Chainsaw Man

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Chainsaw Man
Chainsawman.jpg
Cover for the first volume of the manga, featuring Denji in his devil-human hybrid form, Chainsaw Man.
チェンソーマン
(Chensō Man)
Genre
Manga
Written byTatsuki Fujimoto
Published byShueisha
English publisher
ImprintJump Comics
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Jump
DemographicShōnen
Original runDecember 3, 2018December 14, 2020
Volumes11 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
StudioMAPPA
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Chainsaw Man (Japanese: チェンソーマン, Hepburn: Chensō Man) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto. It was serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from December 2018 to December 2020, with its chapters collected in eleven tankōbon volumes. A second part has been announced and will be serialized in Shueisha's Shōnen Jump+ online magazine. In North America, the manga is licensed in English by Viz Media, for both print and digital release, and it is also published by Shueisha on the Manga Plus online platform.

An anime television series adaptation produced by MAPPA has been announced.

As of March 2021, the manga had over 9.3 million copies in circulation. In 2021, the manga won the 66th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category. Chainsaw Man has been overall well received by critics, who have highlighted its storytelling, violent scenes and dark humor.

Plot[edit]

The story is set in a world where devils are born from human fears. While they are usually dangerous and malevolent, humans can form contracts with devils to use a portion of their power. Denji is a young, depressed man, who is attempting to pay back his deceased father's debt to the yakuza by selling several of his organs and working as a devil hunter. Denji also owns a doglike devil named Pochita, which resembles a chainsaw and assists Denji in his work. Denji is tasked by the Yakuza to kill a devil, but discovers that to be a plot by the yakuza to let the devil kill him in return for its aid. Denji is slain and Pochita severely injured, but the two had previously made a deal that allows Pochita to merge with Denji, reviving him as a human-devil hybrid with Pochita's chainsaw ability. Denji kills the devil that killed him and is then approached by a team of governmental devil hunters. As he has now partly become a devil, one of the teams' members, Makima, persuades Denji to become a part of their organization to avoid being hunted by them.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Denji (デンジ)
A young man (self-proclaimed to be 16 years old) with scruffy blond hair. He has sharp yellowish-brown eyes with bags underneath and sharp teeth to match. As a young boy, he inherits his father's debt from the yakuza upon his father's death. After meeting the Chainsaw Devil Pochita, he becomes a Devil Hunter for the yakuza in an attempt to clear his debt. After the yakuza, which were under the control of the Zombie Devil, betray him, he dies, and Pochita becomes his heart, fulfilling a contract with Denji - by becoming his heart Denji will show Pochita his dreams of a normal life. After this, he can transform into the devil-human hybrid known as Chainsaw Man by pulling the cord on his chest. After meeting Makima, he becomes a Public Safety Devil Hunter in order to live as a human. His primary motivation is his attraction to Makima.
Makima (マキマ)
A mysterious woman who appears to be in her twenties. She is a Public Safety Devil Hunter, who took Denji as her human pet. Makima is cunning, intelligent and manipulative, controlling Denji by taking advantage of his attraction to her with promises of a romantic and sexual relationship while threatening him with extermination if he disobeys her even though Denji really loves her, Makima is only captivated by the Chainsaw Man in Denji's body to be precise in his heart. For much of the story, her goals are unknown and her allegiance to humanity is somewhat ambiguous. She is later revealed to be the Control Devil which embodies the fear of control, and seeks to use Chainsaw Man's power to create a world without suffering. It is also revealed that Makima was the mastermind behind the misfortunes that happened to Denji over the series. After being killed by Denji, she was reborn as a child called Nayuta (ナユタ), and placed in Denji's care so he can raise her to be a better person than she was in her past life.
Aki Hayakawa (早川アキ, Hayakawa Aki)
A Public Safety Devil Hunter, working under Makima's special Division 4 squad. He has a contract with the Curse Devil and Future Devil, allowing him to use a powerful spike in exchange for his lifespan and see a few seconds into the future. He had former contract with the Fox Devil, allowing him to summon its head. Aki is usually a very stoic person, acting mature and dependable when he is with his fellow Devil hunters, but is very soft whenever he is alone. Despite his clashes with them, he actually cares about Denji and Power seeing both of them as dear friends, and is willing to sacrifice himself for them. He is killed while protecting Makima and possessed by the Gun Devil, thus became the Gun Fiend, which Denji is forced to kill. Later, it is revealed that Makima planned to have him killed as part of her plan to break Denji.
Power (パワー, Pawā)
A Blood Fiend and a Public Safety Devil Hunter who is part of Makima's special squad. Power looks like a young woman with pinkish hair that reaches down to her mid-back. As a fiend, she has light red horns protruding from the top of her head. Power loves violence and is childish, greedy, almost entirely self-motivated, and willing to harm others for her own satisfaction. Power cares deeply for her cat, Meowy, at one point willing to sacrifice Denji's life to save him from the Bat Devil. She cares deeply for Denji and Aki, her first true friends. She is later killed by Makima in front of Denji, as part of her plan to break Denji by giving him happiness and then taking it away from him. Power revives as the Blood Devil from Denji's blood, but is fatally wounded by Makima again. Before she dies, Power makes a contract with Denji - in exchange for her blood, she asks Denji to find the reborn Blood Devil and turn her back into Power so that they may be friends again.

