2022 Was a Great Year for Anime

The Best Anime of 2022

Another year over, another year closer to anime fans achieving pop culture hegemony. All jokes aside, 2022 was a particularly good year for Japanese animation. Not only did we get some incredible films and series in 2022, but several of these ended up breaking the Internet. As the year comes to a close, it’s time for us to look back on the best anime to come out of Japan.

Full disclosure: in addition to anime series, we will also be counting movies. Considering the success that several anime films had at the box office this year, it’s justified.

Attack on Titan Season 4, Part 2

Just when you thought that Attack on Titan couldn’t get any bigger, it does just that. The second part to the hit anime’s final season premiered in January 2022, and the Internet went crazy over it. Given how this part saw series protagonist/antagonist Eren Yeager enact his plans of unleashing an army of Titans to wipe out all humanity beyond his island home, that was to be expected. In addition, when the opening for the new part, “Rumbling” went up on YouTube, it wound up trending. Given how the part ended on a massive cliffhanger, fans are chomping at the bit to see the grand finale in all its animated glory. 

Spy x Family

It’s the spy comedy that’s taken the anime world by storm, Spy x Family. Making its anime debut in 2022, Spy x Family combines all the action and escapades of classic spy films with the kind of comedy that will leave you in stitches. Set in a fictional world locked in a cold war, Spy x Family follows Twilight, an agent tasked with spying on an enemy politician to stop a potential war. To do this, he builds a fake family with a little girl named Anya and a woman named Yor. The twist is that Yor’s secretly one of her country’s best assassins, and the only one aware of this is the mind-reading Anya, whose desperate to keep her found family intact.

Even though it’s the new kid on the block, Spy x Family has already won the hearts of millions, and it’s not hard to see why: the characters are so likable. Anya’s a precious little cinnamon bun who only wants to have a real family and will go to great lengths. Despite only taking them in as part of his cover, Loid comes to genuinely care about Anya and Yor. Lastly, Yor’s dual nature as a deadly assassin but clumsy and caring housewife makes her one of the top waifus of the year. If you haven’t already watched it, you should check out Spy x Family.

One Piece

This year was a good year for One Piece, period. On the manga front, the series completed its biggest and longest arc to date, the Wano Country Arc that saw Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates go head-to-head with one of the strongest pirates in the world. Meanwhile, that same arc continues to be adapted into anime to great fanfare. When Crunchyroll posted some of the best clips on YouTube, they trended several times. 

Lastly, the series latest film, One Piece Film: Red, saw massive success in its native Japan and overseas, with its soundtrack trending on iTunes. With the series entering its final saga and Eichiro Oda promising it to be more epic than ever, now’s a good time to be a One Piece fan.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero 

After so many years of getting the short end of the stick in favor of his dad, Dragon Ball finally made Gohan great again. When the remnants of the Red Ribbon Army come out of hiding (again) while Goku and Vegeta are away, it falls to Gohan to deal with the threat. However, Gohan’s neglecting his training again, much to everyone’s disappointment. Frustrated by this, Piccolo uses this chance to force Gohan to reawaken his fighting spirit.

Even though this movie sees the franchise use 3D animation as opposed to 2D, it doesn’t make the film less amazing. The film brings back much of the humor from the early days of the original manga while carefully balancing it with a ton of action. In addition, the film sees Gohan and Piccolo gain new forms that put them in the running for strongest characters in the franchise once more. The former gets a form that, for all intents and purposes, effectively canonizes the popular fanmade transformation El Blanco. El Blanco is canon, people!

Chainsaw Man

Yet another newcomer to the Shonen anime scene, Chainsaw Man has also taken the anime world by storm. Set in an alternate 1990’s Japan where Devils exist, the series follows Denji, a young, teenaged Devil Hunter whose life’s cut short by a group of Yakuza. However, Denji gets a second lease on life when he fuses with his Devil friend, Pochita, becoming the infamous Chainsaw Man. Now, Denji hunts down even more Devils. Not for the sake of humanity or for justice or revenge, but for the simple goal of living a normal life. That, and to get lucky with a woman.

