Our world is full of different kinds of couples. Some develop their relationship over time while others seem like they simply “meant to be together”. Akira and Miki, the two protagonists of Go Nagai’s Devilman, belong to the latter category. Because one could talk of many different Devilman stories (1) we will mostly focus on the Akira and Miki from the original 1970 manga.
*This article contains spoilers to Devilman‘s story. For those of you who have not read the manga or watched the anime, we strongly recommend that you do so*
Chapter One: Akira Fudou
When the story begins, his personality is that of a crybaby. Akira has almost no physical strength, has an extremely low aggressiveness tendency; in a way, he resembles more of a little cub, vulnerable to the cruel world and to the school bullies that harrass him. But, in reality, he is extremely strong. His determination is powerful and he is so brave he is not afraid to put his life on the line to defend the existence of even the smallest creature.
That is why Akira Fudou’s soul was strong enough to overpower and tame the wild beast that is named as Amon. His main characteristics are the ones that separate a human from a beast; great intellect, humility, compassion, empathy and love. Using those virtues he manages to put the Devilman’s body in good use, to protect mankind and those whom he adores.
As the story develops, his character becomes more lustful for blood and massacre. The main reason is that the long fight between his human heart and the nature of Amon has tired him. Even the soul of a good man can be weakened when he witnesses the death and suffering of precious ones and when his strong beliefs -for Akira, his devotion to mankind and his perception of his own kind as a better one than the demons- are in a state of doubt.
Chapter Two: Miki Makimura
Miki is the kind of person who does not back down even when she is under great pressure, even when she is at a disadvantage. That is why she stands as a shield to the bullies that attack Akira, even though she has little physical strength. She will do her best to fight and cannot stand being in a passive state. (2) When the bullies return, she is ready for battle -a sign of caution and aggressiveness. When the time comes and she has to fight again, she is more than capable to defend herself.
An important trait of hers is trust for her dear ones. When she finds out that Akira can turn into Devilman, she puts her life on the line to help him, simply because of everything he has showed her and her feelings for him. She accepts the three punks who once threatened her when she sees that they are worthy of her trust.
Unfortunately, one cannot say that much about Miki without talking abour her behavior towards Akira. He is the main hero and it is his part of the story that mostly concerned Go Nagai. But, taking into consideration the time when the original manga was published (1970) her character is rare to find for a woman in manga.
Chapter Three: The Couple
It is hard to talk about Akira and Miki as a couple, since they only had little time together as lovers. In the original manga, they barely have the time to share a hug, before their paths were cruely separated by forces they could not control. In the third OVA, Amon: Apocalypse of the Devilman, they could only share their first kiss after Miki was dead -perhaps in Akira’s dreams?
It is only through noticing the details that one can understand their relationship. For example, Miki’s constant encouragement towards Akira to be braver and tougher, more “manly” is a sign of her desire to see the person she adores and values to become capable of improving himself and being independent? Is not the effort put into helping someone to improve their weaknesses part of love?
It is obvious that their love is strong; so strong in fact that it can hold back Amon in Akira’s soul, even when everything else has failed and our brave (anti)hero is on the brink of collapse. When Miki dies horribly, the last piece of humanity left in his heart disappears. In Amon: Apocalypse of a Devilman that leads to Amon’s liberation. The demon manages to defeat Devilman, until Akira remembers the one thing that gives him true strength; Miki’s love and encouragement.
Miki Makimure and Akira Fudou are two wonderful people whose great misfortune leads to their break up by death. Though fate Go Nagai never did them the favor of ending up together, I find their devotion to one another admirable. In a way, they are like two pieces united to make one person -pretty much the ideal relationship between two human beings. It is that sort, little part of Amon: Apocalypse of the Devilman that gives some hope; even when one dies or the world has turned to darkness, and kindness had been replaced by the cruelty of beasts, the memories of what they lived together will always stay in the heart of the one who survived.
1. The Devilman universe is made out of many different re-runs and stories. The original manga, the story-line of the three OVAs (The Birth, The Demon Bird and Amon: The Apocalypse of Devilman), the 1972 Devilman television series, and the spin-off/reboot mangas Neo-devilman, Amon: The Darkside of Devilman and Devilman G. Also, one could mention Violence Jack and Devilman Lady, both the anime and manga, as part of Devilman’s storyline.