Chainsaw Man

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Chainsaw Man
Chainsawman.jpg
First tankōbon volume cover, 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
Magazine
  • Weekly Shōnen Jump
  • (December 3, 2018–December 14, 2020; 1st part)
  • Shōnen Jump+
  • (July 13, 2022–present; 2nd part)
English magazine
DemographicShōnen
Original runDecember 3, 2018 – present
Volumes11 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by
  • Ryū Nakayama
  • Makoto Nakazono[a]
Written byHiroshi Seko
Music byKensuke Ushio
StudioMAPPA
Licensed byCrunchyroll
Original networkTXN (TV Tokyo)
Original run October 2022 scheduled

Chainsaw Man (Japanese: チェンソーマン, Hepburn: Chensō Man) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto. Its first part was serialized in Shueisha's shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2018 to December 2020; its second part began serialization in Shueisha's Shōnen Jump+ online magazine in July 2022. Its chapters have been collected in eleven tankōbon volumes as of March 2021.

Chainsaw Man follows the story of Denji, an impoverished young man who after making a contract with a dog-like devil named Pochita, he fuses with Denji, granting him the ability to transform parts of his body into chainsaws. Denji eventually joins the Public Safety Devil Hunters, a government agency focused on fighting against devils whenever they become a threat to the world.

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 is set to premiere in October 2022.

As of August 2022, the manga had over 15 million copies in circulation. In 2021, it won the 66th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category, as well as the Harvey Awards in the Best Manga category. Chainsaw Man has been overall well received by critics, who have commended its storytelling and characters, and have particularly highlighted its violent scenes within the context of the story.

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

The story is set in a world where Devils are born from human fears. Devils are usually dangerous and malevolent, their power proportional to the fear they incite. However, humans can form contracts with them to use their power, and there are individuals specializing in hunting and employing them, called Devil Hunters. Devils originate from Hell, and exist in a cycle between Earth and Hell: they migrate to Earth when killed in Hell, and vice-versa. Dwelling in Hell are extremely powerful Devils called Primal Fears, which have never been killed. Transit between planes appears to be overseen by the Hell Devil.

A Devil may, in certain conditions, inhabit the body of a dead human, gaining some of their memories and personality; such a creature is called a Fiend. Devils who naturally have a humanoid form are said to be benevolent to humans.

The events of the story take place in 1997, in an alternate timeline where the Soviet Union still exists, and many events such as the Holocaust appear to have not occurred.

Plot[edit]

Part 1 – Public Safety Arc[edit]

Denji is a young man trapped in poverty, working off his deceased father's debt to the yakuza by working as a Devil Hunter, aided by Pochita, his canine companion and Chainsaw Devil. Denji is betrayed by the Yakuza, who kill him for a contract with the Zombie Devil. Pochita makes a contract with Denji, merging with him as a human-devil Hybrid, under the condition that Denji shows his dreams to Pochita. Denji massacres the yakuza, and is approached by a team of governmental Devil Hunters, the Public Safety Division, led by Makima, who persuades him to join their ranks. Agreeing, Denji is partnered with Power, the Blood Fiend, and Aki Hayakawa, a self-destructive Devil Hunter. Makima promises Denji any favor, provided he kill the Gun Devil, perpetrator of the greatest massacre in human history.

Denji's group encounters another hybrid, the Katana Man, a vengeful yakuza seemingly allied with the Gun Devil, who kills a great portion of the Division. Denji and Power are trained by Kishibe, a master Devil-hunter who distrusts Makima; Aki makes a deal with the Future Devil, who foresees a "horrible death" for him. The Division launches a counter-attack against the Katana Man, capturing him.

Some time later, Denji begins a romance with a woman named Reze, who is actually the Bomb Woman, a Hybrid spy for the Soviet Union, sent to capture him. Though returning his affection, she attacks the city, with the Division barely saving Denji. After recovering, Denji fights her, and accepts a proposal to leave Japan together; before they can reunite, Makima secretly captures her. Denji's fight with the Bomb Woman reveals his existence to the world.

