Devil May Cry: The Animated Series is an anime based on Capcom’s videogame series. The anime was directed by Shin Itagaki and was produced by Madhouse. The 12 episodes of the series aired in Japan from June 14-September 6, 2007. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American rights for Devil May Cry: The Animated Series. However, with FUNimation now being merged with Crunchyroll, those rights might be held by Crunchyroll.
I originally watched the first episode of this anime around a decade ago. At the time, I thought the episode showed a lot of promise, but I never managed to get back to watching the series until now.
The main character of the series is named Dante, and he is a private investigator who operates a devil-hunting business called Devil May Cry. Dante primarily accepts jobs that involve the supernatural. Unfortunately, he ends up being short on money for various reasons, whether it’s due to his clients not paying him because he causes damage while on a job, having to pay off a debt, or being too lazy to work more than once a week. However, when Dante does take on an assignment, he gets the job done. Most of Dante’s jobs come from his liaison, Morrison.
In the first episode of the series, Dante meets Patty Lowell. She’s a young girl who had supposedly come into a large inheritance, but this turned out to be a scam. Since the scam was revealed, Patty spends a lot of time with Dante. But, as the series progresses, she becomes an important character in her own right.
Lady is a human devil huntress, and she sometimes brings Dante work. However, Lady usually has to con him into accepting the jobs. We are also introduced to Trish, Dante’s ex-partner who now works as a freelance devil hunter. At first, Lady and Trish don’t get along, but they end up becoming friends by the end of the series.
For the most part, Devil May Cry: The Animated Series is episodic in nature and each episode contains a self-contained story. The only real exception to this is the final two episodes, since the climax of the series needed two episodes in order to be told. But I liked the idea of Dante meeting and interacting with various people throughout the series, because this helped to develop him as a character. I was quite impressed with the writing, since more often than not, the anime adaptations of videogames that I’ve seen in the past haven’t been written as well as this one was. If I had any disappointment in the writing, it’s the fact that even though Trish is highlighted in the opening credits, we don’t really get to see that much of her in the series. She’s hinted at right at the beginning but doesn’t make her first appearance until Episode Four… and then, she basically disappears for about six or seven episodes before returning to the story. Having Trish featured in the opening credits made it seems like she was going to be more important to the series than she ended up being.
I thought the animation in this series looked fantastic. The character designs were very strong, and the quality of the animation hardly wavered. If it did waver at all, it was very hard to notice. I think I saw the occasional use of CG, but none of it stood out enough to clash with the rest of the animation on the screen. It should be noted, though, that there is quite a bit of blood that appears in Devil May Cry: The Animated Series. If you’re squeamish about any depiction of blood, you may want to pass on this anime. With the amount of blood that appears in the anime, it’s not surprising that it was given a TV-MA rating.
I went into watching this series with no real knowledge of the Devil May Cry videogame. With the way the series is written, though, a viewer doesn’t need to have played the game or to know much about it in order to understand what’s going on. All the important information that a viewer needs is provided over the course of the series. The anime itself was so riveting that I found I had an easy time bingeing it, because I wanted to know what happened next.
I think Devil May Cry: The Animation appeals not only to fans of the videogame series, but to anime viewers who appreciate character-driven storytelling that also includes a fair bit of violence and blood. I’m glad I finally sat down to watch all 12 episodes of the series, because I enjoyed what I saw and I now want to add it to my anime home video library.
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