Thursday, May 1, 2008

Devil May Cry DVD vol. 1 Impression

Take one half demon, half human demon hunter mix in one nasty sword named Rebellion, two guns named Ebony and Ivory along with one deadly Lady, a dash of Trish and a heaping load of action, top off with style and you’ve got Devil May Cry from ADV Films.

Adapted from the video game franchise of the same name, Devil May Cry follows the adventures; I should say cases of hunter-for-hire Dante. The story takes place before the events of Devil May Cry 4 and after the original Devil May Cry. Viewers are introduced to Dante and his Devil May Cry agency where he’ll take on any job for the right price. We start off with some bodyguard action as Dante protects a little girl in transit to a will hearing (she later stays on with our white haired hero) then head into Dante’s dealings with a demon in love, with a human, and her vengeful father … next up a motorcycle ride from hell finished off with a story about the ladies. Four episodes, tons of action and quite an excellent effort for an anime based on a video game.

Before getting into the story and animation know this. If you’ve never played a Devil May Cry video game your enjoyment of the anime will not be hampered in any way. There are plenty of story tid-bits sprinkled within, usually relayed via conversation pieces (like Dante’s demon blood). There is a history with each character viewers may not understand, but many an anime have done this before. The stories in this first volume are all about introduction, characters and their relationships. So far no major plot points revealed but this is just volume one so that’s to be expected. The one constant thus far is the little girl Dante saves, but not sure where that is going yet so maybe that’s a main plot point. The story has impressed so far. The animation works and works well. Dante moves and fights like the badass he is. He does not look out of place or too cheesy when racing down a highway, shooting up a bridge, shooting through a curtain of taking care of a demon in a dark train car, he’s just plain smooth. He’s also a slacker sitting at his desk always ordering pizza and staying behind on his depts. So we have dark, action packed animation mixed with and old 50’s style detective office feel … meaning he just sits around reading and eating. The voice acting is better than the game. Ok, maybe that’s not the greatest comparison but I had true fears when Dante opened his mouth it was going to be like Black Eyed Griffin when the talkies became the norm, and if you watch Family Guy you know what I mean ;) No worries. He moves smooth, fights fierce and talks with a swagger that just fits. Lady and Trish also have a seductiveness to counter Dante.

So where’s that leave us? We are left with a solid story, great animation and character design topped off with superb voice action. The only knock I have on the DVD is its only four episodes deep, I want more. I want to know what main foe will step to the front and face Dante and it’s this want that has me looking forward to volume 2 of Devil May Cry and highly recommending Devil May Cry volume 1 on DVD to any action anime fan, and must have for fans of the Devil May Cry video games.

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