Foreign assassin groups target Denji: Chinese hunter Quanxi; a mysterious enemy of Makima called "Santa Claus"; three American brothers; and a Russian woman teaching a pupil, Tolka. Denji is outfitted with a security detail. Though the brothers are repelled, and Quanxi initially stalls, Santa Claus uses their Doll Devil powers for a large horde attack. After a follow-up by Quanxi, Tolka's master reveals herself as the true "Santa Claus", and has all parties transported to Hell, where they are attacked by the Darkness Devil. Santa Claus makes a contract with the Darkness Devil that empowers her.

Makima retrieves the group from Hell. Quanxi helps Denji defeat Santa Claus; Makima dispatches her afterwards. After Denji recovers, Makima reveals the Gun Devil is actually a geopolitical asset, with many factions controlling pieces of it. As Aki begs Makima for Denji's safety, the president of the United States orders the Gun Devil to attack Japan and kill Makima. Revealed to be the Control Devil, Makima confronts the Gun Devil and wins. Aki dies in the attack, and the Gun Devil takes his body as a Fiend. Denji is attacked by the Gun Fiend, and, helped by civilians, kills it; Aki's death devastates him. While seemingly consoling him, Makima kills Power, revealing herself responsible for Denji's losses, having plotted to void his contract with Pochita by crushing his dreams of a normal life.

Kishibe attacks her, and she calls for "Chainsaw Man" to save her. Controlling Denji's body, Pochita assumes his true form and runs. Makima explains her goals: to use Pochita's power to eliminate concepts from reality to create a world without suffering; to this end, she was empowered by the government with immortality. Fighting the Chainsaw Man using the brainwashed Hybrids, which include Katana Man, Reze, and Quanxi, she wins, as Denji's heroic deeds have weakened Pochita. Power reforms from a remnant of her blood, escapes with Chainsaw Man, and, mortally wounded, restores Denji's will to live, having him promise to find her when she is reborn in Hell.

Invigorated by public support for him, Denji confronts Makima and defeats her; to bypass her immortality, he eats her body. Kishibe reveals the Control Devil resurfaced in the form of a little girl, now named Nayuta. He asks Denji to look after her, and Pochita supports this mission in Denji's dreams. Later, Denji enrolls in high school and continues fighting devils under the public eye.

Part 2 – School Arc[edit]

The arc starts off with Asa Mikata, a introvert at her local high-school. One day, her homeroom teacher introduces her class to Bucky, a chicken-devil and has the class host him for 3 months, with the class having the choice to kill him or spare him at the end of the 3 months. Once the 3 months passes, the class decides to spare Bucky, having grown attached to him. Bucky encourages Asa to come out of her shell, but is tragically killed when Asa accidentally trips while carrying him.

