Devil Lady Vol. #6: The Victorious (of 6) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Sunday, August 17, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, August 05, 2003
What They Say
Primeval texts speak of the time when Earth will be the staging ground for ultimate war between Good and Evil. Wild-eyed seers prophesy valleys flooded in blood and the sins of generations paid for in the carnage of twisted flesh. Terrified masses quake in anticipation of the last round in the never-ending struggle between God and Devil.
Skeptics ridicule such impassioned visions. Rational minds revolt against impossible prophecies. Academia unites to disavow these fatalistic notions.
And yet the time has come when no one can deny what is happening before his eyes. Against all reason, the terrifying events foretold in the dusty scrolls of another time are taking place all over the world. All mankind must accept the fate handed them by their unseen rulers.
Only one woman can change that fate.
Part human. Part beast. The Devil Lady.
Pray she can hold back the inevitable midnight.
The conclusion to the series is as epic as the beginning of the series wasn’t, bringing just about everything full circle and providing a fitting if tragic ending.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The track here is a standard stereo mix that makes good use of the forward soundstage, most notably during the action sequences as well as with the gorgeous music score attached to it. Dialogue is crisp and clear throughout and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions on either track.
The transfer for this series continues to deal with the materials well. The feel of the animation itself is quite dark, especially with most of these episodes taking place at night, so the blue skies look good with hardly any macroblocking or pixelation. There’s a feel of grain throughout that’s very minor and looks to be more intentional than not, so as to give things a slightly soft and almost comfortable feeling, which balances out the suspense that the show builds. Colors look great, there’s no cross coloration and I was hard pressed to find much in the way of aliasing.
The final cover here does an excellent job of representing the two forces at work here and it easily brings to mind the entire yin/yang imagery with the two facing each other as they do. The back cover features only a few small screenshots but makes up for it in just a general look and feel. There’s a brief summary spread over most of the back cover as well as listing the discs features and basic production information. This release is in a clear keepcase, but the reverse side of the cover is completely red with nothing on it, giving it a very strange feel when you open it as you expect more. There’s also no insert, but that’s made up for with four trading cards, each of them about one of the Beasts found in the episodes on the disc. Don’t read them until afterwards though as they may spoil your enjoyment.
Set up in a letterbox style, the central portion of the menu has a small sequence from the opening playing repeatedly to the opening music with the almost flame-like movement of the light against the reds and blacks. Selections ring the top and bottom of the menu, as well as providing instant episode access. Access times in the menus are nice and fast and the layout works good overall.
The extras continue to be pretty repetitive right to the end of the series, as outside of the textless opening and ending sequence we get a few pages of original artwork gallery and a Japanese trailer.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Continuing to in general just not be a fan of horror anime, Devil Lady manages to keep me extremely interested in everything that’s going on here. This series really managed to captivate me right from the start and held on throughout all the episodes, even during the flashback episode here.
This volume kicks off with no respite from what happened last time, instead focusing right away on the chaos of the last battle, chaos that leaves Jun and Kazumi on the run and in hiding underneath the city where Kazumi had met some of her friends earlier. In an effort to make you hate everything that’s going on just a bit more, it’s at this point in the series that they have Jun start remembering how the two of them met and how their relationship started to grow. It’s not a good sign for where things are progressing though and that becomes fairly obvious pretty quickly.
The fate of this particular part of the city, which now apparently houses the bulk if not all of the Beasts, is one that doesn’t look too bright. Asuka even stops by the hideout to tell them to stay there, knowing that she continues to need Jun for her larger project. Jun can’t believe that Asuka would let the city be set to ruin to destroy them all though and heads up to the surface to try and help. Her journey forward from here becomes the most torturous to date in this series as she confronts not only herself but Asuka at long last and in a form that I would never have guessed.
To balance out the epic side of the battle they did an excellent job of focusing on the teens that got picked up in the sweep after losing their friend and Kazumi earlier. It mainly focuses on Takeo and her attempts to keep her friends with her while also trying to find a way out of the containment area they’re stuck in. What’s changed with her in addition to her looks is that she’s become quite close to a young man named (Akira?) Takeshi, someone who has a striking resemblance to an Akira Fudoh from the original Devilman series.
Between the two of them, they manage to keep things moving along on a more personal and humane level while the larger battle plays out. Their time in the containment area shows just how far everything has gone and the brutality behind it. When everything comes together, both plots merge nicely and brings about a very satisfying set of episodes that concludes the series. It’s rare that a series is actually satisfying at the end of it, as you think back of missed opportunities or areas that weren’t properly explored. While I think there could have been a touch more exposition by Asuka after the main event here in regards to her situation, I was essentially riveted to the screen watching this play out.
When this series was first announced as licensed, I rolled my eyes and felt some dread over it based on past experience with the franchise. At the conclusion of the series, I think it’s one of the best surprise series I’ve seen in recent years. While expectations were low, they succeeded not only in surpassing them but providing a very entertaining and craftily built series. This is the kind of horror show that can cross audiences if it’s given a chance.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Clean opening and closing animation,Original Japanese artwork,Printed monster cards
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 17 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Devil Lady