Popular manga series Devils’ Line was adapted into anime by anime studio Platinum Vision back in early 2018. This month, distributor MVM Entertainment has brought the series to Blu-ray and I’m here to find out if it’s worth your time.
The story follows Tsukasa Taira, a college student who is unknowingly friends with a devil. Devils blend into human society and can live perfectly normal lives, but some go mad from bloodlust and murder those around them. When devils are aroused from the smell or sight of blood, or sexual desire, their nails grow into sharp talons and their physical strength increases. Usually, they’re so possessed by their desire for blood that they lose all sense of themselves until it’s too late and they’ve hurt those around them.
Akimura, the devil that Tsukasa has befriended, is a serial murderer being hunted by the police and just before Tsukasa can become his next victim, she’s saved by Yuuki Anzai. Anzai is part of a special task force that deals with devil crimes and he’s half-devil, half-human himself.
After keeping watch over Tsukasa for a couple of days after the incident, the two become friends and slowly fall in love, but Anzai worries that being around Tsukasa will bring out his devil instincts and grows concerned about hurting her. Between that and the fact that devils are still hidden from society, the troubles the two face stack up but Tsukasa is determined to stay by Anzai’s side.
Once our two protagonists are dating, Tsukasa is constantly pulled into the world of devils and always finding herself in need of being saved by Anzai, which is one of the problems this anime has. From the very first episode, Tsukasa exists to be nothing but someone for Anzai to rescue – a damsel in distress. Even when he’s not in imminent danger, she’s too busy worrying about Anzai to do anything for herself.
Anzai, on the other hand, is a much better protagonist. There is a lot of depth to his personality, thanks to the inner conflicts he has about being half-devil. Not knowing how he was born or the best way to properly control his bloodlust around Tsukasa, this tale largely revolves around him figuring himself out. I certainly enjoyed Devils’ Line for Anzai’s story and the wider politics of the world as the task force work to deal with devil crimes and hide them from the population.
Sadly, the characters aren’t the only problem Devils’ Line has. Due to being an adaption of a manga by Ryoh Hanada that was ongoing at the time, the ending doesn’t resolve much of what the show has spent building up to. Having read the manga, I don’t think that does a particularly good job of tying up loose ends either, but it’s at least better than this anime is. However, if you don’t mind the open ending or have read the manga (published in the West by Vertical) then you’ll likely enjoy what the anime offers.
As previously mentioned, Devils’ Line has been adapted by studio Platinum Vision (Kono Oto Tomare!, Servamp) and the team do a good job with the series. The animation is very dark most of the time due to the majority of the anime being set in the winter and Anzai’s task force normally encountering problems at night, but it’s still easy to follow what’s happening on-screen. Action scenes are fun to watch but can be quite gory, so certainly not for the faint-hearted!
Music for the series has been handled by Kana Shibue (Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu) and unfortunately is fairly forgettable. It works well enough., but none of it is memorable enough to stay with you once the credits roll. The opening for the series is “Eclipse” by Shouta Aoi, while the ending theme is “Sotto Toketeyuku Yo ni” by Mamoru Miyano. Both songs capture the series well and are an enjoyable listen.
Where voice actors are concerned, this release has both the Japanese audio and an English dub. On the whole, I found the dub rather bland with Tsukasa Taira’s VA Luci Christian (Reg in Made in Abyss, Hiro Soma in Fruits Basket) bringing nothing interesting to the already bland character. On the Japanese track, Tsukasa is handled by Yui Ishikawa (Violet Evergarden in Violet Evergarden, Koto Katakura in Girlish Number) who offers more emotion to the character than Christian. Perhaps more notably though, on the Japanese side, we have Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Kirito in Sword Art Online, Bell in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?) playing Anzai who does a splendid job in the role. Matsuoka flips convincingly between Anzai’s gentle human nature and his demonic devil side and captures both sides of the character extremely well.
This release comes to the UK thanks to MVM Entertainment who have released the series on Blu-ray and includes Episodes 1-12 as well as an OVA episode. On-disc extras include clean OP/ED videos and a collection of trailers.
Overall, Devils’ Line is an enjoyable series if you’re interested in gory supernatural shows. It’s just a shame that its potential is let down by a frustratingly bland love interest who is in constant need of rescue. Fans of the manga will enjoy the adaption but newcomers are likely to bounce off.