Later, her teacher and one of her classmates, come to visit her in order to comfort her. Her classmate reveals she made a deal with the Justice Devil, as she jealous of her teacher's attraction for Asa. She kills Asa, but a devil revealed to be the War Devil comes and takes over her body, killing the classmate. Now, Asa, with the War Devil "Yoru" sharing her body, sets out to kill Chainsaw Man, who is revealed to go to her high-school, on the condition that Yoru leaves her body once she kills him.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Denji (デンジ) / Chainsaw Man (チェンソーマン, Chensō Man)
Voiced by: Kikunosuke Toya[5]
A young man with scruffy blond hair, sharp yellowish-brown eyes with bags underneath, and sharp teeth. 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 in an attempt to clear his debt. The yakuza kill him, and Pochita becomes his heart, setting a contract with Denji, who is to live 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, to live in humane conditions, although the public sees him as a superhero for his heroic deeds. His primary motivation is his attraction to Makima. Currently he enrolls in high school while taking care of Nayuta, Makima's reincarnation.
Makima (マキマ)
Voiced by: Tomori Kusunoki[5]
A mysterious woman serving as the head of Public Safety Division 4, who takes 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 relationship, while threatening him with extermination in case of disobedience. For much of the story, her goals are unknown and her good intentions are ambiguous. She is later revealed to be the Control Devil, which embodies the fear of domination, and seeks to use the Chainsaw Man, to whom she is enamored, to create a world without suffering. To this end, she masterminds the misfortunes befalling Denji over the series. After being killed by Denji, she is reborn as a child called Nayuta (ナユタ), and placed in his care, to be raised as a better person.
Aki Hayakawa (早川アキ, Hayakawa Aki)
Voiced by: Shogo Sakata[5]
A Public Safety Devil Hunter working under Makima's squad. He has a contract with the Fox Devil and Curse Devil, allowing him to summon the former's head and use a lethal spike in exchange for his lifespan. He later makes a contract with the Future Devil, allowing him to see a few seconds into the future. Aki is stoic, mature and dependable, but has a soft center when alone. He grows to greatly care about Denji and Power, despite clashing with them. He is killed during a fight between Makima and the Gun Devil, and becomes the Gun Fiend, which Denji is forced to kill.
Power (パワー, Pawā)
Voiced by: Fairouz Ai[5]
The Blood Fiend and a Public Safety Devil Hunter in Makima's squad. Power looks like a young woman with long hair; as a Fiend, she has short red horns protruding from her head. Power loves violence and is childish, greedy, almost entirely self-motivated, and willing to harm others for her own satisfaction. Power loves her cat, Meowy, at one point willing to sacrifice Denji's life to save him. She comes to care deeply for Denji and Aki, her first true friends. She is killed by Makima in front of Denji, to break his spirit. Power revives as the Blood Devil from Denji's blood, but is fatally wounded by Makima again. Before dying, Power makes a contract with Denji - in exchange for her blood, Denji is to find the reborn Blood Devil and turn her back into Power, so they may be friends again.
Asa Mitaka (三鷹アサ, Mitaka Asa)
A high school student attending the same school Denji enrolled at the end of Part 1, who is estranged from her classmates. She finds the world to be corrupted, and harbors a strong hatred for devils as a result of her parents being eaten by one. After getting killed by her classmate who made a contract with the Justice Devil, she is revived by Yoru the War Devil, who forces her to join its vendetta against the Chainsaw Man.

Public Safety Organization[edit]

Devil Hunters[edit]

Kishibe (岸辺)
The strongest devil hunter in the organization. Older than most other hunters, he is scarred and cynical. He trains Denji and Power, and was partnered with Quanxi in his youth. He secretly plots 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 fighting Katana Man.
Kobeni Higashiyama (東山 コベニ, Higashiyama Kobeni)
A young woman with an unnamed contract, who started work as a Devil hunter under Makima's experimental squad. Despite her timid and cowardly attitude, she shows amazing speed and reflexes when threatened.

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 solid objects 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.
Violence Fiend (暴力の魔人, Bōryoku no Majin)
The friendly and polite Violence Fiend who possesses immense strength and can transform into a more monstrous form when his mask is taken off. He still has most of his human brain and can remember several details about his past life, which is unusual for Fiends.

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 in a polyamorous relationship with four female Fiends. She is a hybrid with a Devil related to 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.
Santa Claus (サンタ クロース, Santa Kurōsu)
One of the assassins sent after Denji. Introduced as an elderly German man, 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 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 is defeated by an on-fire Denji, and her mind is destroyed by one of Quanxi's lovers, the Cosmos Fiend.
Hirofumi Yoshida (吉田 ヒロフミ, Yoshida Hirofumi)
A Japanese private sector devil hunter/bodyguard hired to protect Denji while the international assassins hunt for Chainsaw Man, he has a contract with the Octopus Devil. He later turns up attending Denji and Asa's high school, and is drawn into Asa's team for the Devil Hunter Club.

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 a weakened state after a fight with mysterious opponents. 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 a supposed 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. His real name is unknown, and his handler is Akane Sawatari, a former Public Safety hunter.
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, and a Soviet spy sent to kill Denji. On her way to seemingly escape with Denji after their fight, she is captured 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 the world. Thirteen years before the series' events, the Gun Devil manifested after a terrorist attack, and attacked the world, killing 1.2 million people in under five minutes before vanishing. It was later defeated and scattered into pieces by an unknown entity, and the governments of several countries have gathered these remains to form contracts with it. The president of the United States summons it to kill Makima. Makima defeats it, but it possesses Aki's body, turning 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.
Yoru (ヨル, Night) / War Devil (戦争の悪魔, Sensō no Akuma)
A powerful Devil who represents the primal fear of war and a member of the Four Horsemen, it has the ability turn the body parts of anyone that "belongs" to the user into weapons. Right before Asa Mitaka's death, it possessed her body (though it preserves her mind and identity) as part of its plan to force Chainsaw Man to restore the nuclear weapons he erased.