Public Safety Devil Hunters[edit]

Kishibe (岸辺)
The strongest devil hunter in the organization. Older than most of the other hunters, he is scarred and cynical. He trains Denji and Power, and was partnered with Quanxi in his youth. He secretly plots to rebel against Makima.
Himeno (姫野)
Aki's first partner. She wears an eyepatch and is partnered with the Ghost Devil, allowing her to use its invisible arm from anywhere. She is killed by Sawatari's Snake Devil while trying to defeat Katana Man.
Kobeni Higashiyama (東山 コベニ, Higashiyama Kobeni)
A young woman with an unnamed contract who was a Public Safety Devil Hunter who started as a new recruit working under Makima's experimental squad. Despite her timid and cowardly attitude, she is skillful and talented - her reflexes and stealth are second to none when she is motivated.

Public Safety Devils/Fiends[edit]

Angel Devil (天使の悪魔, Tenshi no Akuma)
A humanoid Devil embodying the fear of angels. Appearing as an enigmatic androgynous young man, he holds no particular malice against humans, but enjoys seeing them suffer. He is partnered with Aki after Himeno's death and is regarded as the second-strongest Public Safety agent, but his laziness holds him back.
Beam (ビーム, Bīmu)
The wildly enthusiastic and unstable Shark Fiend, who can "swim" through nearly anything and transform into a more monstrous shark-like form. He is partnered with Denji, whom he worships. He later sacrifices himself to revive Denji during the battle with the Darkness Devil in Hell.

Private Sector Devil Hunters[edit]

Quanxi (クァンシ, Kuanshi)
A Chinese devil hunter and one of the assassins sent to take Denji's heart. She is a lesbian and is in a polyamorous relationship with four female Fiends. She is a hybrid with an unnamed Devil that gives her the power of crossbows. According to Santa Claus, she is the "first devil hunter". She is beheaded by Makima, but later revived by her along with Reze and Katana Man to fight the Chainsaw Man, transformed into the Crossbow Devil.
Santa Claus (サンタ クロース, Santa Kurōsu)
One of the assassins sent after Denji. Introduced as an elderly German man contracted with the Hell Devil, it is revealed later on that Santa Claus is multiple people, the real body being a Russian woman referred to as "master" by her pupil Tolka, who she also turns into a body for her. The master has a contract with the Doll Devil, and she has the ability to turn people into dolls under her control, which become part of the Santa Claus hivemind. She enacts a plot to send Denji and several hunters to Hell as sacrifices to the Darkness Devil in exchange for power to kill Makima. She gains this power, but is defeated by an on-fire Denji.

Devils and hybrids[edit]

