Devil May Cry | 2007, 12 episodes
What’s it all about?
Emo-alike Dante is his own boss in devil-hunting business ‘Devil May Cry’. Unfortunately, the start-up and overhead costs for the operation - despite DMC HQ being little more than a shit hole with a desk - has hit the demon slayer's pocket hard. He's constantly strapped for cash and forever in debt to fellow demon hunter Lady. His financial woes are further compounded by his passion for gambling and strawberry sundaes.
Throughout the show Dante encounters a host of miserably weak demons and other supernatural denizens of the underworld. Some of the more bizarre adversaries include a magical mask that grants wishes, a card-playing demon that kills anyone he beats and a possessed motorbike that haunts the highways. Needless to say, most of Dante's adversaries meet their demise at the hands of his trademark shooters, accompanied by a gambling related one-liner. Jackpot!
Does it do the game justice?
Crucially, Dante retains all the style and too-cool-for-school attitude that we've come to love him for. So the series scores big points for that. One of the game’s writing staff was involved in penning the scripts for the animation, so while storylines expand on the game's premise, it's still very much on the same vibe. Regular cameos from Trish and Lady are also nice little fan pleasers.
There's surprisingly less action in the anime than you’d expect. With the exception of the finale, episodes only contain one big - if extremely short - fight sequence. Two if you're lucky. When the characters do ditch the dialogue and start fighting, however, you can forgive them for the lengthy build-up. Almost. Ideally we would like more slashy, less chatty.
Would we watch it today?
Absolutely. The conversion from game to anime has been handled excellently by Madhouse Studios (who also contributed to manga classic, Ninja Scroll, and Studio Ghibli's 2004 flick, Howl's Moving Castle). The series has never been translated into English, but thanks to some great voice acting, engaging plotlines and fantastic animation, reading the subtitles never feels like a chore.
The series totals about 3 hours in length and we recommend that anyone wanting to whet their demon appetite ahead of DMC 4's upcoming arrival on PS3 and 360 should definitely check it out.
What can we learn from the series?
Never to casually remark that we wished our best friend was dead while in the presence of a wish-granting mask.
Click here to watch Episode 1.