Akuma Kun Review 2023 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online
Akuma-kun is the second anime adaptation of a manga series written and illustrated by Shigeru Mizuki, following the 1989 version. It is directed by Junichi Sato, who directed the 1989 adaptation, and Fumitoshi Oizaki, with Hiroshi Ōnogi writing the scripts and Daichi Nagatomi producing the series. Akio Izutsu composed the show’s music.
When you’re a child prodigy, you usually have the capability to change the world for the better. However, we didn’t expect one of them to have the ability to summon demons. Well, one kid does, and apparently, it is one hell of a gift for him to use. I had never heard of Akuma-kun until I realized it’s coming out on Netflix. It’s mainly because the manga series originated in 1963, sixty years before its recent Netflix adaptation. So, being a youngster in the world of anime, I am now in another new territory for the format. Fortunately, the concept alone is enough to see how it was popular in the 60s.
As mentioned earlier, this is the latest adaptation of Shigeru Mizuki’s manga series, as it was previously adapted as a live-action television show in 1966, followed by the 1989 anime series. The adaptations follow a young child prodigy, Shingo Umoregi (Alex Cazares) (nicknamed “Akuma-kun”), who appears once every 10,000 years. He seeks to create a better world for humans and demons to coexist peacefully by harnessing the ability to summon and command various demons. The Netflix adaptation focuses on Shingo’s adoptive son, Ichiro Umoregi (Michael Johnston), the second Akuma-kun who’s unexpressive, stubborn, and obsessed with hotcakes. Along with his half-human partner, Mephisto III (Kyle McCarley), Ichiro uses his gift to run the Millenarianism Research Institute, dedicated to solving murder mysteries involving demons. During the process, Ichiro’s personal quest to figure out his past resulted in him unleashing a winged angel known as Strophia, who has a history with Ichiro.
Each episode consists of a murder mystery based on a specific sin. One example is “Greed”, in which Toboyama is obsessed with eating Satan’s flesh, forcing him to task Ichiro to summon Satan despite the consequences coming from it. The other is “Envy”, which involves a movie director’s jealousy toward his friend’s cinematic masterpiece. Do you remember the movie Se7en, which consists of a series of murders based on the seven deadly sins? Well, Akuma-kun is pretty much the anime equivalent of that mystery classic, except it has supernatural demons in it. It also gives me similar vibes to another paranormal mystery anime series, In/Spectre.
It’s easy to see that people who have read Akuma-kun would likely find plenty to enjoy in the new adaptation. Of course, that includes the series’s lore, making this more of a legacy sequel to the original anime. But how would it fare for newcomers like me? Well, considering that I enjoyed a good murder mystery, I assumed I would get some enjoyment out of this mildly creepy series. While I wouldn’t call it a great mystery worth solving, it’s a diverting treat worthy of fueling my need for supernatural-related content, regardless.
Akuma-kun offers an episodic narrative focusing on Ichiro and Mephisto solving murder mysteries, with slight hints of character development used to progress its seasonal plot. Amid its mysteries, the series depicts Ichiro’s coming-of-age journey of solving his origin story while rekindling his relationship with his father, Shingo. Unfortunately, his rude and stubborn behavior stands between him and his understanding of happiness and friendship. Regarding his personality, I wouldn’t call Ichiro a likable character. However, the series’s messages and Michael Johnston’s vocal performance often help maintain my venerability toward him until its conclusion.
The series also suffered a bit from repetition during its first few episodes. Fortunately, the second half conjures up enough spells to retain my interest, thanks to a few episodes I liked the most. One of them is the ninth episode, “Father”, involving a subtly emotional development of Mio Kazama (Chedi Chang) and her mother, Sanae (Shara Kirby). The other is “Celebration”, which saw the characters taking a break from solving mysteries to delve deep into their relationships during Christmas. Of course, the final two episodes also served as an enjoyable closure to the protagonist’s arc.
Another element I liked was the animation. Like the 1989 adaptation, Akuma-kun is produced by Toei Animation, with Encourage Films assisting with the production. I may not have watched the original anime version, but with the same animation company working on the Netflix version, I expect the characters to have the same designs. Fortunately, I was right on the money. The presentation offers a graphic-novel-type feel to its settings and horror elements while displaying the characters through a mixture of cartoony and realism. It’s pretty different from the other anime shows I’ve recently watched, but it still carries the appeal through its classic anime presentation.
Overall, the Netflix adaptation of Akuma-kun should satisfy plenty of the source material’s fans with its lore and style. As for me, it doesn’t do much to get me into the manga like it did for others for the past sixty years. However, it’s diverting enough through its animation, voice cast, and horror mystery elements to make this spooky case worth solving. Sure, it can be a bit repetitive and less scary at first, but by the time it reaches the second half, it can also be a mildly entertaining late Halloween treat.