Devilman, part 4


The cast of Devilman, including Akira, Miki, Ryo Asuka, and Silene, also crossed over with characters from Mazinger Z and Violence Jack in the 1991 OVA CB Chara Go Nagai World, also released in the Italian market as Il pazzo mondo di Go Nagai. This release featured the familiar characters in comical and lighthearted antics, in squashed-down "super deformed" form ("CB" in the title may refer to "chibi", a Japanese term meaning "little" or "small").

The rich story line in Devilman, in the opinion of several readers of manga, made it stand apart from other manga of the time. However, its extreme violence made it a major target of protest for the PTA and other groups. Still, the story has become a classic in Japan and has even been working its way through the U. S. over the past decade or so. The manga has been translated into English, although the only piece of Devilman anime to have been commercially released in America is the two-part late 1980s OVA.

Interestingly, Go Nagai is said to have been highly shocked that his giant-robot work Mazinger Z, which was on Japanese TV at the same time as Devilman and which he originally did not take very seriously, far surpassed Devilman in popularity. The reason was that he had worked especially hard on Devilman and only made Mazinger as a way to blow off steam.

In an essay written three decades after the debut of the original manga and TV series, Nagai commented that he designed Devilman as an anti-war work. According to Nagai, the fusion of humans and demons is an analogy for the draft, and Miki's gruesome death parallels the death of peace. "There is no justice in war, any war," wrote Nagai, "nor is there any justification for human beings killing one another. Devilman carries a message of warning, as we step toward a bright future." [See: http://www.devilworld.org/revelations.html.]

Akira Fudo/Devilman and other characters from the series have shown up in cameo appearances numerous times in other Go Nagai works. Most notable is Tomoharu Katsumata's 1973 feature film Mazinger Z vs. Devilman (Majinga Z tai Debiruman), which featured Devilman teaming up with Nagai's titular robot to fight Dr. Hell. The original Devilman TV series itself featured cameos from Mazinger Z's Yumi Sayaka (a.k.a. "Jessica" in the American version, TranZor Z), in episodes 27 and 33.

Akira has appeared in various incarnations of Cutey Honey, most notably the 1994 OVA Shin Cutey Honey. Episode one features gargoyles of Amon and other demons. Devilman appears as a guitarist in episode three, and Akira himself shows up later on to team up with Honey. In addition, the second opening sequence to the OAV featured a brief cameo of Akira fighting Silene the Demon Bird. Hideaki Anno's Re: Cutey Honey featured cameos by Akira and Miki in their trademark clothing from the original TV series, as well as Himura, a villain from the TV series.

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