Okay, yesterday I forgot to tell you about the one great big gay character in the Devilman Lady manga, but that’s okay because I’ll be covering her today, with great enthusiasm. ^_^
Let me start off by saying that the anime version of Devilman Lady is SO lesbian, that it’s a wonder it doesn’t get more spin in Yuri circles. I guess the majority of viewers just prefer cute over tough, but call me a happy minority. I’ll take cool, competent and tough any day over cute. ^_^
Where in the manga our heroine, Fudou Jun, was a uber-tough, butched up athlete, even had been in the Olympics as a swimmer, the anime Jun is a quiet, lovely top-notch fashion model. She’s immensely popular and we can see why, because when she gets in front of the camera, she becomes something alive and animal – her charisma is obvious, and so is her hunger.
Into this life comes the (still) completely psychotic Ran Asuka, who throws Jun into a room with a guy who becomes a ravening Devilbeast. The shock of being attacked forces Jun to transform (no demon bats here…) and Asuka calmly tells Jun that she’ll help Asuka hunt other Devilbeasts around the city. Jun, who has pretty low self-esteem, does.
Asuka is openly and obviously attracted to Jun, but pretty much only when she’s in her Devilbeast form. In any case, Asuka definitely teases her unmercifully, as she forces Jun to travel the country slaughtering people as a Devilbeast; ironically in the name of preserving humanity.
Complicating Jun’s life is the addition of a young friend, Kazumi who, after her parents are killed by a Devilbeast (and she is saved by Jun in her transformed state) moves in with Jun. It is *equally* apparent that these two LONG for each other. You’ll be happy to know that about 3/4 through the series, they finally acknowledge their feelings and even spend a night together, but this series is not a comedy – it’s a tragedy. I’ll leave you to guess the rest.
Episodes 5 and 6 of the series ought really to come with a 100% Yuri label. Kazumi has moved in and now wants to buy a bigger bed to share with Jun. She all buts says, “Look, stupid, I really want to sleep with you” but she’s young and a little unsure of Jun’s feelings. Jun, is agonizing over this, exactly *because* she wants so desperately to sleep with Kazumi. Trust me – this is not subtext. From this point on, whenever anyone other than Jun mentions Kazumi, it’s to refer to her as Jun’s lover, even though they aren’t. Jun wimps out, btw, and buys bunk beds. Kazumi is quite shocked by this admission of Jun’s, because what it says is either “I want you so much I won’t be able to control myself” – which is the truth, or, “I loathe you so much I can’t stand the thought of sharing a bed with you,” in which case she ought to make Kazumi leave. It’s pretty apparent that Jun feels she wouldn’t be able to control herself.
In the meantime,we introduce Jun’s old high school classmate (and, in the manga, rival), Big Gay Aoi.
Let me backtrack. In the manga, Kurosaki Aoi is like 6 1/2 feet tall and HUGE. Muscles everywhere. She makes butchy Jun look like a little girl. She obviously wants Jun, but they have a nasty rivalry between them and Aoi has a abusive background and doesn’t do well when she’s not letting the Devilbeast in her body eat people she hates. The Devilbeast, of course, decides it wants to eat Jun. Aoi and the beast that is her body argue and the beast eats Aoi i.e., itself. Aoi does confess her feelings and in the end, Jun is forced to admit that she was also attracted to Aoi. Duh.
Okay, here in the anime, Jun is no athlete – in fact, she’s anemic, and had a problem with passing out when she got too excited as a youth. Flashback to high school at a swim meet. Aoi sees Jun pass out and carries her to the locker room. When Jun comes to, Aoi tries to kiss her. At first Jun gives in, but then, in a moment of weakness, pushes Aoi away and they never speak again. For years. Now, Asuka sets Jun on Aoi’s tracks, because she’s exhibiting signs of being a Devilbeast. In the manga, where Aoi became a Devilbeast to avenge herself on her sexually abusive stepfather, here in the anime Aoi basically has done it for Jun. Jun visits her at the pool and Aoi blatantly asks Jun to love her back, but Jun refuses, again. (Given Jun’s reacton to Kazumi and Asuka, it seems to me that the worst enemy Jun has is herself. She obviously is attracted to women, but it scares her silly, even after all this time.) They fight and ultimately, to save Jun, Aoi sacrifices herself. Let me just add that as Jun is played by Iwao Junko (Tomoyo in Card Captor Sakura and Aoi’s voice is done by Ogata Megumi who played Tenou Haruka in Sailor Moon, we’re talkin’ serious 6 degrees of Yuri-fest right here. ^_^
Episode 6 is the story of a rival model who also wants Jun and ends up getting her naked and tied up in bed before the Devilbeast transformation happens and Jun has to kill her.
From this point on, the story becomes a triangle between Asuka, Jun and Kazumi. Kazumi wins, in a way, because she and Jun admit that they love each other, but in a more concrete way, Asuka wins, because she makes Jun into what she wants her to become. Asuka also wins because she’s the only transgender lesbian from New Jersey that I know of in anime. We learn that she was born and raised in New Jersey (Montclair, from the looks of it,) and that she was born male, but is now female. So in my book, Asuka wins, hands down, because I can say that she is a transgender lesbian from NJ. In anime. It always makes me happy to be able to say that. It doesn’t bother me that she’s insane because I love psychotic lesbians. ^_^
This series is campy horror, not as violent as the manga, but still violent and has a really sort of ambiguously happy ending. I think it’s one of the most Yuri series out there now and it’s a damn shame more people don’t know how wonderfully weird and bizarre it is. Sure, the girl doesn’t get the girl, but it really doesn’t matter, because it’s a great story, with a strange, but less super-weirdo-bizarre ending than the manga, but still plenty weird.
Art – 10
Characters – 10
Music – 10
Yuri – 10
Service – 10
Overall – 10
Devilman Lady is one of my very favorite anime series in the whole of Yuri-land. ^_^