Pochita (ポチタ)
The Chainsaw Devil who merged with Denji, and was originally the Chainsaw Man himself prior to meeting Denji. He has the ability to eat a devil and erase their existence, making him "the devil that devils fear most". He first appears in his dog form, actually his weakened state after a fight with the four horsemen and weapon devils. His true devil form is a large, darker version of Denji’s hybrid form with four arms.
Katana Man/Samurai Sword (サムライソード, Samurai Sōdo)
The grandson of the yakuza boss who had Denji and Pochita killed, and an agent of the Gun Devil. Like Denji, he is a human-devil hybrid with the heart of the Katana Devil, able to transform into his hybrid form by removing his hand, causing a katana to emerge from the stump. His real name is unknown.
Reze (レゼ)
A girl with a crush on Denji who works at a cafe. She is later revealed to be a hybrid with the Bomb Devil, able to transform by pulling a grenade pin on her neck which she hides with a choker, and a Soviet spy sent to kill Denji. On her way to seemingly make amends with Denji after their fight and her escape, she is murdered by the Angel Devil under control of Makima.
Gun Devil (銃の悪魔, Jū no Akuma)
One of the most powerful and feared Devils in existence. Thirteen years before the story begins, a mass shooting and terrorist attack occurred in America, causing the Gun Devil to be born from the fear of guns. It attacked the world, killing 1.2 million people in under five minutes before vanishing. It is later revealed that the governments of several countries have formed contracts with the Gun Devil, and the president of the United States summons it to kill Makima. Makima defeats it, but it kills Aki and possesses him, turning him into the Gun Fiend. It later dies at the hand of Denji.
Darkness Devil (闇の悪魔, Yami no Akuma)
An unfathomably powerful Devil representing the primal fear of darkness, residing in Hell.

Production[edit]

Despite the series' violence and dark humor, Fujimoto always wanted to serialize in Weekly Shōnen Jump, but he had the feeling that his work would be "buried" if he had made a "Jump-like manga", so he tried to retain much of his individuality as a creator while making only the structure and characters Jump-like. Fujimoto also said that, despite its success in the magazine, he wanted to write the second part of the series on Shōnen Jump+ because he wanted to do a completely different series from the first part. According to him, there is no much of a difference in working between Weekly Shōnen Jump and Shōnen Jump+, explaining that there were a few depictions that got stopped during the rough draft stage, but he was allowed to do anything he wanted regarding the logic of the story.[4]

Fujimoto said that he took inspiration from various works. During the serialization of Chainsaw Man, Fujimoto said that he was too busy, but he watched as many new things as he could and borrowed various elements from what he saw.[4] He has described the series as a "wicked FLCL" and "pop Abara".[5] Fujimoto had various elements from the series planned from the beginning, while other things where added as it progressed. According to him, he did not have specific plans to bring payoff to the meaningful-sounding words and things that felt "off", adding that he left various things vague in order to make the series' second part easier to do.[4]

Regarding the anime adaptation of the series, Fujimoto said that he talked to the people handling it and he was comfortable leaving things to them.[4] When the anime series was officially announced, Fujimoto commented: "Chainsaw Man is like a copycat of Dorohedoro and Jujutsu Kaisen, and the studio of Dorohedoro and Jujutsu Kaisen will produce its anime!? I have nothing to say! Please do it!!".[6]

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Chainsaw Man is written and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto. The series' first part, "Public Safety arc" (公安編, Kōan-hen), ran in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from December 3, 2018 to December 14, 2020.[7][8] Shueisha collected its chapters into eleven individual tankōbon volumes, released from March 4, 2019 to March 4, 2021.[9][10]

In North America, Viz Media published the first three chapters on Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine for its "Jump Start" initiative.[1] The chapters were then published on the Shonen Jump digital platform after the cancellation of Weekly Shonen Jump.[11] Shueisha also simulpublished in English the series on the app and website Manga Plus starting in January 2019.[12] In February 2020, Viz Media announced the digital and print release of the manga.[13] Viz Media posted an official trailer for the manga, featuring a high-octane opera vocals as its soundtrack.[14] The first volume was released on October 6, 2020.[15]

The manga is also licensed in France by Kazé,[16] in Italy, Mexico and Brazil by Panini,[17][18][19] in Spain by Norma Editorial,[20] in Thailand by Siam Inter Comics,[21] in Poland by Waneko,[22] in Germany by Egmont Manga,[23] in Argentina by Editorial Ivrea[24] and in Taiwan by Tong Li Publishing.[25]

On December 14, 2020, following the series' conclusion in Weekly Shōnen Jump, a second part was announced to start on Shueisha's Shōnen Jump+ online magazine.[26] On December 19, 2020, it was announced that the second part, "School arc" (学校編, Gakkō-hen), will feature Denji going to school.[27]

Volume list[edit]