Others[edit]

Yuko (優子, Yūko)
A high school student who paired up with Asa and Yoshida in the School's Devil Hunter Club. She quickly becomes best friends with Asa.

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 not 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.[6]

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.[6] On Twitter, he stated that he was a fan of the 2016 film trilogy Kizumonogatari, and that the trilogy's final battle, shown in Part 3: Reiketsu, inspired the final battle of Chainsaw Man.[7] He also described the series as being a "wicked FLCL" and "pop Abara."[8] Fujimoto had various elements from the series planned from the beginning, while other things were added as it progressed. 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 to make the series' second part easier to do.[6]

Regarding the anime adaptation of the series, Fujimoto stated that he talked to the people handling it and he was comfortable leaving things to them.[6] 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!"[9]

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 shōnen manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 3, 2018,[10][11] to December 14, 2020.[12][13] Shueisha collected the 97 chapters of the first part into eleven individual tankōbon volumes, released from March 4, 2019,[14] to March 4, 2021.[15]

In North America, Viz Media published the series' first two chapters on their Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine for its "Jump Start" initiative.[1][16] The series was then published on the Shonen Jump digital platform after the cancellation of Weekly Shonen Jump.[16] Shueisha also simulpublished the series in English on the app and website Manga Plus starting in January 2019.[17] In February 2020, Viz Media announced the digital and print release of the manga.[18] Viz Media posted an official trailer for the manga, featuring a high-octane opera vocals as its soundtrack.[19] The eleven volumes were published from October 6, 2020,[20] to June 7, 2022.[21]

The manga is also licensed in France by Kazé,[22] in Italy, Mexico and Brazil by Panini,[23][24][25] in Spain by Norma Editorial,[26] in Thailand by Siam Inter Comics,[27] in Poland by Waneko,[28] in Germany by Egmont Manga,[29] in Argentina by Editorial Ivrea,[30] in Taiwan by Tong Li Publishing,[31] in South Korea by Haksan Publishing,[32] in Russia by Azbooka-Atticus,[33] and in Vietnam by Tre Publishing House.[34]

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.[35] On December 19, 2020, it was announced that the second part, "School arc" (学校編, Gakkō-hen), would feature Denji going to school.[36] The second part began serialization on July 13, 2022.[37][38]

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[14]
978-4-08-881780-4
October 6, 2020[20]
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[39]
978-4-08-881831-3
December 1, 2020[40]
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 Hachi-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[41]
978-4-08-882016-3
February 2, 2021[42]
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[43]
978-4-08-882075-0
April 6, 2021[44]
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, Zen'in Shūgō)
5Minor
Miseinen (未成年)
January 4, 2020[45]
978-4-08-882171-9
June 1, 2021[46]
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[47]
978-4-08-882224-2
August 3, 2021[48]
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[49]
978-4-08-882328-7
October 5, 2021[50]
978-1-9747-2096-5
  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 Iku ni 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 Majin-tachi Yonjūkyūnin-giri)
  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[51]
978-4-08-882376-8
December 7, 2021[52]
978-1-9747-2278-5
  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 Debiru Hantā)
  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[53]
978-4-08-882470-3
February 1, 2022[54]
978-1-9747-2404-8
  1. "Bath" (お風呂, Ofuro)
  2. "All Together" (みんな一緒, Minna 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 Iu Koto)
  5. "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[55]
978-4-08-882527-4
April 5, 2022[56]
978-1-97-472278-5
  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 Chō Chō Ī Kanji)
  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 Bāsasu 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[15]
978-4-08-882576-2
June 7, 2022[21]
978-1-9747-2711-7
  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. "Vanilla Sky" (バニラスカイ, Banira Sukai)
  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 Ningenzu)
  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, Konna Aji)
  4. "I, Love, Chainsaw" (愛・ラブ・チェンソー, Ai Rabu Chensō)
12October 4, 2022[57]
978-4-08-883271-5

Chapters not yet in tankōbon format[edit]

These chapters have yet to be published in a tankōbon volume.

