- "Love doesn't exist. There is no such thing as love. Therefore, there's no sorrow. That's what I thought."
Satan serves as the primary antagonist in the anime Devilman Crybaby. They were an Angel who was banished to Earth following a fallout with God. Under the care of Psycho Jenny, they took the form of a human boy named Ryo Asuka who befriended a young Akira Fudo, as Ryo, Satan is initially presented as the deuteragonist/secondary protagonist of the story while displaying some Anti-Hero traits before transitioning to an Anti Villain. many years later, they planned to destroy humanity by turning them against each other by revealing the presence of Demons.
As Ryo Asuka, he is a lean young man with his light blonde blonde korean-undercut, as well as piercing blue eyes, and very pale skin. He is always seen in white clothes including a large overcoat.
As Satan, they are displayed as an intersex being with breasts and male groin area. Their blonde hair grows longer reaching their shoulders and becomes wavy. Wearing no clothes, their body is covered in a veil of light. All around their body are six pairs of white wings with six large ones on their back, and a pair of smaller ones atop the head and the sides of their legs respectively.
At first, as a child washed up upon land Ryo Asuka came across as unfeeling to other children and would consider mercy killing for anything that can't be saved. As a young man he was very forward and sure of himself. He took practical steps for what was at hand even if they involved breaking several Japanese laws such as owning and using an array of guns and driving with an American driver's license. Ryo is also willing to kill anyone to protect Akira's secret as Devilman as he did with Koji Nagasaki and his mother.
Ryo himself did not initially believe in love or suffering, being rather apathetic to these feelings. His encounter with Akira and his kindly demeanor however showed his more vulnerable side as he fell in love with Akira. Ryo became very empathetic and supportive of Akira. They had bottled up all of their frustrations of the unfortunate realities he had faced. Ryo strove to create a better world free of the demons and regardless of the number of lives lost. But even then, he knew his actions would have dire consequences, giving Akira a choice before going any further in their plans. Like any other human he expressed horror at being attacked by demons, and concern with the possibility that someone had recorded Akira in his Devilman form. A deep seated fear was shown in response to the flash of light caused by God that wiped out an American Navel Fleet.
As Satan, the humanized Ryo aspect of his personality largely disappeared. Rather than fight the demons and defend humans, they instead used demons to eradicate humanity seeing them as a weak species. They also share their aversion to demons from their Ryo personality having no love for demons as a whole, but saw their more simplistic lifestyles as better as their adaptations made better chances for survival. The Devilmen themselves however were seen as an unintended consequence that they planned only for Akira. Satan also revealed their love for Akira, subconsciously going out of their way to prevent his death by making him strong enough.
Ryo has known Akira since early childhood and the two formed a close and valued friendship. Through Akira, Ryo came to learn about human emotions, like love and kindness. Their bond was meaningful in that it caused a previously socially withdrawn Ryo to hug and show affection to Akira. Even though Akira may have previously fallen under Ryo’s definition of “weak” he had changed this stance where it concerned him, to where he took great measures to defending Akira. Ryo continued to do this very effectively even after Akira’s assimilation with Amon.
Ryo became very attentive and insightful to Akira’s feelings, apologizing for dragging him into dangerous events for them all even though it was the only way. When Akira says he can’t remember what happened to the other party guests at the Back Sabbath party, though Ryo knows first-hand that they were all horribly killed as he watches Devilman on his laptop tearing the demons apart, he says that Akira saved the people too to spare Akira any emotional pain.
Ryo fell in love with Akira over their friendship, to the point that he spurs Akira's possession and the events of the series, in hopes of Akira being able to survive the impending battles with demons. Akira is also the only person Ryo ever cared about, as he never showed genuine concern for anyone else even his guardian Jenny, opting to kill or scapegoat them instead.