Chainsaw Man is one of the most popular anime on the market right, and it’s not hard to see why. The characters are quirky and the series is filled with so much blood and over-the-top violence that it would leave Attack on Titan jealous. If you haven’t been watching it, then you need to be. It’s a slow burn at first, but once it picks up, you’ll see why it’s so popular already.

My Hero Academia Season 6

While the fifth season may not have been that exciting, it was just a prelude to the real show: My Hero Academia, Season 6. With the villains growing more powerful than ever, the heroes make their move to put an end to the destructive plans of Tomura Shigaraki. However, what should’ve been a decisive victory for the heroes turns into an all-out war that pushes both sides to their absolute limits. Characters die, heroes and villains unlock new abilities, and shocking revelations emerge. This is My Hero Academia at its absolute best, and the season’s only halfway over.

JoJo : Stone Ocean

Netflix ruined the hype for this. JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure is one of the greatest shonen series ever. The last decade’s seen the anime inspire countless memes as it finally achieved worldwide popularity. However, the decision to have Part 6 air on Netflix prevented it from reaching the heights it should have. Netflix made the decision to release the season in batches, which is good for streaming but terrible for building up hype. As a result, the final act in the original JoJo timeline almost flies under the radar. 

Anime Training Arc=Badass Protagonists

Chainsaw Man, Ep 11 Review

When an anime protagonist wants to overcome insurmountable odds and beat an enemy that kicked their butts, what do they do? They have an anime training arc, get stronger, and then go back for a rematch. In this case, Special Division 4 has a collective anime training arc to take down the Katana Man. However, will it be enough to take down the Katana Man and his Devils?  

Yes. That’s what happens with an anime training arc.

Training Time’s Over, Time for Payback 

Having trained under Kishibe for an unspecified amount of time, Denji and Power start to show some improvement. At least, that’s what Kishibe says, since he pushes back their training to once a week. However, he also lets them know that they’re going to be launching their mission to take down the Katana Man and his rogue Yakuza the next day. The Special Division’s future rides on their success; if they fail, Denji and Power die. In other words, they shouldn’t fail.

The success of what will happen is the main source of drama for the episode, with Makima even visiting the Yakuza upper echeleons to get more intel…is what I wish she was just doing. In addition to that, she then intimidates the Yakuza into cooperating with the government or face destruction.

This moment show’s how no-nonsense Makima is about her job. When the Yakuza boss refuses to cooperate at first, saying they’re a necessary evil to keep worse gangs from outside Japan out, she doesn’t have it. She gives him a bag of eyes from their other members, their families, and more. It’s a morbid sight and one that would intimidate most people. As I’ve said before, Makima scares me. 

The Raid Begins! The Other Members of Special Division 4 Make their Debut!

The third act of the episode sees Special Division 4 start their raid on the forces of the Katana Man and Sawatari (the girl with the Snake Devil). This moment serves as a chance for us to meet the other members of their group, and most of them are either Devils or Fiends. 

It’s more apparent now why Makima’s Division is cause for concern. Most of the members are either crazy people, Fiends, Devils, or some combination of all three. Denji fits right in with all these oddballs, for better or worse. 

Aki’s Anime Training Arc Pays Off

The real highlight of the episode, though, is Aki. He made a contract with the Future Devil, who, despite it’s strange appearance, is a troll by nature. It likes to mockingly say that “the future rules,” and unlike others, it’s worked with, it barely asks for anything from Aki. All it wants is to live in his right eye, and it will let him see a few seconds into the future. 

The catch to this, though, is that it wants a front-row seat to Aki’s inevitable death, something it found very interesting. Like I said, it’s a troll. 

As I said last week, it’s pretty evident that most of these people aren’t going to live to see retirement. The implication that Aki’s death is so morbid that the Future Devil wanted a front-row seat to it makes it pretty obvious. However, it’s still disturbing to see that the series equivalent to Sasuke will likely die before the anime ends.

Regardless of the short life expectancy, it’s clear that the anime training arc’s paid off. The Yakuza are going down. The one regret that I may have is the fact that the first portion of the anime ends next episode. Here’s hoping they can finish the Katana Man Arc in that time. 

