Chainsaw Man Season 1 Ends on Lukewarm Note

Chainsaw Man Episode 12 Review

Himeno, thou art avenged, and with it, the curtain falls on the first season of Chainsaw Man. At least the first part of the season’s over, but that’s besides the point. The point is that the Devil Hunter’s fight with the Katana Man and his Yakuza ends, and the survivors walk away with their heads held high. That, and Denji and Aki force their enemy to endure one of the worst things any man could endure.

But does it do a good job of capping off the season? Meh.

I Must Not Fear, Fear is the Mind Killer

On Aki’s part, when faced with the Ghost Devil, the same one that worked with Himeno, he’s left terrified. Fortunately, since this is a shonen anime, all it takes is a reminder of Himeno in the form of a cigarette that she wrote on to snap him out of it. Like a true badass, Aki manages to kill the Ghost Devil, who uses fear to sense its enemies. And Aki, having committed to his path of revenge, has no fear. 

This is both equal parts badass and disturbing. I’ve already said several times that most of the Devil Hunters will die young in horrible ways. Given what the Future Devil saw, Aki’s death is going to be horrible. This should concern him, even though he already knows he has only a few years before he dies. Instead of doing something else with his life, though, he chooses revenge. 

Revenge can feel good, but it can also make things worse.

Chainsaw vs Katana is the best fight of the season.

As for Denji, he has his rematch with the Katana Man, but not before the latter tries to take the moral high ground. The Katana Man says all he wants is to avenge his grandfather; he doesn’t care if he has to turn himself in afterwards. However, his pleas fall on the deaf ears of Denji, and, hopefully, the audience itself.

Firstly, the Katana Man ignores the fact that his beloved grandpa was a Yakuza gangster who did a lot of terrible things. Denji did everything the man asked of him, and he chose to kill him anyway. Secondly, he was already a zombie when Denji iced him, so he was dumb enough to make a bad deal with a Devil. Instead of accepting that his grandad got himself killed, Katana Man tried to kill Denji, and got Himeno killed. Thus, Katana Man gets what’s coming to him.

The rematch between the two is, arguably, the best of the season. It also marked the first time in several episodes that I started to get excited about the fighting. Even though it, once again, ended too soon for my tastes, while it was going, it was fun to watch. 

The Ultimate Nut Shot

The best part of the entire episode, though, is what Denji and Aki do to the Katana Man after he gets his butt handed to him. As punishment for killing Himeno and their other comrades, they dish out the ultimate punishment: they take turns kicking him below the belt. Whoever makes him scream the loudest wins.

I honestly thought that this whole scene was hilarious. It was petty, vengeful, and unnecessary of them to do this, but it also felt like a good way for them to deal with their excessive anger over Himeno’s death. Also, you have to admit the man had it coming. Thus, the season ends with the Devil Hunters walking away with their heads held high. 

So why is it that I don’t feel fully satisfied with what happened?

Not as Fun as I Thought it Would Be

I haven’t read the Chainsaw Man manga before I started watching the anime, but I kept hearing everyone saying a ton of good stuff about it. They said that it was amazing, that it was an instant classic, and one of the best shonen manga of the next generation. And I bought it for a bit-it certainly looked cool. However, as much as I wanted to deny it, the Chainsaw Man anime…wasn’t as exciting as I thought.

I’d say I over-hyped the series in my mind after hearing what it was like, but I’m not so sure. I even read that a fan petition started to have the anime redone. I think that might be a little much, but I can’t help but think what we would get if this was animated by Studio Trigger. 

Regardless, I still think that the Chainsaw Man anime has potential. Hopefully, once I start watching it in dub form, I’ll regain my excitement. In the meantime, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic for the next season, whenever that comes out.

I Give “Katana vs. Chainsaw” a 3.5/5

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