Chainsaw Man Review

Chainsaw Man is an anime series by MAPPA (the same studios responsible for titles such as Jujutsu Kaisen (a personal favorite), Attack on Titan, Kakegurui, Dororo (I rather enjoyed this anime), Yuri!!! On Ice, and The God of High School) and is based off the Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto. Its first arc was serialized in Shueisha’s shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2018 to December 2020; its second arc began serialization in Shueisha’s Shōnen Jump+ online magazine in July 2022. Its chapters have been collected in 13 tankōbon volumes as of January 2023. The anime series consists of 12 episodes of 24 minutes each. Similar anime recommendations include Jujutsu Kaisen, Dorohedoro, Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demonslayer), Devilman: Crybaby, and Tokyo Ghoul.


Having said this, I personally enjoyed Chainsaw Man… a lot. The main character is Denji, he was basically born into poverty and when his father died (while he was still very young) he inherited all his father’s debt. In order to pay off this debt Denji started to work for the man his father owed money to, and after the boss taking his cut, Denji barely ever had anything left for himself, sometimes not even enough for food. Given these circumstances, Denji grew up not knowing the basic “rules” of society such as manners, hygiene, etc.

In Denji’s world, there is a phenomenon known as devils that hunt and prey on humans. Denji meets a devil and saves it from dying. He and the devil become friends, and he names the devil Pochita (everyone needs a Pochi!), who is a chainsaw devil. Denji starts hunting and killing devils for his boss as this brings in more money for less work although it is a lot riskier. His boss then makes a deal with a devil who requests Pochita’s heart. The boss leads Denji and Pochita into an ambush and Pochita decides to combine himself with Denji in order to save Denji’s life. Denji is now half human and half devil and proceeds to kill the devil behind the ambush. Denji is then found by Makima, who enlists him in her government special forces team for dealing with devils and Denji’s perilous journey starts from there. Makima is awful sus though -.-

Denji goes to live with Aki (a human who is contracted with a devil) and Power (a devil). While Aki is always cool calm and collected, Denji and Power are somewhat just gross (I mean they’re both meatheads), temperamental, and ill-mannered. On one hand, I like Denji and Power, but on the other hand, I don’t, it’s an internal struggle. I do admire Denji’s perseverance though and as many of the other characters have pointed out he and Power aren’t exactly sane.

This anime was refreshing in comparison to all the isekai genres that have been flooding out the new release gates for the past couple of seasons. While the narrative has some elements of mystery and untrustworthy characters (and characters with secrets) the main character Denji is relatively straightforward (almost primal) and honest. His goals are average goals one would normally take for granted like having a place to sleep and eating normal food, although he does have some other goals typical of boys reaching puberty. He knows what he wants, and he’s prepared to fight for it resulting in ample action and comedy.

I look forward to seeing how this anime progresses in its next season, but MAPPA has provided us with an action-packed first season and I genuinely enjoyed the ride. They opened this with a bang, and I sincerely hope they can keep the same level of entertainment going. Although the series hasn’t officially been renewed yet there is enough source material to keep it going, so here’s to hoping.

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