Happy Holidays everyone!

I Give “Mission Start” a 3/5

Anime Training Arc. Brought to You By Kishibe

Chainsaw Man Ep. 10 Review

The first round between the Yakuza of the Katana Man and Public Safety Division 4 of the Devil Hunters has ended. Both sides have retreated to lick their wounds and mourn the dead. In this case, most of Division 4’s either dead or quit. Aki’s lost his partner, Denji got his butt kicked, and Power? She ran away like a coward. Thus, in accordance with the laws of Shonen anime, this defeat means the protagonists must train to get stronger. To do that, Makima brings in someone crazy. So crazy that he makes Denji and Power look sane in comparison: Kishibe.

Master Kishibe Pulls No Punches

With most of their members dead or quitting Public Safety to go private, Makima needs to make sure her remaining members (the main trio, Kobeni, and Madoka) are up to the task. To that end, she arranges for each of them to get stronger in some fashion. For Aki, this means forming a contract with a new Devil. For Denji and Power, though, this means training under the strongest Devil Hunter they have: Kishibe.

Kishibe only likes three things in life: booze, women, and killing Devils, and he’s good at the last one. So good, in fact, that he was Aki and Himeno’s teacher at one point. In other words, he’s as nuts as they get, and brutal to boot. When he meets Denji and Power at a cemetery, the first thing he does is attack them and beat them to near death.

While his training methods sound sadistic, there’s a method to his madness. Only the strongest and craziest people can become Devil Hunters and survive. And with his monstrous strength and lack of fear, Kishibe’s crazy and strong enough to train Denji and Power. 

The bad news? His training methods involve beating them within an inch of their lives until they can beat him. It’s brutal, Spartan, and sadistic…but effective. They do slightly better the next day.

Aki Goes Devil Shopping

As for Aki, he finds himself dealing with a different problem. After what happened with the Katana Man and that girl with the Snake Devil, he’s out of a Devil Contract. Thus, his next step is to get a new one from one of the Devils the Public Safety Division has captured. What follows is like a cross between going to buy something at the store or adopting a new pet. In this case, the “pets” are Devils that can kill him.

The one that Aki considers is the Future Devil. Considering how it represents the fear of the future (which can be pretty scary), I can imagine that such a being must be pretty strong. The uncertainty of the future scares a lot of people, thus making it very dangerous. 

I’m suddenly very worried.

None of These People Will Live to See Retirement, Will They?

The more I watch Chainsaw Man, the more I realize something bad: none of these characters are going to live to see retirement, are they? 

I’m being serious. With the rate of casualties as a Devil Hunter, I don’t think anyone of these people can expect to die in their sleep from old age. Not Denji, not Power (can she even age?) And certainly not Aki. Thanks to his contract with the Curse Devil, he only has two years left to live. He knowingly gave up his chance at a long life to get revenge on the Gun Devil. And I thought Sasuke was bad.

Regardless of their short lifespans, the trio fo Denji, Power, and Aki seem determined to live life to the fullest. Firstly, that means finding the Katana Man, and putting him in his place. And once they undergo their anime training arc, they will do so. For Himeno.

I Give “Bruised and Battered,” a 3/5

Kishibe Arrives! Begin the Anime Training Arc!

Chainsaw Man, Ep 10 Review

The first round between the Yakuza of the Katana Man and Public Safety Division 4 of the Devil Hunters has ended. Both sides have retreated to lick their wounds and mourn the dead. In this case, most of Division 4’s either dead or quit. Aki’s lost his partner, Denji got his butt kicked, and Power? She ran away like a coward. Thus, in accordance with the laws of Shonen anime, this defeat means the protagonists must train to get stronger. To do that, Makima brings in someone crazy. So crazy that he makes Denji and Power look sane in comparison: Kishibe.

