Otaku USA Magazine
[Review] Devilman: Grimoire Vol. 1

Sometimes a title helps sell a story, and by golly this is not Devilman: Book of Magic. Nope, the archaic word choice says this story is aimed at teenage boys who read Alistair Crowley and like Black Sabbath. If that sounds dismissive, it’s not meant to. Devilman, the story of a teenage boy possessed by a demon who gleefully fights off invading hellspawn, is a classic male power fantasy full of violence and bare breasts and the kind of cosmic/mystic world-building that makes readers feel they’re in on a secret.

Just as in the 1972 original, in this reboot the real selling point is the art. Artist Rui Takatou renders normal faces in much the same style as creator Go Nagi did, but the monsters feel different, more distinctively human. The female demons are recognizably female for the most part, albeit with a scary set of teeth where their genitals should be. In my memory of the original series, most of Devilman’s foes looked a lot like Devilman.

Like Devilman, Devilman: Grimore appeals to the reader’s inner teenage boy. It’s as loud as print can be and has the ultraviolence that drew old-school fans to manga back in the 70s and 80s. If you’re in a diabetic coma from too much mild-mannered contemporary shonen manga, this is your defibrillator!

publisher: Seven Seas
story: Go Nagai
Art: Rui Takatou
rating: OT

This story appears in the April 2018 issue of Otaku USA Magazine. Click here to get a print copy.