By the time they are revealed to be Satan, they still possess the love they have for Akira, but this Satan side no longer appears to have any concept of how Akira might feel. They were seemingly under the impression that they have both made it out of the end of the world and can finally be together, oblivious to the fact that Akira has lost everything and experienced daunting hardships. Further, the revelation that Satan instigated the collapse of civilization that resulted in said events did not sit well with Devilman. He fought with Satan until the end with the fallen angel forced to kill Devilman. Whilst contemplating the stars and previous events together, Satan realizes Akira has died. With that, the love he has for Akira overcame the Satan aspect and Satan was forced to reflect and reverse his previous viewpoint, with Satan realizing love does exist, therefore there is sadness.
They were also close to Jenny, who had served as Ryo's guardian and assistant since taking him away as a child. Always being near Ryo's side, she provides him everything he needs including food and setting up appointments with clients. This extends to her true form as the demon Psycho Jenny, assisting in Satan's plan to wipe out humanity. She defends Akira as well on Ryo's behalf.
As Ryo he earned a Ph.D at a young age and even taught classes. He could translate an Amazonian tribes language. He was an accomplished driver and mechanic, driving a modified sports car to keep up with a demon and using to hold his equipment. He carries an assortment of guns including a machine gun, an anti-material sniper rifle, and a pistol. Ryo also had an unnaturally fast healing factor, able to heal and recover from serious injuries that would have crippled regular humans (although, this may be because he is an angel). He is also a keen manipulator, able to control people and events to the point of total domination.
As Satan, they are able to reincarnate at any place and time. Ever since their incarnation as a male human child, he displayed abilities such as making plants grow, killing animals with thought, causing water to materialize, create force fields, and powerful telekinetic force. Once fully revealed, they are able to fire powerful beams of light that can tear the moon in half. They can also summon lightning bolts to attack certain areas.
Satan was an angel who rebelled against God and as a result was cast out of Heaven. Upon being cast out Satan would later come to a Pre-Historic Earth where they would meet the demon race and came to admire them for their "simple nature", in other words their primal and bestial behavior. Later however God launched an attack on the demons and Satan as well causing them along with all of the demons to loose their physical bodies as the Earth was scorched and then reformed, but continued to exist as non-corporal spirits.
As humanity progressed demons learned how to regain physical form by merging with human hosts that would allow demons to transform between a human disguise and their true demonic forms. At some point Satan acquired a similar ability, allowing them to reincarnate into a human body. Satan would then be reborn as a male human infant in an Amazonian island tribe that worshipped the infant upon displaying unique powers. The tribe would go as far as performing sacrifices for Satan. Even after growing into a young child Satan didn't regain his memories, as they were sealed behind a mental barrier in his mind, keeping his true memories in his subconscious mind.
One day military soldiers for unknown reasons came to the island and began massacring members of Satan's tribe. When the soldiers attempted to kill him, Satan's instincts allowed him to tap into more destructive abilities allowing him to kill the soldiers with ease, but the force from his counterattack would cause him to drift into the ocean and later washed ashore in Japan where he met a young boy named Akira Fudo who reached out to him as he was on the ground, Satan then grabbed Akira's hand as Akira then embraced him and comforted him saying he's ok. Satan would then loose memory of his life on the island, including any knowledge of his human parents.
Presumably thanks to Akira, Satan was taken into an orphanage or potentially Akira's parents. Satan would gain the name "Ryo" and at a later point gain the surname "Asuka". As Ryo he was somewhat socially withdrawn and displayed violent behavior towards the stuffed animals while at pre-school. One day Akira and Ryo found an injured and abandoned kitten in a box slowly dying. Akira wanted to make it comfortable in its final moments but Ryo wanted to perform a mercy-killing. Akira shielded the kitten trying to prevent Ryo from giving into his violent impulses. Eventually the kitten succumbed to its wounds and died much to Akira's sadness. As he weeped for the animal Ryo questioned why Akira was sad (as the concept of human emotion was still new to him) stating "the weak ones die", before Akira said Ryo was crying too, even though he visibly wasn't (with it later being proven that Akira has the uncanny ability to feel the sadness of another person and their emotional turmoil, it's implied that Ryo was actually saddened following the kitten's death).