Master Kishibe Pulls No Punches

With most of their members dead or quitting Public Safety to go private, Makima needs to make sure her remaining members (the main trio, Kobeni, and Madoka) are up to the task. To that end, she arranges for each of them to get stronger in some fashion. For Aki, this means forming a contract with a new Devil. For Denji and Power, though, this means training under the strongest Devil Hunter they have: Kishibe.

Kishibe only likes three things in life: booze, women, and killing Devils, and he’s good at the last one. So good, in fact, that he was Aki and Himeno’s teacher at one point. In other words, he’s as nuts as they get, and brutal to boot. When he meets Denji and Power at a cemetery, the first thing he does is attack them and beat them to near death.

While his training methods sound sadistic, there’s a method to his madness. Only the strongest and craziest people can become Devil Hunters and survive. And with his monstrous strength and lack of fear, Kishibe’s crazy and strong enough to train Denji and Power. 

The bad news? His training methods involve beating them within an inch of their lives until they can beat him. It’s brutal, Spartan, and sadistic…but effective. They do slightly better the next day.

Aki Goes Devil Shopping

As for Aki, he finds himself dealing with a different problem. After what happened with the Katana Man and that girl with the Snake Devil, he’s out of a Devil Contract. Thus, his next step is to get a new one from one of the Devils the Public Safety Division has captured. What follows is like a cross between going to buy something at the store or adopting a new pet. In this case, the “pets” are Devils that can kill him.

The one that Aki considers is the Future Devil. Considering how it represents the fear of the future (which can be pretty scary), I can imagine that such a being must be pretty strong. The uncertainty of the future scares a lot of people, thus making it very dangerous. 

I’m suddenly very worried.

None of These People Will Live to See Retirement, Will They?

The more I watch Chainsaw Man, the more I realize something bad: none of these characters are going to live to see retirement, are they? 

I’m being serious. With the rate of casualties as a Devil Hunter, I don’t think anyone of these people can expect to die in their sleep from old age. Not Denji, not Power (can she even age?) And certainly not Aki. Thanks to his contract with the Curse Devil, he only has two years left to live. He knowingly gave up his chance at a long life to get revenge on the Gun Devil. And I thought Sasuke was bad.

Regardless of their short lifespans, the trio fo Denji, Power, and Aki seem determined to live life to the fullest. Firstly, that means finding the Katana Man, and putting him in his place. And once they undergo their anime training arc, they will do so. For Himeno.

I Give “Bruised and Battered,” a 3/5

Makima Scares Me Now

Chainsaw Man Ep 9 Review

To paraphrase Wolverine from the X-Men comics, “All right, Yakuza bastards. You took yer best shot. Now it’s my turn!” 

That was the exact thing that went through my head while watching the new episode of Chainsaw Man. The Devil Hunters got ambushed by the Yakuza and seemed to be on the ropes. However, the Yakuza failed to finish the job. Now it’s their turn to hit back, and Makima’s not taking any prisoners. She’s killing them!

Round One! Winners: Yakuza

Last episode, the Devil Hunters came under attack by Yakuza working for the guy whose grandpa Denji killed in the first episode. Now that man can turn into a Katana-Devil hybrid similar to Denji, and he wants them all dead. What follows is probably the best fight in the anime to date. Chainsaws and Katana slashing, blood’s pouring, and it’s just flat out epic.

Sadly, it’s over all too soon, with Katana Man slicing Denji in half to beat him, which is also awesome. And with Aki out, Himeno dead, and Power missing, there’s no stopping Katana Man and his associates (including the girl with the Snake Devil) from taking Denji.

However, the Yakuza made one big mistake, one that a lot of villains make. When you’re out to kill your enemies, never turn your back on them until you’re sure they’re dead. 

Now it’s Makima’s turn.

Makima…She Scares Me

As someone who’s only watched the anime, I have no clue how Makima survived the Yakuza’s attempts to kill her. For now, I’ll chalk it up to plot armor/contract with whatever Devil she has in her back pocket. It doesn’t matter, though. What matters is what she does next…and it honestly scared me a little. 

So after killing her would-be assassins off-screen without batting an eye, Makima comes up to her colleagues and tells them “I’m going to need a temple and some death-row inmates.” As soon as I heard that, I knew where this was going: she was going to sacrifice them to use some terrifying powers to deal with the thugs who decided to mess with her people. 

