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Manga / Chainsaw Man

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Watch out people! There's a new devil hunter in town!

"Which one would you choose? The Town Mouse or the Country Mouse?"

Denji is a loser that will do literally anything for money. After his father committed suicide, he is left with an enormous debt to the local Yakuza and resorts to desperate measures to earn money. He spends his days taking odd jobs and hunting down troublesome devils with the aid of his pet devil Pochita, who also happens to be a chainsaw. Having sold several body parts to survive, he scrounges by while dreaming of living a better life.

Unfortunately for him, his loan sharks have double-crossed him and struck a better deal with a devil. Hacked to pieces and thrown away with the trash, Denji's life seems over....

...Until Pochita merges with his body to give him one more shot at life. Denji becomes a demonic creature with chainsaws growing from his arms and head, slaughters the devil that killed him, and is discovered by the professional Devil Hunters that have come to investigate. A mysterious woman named Makima offers him a choice: be slain as a devil, or become her pet and work for her hunting other devils.


Of course, he picks the latter. He's promised free room and board, after all.

Chainsaw Man is an ongoing 2018 Shonen Jump manga written by Tatsuki Fujimoto, author of Fire Punch.

The manga has been officially translated with a simultaneous Japanese and English release available here and here.

Chainsaw-Man contains examples of:

