An alternate take on the titular manga series from Go Nagai, Devil Lady (or Devilman Lady in Japan) focuses on a supermodel named Jun Fudo who unknowingly possesses abilities similar to superhuman-like devil beasts that have been killing the city’s human populace and are seen by them as the next phase of human evolution. Unlike said beasts however, Jun is capable of maintaining her human psyche when she transforms into Devil Lady and doesn’t harm humans. A secret military organization led by Lan Asuka tasks Jun with trying to deal with the devil beast threat under threat of being hunted by the organization herself. With Jun trying to mentally adjust to her circumstances, factions among both humanity and the devil beasts form to each accomplish their own ends and which Jun becomes entangled in.
Before I cover my thoughts on Devil Lady, I do want to make it clear that I have yet to read the manga source material for this series. I have some basic understanding of what got changed up between the manga and anime researching on it with changes to the backgrounds and personalities of major characters, plus the manga dabbling more heavily into the supernatural. But as I haven’t followed the manga too thoroughly, I am only going to be evaluating the anime on its own merits and not making any criticisms for what may be different from the manga series.
Devil Lady seems to go the psychological horror with its storytelling, mixed between exploring the mental toll that being a devil beast has on Jun and the various devil beasts terrorizing the human populace. The human drama with Jun makes for the most engaging element of the series with our lead character trying to sort out the effect that being a devil beast has on her personal life and mental state, particularly when helping Asuka and her organization gets in the way of her personal relationships and career as a supermodel. While initially hesitant with accepting her situation, Jun gradually gains more confidence in herself as she comes to learn more of the inner workings in the conflict between humans and devil beasts and her willpower tested as she loses loved ones and becomes ostracized from humans due to her true nature as a devil beast. The anime also takes time to explore side characters with personal relationships with Jun whom show varying levels of concern for her well-being as they deal with the sudden changes in her behavior and personality.
Other elements of Devil Lady’s storytelling are a bit more hit-and-miss. The first half of the series is mainly told in a “monster of the week” style format with Jun fighting off enemy devil beasts, many of whom being rather over-the-top with their evil acts in spite of some rather creative and creepy beast designs to compliment the anime’s horror focus. As a result, it does take time for the anime’s plot to pick up steam beyond its focus on Jun. Not to mention for whatever reason, devil beasts can usually demonstrate the power to grow into giants during battle, which adds some unnecessary hokiness to the story. The second half of the series has the plot picking up with the existence of devil beasts becoming known to the public, more nefarious motives with Asuka coming to light, and a group of devil beasts forming to try wiping out humanity. The devil beast group plot is nothing too compelling as the faction is rather shallow as far as villains go. The public’s increased awareness of devil beasts and the motives of Asuka make for the more compelling developments of Devil Lady’s second half as they force Jun into finding things in her life no longer being normal as they like and setting up some rather shocking plot twists with what Asuka is plotting with the human and devil beast conflict.
Just as a fair warning, Devil Lady comes packed with the high amount of gory violence, nudity, and sexual content you’d typically come across from many Go Nagai works. While the series does still take things quite seriously with its plot compared to many of Nagai’s titles, I’d still keep this away from younger or sensitive audiences because of the good amount of graphic content offered up from this series.
I guess overall, I find my thoughts of Devil Lady to be a mixed bag. The potential for serious plot development is there with the anime’s exploration of Jun’s developments coming to grips with her nature as a devil beast and some of the major plot developments in the show’s second half have their shocking twists offered up, particularly Asuka’s motives and the existence of devil beasts becoming known to the public. However, a number of the anime’s plot elements are rather over-the-top or shallow, and do usually take away from the serious storytelling that Devil Lady tries to push for. Fans of Go Nagai’s work looking for something a bit more mature-minded with its storytelling may be tempted to check out Devil Lady, but it still has its issues that keep it from being among the more better quality 1990s anime in my eyes.
Rating: 7 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
I only seen Devilman Crybaby. Not familiar with the franchise or any of Go Nagai's works. I am assuming this particular series - you can watch it independently. I don't think I am prepared since I assuming Devil Lady (as it's older) might be even more gruesome or traumatic than Crybaby. From the review, it seems like a slower pace anime with it going into a formulaic monster of the week for the first half.
Old Man Dream: 26 episodes, actually. Took a week for me to finish. Actually got through the first half quick last weekend. Slowed a bit over this week because things in real life got a bit hectic.
Jul 11, 2021 4:33:46 GMT
Old Man Dream: I'll be watching Midori Days as the first of five Tubi anime that folks voted on from my poll. Stay tuned!
Jul 27, 2021 17:19:16 GMT
Old Man Dream: On episode 2. One question to ask: why the hell was Midori's real body naked when Seiji and Midori-Hand were at her house?
Jul 27, 2021 21:14:10 GMT
Taka: Been a long time since I watched it. I remember being surprised at the nudity.
Jul 28, 2021 5:42:16 GMT
Old Man Dream: For context in that episode, Seiji decided to go to Midori's house to try figuring out why Midori-Hand is on his right hand and sees the real one is in a coma. Assuming Midori-Hand would somehow return to her real body if she made physical contact with...
Jul 28, 2021 11:54:33 GMT
Old Man Dream: it, the two are shocked to see that for whatever reason, Midori's original body was kept in the nude by her family.
Jul 28, 2021 11:56:46 GMT