Not quite the devil people were expecting

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

Based off of the game franchise, Devil May Cry is the kind of show where you can't really be sure of how the adaptation will go. The entire game series has been built around the idea of being cool and stylish while fighting and has a legion of fans that like it's over the top style. My time with the game franchise has been pretty minimal as I owned Devil May Cry 2 years ago but just couldn't get into it. Upon playing the demo for Devil May Cry 4, I found myself thinking that I'm now firmly old enough that games like this just are too much for me. When your five year old daughter points out how to get around better than you can, well, it's time to move on to more noble gaming pursuits like... chess.

Thankfully, the anime incarnation doesn't seem to want to play like the games, though that's going to alienate a lot of the fans. With production by Madhouse, the series episodes has a very dark and ominous feel to it with some stunning looking designs and a real sense of presence and machismo.

The series spends some time focusing on how the world works though and this comes through a very basic plot setup. The show revolves usually around Dante, a half breed born of devil and man who spends his time hunting down devils. Why he does this outside of the massive debts he seems to accrue is unclear but he is quite good at his job and has a real knack for sensing the demons that take human form.

For the first four episodes, each one introduces someone new into the cast of characters that spend a lot of time around Dante. On the negative side, the first episode introduces us to Patty Lowell, a young girl whose case he takes on by being her bodyguard and transporter while some devils are chasing after her. Naturally, it doesn't go as planned and she ends up moving in with him and introducing a lot of girly aspects to his life as well as a bit of whining. The second episode introduces Lady, a fellow Devil Hunter who has a strong visual look to her as a short haired badass that is on par with Dante. The fourth episode introduces another tough as nails woman known as Trish who has something of a fun duel with Lady throughout it which showcases their tough side but also some of their femininity. The weakest of the introductions comes in the third episode with Morrison, Dante's agent who isn't too strongly involved but is a decent enough supporting character.

While Devil May Cry isn’t high art, it’s certainly a lot more entertaining and engaging that I suspected it would be. It’s kept to episodic stories with some underlying currents to them but it avoided being filled with nonstop action and over the top silliness. Everything that caused me to enjoy the show are likely things that alienated its gamer audience however and I can understand the general derision there is among many for it. It’s not a series that leaps out as the cream of the crop, but it’s solidly animated, has a great sense of style in its design itself and gave me twelve interesting and rather well connected stories in the end.

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