It’s been a good year for Masaaki Yuasa with the premiere of his feature film Lu Over The Wall in 2017 and his new Anime series Devilman Crybaby currently streaming on Netflix.
Devilman Crybaby is about teenage devil-slayers Akira and Ryo. In this world, devils are summoned by throwing drug-fueled orgies, causing the humans to become demonically possessed. Some use these possessions to get better at sports, while others like Akira use their supernatural powers to hunt other devils.
The term “devil” is used quite loosely–only Devilman looks like a traditional horned demon with bat wings. The other devils look like creatures from Salvador Dali’s Garden of Earthly Delights on their way to a neon rave.
This is an extremely graphic show. Some scenes will make you want to lock the door and delete your search history. However, the over-the-top gore and pornographic content are still stylistically interesting.
Devilman Crybaby is an Anime that’s weird even by Anime’s standards. The editing, warped camera angles, limited color palettes, and music are all atypical to the medium.
Masaaki’s use of minimalism erases the line between character and environment, creating a cohesive world. The show looks more cinematic despite being less detailed than other shows.
Devilman Crybaby explores the topics of performance-enhancing drugs, underground culture, and that unwieldy demon called sexual desire. These themes combined with Masaaki’s unparalleled vision create a subversive and fascinating show.
Devilman Crybaby is currently streaming on Netflix.