All good things must come to an end, including the amazing run of quality series we've seen throughout Summer 2007. Just when we think directors are learning humility, animators are being reigned in to make room for talented script writers, and fresh ideas are rising from the graveyard that is the horror genre, an anime like Devil May Cry comes along to shatter those dreams with an irreverent, gore-splattering combo. The series basically suffers from the same thing every other incompetent horror tale does, namely suffocating cliché.
The story is not actually a story, but a collection of mini tales, each an episode long, each depicting a day or two of Dante's rather pointless existence. You get your stock plots like ‘stoic warrior burdened with whiny little brat' and ‘demon man falls in love with human girl' as well as the injection of a couple of patronising comedy episodes. Most of them are poorly executed mysteries. The creators also struggle to balance the stunts with the necessary levels of realism required to retain a sense of peril, which leads to several inconsistencies in world-building. For example, in one scene Lady can hit a fast-moving target on a motorcycle with one shot, which becomes meaningless when two episodes later she fails to hit a fairly motionless target even after five rounds.
Comedy-wise, the series leans heavily on Patty the annoying brat and Dante's flippant remarks, which quickly become predictable and boring. It's fine in the games because on the rare occasion that he does speak, he's usually about to do something awesome in full CG glory. Here, he mostly talks the talk and limps the walk. Also, much of it is forced i.e. milked from contrived circumstances and dialogue (Patty's pink and girly possessions spread all over Dante's dingy, manly office - oh, how we laughed).
Worst of all, the series falls short of capturing the fun of the games because it forgets to adapt its material for the change in medium. A comparison with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children might be useful here. Advent Children does not make any attempt whatsoever to appeal to a broader audience than the fanbase, meaning it can rely on its original game to provide the emotional investment and also avoids competing with other anime on the market. DMC on the other hand wants to be liked by everyone (very few clever or exclusive inside jokes and references aimed at fans) but hasn't got the necessary clout to compete in a diverse world of far superior series. Perhaps the real problem is its format; it could have been a movie, where the plot is more streamlined, thus allowing for a concentration of good ideas, but instead it chose to be a series, spreading its best bits too thin. Even worse, although the series attempts to mirror the game, it thoroughly fails to grasp the concept of using action to offset the lack of depth. None of the fights are particularly eye-popping beyond the first episode, with the animation lagging far behind other contemporary works such as Seirei no Moribito.
Lastly, the story has a repetitive streak in that every episode has one mystery or other which requires only brawn to solve, and the demon always loses in a matter of seconds. No exceptions. Add to that the incessant posing and the total lack of suspense because every demon is just as weak as the one before, and the entire thing falls flat on its undead, grimacing face.
At first sight, the animation looks very good; clear, bold colours, dark tones to match the mood, boobalicious female and handsome male character designs. However, movement is not actually as smooth as one would hope for an anime that revolves around action. Seriously, you'll find better looking battles in Street Fighter II. There were several instances when I'd hold my breath, waiting for Dante to kick royal arse, but instead there'd be a couple of boring swings of his sword, countless camera shots down the barrel of his gun, and the beast would be dead. It feels as if the show got tedious even for the creators and they just couldn't be bothered to think up new stunts anymore. Also, almost everything is set at night in nightclubs, seedy bars, restaurants and alleyways. However, whilst technically dark, it's never actually very atmospheric.
The series has an excellent instrumental opening theme and the end theme is not bad either. The stuff in the middle is not really that impressive, except for the rock song used as part of the plot in episode six. Between Lady's believable performance and Dante's lack of dynamism and charisma, the voice acting is not fantastic but not terrible either. Oh, and Patty Lowell is just noise pollution.
As far as generic and uncomplicated heroes go, Dante is alright, although it takes at least half the series to get him to that point. Initially he's as flat as an ironing board, which has a lot to do with the fact that, in trying to make him a lone wolf type, he actually turns out bland and monotone. In the game, he's an ostentatious, cocky brat with an ingrained sense of style; in the anime he's a calorie-hunting layabout. Think Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop) without the follow-up back story. It's easy to believe that with a much better storyline and action sequences, Dante would have been more enjoyable, but in light of the series' actual achievements, he's a disappointment.
Anyway, that might explain the abomination that is Patty Lowell's role; it's very possible that she's a failed attempt to add zest. However, no attempt is ever made to use her to characterise Dante and she never achieves any depth in her own right either. Frankly, just removing her from the plot would have added two more points to the score, because the time they wasted on her could have been spent deepening Dante.
Lastly, Lady is a woman with the role roughly equivalent to every single Bond girl you've ever seen; she's smart talking and kick-arse but her personality is ultimately overshadowed by her two biggest assets. Not that I expected much else for the female characters in this anime, but it still would have been nice to be surprised. She's roughly on par with Dante on the scale of interesting-to-boring.