I don’t fully understand what she does, but seeing Makima sacrifice these condemned prisoners makes the Yakuza explode! It’s like something out of Death Note, but far bloodier. It was horrifying! Seeing all those criminals blood and guts exploding is nightmare fuel.

If I didn’t have my reservations about her before, now I’m convinced: Makima is dangerous. However, what she does is one of the three best moments of the entire episode.

Where Was this Kobeni Last Arc?!?!

The last great moment of the episode comes from, of all people, Kobeni. Kobeni, who I kept saying wasn’t cut out for being a Devil Slayer, and a female version of Usopp, but less lovable, saves the day. After killing her assassin (her friend doesn’t make it, though,) she tracks down Katana Man and the snake girl. Then she manages to fight them both off and send them running for the hills. In a series already filled with badass moments, this one stood out.

When I was watching this, though, all I could think of was “where the heck was this Kobeni when they were trapped in the hotel?!? I want more of it!” 

In all seriousness, though, I was actually impressed with how badass Kobeni was in this episode. Not only did she kill her attacker, but she saved Denji. As far as I care, that makes up for her trying to sacrifice him a few episodes ago.

Let the Devil Hunt Begin

So, the episode ends with both sides regrouping following the first battle. While many Devil Hunters died, including Himeno and Arai, the Yakuza got off far worse. As for Denji, I’m sure he’ll recover. He’s regenerated from being chopped into pieces thanks to Pochita, so he should be able to grow back the lower half of his body.

This episode was by far the best one yet. I’m glad I started watching Chainsaw Man, because it’s one of the best shonen anime in this new generation of the genre. The one hang-up I have is how the action sequences end too soon. I need the chance to enjoy them, Studio MAPPA! 

Oh, and RIP to Himeno and Arai. We hardly knew ye, but the former will live on in fan-art.

I Give “From Kyoto” a 4/5

The Katana Man Arc Unsheathes Its Sword!

Chainsaw Man Episode 8 Review

Since I haven’t read the manga yet, I don’t really know what’s going to happen as Chainsaw Man progresses beyond a few facts. However, I keep hearing that the next arc in the series, the Katana Man arc, is supposed to be really good. Several people I follow on social media insist that it is. After witnessing the start to this new arc today, I see that the hype wasn’t exaggerated. Bodies are going to start falling, people!

They Have Standards, People. They Have Standards

At the end of the last episode, Himeno brought Denji back to her apartment after getting drunk at a company party. The next thing Denji knows, he’s lying on her bed as she comes walking in wearing her underwear and offers to do it with him. If you know Denji by now, then you know that his major goal in life is to get lucky with a woman, and now he’s getting that chance. 

Thankfully, he turns her down and sleeps on the floor. 

While this may seem weird, keep in mind three things. Firstly, Denji’s focused on Makima and the promise she gave him. She has him wrapped around her fingers with the promise that what she’ll give him will be far better. Secondly, Himeno’s drunk at the time, and thus, not capable of making responsible decisions. Thirdly, she’s an adult while Denji’s a minor. She could go to jail if she went through with that! Thankfully, Denji’s puppy love for Makima saves them both from making a stupid decision, and they end up becoming friends at breakfast.

Too bad she’s not going to be around for much longer, thanks to the Katana Man.

Yakuza Revenge

Remember that Yakuza boss that tried to kill Denji in the first episode after becoming a zombie? Denji gave him some well-deserved karma via his first massacre as Chainsaw Man. However, as the latter half of this episode reveals, that old man had a grandson. And that grandson wasn’t happy to learn about his grandpa’s death. Thus, he gets all his Yakuza associates together to get revenge on Denji and the Devil Hunters.

The results speak for themselves. The Yakuza attack the Devil Hunters on all fronts, and characters seem to start dropping like flies. I’m still betting that Kobeni and Hirokazu will die soon, and this seems like the right time for that to happen.

