Although often overshadowed by fellow pioneering manga artist Osamu Tezuka, Kiyoshi Nagai (better known by his pen name ‘Go Nagai’) is responsible for a host of key works. One of his most famous, Devilman, is a series noted for violence that’s gory even by today’s standards, let alone back in 1972 – and it’s recently received an equally ultra-violent reboot as Devilman: Grimoire.
The story follows Akira Fudo, a timid boy whose best friend, Miki Makimura, is obsessed with witchcraft to the point where she even wears a pointy hat to school. A spate of disappearances have occurred near the pair’s homes… and we readers know that human-devouring demons are the cause.
When a group of girls beg Miki to use her witchcraft to find a missing friend, she attempts to summon a demon to help them. Amazingly, she succeeds – only for the demons to murder the girls they’re helping and almost slay Akira himself. Akira tries to protect Miki, but she casts another summoning spell, this time bringing forth the mighty demon Amon, who possesses Akira, giving him the strength and power to win the fight. Amon refuses to leave Akira’s body, however, changing the shy teen’s personality to that of a violent delinquent. Akira retains overall control of his body so the interloper can’t harm Miki or her family, but soon even more demons turn up to try to kill Amon.
Devilman’s violence is certainly stomach-turning. From women being sliced head-to-toe and disembowelled to a harpy with a fanged ‘stomach’ opening (although that’s not the body part it reminds us of!), this new version of a classic manga is both gruesome and gripping. Reviewed by Ian Wolf
Credits: Go Nagai (story) and Rui Takato (art)
Publisher: Seven Seas
Release Date: Out Now
Copyright: © 2012 Go Nagai & Rui Takato / Dynamic Planning