Manga: Saitama Chainsaw Shoujo
aka: Saitama Chainsaw Girl
Hell hath no fury...
"This is all that is left. Wait for me Takumi. I will convey, with all my might, my thought and feelings to you. First, by killing you... and then, killing myself."Saitama Chainsaw Shoujo
is a short story by Japanese science fiction author Hiroshi Sakurazaka that has been adapted into a serialized manga
published in Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh
magazine. The original story was the 2004 winner of the "Hayakawa's S-F Magazine Reader's Award" for Best Japanese Short Story.
The story follows Fumio Kirisaki, who is an Ordinary High-School Student
in nearly every way - she is not particularly popular, intelligent, or attractive. Her greatest joys in life are reading her extensive manga collection and spending time with Takumi, her first love and current boyfriend.
Fumio's life takes a turn for the worse one afternoon when she finds her boyfriend in the arms of an eccentric New Transfer Student
introduced to their class that very same day. Crushed and confused, she seeks the advice of her only friend Kaoruko Odagiri. When Fumio is seemingly abandoned by Kaoruko after rejecting her friend's somewhat odd advice
, her depression only deepens.
Having given up hope, the now friendless and heart-broken Fumio decides on the only sensible solution
she has left - tomorrow when she goes to school she will take her family's chainsaw, which she will use to kill Takumi
and then herself. And God help any of the other students who choose to stand in her way
Tropes in Saitama Chainsaw Shoujo include:
- A-Cup Angst: Fumio is keenly aware that her western DNA has failed her in this regard.
- Americans Are Cowboys: Fumio's grandfather was a Texan bounty-hunter who wears a cowboy hat and frilled buckskin vest.
- And the Adventure Continues: The story ends with Fumio planning to head into space to save Takumi.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Class Representative decides to confront the girl waving around a bloodied chainsaw... and make her take her shoes off. After all, the regulations say nothing about carving people to ribbons with a chainsaw.
- Ax-Crazy: Oh yeah. Big time.
- Ax Crazy Prepared: For someone who's going on a chainsaw rampage, Fumio actually prepares it extremely well to not leave Takumi any way to escape her (by jamming the locks on doors leading to alternate escape routes), and have enough time before the police busts in (by disabling the local cell towers and cutting the land line so that nobody can call for help). Actually, even using a chainsaw is probably only a very pragmatic way to do it for her, since she is quite proficient in American Chainsaw-fu, and able to kill very efficiently with it.
- Bathtub Bonding: There's a few panels of this in Kaoruko's Imagine Spot of her and Fumio's past life.
- Beware the Nice Ones: You wouldn't think the shy, quiet, bespectacled, manga reading girl is someone you need to watch out for. You would, however, be in several separate pieces by the time you figure out just how wrong you were.
- Blank White Eyes: Kaoruko Odagiri will often gain these for a panel when her conversations take a turn for the crazy, usually accompanied with a Super-Deformed Art Shift.
- Bloody Hilarious: Fumio's reaction to getting sprayed in the face.
- But Not Too Foreign: The protagonist is 25% "American", since her grandfather was a Texan bounty-hunter who settled in Japan after meeting Fumio's grandmother. If anything, Fumio actually wishes she was more foreign, because she wants to stand out.
- Butterfly of Doom: Discussed; Kaoruko thinks that this is why the new transfer student is going after Takumi — specifically, that aliens need him to turn the tide of a great war being waged in space. Her logic is... a little out there.
- Chainsaw Good: It's right there in the title. She mentions that her grandfather learned to wield 3 at once!! Hopefully this could be worked into a sequel.
- Chainsaws At School: And Fumio uses it on everybody.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Kaoruko Odagiri, who believes that she and Fumio are reincarnated warriors from a past life, that she can hear radio waves, and that the new transfer student is an alien who has come to Earth to abduct Takumi, among other things.
- Cut Short: The story is intentionally left open-ended. Whether that's a cop out or a great setup for a sequel is debatable.
- Dissonant Serenity:
- Though she slices her way through the school with seemingly little show of emotion, Fumio subverts this near the end of her quest when she repeatedly begs Kaoruko to get out of her way.
- Kaoruko acts unnaturally cool during their encounter as well, owing to the fact that she's not real, just like all the other students Fumio hacked to little bits.
- Gainax Ending: The clues are all over the place. Kaoruko even spoils the big twist with a straight face, and Fumio chooses to not believe it, not because she thinks it's not true, but just because the implications are unacceptable for her. But despite all of this, the open ending still manages to be this, especially to those expecting an horror story rather than a sci-fi one.
- Giggling Villain: The transfer student when she's around Fumio.