  1. "Bird and War" (鳥と戦争, Tori to Sensō)
  2. "Two Birds" (2羽, Ni-wa)
  3. "How to Walk Shoeless" (裸足の歩き方, Hadashi no Arukikata)
  4. "Afterschool Devil Hunters" (放課後デビルハンター, Hōkago Debiru Hantā)

Anime[edit]

On December 14, 2020, it was announced that the manga will receive an anime television series adaptation produced by MAPPA.[58][59] 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.[60][61] The first trailer for the anime series was shown at the "MAPPA Stage 2021 – 10th Anniversary" event, held on June 27, 2021.[62][63] The anime is directed by Ryū Nakayama (director) and Makoto Nakazono (chief episode director), with scripts by Hiroshi Seko, character designs by Kazutaka Sugiyama, and devil designs by Kiyotaka Oshiyama. Tatsuya Yoshihara is serving as action director and Yūsuke Takeda is directing the art. Naomi Nakano is the color key artist and Yohei Miyahara is designing the screens. The music is composed by Kensuke Ushio.[64][65][66] The series is set to premiere in October 2022 on TV Tokyo and other networks.[5][67] Crunchyroll has licensed the series outside of Asia and will be releasing it along with an English dub.[68] Medialink licensed the series in Asia-Pacific.[69]

Novel[edit]

A novel, titled Chainsaw Man: Buddy Stories (チェンソーマン バディ・ストーリーズ, Chensō Man Badi Sutōrīzu), written by Sakaku Hishikawa, with illustrations by Tatsuki Fujimoto,[70] was published on November 4, 2021.[71][72] It tells three stories focused on a theme of "buddies" about Power and Denji, Kishibe and Quanxi during their partner era, and Himeno and Aki around the time they first met.[73]

Other media[edit]

Good Smile Company launched Nendoroid figures based on characters from the series in October 2021, including Denji, Pochita and Power.[74][75]

An exhibition, "Chainsaw Man Manga Exhibition", ran at the Space Hachikai gallery area of Tower Records, Shibuya, from June 12 to July 4, 2021.[76]

Reception[edit]

The series ranked #4 on Takarajimasha's Kono Manga ga Sugoi! list of best manga of 2020 for male readers,[77] and topped the 2021 list.[78][79][80] On Freestyle magazine's The Best Manga 2020 Kono Manga wo Yome! list, the series ranked #12,[81] and ranked #16, along with Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, on the 2021 list.[82] It ranked #2, behind Spy × Family, on "Nationwide Bookstore Employees' Recommended Comics of 2020" by the Honya Club online bookstore.[83] In 2020, the series ranked #10 in the "Most Wanted Anime Adaptation" poll conducted by AnimeJapan.[84] The series ranked #45 on the 2020 "Book of the Year" list by Da Vinci magazine;[85] it ranked #43 on the 2021 list.[86] On TV Asahi's Manga Sōsenkyo 2021 poll, in which 150.000 people voted for their top 100 manga series, Chainsaw Man ranked #58.[87] The series was #12 on the annual Twitter Japan's Trend Awards in 2021, based on the social network's top trending topics of the year.[88]

Sales[edit]

As of August 2020, the manga had over 3 million copies in circulation;[89][8] it had over 4.2 million copies in circulation as of October 2020;[90] over 5 million copies in circulation as of December 2020;[91][78] over 6.4 million copies in circulation as of January 2021;[92] over 9.3 million copies in circulation as of March 2021;[93] over 11 million copies in circulation as of June 2021;[94][95] over 12 million copies in circulation as of December 2021;[96] over 13 million copies in circulation as of June 2022;[97] and over 15 million copies in circulation as of August 2022.[98]

Chainsaw Man was the fifth best-selling manga series in the first half of 2021 (period between November 2020 and May 2021), with over 4 million copies sold.[99] In 2021, it was the seventh best-selling manga with over 5 million copies sold.[100]

