Chainsaw Man is an unapologetic, in-your-face, adrenaline-filled chef-d’oeuvre that pulls no punches throughout its 11-volume story. From start to finish, the Chainsaw Man manga grips you with its unbelievably drawn action sequences that suck the air out of the room and keep you whirring through pages like Denji’s chainsaw. It’s more show, rather than tell; an experience that keeps your eyes buzzing through its panels to each corner of its pages, finishing a chapter in a couple of minutes.
And hallelujah, we sit here, thanking the anime gods that MAPPA (Attack on Titan, Jujutsu Kaisen) has decided to pick it up, reviving the revving and bringing the music of the chainsaw to all fans’ ears. As of writing, there have been five Chainsaw Man anime episodes, with the pilot’s release date being October 11. Trust us when we say it has lived up to all the buzz it has generated since its announcement.
Please just let him cop a feel
Chainsaw Man’s premise is straightforward yet effective in catching the attention of the average weeb in 2022. Our main character, the Chainsaw Man himself, Denji, has a dream that only a handful of weebs will probably achieve throughout their lifetimes: To grab hold of boobs. Our story starts with this premise and devolves into one of the wildest rides typical of tip-of-the-iceberg memes.
This isn’t a spoiler, but the entire first arc, and four episodes of the anime, smash this premise into the face of viewers. Denji tries to convince himself that even if this is his reason for living, it’s just as crucial as those saving the public or seeking revenge for the families. He is part of the public safety department, which exists to exterminate devils. The anime and manga tease this several times throughout the beginning, with close-up shots of two of the leading girls’ bosoms, Makima and Power, complete with Denji blushing at the thought of what could be.
As mentioned, after this initial premise that grabs the attention of anyone who has even an ounce of testosterone, it goes into an unpredictable spiral of themes that include family, loss, and control. Twists and turns, red herrings abound, filling in the sombre slice-of-life gaps that make the crevices of this action-packed spectacle.
Of course, we don’t want to get pretentious with these things too much, and Chainsaw Man is as enjoyable if you shut that noggin’ of yours and just enjoy the ride. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy Denji slicing and dicing demons of all shapes and sizes with the help of the power of his cute little puppy devil, Pochita.
Chainsaw Man’s mangaka, Tatsuki Fujimoto, is no stranger to crazy and bizarre premises. His most recent release, the one-shot entitled “Goodbye Eri”, is not only an unbelievable manga but a brief look into what the snazzy is all about, with mind-blowing plots and wacky characters. “Fire Punch”, his first extended release, displays what he’s capable of when drawing dazzling action set pieces, with the mangaka’s unique style of using the entire pages to the cadence of the blades of an actual chainsaw.
Chainsaw Man’s characters – specifically, its waifus – are another powerful feature of the series. Fujimoto knew what he was doing when creating this gorefest that effectively triggered all the hormones of the standard Shounen reader. Filled to the brim with unabashed sex on top of its devilish violence, it adds another reason for vaulting to the very top of the Shonen Jump landscape with its characters.
First, we have Makima, a high-ranking official from the Public Safety Devil Hunter known for her mesmerizing eyes and curvy figure. She has an alluring personality; her soft-spoken yet assertive attitude has captured the hearts of Denji and all Chainsaw Man fans worldwide. You can say that her control over everyone she locks eyes with is very much warranted.
Power, the brash blood-weapon-brandishing baddie, is the lovable loudmouth from Special Division 4. She is a fiend, a human whose body has been taken over by a devil, albeit a friendly fiend. She is Denji’s partner (and potential love interest) early on in the story and someone who has (so far) allowed Denji to reach his dream. Her popularity as a waifu has skyrocketed with her animated form, as fans can’t deny her overload of cuteness – and extreme sex appeal.
Kobeni, our lovable klutz, the personification of human suffering, and arguable “best girl” of the series for explanations we won’t quite go into, is another reason this waifu cast goes hard. She is the opposite of the two characters above, being extremely fearful and panicky in any situation. She is absolutely adorable, though, and you just want to hug her and tell her everything will turn out okay regardless of her status.
On top of these, you have the rest of the top-tier cast of Chainsaw Man characters, such as the stoic yet simp-full Aki, charming senpai Himeno, rough and tough Quanxi, and the explosive Reze, who all bring something unique to the table. Possessing one of the best ensemble casts in recent anime, Chainsaw Man has a character any fan can get behind and support.
Chainsaw Man Go “Brrr”!
With the popularity of its manga sequel, Chainsaw Man Part 2, currently ongoing, expect the Chainsaw Man fandom to continue rising. Its anime has lived up to the billing and is one of MAPPA’s passion projects, entrenching itself early among the top 25 anime in many reputable sites such as MyAnimeList.
With only five episodes so far, it is a treat to behold, as it has displayed top-notch animation, which includes environmental ray tracing and silky smooth sakuga of its explosive beats and slice-of-life moments. Paired with its characters and superb sound design, you are being treated to possibly the most incredible modern shounen anime to graze TV. There’s so much more to unpack and uncover in the world of Chainsaw Man, and we here at Japan Nakama can’t wait for you all to see it (or start watching if you haven’t already!)
Chainsaw Man is available exclusively on Crunchyroll in the UK.