No. Title Original release date English release date
1Dog & Chainsaw
Inu to Chensō (犬とチェンソー)
March 4, 2019[9]
978-4-08-881780-4
October 6, 2020[15]
978-1-9747-0993-9
  1. "Dog & Chainsaw" (犬とチェンソー, Inu to Chensō)
  2. "The Place Where Pochita Is" (ポチタの行方, Pochita no Yukue)
  3. "Arrival in Tokyo" (東京到着, Tōkyō Tōchaku)
  4. "Power" ( (パワー), Pawā)
  1. "A Way to Touch Some Boobs" (胸を揉む方法, Mune o Momu Hōhō)
  2. "Service" (使役, Shieki)
  3. "Meowy's Whereabouts" (ニャーコの行方, Nyāko no Yukue)
2Chainsaw vs. Bat
Chensō VS Kōmori (チェンソーVSコウモリ)
May 2, 2019[28]
978-4-08-881831-3
December 1, 2020[29]
978-1-9747-0994-6
  1. "Chainsaw vs. Bat" (チェンソーVSコウモリ, Chensō VS Kōmori)
  2. "Rescue" (救出, Kyūshutsu)
  3. "Kon" (コン)
  4. "Compromise" (妥協, Dakyō)
  5. "Squeeze" (揉む, Momu)
  1. "Gun Devil" (銃の悪魔, Jū no Akuma)
  2. "French Kiss" (エロキス, Ero Kisu)
  3. "Endless 8th Floor" (エンドレス8階, Endoresu 8-kai)
  4. "First Taste" (はじめての味, Hajimete no Aji)
3Kill Denji
Denji o Korose (デンジを殺せ)
August 2, 2019[30]
978-4-08-882016-3
February 2, 2021[31]
978-1-9747-0995-3
  1. "Kill Denji" (デンジを殺せ, Denji o Korose)
  2. "Chainsaw vs. Eternity" (チェンソーVS永遠, Chensō VS Eien)
  3. "Nobel Prize" (ノーベル賞, Nōberu-shō)
  4. "Drinking" (飲み, Nomi)
  5. "Taste of a Kiss" (キスのお味, Kisu no Oaji)
  1. "Cola-Flavor Chupa Chups" (チュッパチャプス コーラ味, Chuppa Chapusu Kōra Aji)
  2. "Gunfire" (銃声, Jūsei)
  3. "Curse" (呪い, Noroi)
  4. "Ghost, Snake, Chainsaw" (ゴースト・ヘビ・チェンソー, Gōsuto・Hebi・Chensō)
4The Gun is Mightier
Jū wa Tsuyoshi (銃は強し)
October 4, 2019[32]
978-4-08-882075-0
April 6, 2021[33]
978-1-9747-1727-9
  1. "The Gun is Mightier" (銃は強し, Jū wa Tsuyoshi)
  2. "From Kyoto" (京都より, Kyōto Yori)
  3. "Secrets & Lies" (秘密と嘘, Himitsu to Uso)
  4. "Perfect Score" (100点満点, 100-ten Manten)
  5. "Bruised & Battered" (もっとボロボロ, Motto Boroboro)
  1. "The Future Rules" (未来最高, Mirai Saikō)
  2. "Over and Over Again" (繰り返し繰り返し, Kurikaeshi Kurikaeshi)
  3. "Mission Start" (作戦開始, Sakusen Kaishi)
  4. "Full Team" (全員集合, Zenin Shūgō)
5Minor
Miseinen (未成年)
January 4, 2020[34]
978-4-08-882171-9
June 1, 2021[35]
978-1-9747-1922-8
  1. "Minor" (末成年, Miseinen)
  2. "Katana vs. Chainsaw" (日本刀VSチェンソー, Nihontō VS Chensō)
  3. "Train, Head, Chainsaw" (電車・頭・チェンソー, Densha・Atama・Chensō)
  4. "Easy Revenge!" (気楽に復讐を!, Kiraku ni Fukushū o!)
  5. "Tearjerker" (きっと泣く, Kitto Naku)
  1. "Love, Flower, Chainsaw" (恋・花・チェンソー, Koi・Hana・Chensō)
  2. "Before the Storm" (嵐の前, Arashi no Mae)
  3. "Teach Me How to Swim" (泳ぎ方を教えて, Oyogikata o Oshiete)
  4. "Jane Fell Asleep in the Church" (ジェーンは教会で眠った, Jēn wa Kyōkai de Nemutta)
6Boom Boom Boom
Ban Ban Ban (バン バン バン)
March 4, 2020[36]
978-4-08-882224-2
August 3, 2021[37]
978-1-9747-2071-2
  1. "BOOM BOOM BOOM" (バン バン バン, Ban Ban Ban)
  2. "A Fine Day for Explosions" (爆発日和, Bakuhatsu Biyori)
  3. "Massacre Melody (皆殺しのメロディ, Minagoroshi no Merodi)
  4. "Luck with Women" (女運, Onna Un)
  5. "KABOOM KABOOM KABOOM" (ボンボンボン, Bon Bon Bon)