The series has ranked on NPD BookScan's monthly top 20 adult graphic novels list since 2020.[b] It has also ranked on The New York Times' monthly Graphic Books and Manga bestseller list since 2021.[c] According to ICv2, Chainsaw Man was the tenth best-selling manga franchise for fall 2021 (September–December) in the United States, and it was also the third "most efficient manga franchise" for retailer bookshelves, based on the website's calculations of which manga franchises had the highest sales per volume.[130] According to NPD BookScan, the first, second and third volumes of Chainsaw Man were the #4, #17 and #18, respectively, highest-selling manga volumes in 2021.[131] The first volume sold 18,000 copies in the United States in 2020, and the eight volumes collectively sold 623,000 copies in 2021.[132]

Critical reception[edit]

Chainsaw Man has been overall well received by critics. James Beckett of Anime News Network ranked the first volume as a B+. Beckett commented: "[Chainsaw Man is] goofy, kinky, dark, and bizarre, which is already the kind of tonal mishmash I'm generally down for in my art," praising as well its compelling world-building and character development, adding that the volume "earns plenty of goodwill by committing to its surprisingly earnest and charming brand of ferocious bloodletting."[133] Nicholas Dupree from the same website commented: "[i]t's a bizarre, unpredictable, and undeniably unique thrill ride, and love it or hate it, there's nothing else quite like it."[134] Hannah Collins of Comic Book Resources gave the series a positive review, stating: "Chainsaw Man bears all the hallmarks of a standard supernatural action series, but its quieter moments are where its dark heart beats fastest."[135] Polygon's Julia Lee gave the series a positive review, commenting: "Chainsaw Man is considered one of Shonen Jump's best new series, and for good reason. The graphic rip-and-tear fights, paired with a unique and funny story about devils makes for one great manga."[136] Sheena McNeil of Sequential Tart gave the first volume a 9/10. McNeil stated: "I did not think I was going to enjoy this manga. I'm glad I was wrong!." She noted that the series has similar elements from Army of Darkness, Devilman, Dorohedoro and inspiration from various devil-hunting series, recommending it to fans of those works.[137]

Anna Neatrour of Manga Report gave a positive review to the first volume, calling its monster fighting, "buckets of gore", and humor "plenty amusing," and calling Denji an "incredibly damaged but potentially powerful hero."[138] Reviewing the first volume, Danica Davidson of Otaku USA called the series "a little creepy" and "downright bizarre," adding however, that it is "a bloody, action-packed shonen with some heart showing through the weirdness, and it’s been very successful in Japan."[139] Following her "read-a-thoning" of the series, Katherine Dacey of The Manga Critic commented that she finished it with a "grudging respect for Fujimoto's excessive, ridiculous creation, which entertained and repelled me in equal measure. Your mileage will vary."[140] Ian Wolf of Anime UK News gave the first volume a 6/10. Wolf wrote that the main feature of the series is the action sequences, but criticized the lack of depth in writing, concluding: "Chainsaw Man has some things going for it and hopefully may well build up from a promising start."[141]

Regarding the characters, Adi Tantimedh of Bleeding Cool called them "sad, broken people who live outside the norms of society and haven't learned basic social skills," adding as well that the series' subtext is about "people getting abused, degraded, dehumanized, objectified, literally becoming objects." He concluded: "[s]ociety is to blame for degrading people into tools and objects; these mangas [sic] 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."[142] Collins called its premised "loosely" comparable to Jujutsu Kaisen, commenting, however, that Denji might fit the mold of a shōnen protagonist on paper, but that the mold is "only there to be broken," comparing his "life on the fringes of society" to a "Dickensian parable about the plight of the working class."[135] Dacey called Denji "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," adding that she did not "ever warmed to Denji as a lead character."[140] Lee commented that the series has an "interestingly goofy contrast between the characters and what’s going on," adding 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."[136]

Various reviewers have commented the use of violence and gory scenes within the context of the story. Dupree wrote that the "irreverent tone and deliciously gory violence" are elements that make the series "really stand out from the get-go."[134] Collins wrote that the gory scenes, instead of being gratuitous, make the story feel "refreshingly unfiltered."[135] McNeil commented that the series is "wonderfully absurd. It's funny, gorey [sic], and violent, but also has an interesting bit of humanity at its core."[137] Davinson called it "casually gruesome and violent," but that it fits with its theme.[139] Lee wrote: "Chainsaw Man is gory. Extremely gory," adding that these scenes make the series different from other shōnen series, calling them "pretty gross," but "fitting for a dark manga about slashing devils down with a chainsaw."[136] Dacey called the series a "blood-and-testosterone-soaked battle manga," commenting that its main appeal is the "outrageous displays of gore and violence," adding as well that Fujimoto "does his utmost to push the boundaries of good taste."[140] Beckett wrote that the "delightfully ridiculous and bloody" premise runs with it in "all sorts of fascinating directions," adding however, that its reveling in crude humor and violence could be off-putting to some readers.[133]