Because of its episodic nature, none of the minor characters can reasonably be expected to develop, however nobody could be prepared for just how uninteresting they turned out to be. Take Mushishi as a contrast - none of the characters apart from Ginko carry over from one episode into the next, yet they are highly sympathetic because of their harrowingly weird situations. In another vein, Black Lagoon generates interest in its shallow supporting cast by at least giving them gimmicky quirks. DMC doesn't bother with any techniques whatsoever to dress up its supporting cast, and they suffer for it.
I'm sure DMC was intended to radiate an effortless cool and a cheeky disregard for the boundaries of taste, but instead it turned out rather juvenile. Whilst this level of mediocrity occasionally provides belly laughs when accompanied by 80s animation, no modern anime should presume to become enough of a cult classic to excuse such delivery. As a woven plot, the series is nonsense; as an action fest, it has limited entertainment value. DMC will appeal to those who very recently came to anime via Blood+, Hellsing and the like, and thus haven't yet developed their tastes with better fare.
Before we go any further, I should mention I have never played the games, but I did read the manga a few years back. (And I was really, really, really hoping the anime had Vergil, but it didn't)
Story: The plot is pretty episodic, with certain characters disappearing and reappearing when needed. It centers around Dante, a half-demon who hunts down demons for a living. Due to the episodic nature of the anime, the plot is a little choppy. Aside from some decent fight scenes, the action is pretty much limited to Dante's sarcasm.
Animation: There is a lot of shadow in this anime, possibly because of the darker content. However, thought the animation is dark, it does not mute the edges or obscure the details. And coming from a game, the fight scenes are rather over the top.
Sound: The musical score is a mix of rock and roll and piano pieces. It helps set the mode, but can often come off as a little overdone.
Characters: Obnoxious, but they are mercenaries, so that's to be expected. Though, I will give the writers credit, the "witty" banter wasn't too over the top. There wasn't much character development in the anime. Dante pretty much stays the same the entire anime.
I remember when i was young i used to love all the Dmc games. The anime strated of kinda meh and got better towards the end. However, it doesnt really FEEL like dante, as if his personality is a bit off from the games. Nonetheless, i still liked it and it did give me some nostalgia.
Devil may cry is one of the old episodic anime. The story is not an original one but I don't think that matter. The anime provide side story of Dante. Those who have played the games maybe remember scene when he was in his agency Devil may cry eating Piizza and someone called. Then he started a new adventure. In Devil May Cry TV show, he got a little girl who lost her mother and have to take smaller job orders. Almost every episode was interesting and the real plot started to matter more in last episodes. That's typical for anime like this.
I enjoyed this anime very much even if I know it is not so interesting and stylish like the original game. Should it bother me? I don't think so. If you don't search for the extremely interesting story and don't expect to be about past of Dante and his relation to his family, you enjoyed it very much.
Music and animation? Well, I like it because I am fan of older ones. I don't like those glowing glittering new animations. Music in this anime was good and song from the "RocK Queen" - Future in my hands made this anime memorable for me.
To sum up all of that. Devil May Cry isn't masterpiece but in my opinion, its not even bad and boring. I like it and in future I would like to watch it over again.
"Popular, but... are you sure ?"
I'm a gamer so Devil May Cry serie is familiar for me. But I was very surprised when I discovered anime with the same name.
As fast as possible I started to watch it. How it was? I was quite dissapointed, but I tell everything in sequence.
"Feel like in seventh heaven..."
The beggining of anime was badass. Imagine, main character Dante goes in bar, orders strawberry dessert and after moment he beats up monsters.
Whoah! That was sick I thought. That music and line... it made me watching more episodes.
"...but not all gold that glitters"
And there ends positives of that anime. Second episode and I see protagonist who sits behind desk and talking on the phone about debts. Really?
Everyone who played video games from that serie didn't recognise that Dante had any debt. Suddenly is coming man with moustache and gives to Dante quest.
He has to transport little girl who is heir of her family. And I swear that young lady is the most annoying character in that anime(skipping fact that there are worse characters)
and she will crush your mood while watching this.
The further you go, you're more annoyed. Another characters are even worse. One character is muscular and flirts with Miss Lady, but is scared of Dante.
C'mon! Some quests was good, but it didn't change my opinion about it. And that moment when Dante dies. But, why? He is strong and knows everything about demons, so why did he died?
What a shame. He was good character, the best one from that anime.
In a nutshell Devil May Cry isn't anime for people, who played video games from that serie. Simply they will get dissapointed.
From the other hand I can recommend it for fans of horror or demons. It would be better, if creators could make more based on video games.
Underfeeded strawbery dessert