Sadly, though, the one confirmed death we get this episode is none other than Himeno herself. As Aki fights against the grandson, now a Human-Devil hybrid like Denji (albeit with katanas), Himeno sacrifices her life to help Aki win. Thanks to the contract with her Devil, she doesn’t even leave a body behind to bury. 

I feel like this is the moment where the gloves really come off. It serves to drive home how dangerous Denji’s new life really is. Even having a contract with a powerful Devil might not be a guarantee of victory. And this is the life that Denji’s now found himself in.

This is Going to be Good

I was told that the Katana Man Arc of Chainsaw Man was going to be good. So far, it looks like it’s meeting the hype surrounding it. And this is only the first episode of the arc. With less than three episodes left for the first half of the season, I’m hoping they dedicate them to this arc. Chainsaws and Katanas clashing sounds like the most metal thing ever!

I Give “Gunfire” a 4/5

Is Denji Very Lucky or Very Unlucky? I Can’t Tell

Chainsaw Man Episode 7 Review

I’m not sure whether I should call Denji lucky or very unlucky. On the one hand, he’s got cool Devil powers that turn him into an engine of bloody chaos. On the other hand, he’s working a job where making it past five years seems non-existent. Yet ever since he started working as a Public Safety Devil Hunter, he’s getting more luck with women than most people do on dating apps. Given what most of those women are like, I wouldn’t call it that lucky.

At least it’s still great for the camera.

Denji ENDS the Eternity Devil

So, after spending the last episode getting psychologically tortured by the Eternity Devil, Denji decides that the simplest solution is the best one. So like a teenage version of Alucard from Hellsing Ultimate Abridged, he dives right into the fighting like a madman. And it works. He just drinks up that Devil blood while ripping the Eternity Devil apart until he finally wins.

Like I said, Denji’s crazy enough to be a Devil Hunter. Because as Himeno’s mentor once told her, the best Devil Hunters are the ones crazy enough not to fear this job. Thus, after three days of being trapped in a hotel, everyone makes it out alive! Yay!

Now, it’s time for everyone to celebrate a successful mission with the time-honored tradition of going out to a pub and drinking the night away.

Denji: Lucky With Women or Unlucky? I Can’t Decide

Remember how I questioned how lucky Denji is? While his line of work means he’ll likely die young, I was questioning his luck with women. He did manage to get Power to make good on her promise…only for her boobs to be fake. 

The real surprise, though, is that during the work party, Himeno makes good on a promise to Denji: that if they lived through this, she’d kiss him! It was a French kiss, too; But then she ended up puking in his mouth from all the beer she had.

That, and this happened in full view of Makima, AKA the girl that he holds a candle for above all else. It’s never a good idea for someone to get a kiss from another woman in full view of their crush, even if Makima doesn’t react to it. 

Maybe I’m just overthinking this sort of thing and letting my bias get in the way. No offense, but I wouldn’t call any of the women in Chainsaw Man so far as the kind you’d want to date. However, given the dangerous nature of the job, and how bad his life’s been, I don’t think Denji has the luxury of being picky. Maybe he is lucky, in his own, weird way. After all, he wakes up in Himeno’s place…and she offers to do…that with him.

I can’t believe the mangaka got away with this in a Shonen series. 

I Give “Taste of a Kiss” a 4/5

Denji is Crazy Enough to be a Devil Hunter

Chainsaw Man Episode 6 Review

I’ve noticed a trend in the Shonen genre. Besides possessing crazy amounts of willpower, many Shonen protagonists are, to varying degrees, crazy. They either display behavior that makes most people think they’re nuts…or do things that no sane person would do. The irony’s that their crazy lets them pull off the impossible and survive things that would break others. Why am I bringing this up? Because the latest episode of Chainsaw Man confirms that Denji’s crazy. And that craziness helps him to survive a situation that the saner Devil Hunters break under.

Oh, and the same goes for Power.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure up in Here!

When we last left off, Denji and his group weren’t looking so hot. They went hunting down a Devil in a local hotel, but found themselves trapped on the 8th floor. And they can’t get out; it loops back around, like a sadistic Mobius strip. Even time’s stopped for them. In addition, they can’t call for help, so they’re trapped, unable to do anything about it.

