Dante, the main protagonist of the Devil May Cry series of computer games, received his own anime series in 2007 which is made up of 12 episodes. It follows his exploits as he hunts various demons with the occasional help of Lady and Trish. The episodes were made in Japan and have since been dubbed into English so occasionally the lips and words don’t quite sync.
I am a fan of anime, and here is why, because it can be so over the top. The gore can be extreme, sex scenes can be realistically voice acted and because everything is animated there are no sudden computer generated effects that just rip you out of the moment as they can do is so many live action films and TV shows.
I think that the Devil May Cry games are as close to anime that as video game can be, and was therefore the perfect game to bring to the over the top world of anime. However lets not get ahead of ourselves, if you are unfamiliar with the characters allow me to give you the lowdown on who everyone is and what they are doing…
The Son of the Demon Lord Sparda named Dante (voiced in the English dub by Reuben Langdon who reprises the role from Devil May Cry 3 and Devil May Cry 4 computer games) who possessed the powers of a demon but the soul of a human. He fights for the forces of good and runs a detective agency that specialises in destroying various monsters and demons that exist within the world. He carries an enormous sword with him and always carries his guns named Ebony and Ivory that he uses to slay various creatures of the night. He is almost always in debt, generally to a fellow demon hunter named Lady, but there is another lady named Trish who also pops up here and there to cause drain more money from him.
In his adventures within this series, Dante must face hordes of demons, two manipulative ladies who generally end up plunging him even further into debt, and a very annoying little girl that refuses to stop hanging around his office Devil May Cry.
A great, if sadly, short lived anime series.
The majority of the 12 episodes serve as self-contained adventures in which Dante is recruited by someone or other to hunt down and slay a demon that is causing trouble. The wider context of the presence of the demons is not explained as it seems the humans of the world know that demons exist and there are various hunters around the city as otherwise how is Dante able to wander around with a giant sword on his back and not get arrested?? There is however an underlining storyline that threads through the 12 episodes coming to a spectacular double episode finale that really does not disappoint.
Some of the wider context is not addressed in the anime, the example I used above is not explained, are humans fully aware that demons exist in their world?? If so why isn’t Dante employed by the government to hunt down and kill creatures that want to enslave or destroy the human world?? Surely this would be someone that you’d want to have fighting the good fight and not in debt to various women. Perhaps in the games this world is explained in greater detail but as I mentioned in my Devil May Cry 4 review I have seen bits of the other games being played so I am honestly not sure what the actual lore of this anime is or how much about the demon world regular humans know. I mean no one seems especially surprised when Dante kills a demon in public then walks casually away with his sword somehow attached to his back.
Whist it helps to have played the games, I don’t think that it is essential to still enjoy the Devil May Cry series. Fans of the game series will undoubtedly enjoy seeing Dante in a non-world about to be destroyed way and see him carrying on his life day-by-day, slaying demons and generally juts oozing coolness. Both Lady and Trish appear but the have some differences from their video game counterparts, thankfully, Dante is the key character and he is voiced by the same actor from the latter two games. As a result fans of the games and non-fans alike can still enjoy the anime as it links to its source material but not in a way that would leave non-fans lost.
The 12 episode structure means that there are no pointless filler episodes that serve no purpose, it is obvious that Dante is going to win, but he is never a dick about it so you are happy to watch him slaughter demons after demon.
It is also refreshing to have a series of self-contained episodes which make picking up Devil May Cry mid-season an easy thing to do and will compel most people to track down the episodes they have missed. Patty Lowell can be a little irritating at times, the audience can relate to Dante’s attempts to get her to just leave him alone, but it is clear that the two do have a soft spot for one another.
Generally Devil May Cry is an anime that is not too bloodthirsty and whilst it still carries a 15 certificate it does not walk the line between violent and sickeningly violent as other anime titles such as Dead Space Downfall and Hellsing do.
This is a series that I have watched again and again, it is such a shame that there are not more episodes because I would loved to have seem more adventures and more of the daily life of Dante. Unfortunately we have only got the 12 episodes but they get a Thumbs Up because if you are a fan of anime you will not be disappointed by the animation, the violence or the voice work.
8/10 - All in all, Devil May Cry is a good anime that can appeal to both fans and non-fans of the video game series. The biggest drawback of this anime is that it will leave you wanting more and regrettably there isn’t any more.