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Anime: The Devil Lady - Part 1
Saturday, October 01, 2005
The Cast

Jun Fudou

Jun is the lead of the story, a fashion model who unbeknownst to her, she has a dark secret inside. Jun is a Devilman, and when placed near the scent of other devilbeasts or in danger can transform into a demonic creature of dangerous capabilities. Despite this, Jun herself is quiet a shy and demure character, and seemingly rather weak.

Asuka Ran

Asuka decides to harness Jun's powers for her own benefit, she is rather masculine and assertive in getting what she wants. She mysteriously approaches Jun one night with using her for the purpose of hunting Devilmen in mind.

Kazumi Takiura

Kazumi is modeling part time while finishing high school and is good friends with the significantly older Jun who she looks up too.

Episode 1

Episode 1 begins with an introduction to Jun's life as a model, watching the shoot she is on though, you wonder how much she actually enjoys her work as she looks very drained and less than happy as she goes about her work. Jun is immediately presented as a rather soft spoken character she does stand up for herself a little, but not with out repeated apologizing. We are also introduced to Kasumi as Jun walks home, Kasumi being seemingly a lot livelier than Jun and excited about being a model. Kasumi certainly seems to look up to the older woman though, and talks as if she's trying to impress her.

Upon reaching her apartment things rapidly go wrong, as the mysterious Asuka appears at Jun's door and drags her into a car outside. Jun evidently was never told to not get into cars with strangers as she allows herself to be pushed around by a woman she's never even met who could be a complete psychopath. Asuka takes Jun to a warehouse, where she is soon faced with being trapped and alone with a hulking werewolf like creature, that grew out of a man who was tied up before her. Jun panic's as she is attacked, blood spraying everywhere and Asuka's voice taunting her over some sort of loud-speaker system. However, the situation soon has an effect and for the first time ever Jun transforms into a demon.

Pretty much just things being set up here, in a rather matter of fact way that makes the series seem rather cliched as it begins.
Episode Score: 7/10

Episode 2

Jun's world is now tipped upside-down, as she steadily realizes that she can transform into such an horrific creature and that for some reason she cannot resist what Asuka tell her to do. She finds herself mentally tormented at the prospect of the next time she is summoned to battle, even endangering her friendship with Kasumi in the process. It is only a matter of time till Asuka drags the hapless Jun down into a nightclub for her next battle.

The emotional turmoil portrayed here is certainly very dark, setting the series in motion for how it seems to continue. Jun being coerced into situations that are beginning to effect her work and life. Asuka is portrayed as rather manic here as well, striding into combat with creatures as if she herself is a demon. Asuka is incredibly controlling and thoughtless with Jun in getting her to fight for her, then seeming to feel sorry for her once a battle ends.
Episode Score: 8/10

Episode 3

Reality becomes all the more harsher for Jun as she realizes that killing her own kind for Asuka is likely to make other Devilmen seek her out. However, they decide to seek out Kasumi instead and Jun finds her friends life on the line. Some rather horrific "mother dear why are maggots crawling out your eyes" scenes here as Kasumi's family become the target of the demons. Jun exhibits pure rage here for the first time too, without Asuka around to goad her as the anger she feels seeing Kasumi in danger drives her to change without any "help". Carnage ensues as Jun battles the rat and bird demons that are out to destroy her friends life... and her along with it.

The first proper "horror" episode here, lots of action and fair amounts of ridiculously coloured blood squirting everywhere. Jun losing it for the first time makes for powerful viewing as she rushes to her friends aid, you get the impression Jun is really beginning to enjoy the combat once it begins.
Episode Score: 9/10

Episode 4

Devil-Lady is quickly developing into a monster of the week style show here as Jun and Asuka battle a woman who's turned into a plant demon and eaten all her co-workers to grow more. The woman reveals herself as a demon by eating what appears to be her lover in the toilets *boggle*. Kasumi (after previous episode events), also moves in with Jun. Jun is evidently rather unsure about this as she doesn't want her "secret" to be discovered, but she decides she cannot abandon her friend and agrees to let her stay. Kasumi is incredibly upset in this episode, but with Jun being ordered around via mobile by Asuka you get the impression Kasumi feels a little rejected that her friend isn't showing her the support she presently needs.

While the episode premise is basic, the character building here for Kasumi is evidently important, plus we see that Asuka is actually secretly in scared and in awe of Jun adding another layer to her personality.
Episode Score: 8/10

Episode 5

We delve into Jun's past here, when Asuka orders her to determine if a woman she went to high-school with is a fully awakened demon or in possession of a human soul like Jun. Asuka wants her eliminated or brought in as another huntress to kill Devilmen. The woman in question and Jun seemingly have a rather rocky past, involving the woman being in love with Jun but Jun getting scared and distancing herself. This being a horror series of course it's not going to be a happy ending as Jun has to battle someone you really feel she doesn't want to, as the woman reveals herself to have become a shark demon that has lured many other women into her lair as food. Blaming Jun for turning out how she has (presumably for an injury Jun gives her at school, and for the heartbreak of Jun not entering a relationship with her), an aquatic battle ensues between the pair.

Worth pointing out with the obvious past attraction shown in this episode, that the series is fairly heavy on the slight yuri-esque tones between the three leads. Asuka certainly seems to spend half her time staring at Jun's body (disturbingly while its in demon form, as we all know that looking like your from the cast of Disney's gargoyles isn't exactly normal) and commenting on how impressive she is. She is also rather predatory and touchy feely with Jun while she's in human form, so your never quite sure what's going on in her mind. Kasumi and Jun are evidently close too, but the subtext between them is just Kasumi joking around to tease Jun.
Episode Score 9/10

posted by Mangaminx On Saturday, October 01, 2005  
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