This reminds me a lot of an enemy Stand in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. If you’ve read the manga or seen the anime, then you know some enemies can manipulate reality like this to break the heroes. It comes down to whether the protagonists can keep their heads straight and think of a way out. However, that’s hard to do when they’ve got a limited amount of food and water to ration. Once that runs out, then they either have to find a way out…or wait to die of starvation or dehydration. The latter is not a great way to die. 

Sanity Can Be a Weakness in This Line of Work

Last week, I said that two of the new Devil Hunters, Hirokazu and Kobeni, gave off “Red Shirt Energy.” They both seemed like they’d die pretty fast. While they do survive this episode, their behavior does nothing to change a simple fact: they’re not cut out to be Devil Hunters. They’re too sane to do so.

Sanity is, obviously, a good thing. It helps keep us alive and with a grasp on what’s going on around us. However, there are moments in fiction when being sane can be more of a hindrance than of help. Case in point, we have Kobeni, who’s an absolute coward. And unlike people like Usopp or Mr. Satan, it’s not played for laughs. It is genuinely sad to see her break down in their current situation and admit that she’s not cut out for this job. Her parents said it was either this, or become a sex worker to pay for her brother’s college fees! Is it really a surprise when their Devil enemy offers to let them go in exchange for killing Denji, she jumps at this chance. 

The Perks of Being Crazy, as Shown by Denji

Now compare Kobeni and Hirokazu’s behavior to that of Denji and Power. When faced with this impossible situation, what do they do? Power starts saying that when she gets out of this, she’ll win a Nobel Prize and become the Prime Minister. And Denji? He decides to sleep it off.

In other words, they’re both crazy. Aki and his partner, Himeno, don’t count in this instance, as they’ve probably dealt with crazy messes like this before. In addition, all four of these people understand that being a Devil Hunter’s the kind of job you shouldn’t take if you want to live to see old age. You either have to be very brave, very skilled, or very crazy to take it up. And Denji is crazy. We’ve already that before. So, what is their solution to dealing with this Devil?

Simple: they fight it.

This is a Shonen anime, after all—usually, the best solution in a Shonen series is to beat up the enemy even if that notion is crazy. Its this crazy willingness to do crazy things that makes Denji perfect to be a Devil Hunter. As for Kobeni and Hirokazu, they should quit this line of work while they can. Or, in Kobeni’s case, get an office job with the Devil Hunters. 

I Give “Kill Denji” a 3.5/5

Denji Finally Be Getting His Reward

Well, Denji, you might be the second anime protagonist I’ve seen whose been motivated to win a fight…just so you can get some boobs. The first was Issei from High School DxD. If nothing else, it’s been an effective motivator for him, as he not only kills another Devil, but he’s starting to make a name for himself. As for Power, underneath her tough girl exterior lies someone with more depth than we thought. Or maybe not. It’s really hard to tell with Power right now. 

Should We Trust Power?

Power has proven herself to be a loose cannon who will do whatever she wants, regardless of the consequences. She lied to Denji to try to feed him to another Devil, an act that could get her killed by Makima’s superiors. However, she did it so she could save her pet cat, Meowy. She may have only kept it to eat it at first, but it’s clear that she cares about Meowy. Even a Devil can prove capable of feeling human emotion.

As for Denji…his quest for boobs allows him to unlock another essential trait found in most Shonen protagonists: a stupid level of resolve. Even after another Devil shows up to eat Power and Meowy, chops off his arm, and he loses a ton of blood, he refuses to admit defeat. Thanks to that, Hayakawa manages to show up in time to save both of them.

Then, despite having no obligation to do so, Denji covers for Power, saving her from termination. All so that he can get a shot at that normal life he always wanted; and to get boobs.

New Reveals and New Living Situation

An interesting reveal takes place during this episode, though: the fact that Hayakawa has his own contract with another Devil. In exchange for its power, Hayakawa must sacrifice pieces of his body. The fact that the Devil Hunters work with a Devil in the form of Power is enough proof, but this reveal confirms it: for all their talk to exterminating Devils, the Hunters have to rely on their power to do so. I’m sure the irony isn’t lost on anyone. Especially Aki, who now finds himself hosting Denji and Power in his home.

