Devil Man: The Birth VHS
Although Go Nagai was pleased with the popularity of his anti-hero, he hated the TV adaptation for turning Devil Man into a kind of demonic super-hero complete with ridiculous plot Image 1 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 1 of 3. Click to enlarge
The Birth follows Akira Fudo's transformation from the shy, bullied high school kid into the demon killing machine that is Devil Man. Of course, this doesn't happen straight away. First we meet Miki, Akira's would-be girlfriend, although at this point he is so shy he cant even express the slightest feeling towards her. Akira soon bumps into Ryo, an old friend desperately in need of help. What follows Image 2 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 2 of 3. Click to enlarge
The animation quality is superb, handling complex rotation and scaling techniques with ease, and the art style is all Go Nagai, remaining faithful to the original source. Action scenes are particularly well realized, movements are smooth and the combat is easily followed. The designs of the demons and characters are straight from the 70s, but this gives a nice 'old-school' look similar to the recent Giant Robo series. Scripting is also top-notch, with an intriguing start to an epic story. This is the only Image 3 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 3 of 3. Click to enlarge
Viewing The Birth as a single film is unrewarding due to its unsatisfactory climax. However, watch both The Birth and The Demon Bird (both of which are part of the same story) together, and this is anime at its best. As I said before, this is sick stuff, with blood spilling left right and center, but hey, isn't that what we all came for?
The sheer attention to detail makes it obvious that Gon was a labour of love; the kind thatís almost entirely extinct in Japanís conveyor belt of modern manga...
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