This Week in Animation: ‘DEVILMAN: crybaby’ Tears onto Netflix with 10 Insane Episodes

Happy New Year, animation aficionados! In This Week in Animation News, I’ll take a look at the previous week in the world of animation in order to get you caught up on everything you might have missed. It’s your one-stop shop for news regarding cartoons, anime, and animated web series. We’re talking movies, TV shows, digital shorts, and everything in between!

For the latest animation stories we’ve already covered on the site this week, take a look at the following links. Then, check out a selection of new stories below. Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Watch the Very NSFW and Not-Kid-Friendly 'DEVILMAN: crybaby' on Netflix Now

While Netflix has released a new trailer for DEVILMAN: crybaby, they haven’t made it shareable, so please enjoy this slice of insanity via Netflix Japan. It should help to tease what kind of experience you’re in for when you sit down to watch this anime series adapted from Go Nagai‘s original manga. And if you’re not familiar with the title, like I wasn’t, this trailer is going to completely baffle you, but the experience is worth the watch!

DEVILMAN: crybaby, in essence, takes place in a world in which demons possess human bodies, using their new forms to participate in all sorts of vices,  sex and violence being chief among them. The story starts by following a group of high school students, centered around a core of talented track stars, who eventually become intertwined with the devils themselves. Some of them are able to maintain their human hearts and master the devil powers, but others in the world around them aren’t so lucky.

Image via Netflix

While DEVILMAN: crybaby starts out as a somewhat silly, hyper-sexualized romp through perversion and, basically, pornography, I was impressed with how the series matures over the course of its 10 episodes. Themes progress from teenage wet dreams, to a painful coming-of-age tale, to political satire, depictions of man’s inhumanity to man, and a skewering takedown of men and women masquerading as moral superiors; the finale is a surprisingly heartbreaking one, a descriptor I would not have expected after watching the first episode.

The animation varies wildly, which matches the content, with both modern anime stylings and throwbacks to the original 1972 adaptation, but where DEVILMAN: crybaby sets itself apart is in the psychosexual, drug-fueled scenes of body horror transformations. This show is nuts, and it’s pure candy for the Id from the get-go, but you might find yourself emotionally attached to the devil-may-care characters by the time the finale blasts its way onto the screen.

Amazon Cancels Anime Strike Service

Image via Amazon

So while Netflix is killing it with original animation and anime offerings, Amazon’s beleaguered anime channel Anime Strike is kaput. As Kotaku reports, Amazon has now rolled the content previously available for the paid program into its Prime Video library. This includes dozens of anime series and movies, which were previously available for the monthly price of $4.99 … in addition to the $99 annual fee for Amazon Prime. This double pay wall and the fact that Anime Strike was only available in america led to its demise after only about a year. Here’s what a rep had to say:

“We have decided to move the curated catalogs of Anime Strike and [Bollywood channel] Heera into Prime Video so that more customers can enjoy this content as part of their Prime membership.”

So the content is still there, but without the added cost and hassle of sorting through DVD, manga, and toy results in your search for titles like InuyashikiPrincess Principal and Made In Abyss. 

First Clip from 'Batman: Gotham by Gaslight' Pits Batman Against Big Bill

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight takes place at the turn of the century as America’s continued industrial revolution is to be showcased at a World’s Fair hosted by Gotham City. But while the world prepares to witness the glittery glory of Gotham’s technological advances, there is a killer loose in the city’s darkest shadows. Preying on the city’s women, this killer is as precise as he is cruel. As Police Commissioner James Gordon tries to calm the fears of Gotham’s citizens regarding the butcher called Jack the Ripper, the masked vigilante Batman enacts his own detective work – with the help of confident, capable Selina Kyle – to stop the Ripper’s murderous spree. Witness a world in flames as the notorious serial killer’s controlled savagery meets the calculated stealth of the Dark Knight.

Producer Sam Liu directs Batman: Gotham by Gaslight from a script by Jim KriegAlan Burnett is co-producer. Executive Producers are Sam Register and Bruce TimmBenjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan are executive producers.Acclaimed for his performance in Batman: Under The Red HoodBruce Greenwood reprises his role as the voice of the Dark Knight. Jennifer Carpenter makes her DC Universe Movies debut as the voice of Selina Kyle. The voice cast also features Scott Patterson as James Gordon, Anthony Head as Alfred Pennyworth, Yuri Lowenthal as Harvey Dent, John DiMaggio as Chief Bullock, William Salyers as Hugo Strange, and Grey Griffin as Sister Leslie. The cast also includes notable voice actors Tara StrongBob JolesDavid ForsethChris CoxLincoln Melcher and Kari Wuhrer.

'Scooby-Doo and Batman: The Brave and the Bold' Arrives Soon on DVD!