  • The '90s: Chapter 75 reveals that the series takes place around 1997.
  • Action Girl: Basically every relevant female character fits this trope, many of the Dark Action Girl variety
    • Power lives up to her name, easily dispatching a devil in a single blow.
    • Makima might be the most imposing and ruthless character in the entire series, not to mention of questionable allegiance and motivation. The full extend of her power has yet to be demonstrated, but she was able to effortlessly dispatch Yakuza assassins with guns on a train, kill more of them from miles away with what's basically an invisible, devil-powered Kill Sat and intimidate every devil she meets (including Reze/Bomb) with her mere presence.
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    • Kobeni might seem like a weak-willed, nervous wreck at first glance. But once she's actually determined to fight, she becomes a frighteningly skilled Knife Nut, easily able to avoid gunfire and attacks by the powerful Snake Devil.
    • Reze, USSR elite soldier from birth and Bomb Devil Hybrid, was the main-villain of her arc and easily defeated the Shark Devil, slaughtered an entire division of Devil Hunters and was more than a match for Denji in his devil form. It was hinted that she is also one of the highest-ranking partners of the Gun Devil.
    • Quanxi is a devilwoman working for China with exceptional physical ability. Her first feat is to perform a Clean Cut on a whole crowd of agents and puppets, killing them before they even have time to realize they have been attacked.
  • A-Cup Angst: Power, judging by her need to use breast pads.
    • Might be averted since Power herself never expressed any sort of sorrow. The angst, however, should be on Denji who clearly was expecting more.
  • Alternate History: Most noticeable with devils running around but the fact the Soviet Union still exists shows that there are major differences between the Earth where the story takes place and our Earth; solidified in Chapter 75, where a world date is finally given, the story is set in 1997, the USSR should have been dissolved by then.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: The Gun Devil might be the series' Big Bad, but Hell is revealed to be home to even more powerful creatures personifying primal fears and has even been described as "transcendent".
  • Anyone Can Die: A lot of characters throughout the story die and some quite suddenly. Some of the side characters who appear they'd be major one are soon killed off after being developed, and in fact even the main characters die a lot. However, Death Is Cheap for a devil so Denji and Power easily get back up.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Aki admits to Angel that he has feelings for Makima. When asked why...Aki seems to be at a loss for words and wonders himself.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: The Bomb Devil tiredly tells Denji to just die already after they battle for quite a while. Denji points out that if she really felt that way, she could've easily just killed him as Reze when they first met. Cue a silent panel of her before she changes the subject.
  • Author Appeal: Tatsuki Fujimoto, as indicated by Fire Punch, is a big cinephile. Besides the occasional Shout-Out, there's a chapter dedicated to Denji and Makima going on a date to the movies.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • After 67 chapters of being Vitriolic Best Buds, Chapter 71 shows that Denji and Power do care about each other. Denji forgoes his trip with Makima to take care of a traumatized Power and she thinks of him as a legitimate source of safety and comfort.
    • Chapter 72 is mostly just Aki having to babysit Denji and Power, but it ends with him doing the unthinkable and back out of joining the expedition to kill the Gun Devil, a revenge he's been wanting since he was a child. When pressed why, Aki has an Imagine Spot of Denji and Power horribly injured and simply replies that he got cold feet.
  • Beauty = Goodness: Devils that are close to human in form are supposedly less hostile towards humanity. The Angel Devil is said to be a Non-Malicious Monster, while Power is a Jerkass but gets along fine with humans most of the time.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There are some untranslated dialogue and notes peppered throughout the series. A big one in Chapter 64 is the note written in German the man contacting Santa Claus leaves behind, which orders him and Tolka's master to kill Makima.
  • Black Comedy: Exists throughout, but a particularly big example happens in chapter 57 when one of the American assassins attempting to kill Denji magically disguised as one of the agents he and his brothers killed the previous chapter attempts to convince Denji to let him join Denji's protection detail to avenge his partner's death. Meanwhile, nearby Power wants to drive Kobeni's new car and pressures her into letting her do it. Right as Denji and the disguised assassin shake hands, Power rams into them at top speed, breaking both of their necks. Power goes from total shock, to blaming a horrified Kobeni of murdering them, to claiming that she knew it all along and had avenged Denji (while hugging Denji's broken body) when the assassin's corpse reverts back to normal. Meanwhile the rest of the agents and the nearby civilians all look on in horror.
