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

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

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

‘Chainsaw Man’ Slaps A With Bloody Series Premiere

Chainsaw Man Ep. 1 Review

A few years ago, I went to an anime convention and came across the strangest thing: there was a guy cosplaying as some character with chainsaws coming out of his arms and head. That ended up being my introduction to Chainsaw Man, the newest in the long line of hits from the house of Shonen Jump. I learned more about it in bits and pieces as time went on, but I never found the time to read it. However, that may have changed, with the highly-anticipated premiere of the Chainsaw Man anime on Crunchyroll. It’s rare for me to watch a Shonen anime without so much as a passing understanding, but if this is what Chainsaw Man is like, then I think I need to get to reading.

In a World Filled With Devils…

In the world of Chainsaw Man, Devils are a fact of life. They rise from Hell and feed on the fears of mankind to gain power, then return to Hell when they die. It’s up to Devil Hunters to slay them and protect people, and among them is the likes of Denji.

Denji is unlike many Shonen protagonists I’ve seen. He’s not insanely strong (yet), driven by incredible life goals, and he’s not a living meme. He’s, for all intents and purposes, a loser, being worked like a dog by the Yakuza to pay off the impossible debt his dead Dad owes them. When we first meet him, his major dreams consist of living a normal life and scoring with a girl at least once before he dies. If it weren’t for the fact that his best friend is a Devil dog with a chainsaw coming out of its head, he’d pass for any other down-on-his-luck teenager.

Then we have Pochita, the series mascot and one of the most adorable things since Chopper from One Piece. Pochita’s a Devil, but also a very loyal dog who wholeheartedly loves Denji. Together, this odd take on a boy and his dog make for effective Devil Hunters for the Yakuza. Too effective, it would seem. In the end, the Yakuza make a pact with another Devil to kill Denji, ending his life before he even gets a chance to live.

Except this is a Shonen Jump series, and the protagonist of a Shonen Jump series won’t die so soon into their story. The two form a pact as Denji lies dismembered in a dumpster alongside Pochita. Pochita fuses with Denji to repair his body in exchange for letting the Devil see his dreams of living a normal life. And what comes out of this fusion is a complete and utter badass.

…Chainsaw Man Reigns Supreme.

In its first major fight of the series, Chainsaw Man sets itself as a cut above a lot of Shonen anime. It’s incredibly violent and bloody, befitting the unhinged and psychotic nature Denji posseses as the Chainsaw Man. Given how the Yakuza screwed him over his entire life, though, it makes his rampage very cathartic to watch. As for the fight itself, it’s a visually impressive fusion of traditional 2D and 3D animation. It’s a testament to how far the medium’s come that it’s becoming harder to tell the two apart when combined. 

By the time the dust settles, Denji’s put the Yakuza in their place just in time to meet this cute Devil Hunter that works for the Government. She gives him the choice: he can die, or come work for the other Devil Hunters and get room and board. Denji, eager to live his dream of a normal life, doesn’t hesitate to say yes.

Overall, it looks like the hype surrounding Chainsaw Man was the real deal. I’m very intrigued with the premise of the series, and will likely add it to the list of manga I’ll read every week. As for the anime, I’m looking forward to watching it for the next three months. Rev it up, people. This is going to be good!

I Give “Dog & Chainsaw” a 4.5/5