Nearly every culture has stories about demons or malevolent entities that plague the lives of humankind. For this post, we’ll concentrate on the Western demon archetype. We’ll cover traditional Asian spirits and creatures in the next installment of the series. If you missed the last one, read it here: The Otherworld in Anime: Vampires
The stereotypical western style demon is dark and scary, with red eyes. Sometimes sharp teeth, sometimes long clawed, but they all have one thing it common- they’re evil. Once again, anime pushes the boundaries and takes cliches just a little bit further into the realm of obscurity with these character types. Here are our favorites:
Sadao Maou (Satan), The Devil’s a Part-Timer
Our first glimpse at Satan is in his powerful ‘true’ form, down to red eyes, horns, and cloven hooves. He is forced to retreat from the world of Ente Isla as the Hero’s forces of good advance. Satan and his sidekick somehow end up jumping dimensions straight into Japan. Needing some way to sustain themselves, Satan gets a part-time job at MgRonalds, flipping burgers and peppering fries.
Satan’s seeming transformation into a gentle, generous, kind-hearted person confounded the Hero, Amelia, who had followed Satan through the portal to Earth. The series follows her as she tails him, convinced he’s up to no good as he attempts to climb MgRonald’s corporate ladder to world domination. It is as ridiculous as it sounds and it’s fantastically funny. This anime makes fun of itself!
High School DxD
Rias Gremory is a demon of noble blood and president of the school’s Occult Research club. She takes a special interest in Issei, a boy she revived after he was killed by his first girlfriend, and makes him her demon pawn in this anime. The club members’ roles are named after chess pieces, Rias being the King. They engage in battle against demons, angels, and fallen angels.
There isn’t really anything evil about these demons, unless you count all the naughty “humor”, most of which got nothing more from me than an eye roll. Now, I don’t mind some fan service, and dirty humor I typically find hilarious, but this anime bored me to death. Don’t get me wrong, I really like some of the ecchi anime out there such as Is This a Zombie, Rosario + Vampire, and Heaven’s Lost Property, but this one disappointed me.
I did enjoy the fighting scenes and the chess piece take was interesting, but the characters and plot fell flat for me. I just did not care if any of them died so I was not invested at all. Christian did like this anime though, so it made our list. It was probably all the boobs. And yes, you will need to keep this away from the kiddo’s eyes as there is a whole lot of nipple in this anime.
Blood Lad’s story actually follows a vampire, but I wanted to mention the world that it is set in because it’s probably the best thing about this anime. The land is divided up into territories, with a boss over each territory. Anyone can take over a territory by defeating the local boss in combat. With a walk down the street, one can encounter any type of strange being on the sidewalk. Kinda like LA. Except more colorful.
Ahhh, this one makes me nostalgic for the good old days when I wasn’t so far in debt and actually enjoyed cooking diner for my husband… I was usually watching him play this game between intermittently stirring the pasta. I enjoyed the anime just as much, along with this entertaining character:
The anime takes place in the Netherworld, as demon prince Laharl tries to secure the throne as Overload with traveling companions Flonne, angel in training, and not so loyal demon Etna. Flonne attempts to turn Laharl into a caring, loving being as Etna schemes for the throne with her army of prinnies.
Dood! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!
And the one we’ve all been waiting for….
Sebastian Michaelis, Black Butler
Sebastian is the demon hungry for Ciel’s soul, in the guise of the Phantomhive household butler. Ciel sealed a contract with Sebastian to ensure his vengence of his family’s death and his own mistreatment, in return, Sebastian will devour his soul. We see many different sides to Sebastian through the series, taking on many different roles. Cooking, cleaning, gardening, and dog taming. Most of the time spent at the countryside house is spent cleaning up after his subordinates messes and caring for Ciel’s immediate needs.
However, once Ciel is called to investigate on behalf of the Queen, Sebastian’s role changes drastically. And if the glove comes off, you know shit just got serious. Aren’t we all just waiting for that moment when Ciel commands him with his cursed eye and Sebastian slides his glove off to reveal the matching symbol on his hand? Yes!
A musician, tall, dark, handsome, and he loves cats! Winner! …Besides, ya know, the demon thing. He’s just one hell of a butler.
There were a surprising number of demons to choose from so we had to break up the subject into two posts! Next post we’ll discuss Asian demons and entities, so watch out for that one. What are your favorite demons in anime? I actually had a difficult time thinking of a truly evil demon. Help?