  • Bloody Murder: Power was a blood devil before becoming a Fiend, and is able to use her host body's blood to create weapons.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Devils have a Kill All Humans general attitude, but it seems that it's an instinctive hatred towards humanity and they will do anything to make them suffer and kill them, even if it means taking up contracts with said humans. Pochita and Power show that they also can form genuine bonds with them, and other lifeforms too.
  • Body Horror: Devils tend to cause this, either through maiming their victims or through modifying bodies they possess. When transformed, Denji becomes a monster with chainsaws growing out of his forearms and head.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Fiends are Devils possessing human corpses, meaning their power is significantly reduced due to the limitations of their host bodies. However, they still have access to a degree of their respective powers and are still dangerous.
  • Call-Back:
    • The three panels of Reze walking to the cafe for the last time are drawn exactly the same way we see her walk there after we first meet her.
    • As he notices that he isn't finding any of his sensual interactions with Power in Chapter 71 arousing, Denji recalls Makima's claims that such things are better with someone he knows intimately. He concludes in disappointment that it's not the case even when he does actually know Power very well by now.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: Devils can eat each other and gain more power that way. In fact, some weak devils empower themselves by eating small pieces of more powerful devils left behind, which happens a lot with the pieces of Gun Devil scattered around the world.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Curse Devil saps Aki's lifespan every time it's called upon. Even more harshly, Makima's contracted devil kills a human being for every single use of its power.
  • Chainsaw Good: Pochita the Chainsaw Devil, who later merges with Denji to create the titular Chainsaw Man.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Denji enjoys porn magazines and decides his new goal in life will be to touch boobs. However, he makes a point of wanting permission before doing it and has a soft spot for people in trouble.
  • Central Theme: Which is best exemplified by Reze retelling to Denji Aesop's fable about The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse; the country mouse lives in relative safety but doesn't eat delicious food that can be found in the town, while the town mouse has access to great food but lives in constant danger. Denji (and by extension all other characters who defy the "Leave Your Quest" Test) would rather be the town mouse, much to Reze's disappointment and frustration.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Denji needs a way to chase after the Bomb devil, who can essentially launch herself around with explosions, Angel suggests he use the chains in his chainsaw to get around. Clearly, he was trying to say use them like a grapple to climb buildings quickly, but Denji somehow comes to the conclusion that the best option is to use his chains like a bridle on a fully transformed Beam and ride him around like a horse. Beam doesn't have it in him to correct Denji and just lets it happen.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Denji was killed by the Yakuza, who betrayed him, hacked his body to pieces, and threw them into a dumpster.
  • Cute Monster Girl:
    • Power is a Fiend, with sharp fangs and devil horns. She happens to be occupying a very cute body and has a soft spot for cats.
    • Denji himself is arguably a Rare Male Example, thanks to his overall Adorkable nature and relatively good looks outside of his battle form.
  • Darker and Edgier: This manga is considered to be one of the darkest manga in Jump's history due to the brutal and bloody first chapter, with its seemingly out of place violence. The Downer Beginning of the series starts with Denji's father committing suicide due to the huge debt that he has to pay and Denji ending up getting betrayed by the Yakuza who gave Denji said debt to begin with by chopping off all of his body parts.
  • Dating Catwoman: While Reze insists she never had any feelings for Denji, he isn't so convinced and echoes her prior request to run away together. Either way, the two Devils part with a bit of flirting after a lengthy and brutal fight.
  • Deal with the Devil: Some people are able to make deals with other devils in order to gain more power. This is the only way the hunters of the public safety bureau are able to match other devils in battle. Two examples are Denji making a blood pact with Pochita to get a second chance to live and the Yakuza who made a blood pact with a devil that turned him into a hideous demonic creature. Other examples include Aki trading years of his lifespan in exchange for brief assistance of Devils in battle.
  • Demonic Possession: Devils can take over a variety of things, including people and objects. Fiends are devils that have taken over a human corpse, making the body their own in the process.
  • Demon Slaying: Denji starts off as a devil hunter to pay off his debts, but ends up being taken in by an official organization. In fact, Devil hunting seems to be a booming international industry, with both public organizations and private freelancers working to hunt devils, with regulations preventing interferences between devil hunters.
