Devilman (デビルマン) is a horror/shonen quasi-superhero manga series written by Go Nagai in 1972. This series is renowned in history for pushing the Shonen demographic to its limit with its dark atmosphere.
The idea for Devilman came about when Nagai was approached by Toei about adapting his manga Demon Lord Dante to television, but wanted certain elements to be toned down and a more appealing main character.
While having similarities to Dante, Devilman is set in its own universe. A month after the manga premiered in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine, the Toei-produced anime began airing on NET, which lasted 39 episodes.
The manga was later adapted in novel form, True Devilman, written by Nagai's brother Yasutaka Nagai, which in turn inspired two OVAs (Devilman: The Birth and Devilman: The Demon Bird) directed by Umanosuke Iida.
Devilman starts with a group of Angels descending down onto the Cretaceous era of Earth where they are suddenly attacked by an armada of demons, led by an angel traitor Satan. The Angels flee and merge together and summon God who attempts to eradicate the demons, however they go into hibernation deep in the Himalayan Mountains.
The story then follows a boy in his late teens named Akira Fudo, who after unexpectedly encountering his old friend Ryo Asuka is thrown into the world of demons. Ryo takes him to his home where he tells Akira about his Father's recent death and how he had been researching demons and that he wanted Akira to join him in has battle against them. To do this he needed Akira to risk his own life to fuse with a demon. Akira agrees and Ryo takes him to a Black Sabbath where Akira successfully merges with the demon Amon, who then goes on to slaughter the other demons who had merged with the partiers at the Black Sabbath. However Ryo is seriously injured in the battle.
Later the second volume begins with the beautiful demoness Sirene bathing in a stream, with her friend Kaim watching who unknown to her had feelings for her. Sirene then notices Amon, whom she loved, battling another demon high in the sky. After the merge, Akira becomes much more aggressive and starts to fight with anyone who annoyed him including the gang of Masa Bokuto and Dosu-Roku. Later the demoness comes down to try and kill Akira for having stole her love, she summons the demons Agwel and Ghelmer to kill Akira and the Makimura family. Akira battles with the two demons and after having killed both he lets down his defenses allowing for Sirene to fly down and grab Akira. The two start to battle within a forest however, Akira starts to get the upper hand so she flees and begs for some back-up from her lord Zennon. He sends down a small army of lesser demons as well as Kaim who confesses his love to her before killing himself and allowing for her to merge with him. She does and with her new found powers she battles with Akira and almost manages to kill him. However she succumbs to her wounds and dies in a statuesque stance, which Akira remarks as beautiful.
As more demons start to appear Akira and Ryo take them out however one night he is attacked by the demon general Zann at his school. He along with Dosu-Roku and his gang battle Zann before he flees, however not long after this Akira meets an old friend Sachiko. However on her way home she is devoured by the turtle demon Jinmen who then tells Akira to come meet him at a playground, the two battle and he is eventually forced to kill Jinmen by killing Sachiko.
Eventually the demons announce their plans to attack as told by the demon lord Zennon who sends out an armada of demons who go on a bloody rampage killing innocents in the masses. A group to tackle the threat is set up by Dr. Rainuma called the Demon Special Investigation Team. However around the same time many of the demons go into hiding leaving behind only the Devilmen, people who similar to Akira who had managed to fuse with demons.
Eventually Ryo returns to his home only to be attacked by a large group of demons, led by Psycho Jenny who restores Ryo's true memories as the leader of the demons Satan. Ryo then leaks a video tape showing Akira's first transformation into Devilman, Akira flees, however the Makimura parents are arrested by the Demon Busters and taken to the Anti-Demon Corps HQ. When Akira learns of this he sends an army of Devilmen led by himself and destroys the HQ he finds the parents dead in torture devices and flees back to the Makimura home in an attempt to save Miki. However when he arrives he finds her, her kid brother Tare, and his friend Masa Bokuto all dead.
Akira calls together his Devilman army and sets off to battle with Satan and his demon army, and a long twenty year war broke out. Eventually however Akira lets himself be killed by Satan, who goes into a depression.
- Akira Fudo/Devilman: The main character of the series, fuses with the demon Amon to become Devilman.
- Ryo Asuka/Satan: A friend of Akira's who was actually the fallen angel Satan, he eventually fell in love with Akira shortly before the twenty year war.
- Miki Makimura: The girl that Akira had fallen in love with, she is eventually killed by an insane mob of humans.
- Sirene: A beautiful demoness who was in love with Amon and amassed her courage to go and kill Akira.
- Zennon: One of Satan's two main commanders of the demon race. Considered one of the mightiest of the demon race.
- Psycho Jenny: The other of Satan's main commanders, she was the most powerful demon, with powers second only to Satan's.
- God: A ancient alien being with unlimited power, he is essentially the main villain of the entire series, despite barely appearing in it.
- Amon: The demon that fused with Akira, he did little in the original manga but still influenced him and was responsible for his later aggressive attitude.
- Kaim: A large pachyderm like demon, he was a long time friend of Sirene and was secretly in love with her.
- Dosu-Roku: A gang leader who originally attacked Akira but later became his friend.
- Masa Bokuto: One of Dosu-Roku's gang who dies alongside with Miki and Tare.
- Mikiko Kawamoto: A Devilman who is experimented on by Dr. Rainuma, she later joins Akira.
- Dr. Rainuma: A human scientist who sets up the Demon Busters to kill demon and devilmen alike.
- Ghelmer: A demon who worked for Sirene, he had the ability to manipulate water to his will.
- Jinmen: A large turtle like demon who is responsible for killing Akira's friend Sachiko.
- Zann: A demon general who led an attack on Akira's school.
- Kensaku Makimura: Miki's younger brother nicknamed Tare, he is killed alongside Miki and Masa.
- Medoc: A demon who attempts to launch nuclear warheads, however he is stopped by God.
- Massami Izumi: A canine like devilman who was friends with Akira and had good understanding of Christianity.
- Agira: A massive devilman Akira used to fly great distances.
- Caliorruar: A gigantic flying hydra demon used by Satan as a mount during the final battle.
- Agwel: A demon who assisted Ghelmer and served Sirene.
- Meriken-Jo: One of Dosu Roku's gang, he uses fist tablets to fight.
- Tetsuya: One of Dosu-Roku's gang members, he uses razors to fight.
- Manjiro: One of Dosu-Roku's gang, seemingly the kindest of the group, he uses a chain to fight.