Ryo is eventually taken in by the demoness Psycho Jenny in her human disguise. Akira is saddened that he won't get to see Ryo again, but the two stay in touch and end up becoming best friends with Ryo becoming genuinely attached to Akira spending much time together. However at the same time Ryo was unconsciously planning to revive the entire demon race physically as Satan. However during this, his growing attachment to Akira for being his lifelong companion and best friend causing him feel love for him as well presumably due to his caring and pure-hearted nature. This would cause Ryo/Satan to implement a new part to his plan, one that would allow Akira to survive in a world ruled by demons. Ryo excels academically from childhood to early adulthood (potentially due to his dormant angelic nature), allowing Ryo to become a university professor at the age of 18, being skilled in Science as well as being able to interpret his tribal people's native language and was even given his own science show.
Ryo first arrives at some docks where he defends Akira from a gang of delinquents. He thinks nothing of carrying around a machine gun within his coat, and firing multiple bullets in front of their path as a warning. Akira excitedly runs up to him and they embrace before abruptly leaving together without Miki in the sports car Ryo arrived in.
Ryo explains how he is aware demons will be returning to the world and so takes Akira to an underground party. Not content with the debauchery occurring around them, Ryo amps things up a notch by attacking party goers with a broken glass bottle to help speed up the summoning of Demons. The demons do indeed arrive and the party is quickly engulfed in terror as the demons violently assimilate with the human party goers. Ryo, satisfied with this horrible turn of events manages to fend off the rapidly appearing and advancing demons with his machine gun. In the midst of the scene Ryo calls upon an "Amon" to possess Akira and continues to record the unfolding chaos on his camcorder. A large bird-like demon falls dead on top of him pinning him to the floor, but he witnesses Akira and the demon Amon successfully transforming into Devilman.
Ryo is recovering at his own penthouse after being rescued from the demons by Akira. He comes to visits to check on him. After hugging fondly, Ryo explains the fusion to him, and they travel together to find demons to test Akira’s fighting ability.
Walking on a crutch and also able to see in the dark thanks to some headgear, Ryo and Akira locate three demons responsible for the murder of people, Eader, Urutph and Nafiro. Ryo films Devilman effortlessly dispatching the three demons, before being shocked as he notices the presence of another human. He notices the infrared light from a camera meaning that this person also has recordings of Akira as Devilman. The man ignores Ryo’s requests to wait, fleeing from the demons whilst they were distracted. Panicked, Ryo turns to Akira, in the middle of tearing apart the demons, and tells him there was someone other than him filming him. Specifically he managed to record Akira changing into a devil.
Ryo and Akira discuss the potential repercussions of Nagasaki’s recording getting on the internet. Ryo see’s to Akira’s concern by holding him close and telling him not to worry, he’ll make sure no one sees the video.
At his penthouse Ryo works on finding out the identity of the person on his laptop while Akira brings him snacks from the grocery store. Though trying to concentrate he does not resist Akira shoving a hamburger in his mouth, or when he lifts him up under to arms to try out the pool that he doesn’t go in. Ryo goes along with it being testing the pool clothes and all with Akira jumping in after him. Drying themselves off, his computer uses security camera footage to see an image of Nagasaki appear on the screen and he at once sets out with Akira to locate the person’s house and computer with the video footage.
After tracking down Nagasaki's home and under the presumption of being his colleagues Ryo and Akira go into his room much to the dismay of Nagasaki's mother where Ryo finds the video of Akira transforming as well as evidence of Nagasaki's more illicit occupation (photographing minors and young adults performing sexual activity with or without consent). Ryo then presumably erases the video and then tracks him down to his studio.
