Now is a good time to be a Devil May Cry fan. 5 is right around the corner, and it looks absolutely fantastic. On top of that, we’re getting an anime series produced by the same man behind the excellent Castlevania. Things are finally looking up. But there’s something a lot of people don’t know about the series.
We already had a DMC anime.
The animated Devil May Cry series is an anime lost to time. Very few people remember it, and even fewer have actually watched it. Why is that? Was the show so horribly awful that everyone deleted it out of their memories like they did DMC 2? Well… No.
This series has plenty of things going for and against it. On one had, it’s a pretty fun show featuring the old and some new characters of the DMC series. On the other, we have a show with wildly varying visuals and forgettable stories.
Let’s start with those, shall we? The story has a sort of ‘story of the week’ structure while the main plot builds in the background until the last few episodes. It’s not a bad structure, Doctor Who did it all the time, but those episodic storylines need to be great.
The ones on display here are… okay. Some of them are gold, like the episode where some random dude keeps witnessing Dante’s demon slaying antics and is changed by them for the better, gaining the courage to ask out the girl he’s been crushing on all episode and to talk to Dante at all. I love that episode. But so many of the other stories are just so forgettable. Like when Dante tried to help a demon get laid in a Romeo-Juliet style episode. They aren’t bad, you can still have fun watching them, they’re just very forgettable.
The main plot is the only story Devil May Cry knows how to tell. Some dumb mother fucker is trying to open a portal to hell in order to gain power beyond any other. To do this, he needs someone’s blood and a mystical maguffin. They succeed and Dante kills them with his famous line: “Jackpot.” With that done, he goes back to the Devil May Cry and awaits his next job. It’s by the numbers in every possible way, but it does it’s job. Again: not bad, just not fantastic.
The characters within that story are the same: decent, but forgettable. Of course we have Dante, Trish and Lady, all of whom are pretty great. But we also have the new characters of Patty and Morison. Morison is Dante’s agent, trying desperately to get Dante work that would actually get him paid. Patty is a young orphan girl who, after Dante saves her in the first episode, hangs out at the Devil May Cry and tells Dante to get off his ass. The two have a sort of father-daughter relationship, but it’s not as well fleshed out as it could have been. Both of these characters are perfectly fine and likable, and they play well with the rest of the cast. But they could have done so much more with them than what we got.
Okay. So the story and characters are good, but forgettable. How about the art and animation? Well, that’s where the train flies off of the Consistency Tracks and into the Up and Down Valley.
When I was looking up the credits for this show, I was very surprised to see the studio behind it. It’s a small team, you’ve probably never heard of them. They’re called STUDIO MADHOUSE!
Normally, Madhouse shows have solid visuals that remain consistently good throughout, unless they want to use a quality dip for the sake of comedy like in One Punch Man. Devil May Cry, on the other hand, has the most up and down visuals of any show I’ve seen since Dragon Ball Super.
Don’t get me wrong. When the shots are good, they look damn good. But when they look bad, they give me some Persona 5 The Animation flashbacks. And if you’ve ever read any of my reviews for those, then you’d know that I do not want to be reminded of that show.
Luckily, the backgrounds and areas all look stunning. Each environment is distinct and pretty to look at. But that makes it all the more jarring when the characters within them look like they were drawn in fifteen minutes by an amateur.
The show also makes up for it with some killer music. The OP is really fucking good, and the OST matches the standard set by the games. However, unlike the games, you won’t find yourself humming any of the tunes or muttering the lyrics as you wash the dishes. This is where the train gets back on the Consistency Tracks and returns to the ultimate summary of this show:
Good. But forgettable.
It’s kind of hard for me to recommend this show. It’s certainly fun to watch, but there’s so little to it. After you’ve finished it, you’ll probably have forgotten you’d even watched it.
If you love Devil May Cry, give this one a watch. If you’re a newcomer to the series, watch the first episode or two and decide from there. If you enjoy the show, then you should definitely play the games they’re based on.
Except 2. Never play DMC 2.