  1. "Shark Hurricane" (サメハリケーン, Same Harikēn)
  2. "Sharknado" (シャークネード, Shākunēdo)
  3. "Dark Diving" (ダークダイビング, Dāku Daibingu)
  4. "Lost Love, Flower, Chainsaw" (失恋・花・チェンソー, Shitsuren・Hana・Chensō)
7In a Dream
Yume no Naka (夢の中)
June 4, 2020[38]
978-4-08-882328-7
  1. "In a Dream" (夢の中, Yume no Naka)
  2. "To Go to Enoshima" (江の島にいくには, Enoshima ni Ikuni wa)
  3. "Let's Go" (レッツゴー, Rettsu Gō)
  4. "A Curse and a First" (呪いと初めて, Noroi to Hajimete)
  5. "Suddenly" (突然, Totsuzen)
  1. "Yutaro Kurose" (黒瀬ユウタロウ, Kurose Yūtarō)
  2. "Mess" (めちゃくちゃ, Mechakucha)
  3. "Quanxi and the Fiends' 49-Person Massacre" (クァンシと魔人達四十九人斬り, Kwanshi to ma Hitotachi Yon-jū-kyū Ningiri)
  4. "News Reporter" (ニュースレポーター, Nyūsu Repōtā)
8Super Mess
Chō Mechakucha (ちょうめちゃくちゃ)
August 4, 2020[39]
978-4-08-882376-8
  1. "Super Mess" (ちょうめちゃくちゃ, Chō Mechakucha)
  2. "Trip to Hell" (地獄旅行, Jigoku Ryokō)
  3. "Welcome to Hell" (ウェルカムトゥーザヘル, Werukamu tū za Heru)
  4. "The Darkness Devil" (闇の悪魔, Yami no Akuma)
  5. "Woof!" (ワン!, Wan!)
  1. "The First Devil Hunter" (最初のデビルハンター, Saisho no Debiruhanta)
  2. "Dark Power" (ダークパワー, Dāku Pawā)
  3. "Shining Power" (シャイニングパワー, Shainingu Pawā)
  4. "Pinch" (摘む, Tsumu)
9Bath
Ofuro (お風呂)
November 4, 2020[40]
978-4-08-882470-3
  1. "Bath" (お風呂, Ofuro)
  2. "All Together" (みんな一緒, Min'na Issho)
  3. "Everyday Life No More" (日常の終わりに, Nichijō no Owari ni)
  4. "What the Waves Say" (波の言う事, Nami no Iukoto)
  5. "9,12" (9,12)
  1. "Don't Open It" (開けちゃダメ, Akecha Dame)
  2. "Ring Ring Ring" (チャイムチャイムチャイム, Chaimu Chaimu Chaimu)
  3. "Snowball Fight" (ゆきがっせん, Yuki Gassen)
  4. "Play Catch" (キャッチボール, Kyatchi Bōru)
10A Dog's Feeling
Inu no Kimochi (犬の気持ち)
January 4, 2021[41]
978-4-08-882527-4
  1. "A Dog's Feeling" (犬の気持ち, Inu no Kimochi)
  2. "Give Paw" (おてて, Otete)
  3. "Always Eat a Hearty Breakfast" (朝食はしっかり, Chōshoku wa Shikkari)
  4. "Death, Resurrection, Chainsaw" (死・復活・チェンソー, Shi Fukkatsu Chensō)
  5. "Hero of Hell" (地獄のヒーロー, Jigoku no Hīrō)
  1. "Bloody Good Gut Feeling" (超跳腸・胃胃肝血, Chō Cho Chō Īkan Dji)
  2. "Date Chainsaw" (デートチェンソー, Dēto Chensō)
  3. "Chainsaw Man vs. the Horrifying Weapon Humans" (チェンソーマン VS 恐怖の武器人間, Chensō Man VS Kyōfu no Buki Ningen)
  4. "Star Chainsaw" (スターチェンソー, Sutā Chensō)
11Go Get 'Em, Chainsaw Man
Ganbare Chensō Man (がんばれチェンソーマン)
March 4, 2021[10]
978-4-08-882576-2
  1. "Go Get 'Em, Chainsaw Man" (がんばれチェンソーマン, Ganbare Chensō Man)
  2. "Super Power" (超パワー, Chō Pawā)
  3. "Power, Power, Power" (パワー・パワー・パワー, Pawā Pawā Pawā)
  4. "Zombie, Blood, Chainsaw" (ゾンビ・血・チェンソ, Zonbi Chi Chensō)
  5. "You & Crappy Movies" (君と糞映画, Kimi to Kuso Eiga)
  1. "Chainsaw Man vs. the Weapon Humans" (チェンソーマン 対 武器人間ズ, Chensō Man Tai Buki Ningen Zu)
  2. "Chainsaw Man vs. Control Devil" (チェンソーマン VS 支配の悪魔, Chensō Man VS Shihai no Akuma)
  3. "This Kind of Taste" (こんな味, Kon'na Aji)
  4. "I, Love, Chainsaw" (愛・ラブ・チェンソー, Ai Rabu Chensō)