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

In Scooby-Doo! and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, super sleuths Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma join forces with the world’s greatest detective, Batman, when they discover that villains from both of their respective rogues’ galleries have also combined efforts to terrorize the city. With Scooby snacks in tow, the crime-fighting teams encounter classic Batman foes (Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn) and allies (The Question, Aquaman, Plastic Man, Martian Manhunter) along with a bevy of fiends from Scooby-Doo lore (Spooky Space Kook, Gentleman Ghost, Miner 49er, Ghost Clown). As always, you won’t know who the ultimate villain is until those “meddling kids” pull off the mask!

Avid Scooby-Doo fans know this isn’t the first time the Caped Crusader has partnered with Mystery Incorporated. Forty-five years ago, Batman (and Robin) were the featured guest stars in a pair of The New Scooby-Doo Movies. Premiering in 1972, the renowned detectives worked to solve crimes together in the hour-long television movies entitled The Dynamic Scooby-Doo Affair and The Caped Crusader Caper.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold will be distributed January 9, 2018 by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on DVD and Digital.

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Watch the First Mesmerizing Scene from 'Mary and the Witch's Flower' from GKIDS

For a limited time only, don’t miss the breathtaking opening scene from Mary and the Witch’s Flower, the dazzling new adventure from Academy Award-nominated Hiromasa Yonebayashi, animator on Spirited Away and director of When Marnie Was There and The Secret World of Arrietty! The film opens in select cinemas nationwide on January 19th, with a special premiere event on January 18th in select locations with exclusive filmmaker interview. Many premiere shows are already selling out.

Get your tickets now!

Theater listing for the full run will be available here.

Mary is an ordinary young girl stuck in the country with her Great-Aunt Charlotte and seemingly no adventures or friends in sight. She follows a mysterious cat into the nearby forest, where she discovers an old broomstick and the strange Fly-by-Night flower, a rare plant that blossoms only once every seven years and only in that forest. Together the flower and the broomstick whisk Mary above the clouds, and far away to Endor College – a school of magic run by headmistress Madam Mumblechook and the brilliant Doctor Dee. But there are terrible things happening at the school, and when Mary tells a lie, she must risk her life to try to set things right.

 

Based on Mary Stewart’s 1971 classic children’s book The Little Broomstick, MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER is an action-packed film full of jaw-dropping imaginative worlds, ingenious characters, and the and the stirring, heartfelt story of a young girl trying to find a place in the world. Featuring the voices of Ruby Barnhill and Academy Award®-winners Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent.

GKIDS Acquires Three Titles from Director Masaaki Yuasa

Speaking of GKIDS, who are positively knocking it out of the park in the acquisition game, they’ve just secured the North American rights to three titles from internationally acclaimed director Masaaki Yuasa (who, by the way, directed the aforementioned DEVILMAN: crybaby series) including Mind Game and Yuasa’s two new feature films, Lu Over the Wall and Night Is Short, Walk On Girl. GKIDS will release all three films theatrically in their original Japanese language, and will also create a new English dubbed version for Lu Over the Wall, which is slated to premiere at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.

MIND GAME

Image via Studio 4°C

Masaaki Yuasa, Japan, 2004, 103 min

Buckle in and prepare to surrender yourself to an exhilarating and wildly entertaining ride. Cult classic Mind Game is an explosion of unconstrained expression – gloriously colorful mages ricochet in rapid fire associations, like Masaaki Yuasa’s brain splattered onto the screen in all its goopy glory. Audiences will begin to grasp what they are in for early on as loser Nishi, too wimpy to try to save his childhood sweetheart from gangsters, is shot in the butt by a soccer-playing psychopath, projecting Nishi into the afterlife. In this limbo, God – shown as a series of rapidly changing characters – tells him to walk toward the light. But Nishi runs like hell in the other direction and returns to Earth a changed man, driven to live each moment to the fullest. The film cemented Yuasa’s reputation as a bad-boy anime auteur, winning the Grand Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival among many other awards. GKIDS will release the film digitally on Ellation’s VRV Select platform December 22, 2017, with theatrical release beginning February 2018, followed by release on other ancillary formats.

LU OVER THE WALL

Image via TOHO Animation

Masaaki Yuasa, Japan, 2017, 112 min

From visionary anime auteur Masaaki Yuasa comes a joyously hallucinogenic but family-friendly take on the classic fairy tale about a little mermaid who comes ashore to join a middle-school rock band and propel them to fame. Kai, a young middle schooler, lives in a lonely fishing village, with his father and his grandfather. He used to live in Tokyo, but after his parents divorced he moved back to his parent’s home town. Kai is lonely and pessimistic about his school life. One of his joy is uploading songs he writes to the internet. One day, he meets Lu, who sings merrily and dances innocently to his music. As Kai spends more time with Lu, he finds he is able to tell her what he is really thinking, and a bond begins to form. But since ancient times, the people in the village have believed that mermaids bring disaster and soon there is trouble between Lu and the townspeople, putting the town in grave danger.