Upon arriving Akira and Ryo are ambushed with the two demons Ghelmer and Agwell who discovered the video thanks to possessing both Nagasaki and his boss before Nagasaki's demon Ghelmer switched to Miki to lure in Akira. After killing Agwell and exercising and bisecting Ghelmer, Akira returns to the studio where he finds Ryo holding Nagasaki at gunpoint questioning on whether or not there are more copies of the video. When Nagasaki confirms that there are none Ryo executes him without remorse to protect Akira's secret and potentially out of disgust towards Nagasaki for taking advantage of vulnerable minors. While Akira is shocked by Ryo's actions and points out that Nagasaki was human Ryo coldly states that it doesn't matter and his secret must be protected at all costs. Akira then realizes that Ryo took drastic precautions to prevent Nagasaki's mother from finding anything by rigging an explosion set to go off the moment she attempted to log into her son's computer. This horrifies Akira before Ryo then points his gun at Miki in case she retained any memory out what happened while she was under possession. Akira however shields here and is able to talk Ryo out of killing her.
The next day Akira fills Ryo in on Miki's recollection of what happened and convinced her that it was just a dream. Ryo reveals he knew this upon bugging the Makimura household. Later when the pair go to meet Akira's parents Ryo realizes something is off at the airport and tracks Akira's mother Kaori's phone to a maintenance room where to Akira's horror it's discovered that the sadistic turtle demon Jinmen has possessed Akira's father Reijero and while unable to completely take him over, has instead overridden his personality with his own forcing Reijero to consume all the passengers on the bus terminal including Kaori while their consciousnesses manifest as "Death Masks" on Jinmen's front torso. Ryo then observes as Akira utilizes a partial transformation before convincing his father to overtake Jinmen. Ryo in excitement films this wanting to document the possibility of a new Devilman, but this hope is short lived as Jinmen is able to gain control of his razor tipped tail and decapitates the upper portion of Reijero's head allowing him to gain full control (albeit missing half of a head). Jinmen then attacks Ryo, temporarily knocking him to the side. As the demon approaches Akira, Ryo gets up and shoots the one of the death masks before giving Akira the choice of killing the death masks along with the demon or else he'd do it himself. After his mother voices her consent in ending her agony Akira mercy kills her along with Jinmen.
Later Akira confides into Ryo about his violent urges, fueled by his Devilman physiology. Ryo suggest he distracts himself with some vices in this instance he suggested going to a brothel and even gives him a large some of cash to distract himself from his violent impulses. However Akira's demonic urges overwhelm him and lure him to Sirene, Amon's former lover. Sirene believing that she can free Amon seduces Akira and as the pair have sex Sirene's frustration at Amon still not emerging cause the pair to begin fighting in both of their respective demon forms. Ryo is able to find a barely conscious Akira who Sirene nearly finished off upon merging with her partner Kaim, but died from the wounds sustained in their fight. Ryo is able to re-attach Akira's arm thanks to Akira's regenerative abilities. He and Akira then debate on whether or not demons can feel things such as love.
Following the fight with Sirene, Ryo plans to expose Moyuru Koda as a demon publicly at an upcoming track and field competition that Ryo will broadcast as part of his science show (along with the entirety of demonkind) upon noticing his physical capabilities are well above human standards and the mysterious death of Koda's friend and teammate Junichi Kotaba following a Sabbath party they went to. Unbeknownst to Ryo, Koda is actually a devilman and had accidentally lost control causing his demon to influence him to kill Junichi. In order to succeed Ryo develops a chemical concoction that will cause devilmen and demons alike to uncontrollably transform and lash out violent and destructive behavior when exposed to a video of the Sabbath. Ryo plans to have Akira dose Koda by swapping out his drink, but Akira changes his mind upon realizing Koda's emotional turmoil from accidentally killing Junichi, and that he's actually a devilman. When Ryo realizes Akira changed his mind, he's still dead set on exposing Koda, interviews Koda and encourages him to drink one of his sponsor's energy drinks which Ryo had already laced with his chemical concoction. During the race Akira catches up to Koda and reveals that he understands the demonic impulses Koda feels before revealing that he himself possesses those urges as well. Before Akira can reassure that Koda is not alone in being a devilman, Ryo hacks the stadium television screen, playing footage and music from the Sabbath party he and Akira attended causing Koda to violently transform into his demonic form and uncontrollably begin slaughtering others on the track. When the main broadcasting is cut off from the arena Ryo uses his show to keep the live feed streaming on his talk show's website where he explains that Koda is a demon and successfully exposes the existence of demons to humanity. He then activates a device that opens the stadium gate revealing that he willingly allowed people to stay trapped and get slaughtered for the purpose of showing how destructive demons can be. He believes that Akira will kill Koda, when Akira secretly rescues him and helps hide him from human society.
