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Akira Fudo is a timid teenage boy who lives with Miki Makimura and her family after his parents died on a trip to theArctic. One day, Akira's best friend, Ryo Asuka, asks for help when his archaeologist father died after uncovering a mask during an excavation of ancient Mayan ruins, confirming the existence of ancient apex predators that assimilate other lifeforms to evolve:demons. The mask is revealed to be a fossilized demon skull that shows the wearer the world as it was many millennia ago when demons roam the Earth. Ryo's plan is to prevent the revival of demons: "To fight a demon, one must become a demon."

Ryo believes that people like Akira with a pure heart may be able to harness a demon's powers without being consumed and Akira agrees to help after they encounter demons in Ryo's house. Ryo takes his friend to a nightclub in his father's basement then picks a fight and draws blood to attract demonic attention. Demons begin to possess the clubbers and threaten Ryo and Akira, until a powerful demon known as Amon – the Lord of War, also called the Beast of Hell – consumes Akira. But Akira manages to retain his sense of self while possessing some of Amon's personality traits and power as he becomes known as Devilman. Throughout the series, Devilman has many battles with the demon hordes, encountering foes such as Amon's harpy-like lover Sirène and her unrequited paramour Kaim, the water demon Geruma, and the large turtle-demon Jinmen who incorporates the souls of his victims into his shell.

Eventually, the demons start aworld warwith humanity which causes mass panic and paranoia across the planet with mankind turning on itself. Akira starts to gather other Devilmen like him to fight the demons, only to be betrayed by Ryo after he exposes him to the public. Ryo's betrayal results in Miki's parents being arrested by the government while she and her brother are violently murdered by a paranoid mob which Akira slaughters in retribution. It was then that Ryo reveals himself as the reincarnation of the fallen angelSatan, having unconsciously orchestrated his true plan while exploiting humanity's flaws. With no one left to protect, Akira ends his friendship with Satan as they eventually settle things in an epic battle lasting twenty years after the vast majority of humanity is left extinct.

On the day of the final battle, Satan's second-in-command, the arch-demon Zennon, criticises Satan for allowing Akira to be alive, and questions Satan as to whether he has fallen in love with Akira, to which Satan asserts to be true. Zennon criticises Satan for this, and implies that Akira's transformation into Devilman was orchestrated by Satan simply as a way of trying to ensure he wou