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Demon Lord Dante, or Maō Dante, (魔王ダンテ) is a 1971 shōnen action-horror series by Go Nagai. When the series was cancelled prematurely Toei approached Nagai with the prospect of making an anime remake of the series with a more human-looking protagonist. This led to the creation of the original Devilman TV-series and manga.

A shōjo remake of the series, Shin Maō Dante (真・魔王ダンテ, literally "True Demon Lord Dante"), written by Nagai and illustrated by Akira Fuuga ran from 1994 to 1996.

Another series by Nagai, this time a seinen work referred to both as Shin Maō Dante (新魔王ダンテ, literally "New Demon Lord Dante") and just "Mao Dante", was published in 2002. It retells parts of the original series from different perspectives with additional details and gives the story a conclusion. An anime adaption was also produced at the same time. The 2002 manga and anime notably have similar endings, but different conclusions.


The story follows the young teen Ryo Utsugi who was being plagued by visions of horrific demons causing mass slaughter of humans. A little later he goes on a hiking trip to the Himalayas where he is summoned by a strange entity and comes across the monstrous form of Dante, the Demon Lord. 

Utsugi is devoured by Dante who breaks free of the ice and reaches Tokyo where he begins to destroy the city in a confused blood fueled rampage. After thousands had been killed the Japanese military resolve to nuke Tokyo, they do so but it fails to even affect Dante who whilst wandering the mists comes across another demon named Zennon. Zennon who had sided with the alien entity known as God attacks Dante with his army of 100 Devils. Dante of course wins and wipes out the army and even kills Zennon who had been given additional powers by God, and dies with his warning of Adam and Eve.

Later Dante returns to Utsugi's form and begins to become confused as to what was happening. When his old friend Sosuke Oshiba brings Utsugi to a demon's murder, he is confronted afterwards by a mysterious woman asking why Dante didn't do anything to help the demon. When he is unable to answer, she realizes something and shows him various visions of Dante's past life and Utsugi realizes that he and Dante were the same. He then has a flashback to the past when he and the woman (revealed to be Medusa) were lovers and the world is obliterated by the arrival of God, who accidentally creates the demon race in the process. With this Dante joins forces with his past love and calls together an army of Demons to fight against the human race and the army of God.


  • Demon Lord Dante/Ryo Utsugi: The main protagonist. Originally thought to be a human college student with a very religious father, he was transported to the Himalayas to receive the Demon Lord Dante's powers. Later he is revealed to be the leader of the Demon race, one of the first demons to be accidentally created by God. He led a thousand year revolution against God but was encased in ice, until he managed to separate a piece of himself into a human being that would inevitably reunite with his demon form to resume their battle with God.
  • Aya Utsugi:
  • Medusa: Dante's lover from ancient times, she was the first to be transformed into a demon by God's Flames which gave her long, snake-like hair. It's thanks to her that Dante finally remembers his true calling and restarts his battle with God.
  • God: God was an ancient alien deity who came to Earth and attempted to wipe out the current civilization, accidentally creating the demon race in the process. He could manifest several forms of himself at once, each resembling different beasts such as horses, dogs, birds and various other creatures.
  • Zennon: Dante's best friend, a powerful demon who served close to Dante and was even present at his encasement in ice. God promises Zennon that he will grant mercy to the demon race if Zennon kills Dante, an offer he begrudgingly accepts.
  • Sosuke Oshiba: A childhood friend of Utsugi, seemingly several years older than him. Oshiba was an elite member of a group of Christian demon hunters who took pleasure in slaughtering the demons.
  • Beelzebub:

Connections to Devilman[]

Demon Lord Dante is famous for being a proto-Devilman, Nagai was approached by Toei to make a more kid friendly version of Dante and so Devilman was born. Both the manga and anime had elements of Dante, some major and others less prevalent.

  • The first and most obvious would be the character of Dante himself, whose design was used as part of the inspiration for Zennon from the manga, and the anime version of Zennon, who also could transform into his manga equivalent.
    • Later on in Devilman Lady, Dante himself is Incorporated into the Devilman Universe by actually being a part of Zennon himself, serving as the main body.
  • The second most notable is the design of the character Zennon being incorporated into the anime's Zannin, a demon sharing a almost identical design, Zennon's name being used for the two Demon Leaders, his design is also similar to the demon Muzan and the manga demon Eader.
  • The character God is also portrayed as the overall main villain despite appearing briefly in each.
  • Medusa appears as a minor character in Devilman Lady with a similar origin to the original.
  • Sosuke Oshiba seems to have been the basis for the character Masa Bokuto, his caviler attitude is similar to Ryo Asuka.
  • The name Ryo Utsugi likely influenced the later Ryo Asuka.
  • Ryo Utsugi's character is a proto form of Akira Fudo.
  • The minor demon Blemshat is later redesigned and seen in an episode of the Devilman anime as Gondoroma.
  • In both stories God creates the demon race by mistake, although the way he does it is different.

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Demon Lord Dante
Demon Lord DanteTrue Demon Lord DanteNew Demon Lord DanteDemon Lord Dante (anime) • Demon Lord Dante VS Getter Robo G
Central characters
Ryo Utsugi (True - New - Anime) • Medusa (True - New - Anime)
Zennon (True - New - Anime) • God (True - New - Anime)
New Dante central characters