As fear and hysteria arise from the exposure of the demons humanity begins isolating themselves from each other or begin to descend into madness causing others to kill them due to misinterpretation of possession. Governments and militaries begin executing innocent suspects as well, which albeit brutal allows them to start killing demons, but at the cost of many innocent lives. In spite of this when Akira calls him to inform him of the human casualties Ryo shakes it off as a necessary sacrifice much to Akira's protest and anguish. Later as Ryo looks over a government plan to take on the demons Ryo believes they are walking into some kind of trap. Ryo then examines a chart made of the total number of demons with the general population of humanity. As Akira enters and approaches Ryo, he begins acting more erratically laments on how they've entered a new era of horror that forces humans into obedience through fear and the cruel irony that the very weapons that humanity intend to use against demons are doing more damage to humanity as thousands are getting slaughtered while only a few hundreds of demons are getting killed. He points that people will eventually start acting out in retaliation and be labeled as demons showing humanity's weaknesses in this war for survival. He even points out that devilmen like Akira will be seen as demons too and that going out and trying to stop the demons and the misguided humans is pointless as humanity will eventually be exterminated partially by their own hands, and that it's better to sit back and observe. Akira then voices his belief that there are other devilmen like him and that there is still hope in humanity's perseverance. As Akira sets out to amass an army of devilmen himself Ryo tries to stop him and states he turned Akira into a devilman to live, not to go out alone and die. Akira tells him to get out of the way as he leaves build an army. Ryo only requests that Akira survives. After Akira leaves Ryo then almost instinctively opens his bible to Revelations, speaking of both Satan's past war against God, his defeat, loss of physical form, and the prophecy that Satan, the god of demons would rise again and unleash destruction upon the world before God would defeat him once more. Later Ryo sees and panics hysterically at the live broadcast of God's attack on the demon race in the form of a massive energy sphere of pure white light.
As Ryo begins regaining his composure he notices how things are going exactly as predicted and then starts to question his motives for his actions, such as invoking Amon's name to have him merge with Akira, causing him to go on journey to understand himself better. First he goes to the building where the Sabbath took place to find that all evidence of the onslaught there had been removed while the surrounding walls had been patched up and painted over, and that the building itself had been turned into a camp for the homeless camp and Ryo is shocked by the homeless men's statement that they'd lived in that very building for over a decade now. Realizing some kind of cover up is going on Ryo leaves and calls the university that employed the late Russian Scholar Professor Fikara whom Ryo learned the nature of demons from upon witnessing his possession and suicide (to prevent his demon from taking over), during a visit to a South American tribe. The plot thickens when the person Ryo is on call with replies with information that seems to disapprove the trip he and Fikara took together, Ryo then rememberers Fikara's last words "I thought I came to check up on you", implying that in addition to investigating the nature of demons, he was also trying to find more background information on Ryo when they were on the island (as it was the very island Ryo was born on, when he reincarnated into his human body). Ryo still under great confusion begins to question his memories then decides he should re-visit the island, while government agents are secretly following him. Upon arriving on the island he finds the spot where he buried Fikara is empty. Suddenly a young child of the island's tribe addresses Ryo in his native language as Ryo almost instinctively and uncontrollably replies in the same language apparently asking what the boy called him to which the boy replies "Sadda", which attracts the attention of other tribe members who lead Ryo to their village where other tribe members are shocked by Ryo's sudden appearance and apparently recognize him when Ryo is taken into a tent with a small shine with a