2018 has been such a long, endless decade, that chances are we’ve completely forgotten some of the things that did, in fact, happen or come out in 2018. For example: If you’re right now thinking WAIT, isn’t Devilman Crybaby a few years old? Well, surprise!!! It came out...*checks notes* This past January!!
Day 7 of the 12 Days of Anime 2018
“Man Human (Devilman Crybaby Version)”
Now, I do not actually know a lot of Denki Groove’s work, but from what little I’ve heard—mainly the weird, absurdly catchy “Flashback Disco” (good luck comprehending the video; sorry/you’re welcome)—I am just so glad they exist. The patron saint for gonzo anime synthpop/electronica is, and perhaps always will be, Susumu Hirasawa, but these guys seem to fit nicely into that same mold.
So while my fiancée was watching Devilman Crybaby on Netflix, thereby exposing me to the sleek, groove-tastic theme song which opens every episode, imagine my pleasant surprise while taking a look at the credits and realizing that it was the work of someone I recognized! And liked! It then immediately made perfect sense that Denki Groove would be the ones to come up with such a strange, hypnotic number.
On the one hand, it seems like such an odd choice to set this sort of club jam as the opening song for an anime as dark and deeply violent as Devilman Crybaby. More conventional choices for something in this vein would be along the lines of the brooding nu metal for Deadman Wonderland or the Death Note anime’s eventual screaming downward spiral. This isn’t even an aggressively noisy strain of electronic music (e.g. dubstep), but actually goes in the opposite direction towards being downright slinky!
But hey, director Masaaki Yuasa is apparently some kind of visionary with a stellar animation track record, from what I understand, and maybe that extended to the music choices. And there’s no arguing with results; I think his instincts were spot-on. It’s a baller track on its own—my early-2000's dance and synthwave inner geek are especially happy—but it effectively sets up the kind of series to expect out of Devilman Crybaby as well: Not just dark and violent, but more than just those two things; additionally cool, kind of sexy in its own perverse way...and that it might also be somewhat gay.
That’s a beguilingly inviting proposition for a series if I’ve ever seen one. MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN MAN. Hu-MAN
P.S. On a sidenote, this meme is still a gem.