Devil May Cry: The Animated Series, The Complete Collection – DVD Review

Review by: Clive Owen

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 300 minutes
Genre: Action
Rating: TV MA
Release Date: Available Now

Dante is back and no controllers are needed.

It’s safe to say that we’re not only fans of anime and manga but we’re also hardcore gaming enthusiasts so it was with great pleasure that I took it upon myself to wrestle a copy of The Complete Collection of the Devil May Cry: The Animated Series from our Editor-in-Chief. Having followed main protagonist Dante through four games, I was looking forward to the series. Sadly, this isn’t Dante at his best, although there are moments throughout the series that manages to shine through in true Devil May Cry fashion.

If you’re not familiar with Capcom’s Devil May Cry games, the series won’t offer much of an explanation. You see, Dante is the son of a hero who just so happened to have been a demon lord named Sparda that fell in love with a mortal woman. As a result, Dante is born looking like a human but is endowed with the powers of a demon. Armed with two trusts handguns (called Ebony and Ivory) and a sword called Rebellion, Dante has taken to ridding the mortal world of demons as a Demon Hunter … for a price. You see, Dante runs the offices of his own private eye business known as Devil May Cry and he’s open for business.

The Complete Collection includes all 12 episodes of the series as we follow Dante through different cases with a supernatural twist. The Dante in this series is identical to the man we met in the games, although we learn a bit more about him like the fact that he’s messy, can’t deal with women, addicted to strawberry sundaes and eats only pizza. We are also introduced to Morrison, Dante’s agent who digs up cases for the Demon Hunter, such as the case of a little girl named Patty who needs Dante to escort her to the mansion on time before the other heirs get all the money.

After that episode, Patty becomes a regular fixture in the series as something of a sidekick who even lends a hand during one case. Yes, DMC fans, that doesn’t sound like the Dante we all know and love but that’s just one of this series’ few problems (be we’ll get to that in a minute). In another case, we meet Lady, a female Devil Hunter who happens to know Dante well seeing as he owes money to her. She helps Dante infiltrate a biker crew whose leader lost his brother to a mysterious racer who might be a demon.

In another case, a young woman named Angelina meets and falls in love with a young man named Bradley who heals her ankle after she takes a tumble in the most unusual manner. Unfortunately for Angelina, her father puts out an order to have Bradley killed and the poor girl overhears it. Trish from the DMC games shows up in the next episode, which is really what would have made this series even better had she stayed around. Thankfully, she shows up on the last two episodes of the series and shows off her awesome fighting skills.

Dante then accepts a job from a woman who is worried about her brother after the man finds a strange mask that comes to life to offer anyone who touches it a wish. Unfortunately, the wish turns sour really quickly as Dante and Lady soon find out. In another episode, Dante joins an unusual poker game on a floating casino that means death to anyone who loses. In one of the most amusing of the episodes, a young man tries hard to woo a sexy waitress who wishes he was a lot more like Dante. When said young man follows Dante around, he sees that something just isn’t right about him.

Alas, the series lacks structure and – even with the likes of Trish joining Dante – the characters are one-dimensional. There’s are villains that do show up near the end of the series that bring up elements from the game but they hardly stick around long enough to be a threat to Dante. Strangely enough, the main threat comes from a demon named Sid who shows up often and becomes something of the main villain at the end but its not a very convincing threat.

Hardcore fans of Devil May Cry might find something to like about The Complete Set of this animated series but those who don’t won’t find anything truly inspiring to make this series worthwhile. If you are a fan, there are some episodes that are actually decent enough to watch but don’t expect to be very impressed. Too bad, really, seeing as the action is violent and handled well.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: C
Dante is his usual sulky, overconfident and pizza-munching self as he looks into various supernatural-themed cases for different clients. In one instance, he takes part in a deadly motorcycle race and, in another case; he joins a high stakes poker game where the loser dies. A fan favorite character shows up but other than that the there isn’t much of a main story.

VIDEO QUALITY: B
The episodes and action does look good on DVD and you have to love that Dante’s outfit is more a tribute to the third game in the series than his awful outfit in the second game. There’s also plenty of blood in the series.

AUDIO QUALITY: B-
The original Japanese voices are the way to go for this series but we do love Dante’s voice in the English dub as well as Chris Ayers as Sid. The original score by rungran and the opening theme song feels like it belongs in a DMC game and “I’ll Be Your Home” by Rin Oikawa is simply a beautiful to close each episode.

EXTRAS: A
Fans of the games will love the plentiful extras that offer a peek at the old Tokyo Game Show 2006 and E3 2007 footage of Devil May Cry 4 as well as cut scenes taken from the game as well. There are trailers on all three discs and the option to check out the opening and ending animation without credits. The real bonus comes with the interview with Toshiyuki Morikawa who voices Dante.

OVERALL: C
Devil May Cry should have been an amazing anime series considering the fact that it’s based on a fan favorite gaming franchise but, with a lack of a real story and a strong supporting cast, the series just doesn’t make the Complete Collection set an inviting morsel for those who don’t care for the games. This is too bad considering the fact that the Devil May Cry universe is an exciting one.

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