Devilman: Demon Bird (1990)

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Overall Rating 71%
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Ranked #10,089
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Connections: Devilman

In this episode, Akira Fudo (aka Devil Man) fights more demons trying to kill him. The strongest enemy sent from demon's world is Silen, the demon bird. --IMDb
Review by Ginose
Added: November 20, 2009
Having stated Go Nagai's impact on the world of action comics and horror in general in my last review (and basically sucking him off for a paragraph and a half), I feel it only appropriate to start off this second review with a few negative statements regarding the man, his influence and his works in general.

Fact of the matter is, Nagai's most important and infamous works were debuted in the 1970s and, at the time, were both groundbreaking and exciting. Today, however, one of the primary negative influences we've seen of his is the ability to pack and action-tight story with more and more action until the fact that it is all filler is completely ignored. Again, this was in the 70s, and it was a rarity back then to see so much blood-spewing combat going on, so one could fill multiple comics with a succession of completely pointless battles (and occasionally just stretch a single one). Today, however, with the onset of action films and shows that have developed over the years, the average viewer can mark fluff when they see it, therefore depleting today's story a bit more significantly.

Having adapted his powers over a period of time, Akira is starting to become the demon-hunter he had planned to be since adopting Amon into his body. This, however, comes with the price of alerting the rest of the demon world to his existence, and warranting a lot of unneeded attention from his foes. Finally confronting the demon that killed his parents, Akira finds a bit of closure since his transformation, and is ready to kick this new life into high-gear. However, a few rather powerful demons are willing to give one last shot to ending his career before it truly starts, one of which is Sirčne, the demon bird.

This entry is, in ways very similar to the previous film in that it continues to feel more like an introduction. This time, however, it provides more of an intro to the actual Devilman inside of Akira, and the whole action-heavy lifestyle that he's going to be living into, from this point on. This is by introducing the powers of the demon, as well as finally giving him an opponent that could easily best him, if he isn't at his whole.

This is also the biggest problem: An opponent so strong really only leaves the film with enough time to so the fight between the two, making this feel less like a continuation of the series, and more like a hyper-gory episode of "Dragonball Z".

Now, honestly, if a fight is interesting enough, I have no problem letting it stretch a good 30 minutes (if only the final fight of "5 Deadly Venoms" lasted so long...), but there really wasn't a way to stretch this one without speeding everything along, introducing ridiculous amounts of abilities and making both combatants make genuinely stupid decisions throughout. Overall, those glaring flaws, stretched with the condensed version of the fight truly left me wanting.

The gore is still there, and in great abundance, but the ridiculously foolish things done in between it all is all the more obnoxious BECAUSE the gore is still there. Some people may be less bothered by that than others, but not me. I demand some intelligent combat from power-players to make the gore more meaningful. Not sure how I can forgive such a mistake.

The animation and voices are actually quite improved in the years between these two OVAs' creations, and that's a great bonus on top of the rather air-puffed story, but that almost makes it a bit more insulting that t he script is so condensed and rushed. It's like taking an opera and only positioning three complete songs, while rushing the rest into quick dialogues between the actors. You understand what's going on, but you still feel cheated.

Overall, I can still recommend this entry to both fans of the first, and action/anime fans in general. I still would have to tack on my warnings, and, above all, mention that it's just not as great as the last one.

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