What is Chainsaw Man about?
Chainsaw Man is about a boy named Denji who has to slay devils for a living in order to pay his late father’s debt. And he has to live in extreme poverty because of it. To do his job, Denji was helped by Pochita, a devil that looks like a dog with a chainsaw coming out of his head.
One day, Denji is killed by a zombie devil and his hordes of undead. Pochita made a contract with Denji in order to let him live. And thus the Chainsaw Man is born and slaughters all of those zombies. And that is also the day when he joins the Public Safety Devil Hunter and begins hunting the strongest devil of them all, the gun devil.
The story of Chainsaw Man
Premise. The story about a hybrid human/non-human who went on to fight the bad non-human is nothing new. There have been multiple manga with the same premise. What makes Chainsaw Man great, however, is how it still managed to build an interesting story on top of those familiar premises.
Character development. The characters are what brings Chainsaw Man to life. All of them are teeming with personality and the main characters are developed properly. They are not the same people at the end as you first see them at the beginning of the series. Some have grown while others are finally fully unraveled.
World building. This is another notable aspect of Chainsaw Man. But the world building that I admire here is not limited to the places, but also to the core principle behind the whole men x devils dynamic. The rules of contract between men and devils, the cycle of life for the devils, the history of the world itself that somehow seems to exist in an alternate plane of existence, etc. I think I’ll write a dedicated article about this topic.
Pacing. For the most part, Chainsaw Man is a fast-paced story. We’d go from zero to a hundred in a matter of seconds. But it does have some instances where everything slows down for a bit. Not all of them are executed properly, such as the case with the Katana Man Arc, but overall, this series is properly paced.
Story progression. At first, I thought the story would be about defeating an ever increasingly stronger demon from one arc to the next, which is a horrible way to go about it. Thank God that is not the case. Once we are introduced to the potentially main enemy, things begin to move in an interesting direction. Read more.
The art of Chainsaw Man
Anatomy & perspective. Chainsaw Man gets full marks for both of these basic yet critical categories. The anatomy of the characters are impeccable, especially the hands. Even the non-humanoid devils have a believable anatomy that twists and turns as you’d expect it to be. There are also quite a few wide shots in Chainsaw Man, and all of them have perfectly drawn perspectives.
Landscape & building. Buildings are one of the most common backgrounds here and most of them are skyscrapers. The shape, the perspective, and even the physics behind its destruction are beautifully drawn. And while the landscape is not that prominent here, the scenes that took place in open environments all look astonishing.
Expression & movement. Except for some wacky and rather questionable expressions here and there, Fujimoto-sensei manages to properly convey the emotion of his characters without having to utter a single word. As for the movement…my God…everything looks awesome as fuck. Every movement looks delicate, fluid, and dynamic. Which is what makes the battle scenes so ridiculously good.
Vehicles & clothing. Vehicles that often appear in Chainsaw Man are cars and trains. And there are important scenes taking place inside both vehicles. Needless to say, they all look great. As for the clothing, well, the characters rarely change their clothes so there’s not much variety that we could see. They look quite alright though. Except the shoes. One reddit user pointed out how the shoes in Chainsaw Man are badly drawn and I have to agree. Most of them look questionable at best.
Panels & originality. Fujimoto-sensei likes to use cinematic panels. You know, the slow transition between panels, sharp angles, those kinds of things. But he kinda toned it down here, maybe to make it more accessible to his audience. There are more of them in his previous series, Fire Punch. But that makes it even more stand out whenever he does use it. As for originality, well, you can easily tell it’s fujimoto-sensei artwork when you see it, particularly the way he drew his characters. His character design is uniquely his.
Where to buy Chainsaw Man
When I write this article, there are only two versions of Chainsaw Man available. The digital version and the paperback version. But given how popular this series is, I’m sure Viz would make a box set version of it very soon.
And after that, depending on how it sells and how the fans overall enthusiasm over Chainsaw Man, they might even create a deluxe/special edition, or at the very least, an omnibus edition. But that would only happen further down the line.
I’ll make sure to edit this section once all of those things finally happen. But for now, here’s the link to buy the digital and paperback version on Amazon and RightStufAnime.
Click below to buy the digital version of Chainsaw Man from Amazon
Click below to buy the paperback version of Chainsaw Man from Amazon
Click below to buy the paperback version of Chainsaw Man from RightStufAnime
Manga similar to Chainsaw Man
Fire Punch by Tatsuki Fujimoto
This is a story about Agni, a man who possesses a super regenerative power that was engulfed in an eternal fire. The result is someone who keeps on burning alive perpetually. Now, his only goal is to kill the man who slaughtered his sister and cursed him with this fire. The sight of Agni walking through the blizzard, clad in blazing flame from head to toe is simply mind-blowing.
Fire Punch is the debut series of Tatsuki Fujimoto-sensei on Shonen Jump. And if you think Chainsaw Man is wild and crazy, well, Fire Punch is all of that and much more. This series will make you amaze and confused at the same time.
Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida
In Tokyo Ghoul, the world is filled with a man-eating creature called Ghoul. They are pretty much indistinguishable from regular humans except for the fact that they are way stronger and have a special organ that could be used as a weapon. The main character is Kaneki, a hybrid of human and ghoul.
So as you can see, Kaneki is similar to Denji. Not only that, Tokyo Ghoul also has a special organization that hunts Ghoul, just like Chainsaw Man. There are more similarities between the two, but the main difference between them is that Tokyo Ghoul is a tad darker and more serious compared to the happy-go-crazy Chainsaw Man.
Demon Slayer by Koyoharu Gotouge
For another story on man-eating demon and highly-trained people that hunt them, here comes the highly popular Demon Slayer. In Demon Slayer, Tanjirou’s family is massacred by a demon and his sister is also turned into a demon. To find ways to turn her back to human, Tanjirou learns the water-style swordsmanship and joins the Demon Slayer Corps.
In terms of seriousness, Demon Slayer sits comfortably between Tokyo Ghoul and Chainsaw Man. I also feel that Demon Slayer is more similar to what you usually find, and somewhat expected, in a Shounen manga. So if you want a lighthearted and straightforward story that is still filled with badass and violent action sequences, Demon Slayer is the manga for you. Read more.
Chainsaw Man doesn’t know the meaning of the word “moderation”. Everything is taken to the extreme. There are unbelievable action sequences and there are extremely heartbreaking moments. There are hilariously absurd situations and there are thought-provoking discussions.
Most of the time, Chainsaw Man is pretty straightforward. But that doesn’t mean you can simply enjoy it just like you would any other Shounen manga like, say, Dragon Ball or Naruto. There are times when it forces you to properly think things through.
You could simply sit back and enjoy the wild ride but you also have to read between the lines to know what does the author really mean in certain scenes.
This is what makes me so attracted to Chainsaw Man. It sits in a weird place between a Shounen and a Seinen manga. Unlike most Shounen manga though, I have to be constantly aware of every little thing that happens here. But unlike most Seinen manga, I can simply turn my brain off and smirking like a moron from time to time.
When I read Chainsaw Man, I feel like being pulled to all kinds of weird places. And I am excited to find out where it would take me every time. There’s not many titles that could make me feel like that. And that’s what makes it unique. That’s what makes it special.