Over the recent holiday, I headed home and spent some time with friends. After catching up on “Blue Lock” (which is fantastic), my friends convinced me that we should watch all of the available episodes of “Chainsaw Man.” I was not disappointed; this show delivers with action-packed combat, beautifully animated scenes of horrific creatures and an overly libidinous main character.
Denji (Kikunosuke Toya) is a devil-human hybrid who made a contract with his dog, who is the chainsaw devil, to gain special powers. That was a lot of information in one sentence, so let me explain. In this universe, devils are born from human fears. The more feared something is, the more powerful that devil becomes. So a blanket demon likely wouldn’t have much power, but a nuclear bomb demon would.
Denji, after becoming a Chainsaw-Devil-human hybrid, joins a team of government-sponsored Devil Hunters in the Public Safety Division. But Denji doesn’t really care about saving people’s lives, he just has a crush on the leader of this devil hunting division.
That’s a recurring theme in this show: Denji will do literally anything for women. As the show progresses, Denji fights the Bat Demon (A giant, humanoid bat) because he ate a girl he likes. But Denji doesn’t fight the Bat to save the girl; he only does it because he’s attracted to her. He even goes on a quest to kill one of the most dangerous devils in the whole world: the Gun Devil (who came into existence after a major terrorist incident in the USA), just because the leader of the devil-hunting divison promises him sexual favors for doing so.
This show is just fun. There are other members of Denji’s devil hunting team with incredible powers (like summoning a gigantic fox to eat anything or controlling a ghost’s right arm), interesting villains (like a hotel floor where time stops unless Denji sacrifices himself to the Eternity Devil) and an unbelievably lustful main character (even the frenzy of all the action, Denji always manages to make his intentions clear: he’s killing hugely powerful gods so he can be with a woman).
This show keeps a light tone, never lingering on plot points for too long, instead choosing to develop characters through battles with devils and interpersonal relationships. The characters refuse to take themselves too seriously; while trapped on the never-ending hotel floor Power (Fairouz Ai) decides that she’s going to win the Nobel Prize, use that as a foothold to become Prime Minister of Japan and raise taxes to 100%.
“Chainsaw Man,” like most anime adaptations, has further story progression in the manga. But I’ll keep watching this eccentric stroll through demon-riddled Japan as it releases in animated form. With subtitles, not dubbed. As anime should be watched.