Devilman Crybaby is not for everyone. It’s got a list of content warnings as long as my arm, to begin with, which in this premiere includes: animal death, blood, gore and dismemberment, body horror, drug use, so much nudity, and onscreen sex. It is determined to exercise its TV-MA rating and clearly enjoying the freedom of airing on Netflix.
Junji Ito’s talent for disturbing atmosphere and slow burns has rightfully cemented his status as a household name. The downside is that it means this adaptation comes with enormous expectations, and it’s arguably impossible to live up to what everyone wants—particularly in a format as inevitably uneven as an anthology. Still, I think this one is off to a pretty good start.
Ichiro Inuyashiki is down on his luck. While only 58 years old, his geriatric looks often have him written off as a pathetic old man by the world around him and he’s constantly ignored and disrespected by his family despite all that he’s done to support them. On top of everything else, his doctor has revealed that he has cancer and it appears that he has little time left in this world. But just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse, a blinding light in the night sky strikes the earth where Ichiro stands.
In prosperous Russell City, a conspiracy threatens to shake its world has been set in motion. A man named Sword is the first to hear the earliest stirrings of the plot, and throws himself into a shadow war in order to expose it. His only clue is the keyword “El Dorado.” He meets Sophie, a woman searching for her older brother who left her with only a message with the same word: “El Dorado.” With Sword having also lost his younger sister in the past, both are drawn together by the word, and work together to find out its meaning. Source: Anime News Network
An entire high school class of 32 people receive a message on their cellphones from a person known only as the “King.” The messages contain orders that the students must obey, or they risk the punishment of death. With their lives on the line, the students soon find out that the orders are getting more and more extreme as time goes on.
Teenager Yuta runs a snarky occult news blog. Black magic consultant Kurenaino runs a shop trading in curses. Publisher Sumikaze wonders if her boss saw a ghost when he went to collect a handwritten manuscript from one of their authors. Nine very different people’s paths begin to draw together, all linked by a single murder and the occult.