You know that feeling when a show, movie, or book gets hyped to a point where it feels impossible to live up to? Well, the new anime Chainsaw Man is one of those rare occurrences where that’s actually the case. Written by Tatsuki Fujimoto and released in 2019, the manga shook readers around the world with its gory and mind-blowing storytelling, murderous illustration, and monstrously overwhelming yet relatable characters. I mean, the protagonist’s main driving force is literally touching a girl’s breasts. Yet somehow these desires mixed with a little round dog with a chainsaw for a nose lead to the boy being the one who can possibly save humanity.
In Fujimoto’s world, devils are the antagonists, taking form as hostile demons that feed on human fear. A group of brave souls called the Devil Hunters took it upon themselves to fight these villains – but there’s a twist. Felhunters can actually form alliances with devils and also gain the ability to use their supernatural powers in exchange for something of the person’s worth. Thus we encounter endless scenarios of people using devils to fight other devils, leading to some epic fight scenes. It must also be noted that some of these devils are the embodiment of the most violent and frightening things imaginable, from the katana devil to the spider devil to the ghost devil to the ballistic weapon devil.
Aside from presenting a universe of devils with unique powers, Chainsaw Man allows us to empathize with his wide range of characters on a deep level and appreciate the idiosyncrasies of each one. Our main character Denji is driven simply by his desire for a love relationship. Aki, a devil hunter, has a cold exterior but is truly a softie on the inside who sheds a tear easily. Makima is the unfathomably strong leader of the Devil Hunters, but does she have an ulterior motive? And Power, the current incarnation of the blood devil, is… something. She’s messy but definitely provides some much-needed comic relief and is a real comfort figure. My only warning before starting the manga or anime is…don’t get too attached to anyone. That’s all I’ll say.
The relatively short Chainsaw Man manga has covered a plethora of human emotions and societal ills, from lust to betrayal, rampant gun violence and political corruption. The story is really not for the faint of heart. As the anime continues to roll out, now is absolutely the perfect time to deck yourself out in a new piece from the series. Whether it’s a badass fox devil, a two-piece astronaut, or a cute little pochita, fans of the series will instantly recognize your dedication, and then the two of you can have an endless debate about whether you’re Team Power or Makima. We wish you the best of luck.