Yep, after convincing Makima to keep Denji and Power with the Public Safety Organization, Makima tells Hayakama that he has to let Power and Denji stay at his place. This is so that he can keep an eye on both of them in case they go rogue. Truthfully, though, Makima probably did it because she thinks that together, they’ll make an effective team. It’s like what happened with Team 7 in Naruto. They started out with poor teamwork, but by the end of the series, they worked well enough to save the world. Plus, I get a lot of Team 7 vibes from the trio. Denji’s the perverted goofball, Hayakama’s the serious one, and Power is the one that thinks highly of herself. Together, they might make a decent team…assuming they don’t kill each other first.

As for Denji, we don’t get to see it yet, but Power keeps her promise. Here’s hoping he likes it.

Denji’s Quest for Girls Begins!

Chainsaw Man Episode 2 Review

Question: what would you say if you met a beautiful but mysterious woman who asked you to come work for her in exchange for anything you wanted? Most people would say no because such an offer is very sus. When you’ve hit absolute rock bottom in your life, though, and said woman’s the first person to treat you with decency, it’s hard for common sense to win the argument. Especially when said person happens to be Denji, whose life has been so bad his only real goal is to get lucky with a girl. That’s assuming he can live long enough as a Devil Hunter. 

Denji the Devil Dog Finds a New Master…

After the brilliantly bloody origin story of the titular Chainsaw Man saw Denji break free of his Yakuza master’s, he will need a new job. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the woman Denji met, Makima, recruits him to join the government-backed Devil Hunters she helps lead. They’ll provide room & board for Denji so long as he helps them continue to hunt down Devils using his newfound powers. If he refuses, then Makima’s allowed to kill him like a Devil. 

Some people would object to the obvious “join-or-die” choice offered or say that it’s not even a real choice. However, Denji agrees immediately because they’re offering the dream of a normal life that he’s had for as long as he can remember. That, and Denji’s head over heels for Makima. 

Some shonen protagonists have lofty goals and ambitions that drive them forward in their stories. Goku wants to be as strong as he possibly can. Naruto’s is to become Hokage. Luffy wants to become King of the Pirates and throw the world’s biggest party (that’s a big fan theory, anyway.) Denji, though? Besides getting a chance to live a normal life, Denji’s only dream…is boobs.

At Least Denji Has a Clear Goal in Life.

No, really. As he goes out on his first mission as a Devil Hunter, he decides that his next goal, now that he’s gotten close to a woman, is to get his hands on boobs. If it were most other people said this, they would get slapped and called a pervert. Yet despite how impure his dreams of scoring may sound, it’s how genuine Denji sounds when he says this stuff that can be endearing. All he wants is to have a chance at love in life, something a lot of us can relate to. Ironically, this simple desire lets Denji demonstrate the pure-hearted nature found in many Shonen protagonists. I’ve only known Denji for two weeks now, and I already like him.

Of course, no good Shonen story’s complete without its supporting cast, and we get to meet two of Denji’s new comrades this episode. Firstly, there’s Hatayama, a no-nonsense Devil Hunter who flat-out tells Denji that unless he gets proper motivation, he will not survive in their line of work. So he’s the tough-love kind of person. Then, we have Power, a Fiend, or Devil who possessed a dead human’s body. I love Power. She’s bold, loud, and exuberant, and she will ask anyone or anything to fight her. She’s perfect for Shonen Jump, in my opinion.

There wasn’t a lot of action in this second episode, but given how the first cours has a dozen episodes, I’m willing to give Chainsaw Man time to get its foot in the door. Once that happens, though, I’m looking forward to seeing if Denji can stand alongside Shonen Jump greats like Goku, Naruto, Luffy, and the Joestar Family. I’m pretty sure he can, though. I’m rooting for him in his quest for love!

I Give “Arrival in Tokyo” a 3.5/5