Anime[edit]

On December 14, 2020, it was announced that the manga will receive an anime television series adaptation produced by MAPPA.[42][43] It had a stage presentation at the Jump Festa '21, as part of the Jump Studio series of stage presentations that were held online on December 19–20, 2020.[44][45] The first trailer for the anime series will be shown at the "MAPPA Stage 2021 – 10th Anniversary" event, which will be held on June 27, 2021.[46][47]

Other media[edit]

Good Smile Company will launch Nendoroid figures based on Chainsaw Man characters starting in October 2021, including Denji, Pochita and Power.[48][49]

Reception[edit]

As of August 2020, the manga had over 3 million copies in circulation.[50][5] As of October 2020, the manga had over 4.2 million copies in circulation.[51] As of December 2020, the manga had over 5 million copies in circulation.[52][53] As of January 2021, the manga had over 6.4 million copies in circulation.[54] As of March 2021, the manga had over 9.3 million copies in circulation.[55]

In 2019, Chainsaw Man was #2 in the 5th Tsugi ni Kuru Manga Awards in the Print category.[56] The series ranked #9 in the 3rd annual Tsutaya Comic Awards in 2019.[57] The series ranked #4 on Takarajimasha's Kono Manga ga Sugoi! list of best manga of 2020 for male readers,[58] and topped the 2021 list.[53][59][60] On Freestyle magazine's Kono Manga wo Yome! ranking, the series ranked #12 on the 2020 list of best manga,[61] and ranked #16, along with Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, on the 2021 list.[62] In 2020, the manga was nominated for the 13th Manga Taishō and ranked #8 with 40 points.[63][64] It ranked #2 on "Nationwide Bookstore Employees' Recommended Comics of 2020" by the Honya Club online bookstore.[65] In 2020, the series ranked #10 in the "Most Wanted Anime Adaptation" poll conducted by AnimeJapan.[66] The series ranked #45 on the 2021 "Book of the Year" list by Da Vinci magazine.[67] Chainsaw Man ranked #2, only behind Jujutsu Kaisen, on Alu's manga community "My Manga Best5" 2020 ranking, in which 46,641 users (via Twitter) participated.[68][69] On TV Asahi's Manga Sōsenkyo 2021 poll, in which 150.000 people voted for their top 100 manga series, Chainsaw Man ranked #58.[70] In 2021, along with Teasing Master Takagi-san, Chainsaw Man won the 66th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category.[71][72][73]

