By Rachel on November 12, 2007
Life can be so very disappointing at times. Especially when we eagerly await something for which we have high expectations and then have those expectations dashed to the ground and rubbed away like grass stains in the laundry. That’s what watching the Devil May Cry anime was like; feelings of jittery fangirl glee which faded into stark disappointment.
Dante is a man who makes a living doing all manner of odd jobs. But where his real talent lies is devil hunting. Dante is himself half-devil; his father being the demonic, legendary Dark Knight, Sparda. Spanda’s son has inherited all the powers of his father.
Dante now makes it his goal in life to send all demons who dare step foot into our world back to hell, but only if there’s a check waiting for him at the end of his missions. The devil hunter has made devil hunting a business and even has an agent, Morrison, who finds jobs for the frequently indebted Dante.
One day, Morrison offers Dante a high paying job involving escorting an orphan girl to a mansion. The orphan is Patty Lowell, and she stands to inherit a large sum of money. Devils, however, have been consigned to kill Patty before she can claim her inheritance.
After dealing with the demons, Dante is saddled with the orphan who decides she wants to live with Dante. Patty patiently cooks and cleans for Dante as he goes out into the world to hunt down devils with the help of former allies, Lady and Trish.
There really was no concrete plot for Devil May Cry, aka, DMC. Nothing drove the short, 12 episode series forward; it was more about Dante doing what does he best, which is being cool and fighting demons. The three video games from which this anime is derived, each individually had more plot than the entire anime.
Instead of getting a well-plotted, intelligently paced anime, which could have fleshed out everyone’s fave devil hunter, fans were handed, well, fanservice. We not only get to see Dante kicking demon ass, but we also get to see Trish and Lady in action as well. But there’s no other reason for these two DMC leading ladies to make an appearance in the anime apart from being there as fanservice. No background is given for them, nor is their connection with Dante explained.
It’s all for certain fans of the games and not really for anyone else. And even for me, a die-hard fan of the games, it was too gratuitous. The Devil May Cry anime was made for fans of how the games looked and not necessarily for fans of how the games played. Patty, the orphan girl who lives with Dante, was obnoxious and just as unnecessary and gratuitous as her female co-stars, but what would fanservice driven anime be without a cute, moe, lolita?
Only in the last three episodes was there anything resembling “story” or “plot”. Even then, it was all mashed together in a hurried, “Oh crap, I knew I forgot something!” manner.
The character designs were a bit blah, considering that they could go have gone crazy with the demons’ designs since there’s so much precedent for it in previous games. Dante looked fantastic, however, as did Trish and Lady, thereby helping fulfill one more criteria of fanservice- hot characters.
I would say the fight scenes were fanservice as well, but for which fans? Dante didn’t do half the awesome moves he’s famous for in the games; he just gets a ton of face time when he’s hacking and slashing. Fans of the game play in the DMC games will be disappointed with the fight scenes, but fans of Dante, as bishishounen, will be satisfied with the mediocre nature of the fight choreography since it makes Dante look good.
Madhouse gets much cred for doing a brilliant job with the animation. The animation was smooth and detailed in many places. The studio did a great job adhering to the vision of the games. The colors, the lines, the tone, all kept in line with the original concept for Devil May Cry. It felt wasted, however.
I’ve decide that while “D.M.C“, the OP by Rungran, is an annoying tune stuck in my head, it’s a great opening theme for the anime. The guitar heavy song perfectly matches Dante’s rock n’ roll, bad ass demeanor. “I’ll Be Your Home” by Rin Oikawa is actually a fantastic song, but is out of place with the anime. It’s a soft ballad which doesn’t quite fit in with the high tension of the series.
Haven’t heard the English voice cast yet, but the Japanese voice cast was excellent.
The DMC anime was the latest chance for the Devil May Cry franchise to offer something more than fanservice to their extra-video game offerings, but it fell far short of that goal; that is, if they were shooting for it in the first place. There’ll be other chances for the franchise to step up to the plate with the upcoming release of Devil May Cry 4, slated for sometime early next year. It was so disappointing to have waited so long and so eagerly for a DMC anime only to have it be what it turned out to be; fanservice.
Devil May Cry gets two out of a possible four Hammies.
Posted in Anime Reviews | Tagged Anime, anime review, anime reviews, dante, devil may cry, Devil may cry anime series, devil may cry animiew, devil may cry review, devil may cry series, DMC, DMC anime, DMC anime review, DMC anime series, DMC series, e revDevil May Cry anime, lady, madhouse, trish
I do love almost all aspects of Japanese culture and try to be involved with it as much as possible. I have no problem admitting that I incorporate a lot of Japanese trends and traditions into my life as I modify them and make them my own. Anime is a big part of that, along with all the sub-cultures, past and present.