Blu-Ray Review: Devils and Realist – The Complete Collection

Heaven, Hell and Humans collide in the most unusual way in Devils and Realist; but is it worthy of your time? Not really, but still, let us take a look at what it has to offer in this Blu-Ray release of the series.

Synopsis:

When William Twining breaks into his bankrupt family’s vaults seeking funds for his tuition, he has no idea what he’s about to pay for his higher education. Instead of cash, William discovers that he’s supposed to choose the (interim) ruler of Hell!

That would be a bedeviling predicament under any circumstances, but when the bearer of said dread tidings is also hitting William up for the job… Well, it’s just not a good thing. Nor is it easy to put the would-be Devil behind you, as the impish Dantalion quickly roots himself into William’s school life while simultaneously jockeying with an unholy host of other Arch-Fiends-To-Be for the coveted position of Devil in Charge.

With a surprisingly large percentage of both students and faculty at William’s school turning out to be demonic in nature, he’ll need the Wisdom of Solomon to find a way to get all these devils off his heels – and fortunately for him, William apparently WAS Solomon in a former life! Will the hallowed halls of Stradford become host to the hordes of hell?

Our View:

Based on the manga series written by Madoka Takadono, and illustrated by Utako Yukihiro, Devils and Realist is delivers an unusual story that pits Angels and Demons against each other in a quest to recover Solomons soul from his offspring whom is a realist. The concept sounds interesting, but the delivery and execution of this non-existing story leaves much to be desired, and in the end the only praise is the acceptable animation standards and exceptional character design.

Devils and Realist takes place in late 18th century England whereby knowledge and nobility is key to succeeding in life, and for our protagonist Seventeen-year-old William Twining, who is not only a prefect but top-ranked student, finds himself on the path to greatness. This path however crumbles when he learns that his tuition for the next semester has yet to be paid for and then soon learns his families fortune has gone. Looking for answers William returns to his estate home but while searching something valuable he stumbles upon a hidden room and a magic circle, a circle which activates and summons the demon known as Dantalion.

The arrival of Dantalion, who in turn is the Grand Duke of Hell and one of Solomon’s 72 pillars, reveals that William Turning is the successor to Solomon’s powers, the person who originally created the 72 pillars of demons in hell, and that it is his responsibility to elect a new head of the pillars as a result of the current head falling into a deep sleep. For William, who is a realist and does not believe in mythical beings or god, he shrugs this off and so the journey of trying to convince William to elect a new head begins.

This acts as the foundation of the main story and as such over the course of the next ten episodes, with the two reserved for a battle amongst demons as they squabble to defeat Solomon’s sudden resurrection, we see Dantalion attempt to convince William. Naturally it is not just Dantalion as each episode introduces a new kind of demon, each of which relates to a different figurehead within the demon world; but all of them are looking at William to elect them for the position. It’s a rinse and repeat approach that quickly gets stale, but fortunately it does have a few comical quirks thrown in – such as those that help further refine the characters.

Although each episode has a ‘rinse and repeat’ perspective they do focus on a singular storyline that progresses while elements from each come together towards the end. For instance William’s butler of sorts Kevin turns out to be a angel working to both protect and kill William, additionally this same Angel that controlled Kevin has his own sights set on William. In the demon world meanwhile some demons also have their own agenda by forcing William to elect their chosen leader; but yet again it is all talk and nothing happens how you would expect. As an example one demon intends to Kill William but in the next episode he wants to be his best friend. Bizarre.

Having not read the source material it is hard to determine how much of the original story is included in this anime series, and how much of it is filler, but regardless it does nothing overly new or entertaining. Surprisingly the series ends rather adruptly as it begins, but this could be due to the anime series coming to a conclusion before the manga. Devil and Realist is colourfully animated and has some nice character artwork, but other than that it doesn’t offer much other than an unfulfilling story with a cast of unlikeable characters.

Extras:

As Devils and Realist contains all twelve episodes on a single Blu-Ray disc, which seems to be one of Sentai Filmworks specialities, I was not expecting anything other than the bare standard bonus content; and that is exactly what we receive.

On this Blu-Ray disc viewers will find the textless opening and closing songs used within the anime series as well as trailers for other Sentai Filmwork published releases. These trailers, of which are more music videos than anything, are Dogs & Scissors, Hozaki’s Coolheadedness, Log Horizon and DiaboliK Lovers – with only Log Horizon being available in the UK.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50
Region: B
Running Time: 4:59:24 (24:57 x12)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Devils and Realists offers a simplistic story with a colourful cast of characters but while the animation and storylines are sub-par the character designs are exceptional, with each character offering a unique style and perspective. The story of Devils and Realists, of which is spread across twelve episodes, sees William Turning accidentially summon a demon after trying to secure funds for his tuition at school. This demon, known as Dantalion, reveals that William is a descendent of Solomon and that it is his destiny to be an elector and select the next heir to the demon world.

This sparks confusion amongst William, who is a pure realist, and ignores Dantalion’s requests, as such each episode Dantalion attemps to persuade William but in turn other demon’s from the underworld take notice and attempt their own forms of persuasion. This style of persuasion escalates with each passing episode until Heaven takes notice and plan their own move of attack against William and – at the same time – select members of the demonworld even attempt their own trickery to secure their place on the throne. The result is a small battle between heaven and hell, with William being uninterested in the affairs.

An interesting turn of events leads William to accidentially resurrecting William and another battle ensues; but all is forgiven and put to rest when the current king wakes up and returns to form. A bizarre, and rather pointless, story indeed and personally one that could be have been done a lot better. Fortunately for us this Blu-Ray release, of which uses disc masters authors by Sentai Filmworks, has no forms of disappointment as it is pretty much what you would expect to receive. Twelve episodes on a single disc with the usual presentation and consistency one would expect; including Sentai Filmworks subtitle presentation of White text (and white for background/translations). No problems here that we can see.

As far as releases go then Devils and Realist is everything you would come to expect from an MVM release using Sentai Filmwork assets, it’s just a shame that the series itself didn’t offer something a bit more entertaining. Sure enough the story is weak, but the characters and comical quirks are definitely the highlight so this series is best reserved for when you’ve got absolutely nothing else to watch – which is difficult considering how much anime is available nowadays.

Score: review-stars-2

Devils and Realist – The Complete Collection will be available on Blu-ray from the 23rd September 2019 via MVM Entertainment UK.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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