11 March 2018 | kevinxirau
A passable crossover of two oldschool legends.
In the history of manga/anime, two of the most well-known series are the sci-fi classic Cyborg 009 and the gothic superhero Devilman. They have had many incarnations over the years, each putting their own spin on these heroes. In a way, it seemed inevitable that these two would eventually meet (heck, Devilman is no stranger to crossovers as he met Mazinger Z). Now, I'm only somewhat familiar with both franchises and I've seen at least one or two variants of each, but the idea of them crossing paths was what peeked my interest in this 3-part OVA.
Plot: With reports of strange activity happening in Japan, Joe Shimamura/009 and his fellow cyborgs move in to investigate. Akira Fudo/Devilman, accompanied by his friend Ryo, also looks into this matter as they search for more demons to slay. The two groups cross paths and, while uncertain of each other's intentions, they both know something sinister is brewing and it involves their respective origins.
First off, I like this art style, resembling the old manga but with a modern spin. Characters move quite fluidly and the environments have such vibrant detail that they almost seem real. The action scenes fare good as well with some nicely executed moves and each character having his/her moment to shine. There's good voice acting too as the cast play off each other competently (only one or two characters annoyed me). There's also decent drama and how the protagonists connect with one another, though given limited screen time, is thematically fitting nonetheless.
I wouldn't say this film "Wowed" me too much. The titular battle between Cyborg 009 and Devilman, while having its moments, is pretty underwhelming, especially given how short it is. The other fight scenes were frankly more engaging. I wasn't that impressed with the villains either as they were pretty generic and, in a few cases, over-the-top. The music isn't that memorable either, especially the opening theme (it sounded bland). It's worth noting that there is some blood in this one, which, while fitting for the dark and broody Devilman, sort of conflicts with the more light-hearted nature of 009 with its flashy explosions and lasers. As such, it doesn't go all out with the level of violence most of the time (with the exception of Devilman's first fight scene). It may seem contradictory, like mixing Spider-man and Punisher, though whether or not this is a problem is up to one's personal preference (personally, I don't mind that much).
Overall, "Cyborg 009 vs Devilman" may not be the super-big crossover of a lifetime like, let's say "Batman v. Superman", but it's a decent little anime to pass the time nevertheless. As far as I know, it's pretty faithful to its source materials and has enough good in it to be entertaining. It can be found on Netflix, so give it a shot.