- Girl with Psycho Weapon: Provides the trope picture. ◊
- Heir to the Dojo: Apparently being the successor to a Japanese lumber company comes complete with American Chainsaw-Fu training.
- Hidden Eyes: Most of Fumio's classmates appear this way while inexplicably rushing towards the girl with the chainsaw.
- How We Got Here: The story opens on the day of the massacre, and the first half is flashbacks of the events leading up to it.
- Idiot Hair: Both the transfer student and Kaoruko have this.
- If I Can't Have You: Though for Fumio the "can't have you" is not nearly as offending as the "dumped me for a girl you've known for all of five minutes and never talked to me again" part.
- Karma Houdini: Fumio, if only for extremely unconventional circumstances.
- Lampshade Hanging: If the rest of the manga didn't have enough of it, there's this neat little thought:
- Madness Mantra: "Unforgivable! Unforgivable! Unforgivable! TOTALLY UNFORGIVABLE!!!"
- Martial Arts and Crafts: Fumio, whose grandfather taught her a 140-year-old chainsaw martial art created by Confederate foresters for use during the U.S. Civil War. This becomes the subject of In-Universe Fridge Logic when Fumio wonders if chainsaws even existed during the Civil War.note
- Meganekko: Subverted by Fumio.
- Mirror Match: The transfer student reveals the true extent of her supernatural power by changing into an exact physical duplicate of Fumio, forcing the protagonist to fight herself. Which of course means a chainsaw duel.
- No Name Given: The new transfer student's introduction gets cut off and we never learn her name.
- Otaku: When Fumio is not reading Manga during class, she's working the story lines into conversations with her boyfriend.
- Phenotype Stereotype: Fumio's grandfather, who looks and dresses like John Wayne.
- Poor Communication Kills: Especially when you're trying to "communicate" your feelings via a friggin' chainsaw. Fumio actually invokes this trope. Since everyone is ignoring her, and she's not that good at communicating to start with, the only way she can appropriately convey her point is to get her chainsaw out and let it do the talkingnote .
Fumio: Wait for me Takumi-kun... I will convey, with all my might, my thoughts and feelings to you... First, by killing you... and then, killing myself.
- Reset Button: Fumio's chainsaw rampage was real, however the students she killed were doppelgangers under control of the Transfer Student. In the end, Fumio has an Accidental Hero moment when she frees the real students trapped in an alternate dimension.
- Reverse Grip: Yes, the five foot tall Japanese schoolgirl swings the massive chainsaw with one hand while holding it backwards!
- Satellite Love Interest: Takumi receives absolutely no character development. The story is all about how Fumio reacts to him seemingly dumping her. One the other hand, Fumio has a very well-developed relationship with Kaoruko, which makes the ending in which Fumio leaves Kaoruko behind to pursue Takumi and the transfer student somewhat disappointing.
- See You in Hell: Fumio, as she's cutting down what she believes to be Kaoruko, her best and only friend.
Fumio: We will be meeting again... at the bottom of hell!!
- Shout-Out: Fumio explains that her grandfather came to Japan chasing some "Leather Guy", which is an obvious reference to Leatherface of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame. This in turn implies that Fumio's grandfather and the chainsaw-wielding sheriff from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 are the same person.
- Shower of Angst: Fumio, after she has a falling out with Kaoruko and shortly before she crosses the Despair Event Horizon.
- Shrinking Violet: Fumio, prior to meeting Takumi, whose love and attention was just starting to bring her out of her social shell before he dumped her for the transfer student. Instead of returning to her old ways, Fumio decides to go in the opposite direction.
- Super-Deformed: Fumio and Kaoruko switch to this style very frequently.
- Too Dumb to Live: "Chainsaws are weak in close combat! Close the gap!!" Take a guess as to how well that went.
- Uncanny Valley Girl: The New Transfer Student is pretty, popular, and steals Takumi's attention with seemingly no effort. She's an alien.
- Widget Series: Only Japan could make something like this and get away with it.
- One of the reviews (that apparently a lot of people agree with) on the Japanese Amazon page for the book has a title that can be translated as "...I don't understand..." Apparently, it's incomprehensibly weird even by Japanese standards!
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Even after seeing her carve her way through dozens of innocent (if suicidal) people, you can't help feeling sorry for Fumio after reading her Inner Monologue about how she's already dead on the inside and her final wish is to die along with the only boy she ever loved.
Fumio: When I started this chainsaw today, my heart stopped working.
- Yandere: Instead of accepting being dumped or trying to win back Takumi's love, Fumio takes a third option. She herself acknowledges she has jealousy issues, when she notices she enjoys slashing the girls more. Then she wonders if she went down the wrong path somewhere.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Fumio. She even reads yaoi fiction at school.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: The manga depicts Fumio with purple hair.