wooden statue carved into the appearance of himself with eight little wings. Ryo then questions if the statue is supposed to be him before he experiences a flash of memories causing Ryo to slowly remember his true identity as soldiers launch on air strike on the village, which Ryo survives due to fully unlocking his angelic powers and using a force field that also deflects bullets back at soldiers who fire at him while the rest are then killed by demons lead by Psycho Jenny who has come to retrieve Ryo now that he's regained his memories and identity. Later Ryo along with two disguised demon cohorts broadcast worldwide a falsified version of how demons are created, deceiving humanity into believing that demons are actually humans dissatisfied with society, and that their perception somehow turns them into demons. Ryo then betrays Akira by calling him a demon and shows an edited video of Akira's first transformation into a devilman (to portray Akira as a feral demonic beast) claiming his unpopularity and distanced relationship with his family caused him to become a demon. Ryo then claims the only way to defeat the demon race is to eliminate those dissatisfied with society before they can become demons. This causes even more mass hysteria and chaos.
Ryo satisfied with the results believes that Akira's exposure will drive him to their side Ryo goes to his apartment, believing Akira will confront him there. Later at his apartment as Ryo awaits Akira's arrival the entire building explodes, which was later revealed to be an assassination attempt by Zennon. Later as a result of exposing Akira, both Miki and her and Akira's friends are brutally slaughtered by an angry mob much to Akira's sorrow and anguish.
After killing the crazed mob Akira goes to the shoreside village where he and Ryo first met as children while holding Miki's severed head. Akira questions Ryo's betrayal towards humanity, to which Ryo replies that humans are weak and their extinction is inevitable. When Akira protests this and points out Ryo is human too, Ryo counters that he isn't. Ryo suddenly transforms into his true form for the first time in millennia, revealing himself as the fallen angel Satan (while also revealing themself as intersex). Satan then explains their history with demonkind, their falling out with God after rebelling and being cast out of heaven, as well as their physical reincarnation as Ryo. Satan also reveals that the true reason they had Akira merge with Amon was so he could gain the means to survive in a world populated and controlled by demons. Akira refuses stating that because of the demons he lost everybody he cared for, both friends and family. Satan having apparently lost any human empathy they had as Ryo, tries in vain to convince Akira to live in their demonic utopia, before Akira becomes infuriated by Satan's indifference declaring war on them. Satan is then informed by Psycho Jenny of Zennon's betrayal and that he and his men have been dealt with. When she apologizes for not being able to predict Zennon's actions Satan replies that it's fine, and that it's actually his fault for constantly putting Akira first in the past.
A final battle then commences with Satan leading the demon army while Akira leads his newly amassed Devilman army (thanks to the support Miki gave them before her tragic end). Satan and the demons begin unleashing havoc on the world with Satan using their abilities to create natural disasters. Akira then flies straight towards Satan like a fighter jet killing any demons who stand in his way. Satan tries to shield themself with a barrier but Akira breaks through it instantly before the former friends begin an all out fight. At first Akira manages to hold his own before Satan bisects him and the moon as well with an energy beam of light. As Akira lands on a nearby cliff in the blood soaked ocean as all of humanity has been exterminated now. As Satan lies next to him they reminisce their past together. Satan comes to the conclusion that he didn't know what Akira meant all those years ago, but now decides that love doesn't exist, and if love is nonexistent therefore there can't be any sorrow, but notices he's the only one of them talking, realizing too late that Akira died moments ago, Satan, realizing that the only person they cared about and actually loved is now dead bursts into tears for the first time in their life as they plead for Akira not to leave them alone, Satan cries holding Akira's body as God's angels descend onto the ruined Earth,