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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

It’s All About Blood, Guts and Chainsaws in Wild Manga Series ‘Chainsaw Man’ [Anime Horrors]

Welcome back to Anime Horrors – a column dedicated to exploring new and classic works of anime and manga. 

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always enjoyed works of action-packed horror. From Hellsing to Yu Yu Hakusho, I love a good ole monster beat down. And if you happen to relate to that, then do I have a recommendation for you! One day I came across an image that made my jaw drop. It was of a guy – he was wearing a nice buttoned up shirt and casual pair of pants – but he also had a chainsaw coming out of his face. I learned that this character was from a manga called Chainsaw Man, and I knew immediately I had to read it. 

Initially published in December of 2018, and currently still running, the Chainsaw Man manga follows protagonist Denji – a young man whose life is quite in the shitter. Stuck in taking on his late father’s debt to loan sharks, Denji scrambles to find any job he can to survive. He lives in a shack in the woods, dreaming of having jam with the plain bread he survives off of. 

When Denji isn’t chopping down trees to make money, he’s killing devils. In the world of Chainsaw Man, humans live among devils. When it comes to devils that wish to cause harm, Devil Hunters enter the picture, facing off against violent devils in battle. There are many types of devils that exist; there is a fox devil, bat devil, zombie devil, you name it. But not every demon is bad. If there is one good thing Denji has going for him, it is his adorable devil dog Pochita. This good boy has a plump little body, adorable round eyes and a small chainsaw that comes out of his face. 

Heads up: Moving forward there will be spoilers for chapter one of Chainsaw Man.

One night, Denji finds himself crossed by the loan sharks; they proceed to sick zombies on him and Pochita, then brutally chopped them up. While chapter one of Chainsaw Man goes all in on the misery that is Denji’s life, it also doesn’t shy away when it comes to gore. The imagery is visceral, providing chills and cringes with each stab and gush of blood. To save Denji’s life, Pochita fuses with him, giving the former the ability to become a devil. With Pochita’s soul a part of his, a small power chord protrudes from Denji’s chest; with one good tug, his head becomes a chainsaw motor, a large blade sticking right out of his face. His teeth turn to fangs, and chainsaw blades spring out from his arms. With these powers, Denji becomes a remarkable force. Being part human and part devil, he is discovered by a devil hunting organization and offered the chance to work with them (otherwise he’ll be killed). 

Throughout the manga, the combat hits hard, each slash and impact fueling a sense of adrenaline within the panels. Along with the physical combat of chainsaws and swords, there are awesome interactions with the devils. To fight the villainous devils, the Devil Hunters are able to make contracts with other devils. By working together, readers are treated to an array of unique powers (one of the more interesting ones I’ve seen so far is the “Ghost Devil”).  On top of the action, the manga is also raunchy as hell. Without getting into the specific details, Denji has never been around a girl – so when he starts to find himself around more and more – the hormones begin to soar. 

But there is also an interesting theme working its way through Chainsaw Man. At the beginning of the manga, there is a sincere sense of how desperate Denji is for a normal life. You come to understand that most of his life, thus far, has been full of threats and cruelty. When he gains his devil powers and joins the devil hunting organization, Denji finds himself reflecting on “purpose.” Of what I’ve read so far, it’ll be interesting to see how this theme develops, and how Denji may grow as an individual.

The cast of Chainsaw Man come in various shades – while a few exist for comic relief, there are also those with more depth and mystery behind them. Personal favorites include Aki Hayakawa (the rival counterpart to Denji) and that of Makima (Denji’s love interest, who also might have a hidden agenda). Without providing any major spoilers, the present arc of Chainsaw Man is nothing short of intense. The Devil Hunters are currently tracking down a dangerous being known as the Gun Devil, and well, let’s say there has been plenty of bloodshed and surprises along the way. 

Currently, you can read the first three chapters for free on the Viz Media website. For those who prefer to buy physical manga, the first English release will be in stores October 2020. Given my passion for action-leaning horror, Chainsaw Man has been a delight. Not only has it provided some interesting mystery along the way, but the action and devils are just so damn cool! If you are in need of a new adrenaline rush, then don’t miss out on Chainsaw Man

Thank you for reading this month’s Anime Horrors!



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3625294/blood-guts-chainsaws-wild-manga-series-chainsaw-man-anime-horrors/

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