What You’re Missing Out On: Chainsaw Man


After spending two straight days binging all 115 chapters of the manga, I found myself obsessed. Chainsaw Man, the up-and-coming new-age anime, has captured the attention of Japanese animation lovers around the globe. The psychological thriller centers around a teenage boy named Denji who lives in a world plagued by devils that are manifestations of major fears. Because of the job he needed in his desperate state of poverty, he ends up with the Chainsaw Devil’s heart and becomes a Public Safety Devil Hunter. The story follows Denji as he works with Special Unit 4 to track down the infamous Gun Devil, meeting a myriad of unique characters along the way. The anime adaptation consists of twelve episodes so far, which some fans may say are of the highest quality, while others believe are complete disappointments. 

It’s clear upon watching the anime that this is something of a passion project for the animators. Every single episode has a unique credits song and animation in different styles to match the theme of the episode, and the care for the story is evident in every frame.. Some argue about the graphics quality, though, claiming that the use of CG (computer-generated images) in the animation was excessive, which ruined the integrity of the show. However, I argue that it gives things a little more dimension and on top of that it takes a lot less of the animation studio’s time and money. Isn’t it better to have a consistent, high-quality anime that is released frequently than one where the animators are scrambling to finish detailed scenes that could have been cut short? Admittedly, the pacing of the anime is significantly faster than the drawn-out arcs of the manga it was based on, but that is to be expected from an adaptation that attempts to condense 115 chapters into a reasonable anime season.

Aside from the technical aspects, Chainsaw Man rises to the top in its storytelling as well. Each of the characters develop and grow as people… at least before they get ripped away in front of your eyes. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t the kind of senseless violence that ruins the plot, but it is enough that saying, “basically everyone dies” isn’t a spoiler. It’s the way that the story attaches you to the characters and how meaningful their deaths are that keeps you interested even after your “little scrimblo” is torn to shreds. The main character, Denji, is so absurdly shallow, yet still so complex, that you just can’t turn the anime off.

If you’re wondering what your classmates think of the show, it’s clear that there is a bit of a divide. I interviewed Nelson Stallworth and Marlene Penaloza-Gonzalez about their thoughts, and they had very different takes.

“It was aight I guess,” said Stallworth. “I could see that there was a lot of passion behind the show… but it was weird, like, a little bit too weird for me.” He talked about how Denji’s primary motivation, the desire to feel the touch of a woman, was strangely the focus of the first three episodes. “It’s kind of hard for me to identify with,” he said.

Penaloza-Gonzalez had a different story to tell. When I asked her what she thought about Chainsaw Man, she said she “absolutely love[s] it. I love the characters, even if they made me cry… I just like the characters’ relationships, and watching Denji become, like, a better person.”

At the end of the day, even the people who hate on the animation style stuck around long enough to dislike it, which proves the absolute captivation the plot casts on the audience. If action and horror are more to your tastes, with a side of lovable characters, this anime needs to be next up on your watchlist. You can stream it on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and countless other sites (if you know where to find them), so there’s no excuse not to be watching Chainsaw Man!