 

Winner of the Grand Prize at the prestigious Annecy International Animation Festival, and premiering in English as an official selection of Sundance 2018, Lu Over the Wall is a toe-tapping, feel-good demonstration of Yuasa’s genre-mixing mastery that will leave you humming long after you leave the theater.

NIGHT IS SHORT, WALK ON GIRL

Image via TOHO

Masaaki Yuasa, Japan, 2017, 93 min

Night is Short, Walk on Girl takes place over the course of one strange and alcohol-drenched night, as a young woman known only as The Girl With Black Hair drinks her way through Kyoto. Along the way she encounters a panoply of odd and fantastical characters, all the while crisscrossing paths with senior student Senpai, who creates increasingly contrived reasons to run into her in an effort to win her heart. Winner of the Grand Prize at Ottawa Animation Festival, Night is Short, Walk on Girl is an “I guess it’s romantic?” comedy for the modern age, and a celebration of the unconventional, confusing routes that love and life can take.

Boomerang Adds 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' and 'A Pup Named Scooby-Doo'

Image via Boomerang

The first 26 episodes of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs will be available on Boomerang starting January 11th. Here’s a look at the show’s premiere episodes on the streaming channel:

  • Hair We Go Again - Flint invents the hair unbalder when he realizes he’ll go bald one day, but Tim offers him another point of view by showing him the perks of being bald.
  • It’s About Time – Sam and Flint accidentally cryogenic-ally freeze themselves in the town’s time capsule and emerge into a post-apocalyptic future.
  • Self-Helpie – Flint invents a device that will put a good picture of him into the yearbook, but instead it puts him in every picture that has ever existed.

Plus, junior versions of Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, Velma & Freddy head to Boomerang where they’ll be running into ghosts and goblins and solving kid-sized mysteries. EVERY episode of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo! is available for streaming NOW!

Image via Boomerang

Titmouse Animates Brendon Small's VR Music Video for "Icarus 666"

Titmouse, the Emmy award-winning animation studio behind shows such as Big Mouth, Metalocalypse, Niko and The Sword of Light, the hit VR party game, “Smash Party” and the movie Nerdland, announced the availability of its second VR music video, “Icarus 666″, available for free on Steam for the HTC Vive as well as on the Oculus Store for Oculus Rift.

This VR music video along with the recently launched “Show It 2 Me” were created with the open source Tilt Brush Toolkit, Google’s virtual reality app that lets you paint in 3D space with audio reactive and particle brushes.

“From demons to neon black holes and spaceships, anything you can create using Tilt Brush can be brought into Unity through the Toolkit,” said Chris Prynoski, president and owner of Titmouse. “More than just something that makes our eyes pop out of our heads, working in VR and with AR for the launch of the Snapchat World Lens Gravy Time has been crazy-bananas.”

Described as a heavy metal Space Mountain VR ride with a metal symphony driving your spaceship, the brightly-colored and intense “Icarus 666″ samples a track from Brendon Small’s new album, “Galaktikon II: Become the Storm.” Brendon Small is the mastermind behind the metal band DETHKLOK and the DETHALBUMS. Dylan Carter directed “Icarus 666” and is an award-winning animator and director.

“It was great working with my pals at Titmouse to put together this intergalactic roller coaster ride,” said Dethklok/Galaktikon mastermind Brendon Small. “It’s really fun bringing a VR experience to the world of METAL!!!”

AT&T Brings the 'Monster Family' Movie to DIRECTV Customers a Month Early

Image via Ambient Entertainment

AT&T is giving DIRECTV customers an exclusive look at Monster Family, based on the best-selling novel by David Safier. Directed by German filmmaker Holger Tappe, the family adventure is voiced by an all-star cast, including Emily Watson, Jason Isaacs, Nick FrostJessica Brown FindlayCelia Imrie and Catherine Tate.

Watch it now exclusively on DIRECTV CINEMA before it arrives in theaters Feb. 9th. Here’s the official synopsis:

The Wishbone family is far from happy. With a struggling bookshop, an overworked husband and 2 misunderstood teenagers, Emma (Emily Watson) is at her wit’s end trying to be the perfect mom. After dragging her family to a costume party on Halloween night, they are cursed by an evil witch and transformed into a Vampire, Mummy, Werewolf and Frankenstein’s monster. Now Emma will fight to keep her Monster Family together and uncover the secret of their curse… eventually leading them to the Prince of Darkness himself, Dracula (Jason Isaacs)!

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