Chainsaw Man

Chainsaw Man

Chainsaw Man anime series cover art
Chainsaw Man

Half Chainsaw, Half Man

Chainsaw Man (チェンソーマン), or CSM, is an action anime about a kid who can turn parts of his body into chainsaws. I say kid because, apparently, Denji is underage. Before watching the series, I assumed he was in his 20s. That’s not the case. But, it does explain his behavior.

I’m going to spoil the first episode of the series in order to explain the plot. Basically, creatures known as Devils exist in this world. And each Devil has a specific thing associated with it. For example, the antagonist in the first episode is the Zombie Devil. And early on in the series, we meet the Blood and Bat Devils.

How exactly each Devil manifests the thing they’re associated with is different. In the Zombie Devil’s case, it’s simple. It can create and control zombies. It’s this Devil that also kills Denji, the protagonist, in the first episode.

Denji and Makima from the anime series Chainsaw Man
Denji and Makima

So, does that mean Denji becomes a zombie for the rest of the series? I guess, technically. But, also not quite. Denji’s pet, Pochita, appears to be the Chainsaw Devil — or a piece of it, this is unclear. Upon Denji’s death, Pochita combines himself with Denji to revive Denji.

After this revival, Denji gains the powers of the Chainsaw Devil. When he pulls the ripcord on his chest, he can create chainsaws out of parts of his body. His head also takes the form of a chainsaw. If you’ve seen No Guns Life, Denji becomes a chainsaw version of Juuzou.

Shortly after he defeats the Zombie Devil, Makima, a Devil hunter finds Denji. She believes he’ll be a valuable asset and recruits him to join Public Safety Division 4. This is a government agency that specializes in the eradication of Devils. Thus begins Denji’s life as a Devil hunter.

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Chainsaw Man Manga

Hunt devils with Public Safety’s Denji, Power, Aki, and, of course, Pochita in this action-packed series.

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Public Safety Division 4

Makima is the head of Public Safety Division 4. This is a special division within Public Safety because of its unconventional members. She uses Denji’s attraction to her to manipulate him into becoming her pet — and also joining the division.

Denji, as previously mentioned, is the titular chainsaw man. Though, I don’t believe anyone ever called him this throughout the season. When he was younger, he lived on the streets and survived by hunting Devils for a gang. Now that he’s part of Division 4, he’s living the good life with 3 meals per day.

Makima gives division 4 veteran Aki Hayakawa the job of babysitting Denji. Aki has contracts with multiple Devils, including the Fox Devil. As we learn, having contracts with friendly — or neutral — Devils is common among Devil hunters. These contracts allow Devil hunters to use Devil powers at a price.

Aki Hayakawa from the anime series Chainsaw Man
Aki Hayakawa

Power is an interesting member of Division 4 because she’s a Devil herself. Well, technically, she’s what’s known as a Fiend. Fiends are what you get when Devils inhabit human corpses. She has an inflated ego, loves cats, and becomes best friends with Denji. Aki also has to babysit her.

Himeno is Aki’s partner. Public Safety Devil hunters work in pairs. Himeno and Aki are a pair, Denji and Power are a pair, and Himeno’s recruits, Kobeni and Arai are a pair. Himeno has lost many partners to Devils in the past. Because of this, she’s very protective of Aki, whom she loves.

Himeno’s recruit Kobeni Higashiyama (sorry, Arai) is the final character worth mentioning. She’s terrified of Devils and doesn’t want to work for Public Safety. But, she doesn’t have much of a choice because she needs the job. According to her, it was hunting devils or sex work.

Contender for Anime of the Year

Chainsaw Man is one of the best anime of the year. However, I don’t think it’s the best. If you want to know what is, you can check out my article on the Top 5 Anime of 2022. Chainsaw Man makes an appearance on that list, though. So, you know it’s good.

Also, in a lot of ways, this series is similar to Jujutsu Kaisen. I liked Jujutsu Kaisen a lot and I’m looking forward to the next season. But, Chainsaw Man is even better. So, if you’re a fan of Jujutsu Kaisen like I am, and you haven’t checked out Chainsaw Man, I recommend it.

The one thing I’ll say I like more about Jujutsu Kaisen over Chainsaw Man is the power system. Cursed energy in that series is more interesting than Devil powers in this one. Devil powers aren’t quite as versatile.

Power from the anime series Chainsaw Man
Power

Now, I also don’t find the overarching plot of Chainsaw Man to be that engaging. The Gun Devil is the strongest Devil, and Division 4 wants to kill it. Devils get more powerful the more they’re feared, by the way. And to defeat the Gun Devil, they first have to locate it by defeating other Devils.

With that said, it’s not the main plot you should watch Chainsaw Man for. It’s all the sub-plots with the various characters. The characters in this series are good. And the character arc I liked the most in this season was Himeno’s.

Of course, another reason to watch this anime is so you can argue over who the best girl is. For now, I’m going to say I’m in Power’s camp. But, my opinions on a few characters changed a lot throughout the season. So, that could change again in the future.

Basically, just watch Chainsaw Man.

Conclusion

In the end, Chainsaw Man gets an 8/10. It’s a very good anime. But, it definitely could have been better. For example, I didn’t care at all about the whole chainsaw man vs. katana man thing in the second half. However, it did also have one of the best OPs of the year and a lot of good EDs.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. And if you want to read more Chainsaw Man content, I have individual reviews for all 12 episodes. You can start here with Episode 1.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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