  • Did Not Think This Through: The Fatal Flaw of Denji and Power, as they usually rely on Attack! Attack! Attack! and have no forethought to strategy.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: Bullet-shaped pieces of the disappeared Gun Devil will occasionally be found. Because the parts of the Gun Devil always want to return to their possessor, the Safety Bureau is currently hunting for those pieces so that they can eventually lead the hunters to the Gun Devil.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Denji drinking Power's blood in Chapter 71 is drawn and framed to look very much like sexual intercourse.
  • Downer Beginning: The story starts off with Denji's father committing suicide due to the huge debt that he had from the Yakuza. Denji tries to work as a devil hunter to pay off said debt, only for it to be revealed that said Yakuza head made a pact with a devil. He chops Denji into pieces and throws his body into the trash bin.
  • The Dreaded: The Gun Devil. It successfully annihilated over a million of humans across the planet in a span of five minutes. Aki wants to kill it.
    • The Primal Fear Devils are even more feared than the Gun Devil. Even before the Darkness Devil is introduced, the fiends and devils beg to be killed or prefer suicide than facing it.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Denji's poor background means he's used to eating anything, including moldy bread, orange peels, and scabs.
  • Final Boss Preview: Santa Claus makes a contract with the Devil of Hell and sends the heroes to Hell itself where one of the most powerful Devils that can be, the Devil of darkness that draws its power from humanity's Primal Fear, comes and easily takes out everyone.
  • Flowers of Romance: Denji and Reze's Meet Cute involves him gagging back up a flower he had swallowed earlier and giving it to her. She assumes it's a magic trick and she's later seen ruminating over a similar flower, indicating Denji's gesture meant a lot to her in spite of her claiming otherwise after revealing herself as Bomb. As he waits for her at the cafe she works at at the end of the arc, he's somewhat comically waiting with a huge bouquet.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Right in Chapter 1, Denji makes mention of Fiends before Power is introduced.
    • Chapter 13 makes reference to Aesop's fable of the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, a long way before it's retold in full and firmly established as the manga's Central Theme.
    • Aki is urged by Tendo and Kurose to leave the Agency, warning him that the longer he stays, the more likely it will be that he'll see hell. Aki is one of the characters who are sent to Hell later.
    • In Chapter 27, there is a panel with a bird flying over a city when Sawatari realizes Makima is killing her men. Several chapters later, Yoshida confirms that Makima can use birds and rats to spy on people.
    • In his first appearance, Tolka is regularly pestered by his master about whether or not he felt anything about taking a life. This at first appears to be the master teaching Tolka to detach himself from his prey, but it's eventually revealed that this is the master, the real host of the Doll Devil, instilling within Tolka certain emotions to make him the Perfect Puppet so he can replace the Santa Claus.
    • Every time Denji encounters a posthumous Pochita, it's always in front of a door that Pochita is implied to be hiding behind. Once he ends up in Hell, Hell's sky is filled with similar doors that Devils emerge from.
    • Tolka's master's explanation of how to groom the Perfect Doll by making them feel certain emotions eerily matches how Makima drives Aki to form a contract with her.
  • Frame Break: Occasionally, a Devil bursts out from the limits of the page, bypassing the limits of the panels to influence what happens within them. It is done to show how otherwordly and powerful this particular demon is. The Fox Devil devours another Devil this way. The Devil of Hell's finger also snatches the head of three children through a panel when it accept Santa Claus' contract.
  • Fusion Dance: After Denji's body is chopped up by the Yakuza, Pochita fuses himself with Denji in order to give him a second chance to live, which results in Denji becoming a humanoid chainsaw-like monster.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Denji repeatedly kicks Hayakawa in the balls during their alleyway brawl, claiming this is the only way he knows how to fight.
    • Denji and Hayakawa have a "Groin Kicking Contest" on the Sword Devil to see who can make him cry out the loudest before the police show up.
  • Guys Are Slobs: Subverted. Aki is as neat and orderly as expected of the Straight Man, while Denji is quickly made to look downright civilized in comparison to Power. She throws food she doesn't like and rarely bathes or flushes the toilet. Aki and Denji are quickly united in their horror.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Denji becomes one as a result of merging with Pochita, retaining his humanity while gaining the devil's powers.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The fate of the Sword Devil at Denji's hand. He gets better.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Angel reveals that Devils don't truly die, but rather go through a reincarnation cycle where they die on Earth then revive in Hell and vice versa. While most Devils don't really remember much about Hell, all of them do remember a particular sound whenever they are killed there: the roar of Denji's chainsaw.
  • Hidden Depths: Denji is a lot more intelligent and perceptive than he seems. For example, he catches on that he may be losing his humanity due to being a hybrid early on, though he brushes it off to make himself feel better.