James Beckett of Anime News Network ranked the first volume as a B+. Beckett described the series as "goofy, kinky, dark, and bizarre". He praised the series for its compelling world building and character development, calling the story "a mishmash of raunchy teen sex comedies, Hellboy, and The Evil Dead". Beckett, however, stated that its reveling in crude humor and violence could be off-putting to some readers.[74] Hannah Collins of Comic Book Resources gave the series a positive review. She commended Fujimoto's penmanship and stated that the gory scenes, instead of be gratuitous, just make the story feel "refreshingly unfiltered". Collins added: "Chainsaw Man bears all the hallmarks of a standard supernatural action series, but its quieter moments are where its dark heart beats fastest".[75] Adi Tantimedh of Bleeding Cool gave the first volume 7 out of 10. Tantimedh commented that Chainsaw Man distinguishes itself with its slapstick comedy, and a "deadly earnest" tone might have made the series unreadable. He depicted the characters as "sad, broken people who live outside the norms of society and haven't learned basic social skills", and commented that the series' subtext is about "people getting abused, degraded, dehumanized, objectified, literally becoming objects". Tantimedh concluded: "Society is to blame for degrading people into tools and objects; these mangas seem to be saying, though they never outright blame Capitalism or the alienating repressiveness of Japanese society. The result is one of the more unique manga out there".[76] Ian Wolf of Anime UK News gave the first volume 6 out of 10. Wolf wrote that the main feature of the series is the action sequences and that "the ridiculousness of the story helps to add comedy to the whole thing". Wolf concluded "Chainsaw Man has some things going for it and hopefully may well build up from a promising start".[77] In her review of the first volume, Danica Davidson of Otaku USA called the series "casually gruesome and violent" and that it "sprinkles in quite a bit of humor", which according to her, it mainly revolves around Denji trying to get a girlfriend. She also stated that the emotional part of the story is about the love between Denji and Pochita. Davidson concluded: "It’s kind of hard to say from the first volume where the series will go from here, but it’s revealed itself as a bloody, action-packed shonen with some heart showing through the weirdness, and it’s been very successful in Japan".[78]

Katherine Dacey of The Manga Critic enjoyed the series. Dacey wrote that she did not expect moments of "genuine pathos" in the series, referring to the interactions between Denji and Pochita, and stated that its main appeal are the "outrageous displays of gore and violence", adding that Fujimoto "does his utmost to push the boundaries of good taste". Regarding the demons' designs, she wrote that some are "uninspired" and that the most memorable ones are "clearly designed to elicit an appreciative “ewww”". Dacey also wrote that Denji is "a more honest shonen hero than the typical Jump lead; he thinks and acts like a real teenage boy, right down to his self-absorption and total objectification of women". Dacey concluded: "I can’t say I ever warmed to Denji as a lead character, but I finished my read-a-thon with a grudging respect for Fujimoto’s excessive, ridiculous creation, which entertained and repelled me in equal measure. Your mileage will vary".[79] Julia Lee of Polygon gave the series a positive review. Lee pointed out that the series' gory scenes make it different from other shōnen series, adding as well that it has an "interestingly goofy contrast between the characters and what’s going on". Lee stated that Denji's simple mind and "kind-of-horny instincts" can get tiring at times, but it does not make the series bad, and with the introduction of the "extremely interesting side characters", like Power and Makima, the story "takes a turn for the better".[80] Nicholas Dupree of Anime News Network wrote that the series' main characteristics are its "irreverent tone and deliciously gory violence" and the "crass, crude, and purposefully lowbrow" humor, but that it also has a "proudly beating heart", which "sympathizes with the struggle to find meaning or solace in a cruel and unpredictable world". He stated that Chainsaw Man is a "bombastic, borderline nihilistic maelstrom of gore and dick jokes, but with the larger context it becomes clear that's in part a reaction to the absurd and illogical world it takes place in". Dupree lauded Fujimoto's art style, and wrote that "as the Devil enemies of the story grow more powerful, his imagination for bizarre, abstract, and genuinely unsettling visual storytelling reaches heights I've never seen in a Jump series before". Dupree added that the series "managed to take much of the online manga community by storm" in nearly two years, which is rare for a manga series with no anime adaptation, and concluded: "It's a bizarre, unpredictable, and undeniably unique thrill ride, and love it or hate it, there's nothing else quite like it".[81] Reviewing Chainsaw Man's 97th and last chapter in Weekly Shōnen Jump, Reiichi Narima of Real Sound stated that the way of showing Denji's growth through loss is a storytelling more related to seinen manga than shōnen manga, and stated that he was "deeply moved" by the inclusion of these kind of stories in Weekly Shōnen Jump. Narima ultimately called the series a masterpiece and concluded: "at the core of bloody violence, there was a boy's sad love story".[82]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]