After reading all 11 volumes of Chainsaw Man in one sitting, I sincerely believe Tatsuki Fujimoto-sensei has managed to create a manga with one of the most consistent levels of story arcs quality in the history of Shounen manga.
There’s no bad arcs in this series and all of them move the story forward to some extent. And that is what makes it kinda hard for me to rank them. So I decided to not over think it and simply ranked them based on my enjoyment when reading each arc.
So if your list is different from mine, that is simply because we enjoy different things in Chainsaw Man. What I enjoy the most in this series are two things, the character interaction and the insane fighting sequences. And that is pretty much the basis of this rank.
1. Bomb Girl Arc: Ch. 40-52 | Vol. 05-06
To me, this arc pretty much encapsulates all the great things of Chainsaw Man. It has excellent character interactions, straightforward premise, a dash of mystery, mind-blowing action sequences, and also both heartwarming and heartbreaking moments scattered throughout.
Besides, when the villain is a scantily clad devil girl that could explode anything that she touches, while the protagonist is a man with chainsaw coming out of his head who rides devil shark into the tornado, there’s no way you wouldn’t be smiling from ear to ear reading it.
2. International Assassins Arc: Ch. 53-70 | Vol. 07-08
If the first one is all about the characters and the amazing battle, this one is all about the world building and the massive scale of the assassination event. Not only does it involve hundreds of people, we also get to see various devils and even visit hell for a brief moment.
It’s also interesting to see strange powers from various devils and devil hunters. Some of them could turn people into dolls while others could inject the knowledge of the entire cosmos into your brain. Everything is so chaotic and exciting from start to finish.
3. Eternity Devil Arc: Ch. 13-21 | Vol. 02-03
In this arc, the main character and several other devil hunters are trapped inside an infinity room where time stops moving. They can’t get out. They would either die of starvation or lose their sanity first.
This is one of the stand out arcs in Chainsaw Man because it focuses more on building tension and solving a mystery rather than a head-on fight with the bad guys right from the start. There’s even a conflict among the group because of the offer made by the devil. It will keep you at the edge of your seat from start to finish.
4. Gun Devil Arc: Ch.71-79 | Vol. 09
In the world of Chainsaw Man, a devil is the embodiment of fear. The more people fear an object, the stronger that devil would be. So imagine how catastrophically strong a devil that embodies guns would be. And this is the arc where we get to see it unleash its power.
But on the other end of the spectrum, this is also one of the most sinister and heart-breaking arcs in the series. Tatsuki Fujimoto-sensei managed to bring excitement, terror, gasps, and break my heart all in the span of nine chapters.
5. Intro Arc: Ch. 01-04 | Vol. 01
This is where the legend begins. The 16 years old Denji is forced to hunt the devil in order to pay his late father’s debt. With his little chainsaw devil in hand, he faces death on an everyday basis with little to no payment left at the end of the day.
But everything changed when he died and was given another change in life by the chainsaw devil. He is now the chainsaw man who massacred the zombie devils and his undead spawn. It’s only four chapters long but it is certainly one of the most impactful first arcs in recent years.
6. Katana Man Arc: Ch. 22-39 | Vol. 03-05
This arc has one of the best beginnings in the entire series and the ending is also great. The only problem that I have with it is the useless middle part. The training part. I know the training arc is a staple in every Shounen manga, but this one is simply a waste of precious pages.
Besides, if you’ve read my story arcs review on Dragon Ball and Demon Slayer before, you’ll know I’m not a big fan of it. Which is really a shame because the action sequences in this arc are very damn good. I mean, the appearance of someone like Denji but with a katana instead of chainsaw? Man…it could’ve been such a magnificent arc. What a shame!
7. Control Devil Arc: Ch. 80-97 | Vol. 10-11
This is another short arc from Chainsaw Man and also the last one. Honestly, it is an astonishing arc with one of the biggest revelations ever. If you’ve been following Chainsaw Man from the beginning, this arc will hit you like a landslide. It will fuck you up.
But that’s the thing, you need to religiously follow Chainsaw Man from the start in order for it to have any impact at all. You need to be emotionally infested to the series before reaching this arc. Unlike the bomb girl arc where you can simply dive in and enjoy the ride, if you simply go straight to this arc, you won’t feel a thing.
8. Bat Devil Arc: Ch. 05-12 | Vol. 01-02
This is the arc where we are first introduced to Power, the happy-go-crazy blood devil that would end up being one of the best characters in the series. Here, Denji fights a giant bat devil who’s taken Power’s cat hostage.
It’s quite a fun arc with some cool scenes here and there. But there’s nothing really stands out about it. For the second arc in this series, it is actually pretty decent. But when you compare it to the other mind blowing arcs in Chainsaw Man, this one is certainly the weakest of the bunch.
As I mentioned before, the quality of the story arcs in this first season of Chainsaw Man range between good and amazing. So if you’re still on the fence whether or not to read this series, then don’t be. It’s good.
Since I prioritize character interaction and great action sequences over anything else, this is how my list ends up to be. I’m sure you will have different favorite parts than mine, so please share your Chainsaw Man story arcs rank down in the comment section below.
I can’t wait to make another one of these as soon as the second season arrives.