  • Horned Humanoid: Power has horns, a sign of her true nature as a Fiend.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Along with revealing that the Gun Devil has long been captured, Makima reveals that none of the gunmen seen throughout the series obtained their firearms from contracts with it. They manufactured them themselves, even though they know they are giving the Gun Devil more and more power the more they produce and circulate them.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Some Devils like Power, or the Fox Demon have no problem working with the Bureau and help hunting other devils, not that there is any kind of alliance between Devils. In either case, they'll make humans suffer through their contracts.
  • Indirect Kiss:
    • Aki and Himeno share a cigarette, which Denji is quick to point out as one of these. Aki tells Denji to grow up.
    • Makima gives Denji a taste of the cola-flavored lolipop she'd been eating so he can forget the taste of vomit from what was meant to be his first kiss with Himeno.
  • Ironic Echo: Before she kills Quanxi and her remaining Fiends, Makima echoes Pingtsi's "a corpse is talking" as a Pre-Mortem One-Liner. The thing is, Pingtsi said it in untranslated Chinese and Makima had no physically possible way of having heard it.
  • I Will Wait for You: Denji offers to meet with Reze at the cafe so they can run away together, leading to him doing this there with a bouquet of flowers. He ends up staying as far as nightfall and is only forced to give up when the owner has to kick him out due to closing hours. That and unbeknownst to him, Reze had been killed just outside by Makima and Angel.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Despite her hatred of humans, Power has a soft side for cats. She joined the Devil Hunters to track down a devil that kidnapped her pet cat. In reality, the devil was holding her cat hostage in exchange for a live human to eat; she was looking for a human to sacrifice in exchange for her cat.
  • The Lad-ette: Power turns out to be one, making Denji look downright high class in comparison. She's primarily just incredibly gross, with little concern for human manners or hygiene.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: The manga is ultimately not as exposition heavy as most of its contemporary shonen romp. It thrives on Beat Panels and much of the dialogue is only what's necessary, with points becoming clearer in later chapters.
  • "Leave Your Quest" Test: Verging on Central Theme for the manga as a whole. Multiple characters are offered a chance to run away from what they're doing and live normal lives. But for one reason or another, ranging from Revenge to promises of Mundane Luxury, they always refuse.
  • Lighter and Softer: While still extremely violent and overtly cynical, Chainsaw Man is still leagues away from the horrific nihilistic overtones and graphic content present in Fire Punch.
  • Loss of Identity: Denji is scared that his devil powers is starting to cost him his humanity.
  • Mauve Shirt: Kobeni and Arai are two agents that join Denji's group on their first mission to recover a fragment of the Gun Devil. They spend most of the mission terrified, but ultimately survive. After a welcoming party, when all the agents get attacked by assassins, with most being killed, Arai sacrifices himself to stop a bullet meant for Kobeni. She proceeds to show off hither unseen combat skills and survives.
  • Medical Horror: In the opening moments of the series, Denji goes over how much money he'd gotten for selling his right eye, a kidney, and one of his testicles.
  • Mon: Pochita looks like an adorable chainsaw-like puppy. He is the only devil who is truly loyal to Denji, and fuses himself to Denji in order to give him a second chance to live.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Devils are created from people's feelings about things, so there are devils themed after various things, like a ghost devil, a muscle devil, a fox devil or a tomato devil. The more feared or respected the thing the devil is themed after, the more powerful the devil, making the gun devil the most powerful devil. They can take almost any form, from cute Mon to regular-looking monsters to horrifying, abstract abominations. They can also take over dead bodies, resulting in fiends.
  • The Pig-Pen: Power doesn't like to flush or bathe.
  • Possessing a Dead Body: Fiends like Power are the result of a Devil taking up residence in a human corpse.
  • Power at a Price: Devil Hunters working with the agency often make pacts with devils for power. In return, the person making the pact will generally offer their flesh in return. It seems that there are pacts where the human gives up something major permanently for permanent power, and pacts where the human gives up something on a per use basis, depending on the strength of the power.
  • The Power of Blood: Devils are able to heal themselves by drinking blood.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: Some foreign speeches and text are written in their original language but not translated. For instance Reze sings in Russian at one point, Quanxi and her Fiends speak Chinese to some agent of the Safety Bureau, and Santa Claus reads a note in German. That said, speeches are also translated just as often for the reader's sake.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Following the revelation that Reze is the Bomb Devil and her final thoughts when she is killed, a lot of her interactions with Denji take on whole new meanings. Their Meet Cute? Her presumably cornering Denji so she can kill him without fuss, but was thrown off by him giving her a flower. Her reaction to learning Denji never went to school? Her realization that they're Not So Different. Her asking Denji to run away with her? Her giving Denji one last chance to live as normal people before he rejects the offer.
