Devilman (aka デビルマン / Debiruman) is a 2004 film directed Hiroyuki Nasu (in his final directorial effort until his death) and copyrighted by Toei based on the 1972 manga by Go Nagai from Kodansha Comics.
The weak teenager Akira Fudô has been protected by his best friend Ryô Asuka since they were children. When Akira's parents die in an accident, the Makimura family brings him to live with them, and Akira falls in love for her adopted sister, Miki Makimura. When Ryô's scientist father accidentally opens a gate to hell in Antarctica, demons are released, merging with humans to survive. Akira hosts Amon and becomes Devilman but keeping his humanity while Ryô hosts Satan. The hysteria and panic replaces reason and mankind initiates a war against the demons, but destroying also themselves.
Why It Sucks
- The main problem with this movie that it's lacks the charm or cleverness of what made the Devilman series the most influential property in Japan plus it's very disrespectful to the franchise as a whole.
- Poor acting that is wooden and monotoned to the point where everyone seems bored braindead as if they have any experience of what they are supposed to act.
- Hisato Izaki's Akira Fudo keeps gasp-screaming awkwardly.
- Yusuke Izaki's Ryo Asuka doesn’t have any emotion and has a long face.
- Poor grasp to the source material like where Akira became Devilman in Dr Asuka's laboratory instead of a nightclub attack and changing Mico’s Demon abilities from melting acids with butterfly wings.
- The forgettable scoring even in foreign Japanese films standards.
- The film’s characters look very unrecognizable from the manga.
- The pacing is rushed and too fast due to the runtime being 112 minutes to cover the entire manga as 2 hours for example.
- The intro kinda rips off the X-Men and Spider-Man movie opening sequences.
- It heavily steals ideas from other superhero movies especially from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films.
- Despite trying to be a more faithful adaptation of the manga, the movie completely misses the point of what made Devilman such an iconic and influential series.
- The writing and directing in this movie is so poorly done as many of the manga's most pivotal moments barely even matter such as the encounter with Jinmen with his shell of human-living heads, Ryo betraying Akira, the death of Miki, her brother and parents with Ryo revealing himself to be Satan by the demon from the church (the latter of which is spoiled earlier on in the movie).
- The fight choreography is pretty nauseating, much like the special effects (see below).
- Lots of unnecessary filler are here.
- The cinematography looks like it was made for a low budget Japanese live action tokusatsu show rather than like a horror movie in which the manga’s tone is supposed to be.
- The pacing is way too fast as it feels much like a running race car.
- Moments that make little to no sense:
- Ryo shoots some of the devil hunters and goes to the catholic mansion and there was an obese man with a texedo suit inside the church yelling, "Long live the demons!", while remaining devil hunters shoot him to death.
- Miki's father discovering Akira's devil-like marks and Akira starts to moan.
- Ryo cutting a classmate’s fingers with a giant scissor.
- Speaking of which, the CGI looks like a poor cutscene from a really bad video game, especially since this movie came out when Japan didn't have the budget for good CGI, half of everything is on a green screen even when it's not needed, and the same sets are used over and over.
- There's an entire subplot about the character Mico and a boy named Susumu (who is alive in the film), which serves no purpose other than to pad out the runtime.
- Similar to the film adaptation of the anime, Kite, it also removed the source material's mature themes and contents, which is integral to the franchise's universal mythos & story. This also completely ruins the designs for both Devilman and Satan as a whole.
- The designs for the demons is actually pretty cool and could have done better than with or without the CGI.
- The Tokyo Shock's English dub is actually really hilarious to listen to.
- Despide being generic, some of the cast do resemble their manga appearances at least (like Ryo's blond hair for example).
- People even say that this movie is even worse than the live action Dragon Ball film, Dragonball: Evolution, which was said to be the worst live action anime adaptation of all time.
- Professional wrestler Bob Sapp, makes a cameo as a World Newscaster.
- The creator of Devilman, Go Nagai, makes a cameo appearance as a priest.
The movie topped an annual poll by the magazine Eiga Hihō for the worst movie, attracting five times as many votes as the second-place film, and also got first place at the Bunshun Kiichigo Awards and Sports Hochi's Hebi-Ichigo Awards. It was voted the worst Japanese film of the 2000s in an online poll, which noted that the excitement of the manga series getting a film adaptation increased the universal disappointment with the film.
It was also criticized for it's poor special effects and the casting of various popular celebrities with no prior acting experience.