in hopes of killing him.

Thus, we have the final episode. The all-out war episode between all three sides of the conflict. If you have been around the internet for the past few weeks, you probably know what happens. I’ve spoiled enough of this show, so those of you who haven’t seen it can just watch it and feel the ending for yourself.

In Conclusion

The story of Devilman Crybaby is the story of Akira Fudo. To me, the devil inside him represents growing up or puberty. Ever since he gained his demonic abilities, the world has been more open to him then ever before. I feel like I had a similar experience growing up to. The world wasn’t as black and white as it used to be and everything felt wrong and off. It didn’t lead to the end of the world, but it felt like one. Akira Fudo grew up to be the activist in the world that he wanted to be and he fought for the changes that he wanted to make in a formerly familiar world.

There were other characters in this story that faced the same changes. Those two characters being Miko and Koda and there is enough distinction between the three of them to make each of them special, but Devilman Crybaby is the story of Akira Fudo. All the same sorts of themes were prevalent throughout the story for each of them and a post like this could be written for each of them, but Akira stood out the most because he’s the main character. Akira’s story needed to be shared more because his actions and growth affected the series completely.

—-

And that’s my post. For those of you who are interested in more OWLs material and goodness, check out Irina’s post that came before mine here and our Crimson’s post up next. For even more material, check out our January log tour schedule here to see where you can find more. Once again, thank you all for reading.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Irina says:

    I really should watch this. I’m hearing – a lot about it

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      I think you should. It feels like something that’s in your alley of anime tastes.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. heyitszel says:

    Definitely need to watch this series. Another awesome post Scott!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I honestly think that little anime blog posted a better thing on the same subject on the same day around the same time, so I don’t about awesome compared to them.

      You should definitely watch it though!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. heyitszel says:

        Don’t sell yourself short scott!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Leap250 says:

    Having just binged the series myself (just the day before), in hindsight I don’t think a lot of people would choose Devilman: Crybaby when asked to write about “revival” — so I really am glad I came across this post when I did 😀

    I agree that the crux of Devilman: Crybaby’s narrative is in fact change; the change in Fudo Akira’s physique, his everyday life, and ultimately the world. And as I read through your post, with the words “change” and “transformation” and “new life” reverberating in my head, I couldn’t help but thing of the word “metamorphosis” — physiological change as a course of nature, and not really change that you can actively pursue. Well Nature, I suppose in the sense that, everything was happening beyond anyone’s control.

    Akira was helpless to his metamorphosis (as he pretty much didn’t have any say in the matter) with the only thing not at all changing was his “heart”. I found it very amusing that you ran a parallel with this to puberty because for the most part it’s actually true — we don’t grow (physically) because we want to, but rather, it just happens. Akira’s refusal to change (mentally) also mirrors a lot of people’s resistances to conform to society; and it wasn’t until reality hit him hard that he “grew”; however at that point it was no longer just metamporphosis, but genuine growth, brought about by *wanting* to change both himself and society.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Thank you for making me sound smarter then I actually am. 😁 I try to go the unconventional route with these sometimes, just like I did with my Devil is a Part-Timer post.

      And you are absolutely right with all of that. I’m glad I got what I was trying to say across to the reader.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. zboudrie says:

    I’m very on the fence about watching this anime. It looks interesting to me, but I’m not a fan of excessive violence. Your post just makes me want to give in and watch it, just so I can see for myself what all the talk is about. We’ll see. Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Hmm, I can see that. Crybaby is a hard series to recommend to people sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

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