  • Sacred First Kiss: Averted. Denji is ready to have a first kiss with the attractive Himeno, just to satisfy his hormones. Himeno kisses him while drunk but she pukes, making him associate his first kiss with the taste of puke forever. Himeno does make up for it in their second kiss.
  • Ship Tease: After the debacle with Reze, the cafe manager encourages Denji to move on and that a girl who is perfect for him will eventually find him. Cue Power bursting in and noticeably blushing when she sees that Denji was holding a bouquet of flowers.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Being a Tatsuki Fujimoto manga, movie references are expected:
    • You can see volumes of Fire Punch on a shelf in Chapter 13.
      • A billboard with Agni can also be seen in Times Square in Chapter 75.
    • Aki has an Offscreen Moment of Awesome where he kills a Devil that looks suspiciously like a fish from Gyo.
    • Denji and Power are seen reading CoroCoro Comic when Aki wakes in the hospital.
    • In Chapter 70, Cosmo activates her power by emulating the Kamehameha from Dragon Ball, only she says "Ha-llo Ha-llo Weeeeeen!"
  • Starter Villain: The Zombie Devil, who made a deal with the Yakuza to kill Denji, is the first devil that he faces after becoming a devil himself and before joining the Public Safety Devil Hunters.
  • Stealth Pun: The Japanese word for gun sounds like the word for freedom. So not only is the President of the United States calling upon the "Freedom" Devil, but he's calling on it to fight the Control Devil, its direct ideological opposite.
  • Tongue Trauma: Denji and Reze share a kiss under fireworks...but Denji recoils when Reze literally bites off his tongue and gleefully shows it in her mouth.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Devil can consume each other with ease but they find Devil hybrids to have a revolting taste to them. This allows some Devils to escape being eaten by a devil.
  • Tournament Arc: Parodied when Denji begins a "tournament" with Aki of who can kick the Katana Devil in the groin the hardest. Unlike most tournament arcs, it's quite short, running a breezy four pages.
  • Translation Convention: Quanxi is later revealed to be speaking translated Chinese, as once she shows up in Japan and speaks around Japanese speakers, her and her fiends' dialogue becomes untranslated.
  • Victory Is Boring: After he defeats the Bat Devil, Power makes good on her deal to let Denji touch her breasts. But after all of the buildup, he finds the experience underwhelming.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In chapter 21, a drunk Himeno starts making out with Denji. She ends up vomiting in his mouth.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Reze turns out to have been pulling a Honey Trap to kill Denji and retrieve his heart. She claims that she had been tricking Denji but she seems genuinely taken aback when he retorts that she could've killed him any time she wanted. Reze eventually appears to take up Denji's offer of meeting up at the cafe she worked at again, but is killed by Makima and Angel before she can get there. Her last thoughts as she dies imply she had developed genuine feelings for him.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Lampshaded when a Kon user in Denji's protection detail seemingly comes out of nowhere to defeat a bunch of dolls. Denji, Power, and Aki all angrily ask who the hell he is but before he can introduce himself, he's interrupted literally by the plot needing to continue. Then he gets unceremoniously decapitated in the very next chapter.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 75. Makima is revealed to be the Control Devil, and the Gun Devil finally appears.
  • Wham Line: From Chapter 73: "As of now, the Gun Devil has already been defeated and confined."
  • Wham Shot: Makima getting shot in the head in chapter 22.
    • Chapter 26: She survived, and put holes through the guys that tried to kill her
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: At first, Denji places some value in the life of Devils because his only friend was Pochita, a small devil. He then learns a hard lesson in that most Devils are murderous and vicious assholes and then has no qualm actually killing them and make them suffer.
  • Yakuza: Denji's former boss is a Yakuza who gave Denji an enormous debt, which resulted in Denji becoming a devil hunter.
  • Youkai: Like the beings of Japanese mythology, Devils come in an incredible variety and are often related to mundane things — tomatoes, sea cucumbers, and even things like blood or muscles.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Devils become more powerful based on how much the object or concept they are based on is feared by society at large. Guns are such a powerful fear motivator around the world, that the Gun Devil only had to be active for 5 minutes to kill over one million people world wide. By comparison, as one character puts it, coffee isn't considered that scary, so if a Coffee Devil came into existence, it would be rather weak.

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