Its way of handling comedy has also been commented. Tantimedh stated that the series has a "unique sense of deadpan comic timing" that "makes the series unique," adding as well that the series distinguishes itself for its slapstick comedy and that a "deadly earnest" tone might have made the series unreadable.[142] Beckett said that when he read the premise, he took the series at face value as a "goofy nonsense comic, a parody of shonen manga that primarily exists to push out page-after-page of gross-out gags and gory action," also calling it "a mishmash of raunchy teen sex comedies, Hellboy, and The Evil Dead."[133] Dupree stated that the "crass, crude, and purposefully lowbrow" humor is one of its defining characteristics, adding that there are multiple jokes where it feels like half the punchline is that the series, "in all its gleefully nihilistic indulgence," was published in the same magazine as other "bleedingly sincere and family-friendly" titles like One Piece or My Hero Academia.[134] Neatrour said: "[t]here’s a level of off-kilter humor in Chainsaw Man that I find endearing," and that it also has "plenty of juvenile humor."[138] Davinson commented that the humor of the series mainly revolves around Denji trying to get a girlfriend.[139] Wolf wrote that "the ridiculousness of the story helps to add comedy to the whole thing," although, he called the humor "rather base at best."[141]

Reviewers have also commented the emotional aspects of the series. Dacey discussed its unexpected moments of "genuine pathos," talking about the interactions between Denji and Pochita, noting as well parallels to Denji's relationship with Makima.[140] Davidson also stated that the emotional part of the story is about the love between Denji and Pochita.[139] Dupree wrote that the series' "bombastic, borderline nihilistic maelstrom of gore and dick jokes" is in part a reaction to the "absurd and illogical world it takes place in," adding that the series has a "proudly beating heart. Perhaps a cynical heart, but one that nonetheless sympathizes with the struggle to find meaning or solace in a cruel and unpredictable world."[134] Reviewing the series' 97th and last chapter published in Weekly Shōnen Jump, Reiichi Narima of Real Sound commented that Denji's growth through loss is a storytelling more related to seinen manga than shōnen manga, adding that he was "deeply moved" by the inclusion of this kind of stories in the magazine, ultimately calling it a masterpiece and concluding: "at the core of bloody violence, there was a boy's sad love story."[143]

Fujimoto's art style has also been commented. Collins commended Fujimoto's penmanship, stating that the "thickly-sketched lines on individual characters and still moments convey the rough edges of [its] world."[135] Dupree lauded the series' art style, stating: "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."[134] Beckett called the character designs and general linework "a bit generic at first glance," but that when "the carnage comes flooding in," the series "has a clarity of style and consistency of vision that can be wondrous to behold."[133] McNeil said that the character designs, other than Pochita and Chainsaw Man, are "not memorable," but that the art "really shines for the creepy Devils, the action, and especially the gore."[137] Regarding the devils' designs, Dacey wrote that some are "uninspired" and that the most memorable ones are "clearly designed to elicit an appreciative 'ewww'".[140] Wolf stated that the art of the series "feels better than its writing," adding that visually, the action and fighting make the manga appealing.[141]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref.
2019 5th Next Manga Award Print 2nd Place [144]
3rd annual Tsutaya Comic Award Next Break 9th Place [145]
2020 13th Manga Taishō Manga Taishō 8th Place [146][147]
2021 66th Shogakukan Manga Award Best Shōnen Manga Won [148][149][150]
Harvey Award Best Manga [151][152]
27th Manga Barcelona Best Shōnen Manga [153]
2022 Eisner Award Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia Nominated [154]
Harvey Award Best Manga Pending [155]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Chief Director / Chief Episode Director (チーフ演出)
  2. ^ Ranking for each month:
  3. ^ Ranking for each month:

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]