Chainsaw Man: A Kickback Worth Watching


“Chainsaw Man” Vol. 1 cover, Viz Media.

Albert D (Year 10)

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, Chainsaw Man? Your first thought may be to imagine a man who has a weird obsession with chainsaw, or maybe his parents hated him, so they named him after a power tool. Neither of these are the topic of this article. Rather, the manga series, now anime series, Chainsaw Man. 

 We are first introduced to Denji, the protagonist. Denji has a simple dream—to live a happy and peaceful life, spending time with a girl he likes. This is a far cry from reality, however, due to his father’s death, he was left with a crippling amount of debt. Denji is forced by the Yakuza into killing devils in order to pay them off.  

[Plot spoilers] Unfortunately, he has outlived his usefulness and is murdered by a devil in contract with the Yakuza. However, in an unexpected turn of events, Pochita merges with Denji’s dead body and grants him the powers of a chainsaw devil.  

Now able to transform parts of his body into chainsaws, a revived Denji uses his new abilities to quickly and brutally dispatch his enemies. Catching the eye of the official devil hunters who arrive at the scene, he is offered work at the Public Safety Bureau as one of them. Now with the means to face even the toughest of enemies, Denji will stop at nothing to achieve his simple teenage dreams.  

Yes, he has a chainsaw on his head. Yes, it’s stupid. But once you get over the strangeness of the initial premise, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with Chainsaw Man. CSM is more than just an edgy battle manga or a meme. It has real characters who change and grow, dialogue that sounds like human beings talking to each other instead of two NPCs exchanging exposition, and unique abilities. 

The author isn’t afraid to let characters die when they should, and they rarely get some cringy flashback about their past. The plot moves quickly- there isn’t a single chapter of meaningless fluff. Denji himself is my favourite part of the manga. Yes, he’s an idiot- because he had no education, and didn’t have the time or energy to worry about anything but his immediate day-to-day survival. He doesn’t want to be King of the Devil Hunters, he’s happy to get 3 meals a day and a warm bed to sleep in. Some side character he met 2 days ago get killed- well that sucks, but there’s no crying/convenient flashback and quest for revenge. Bad guy shows up, let’s kill him. It cuts to the chase, making for quality, engaging entertainment. 

 10/10 Bin Chickens.