Chainsaw Man Image

2018 saw one of the most bizarre, violent, and yet beautiful manga series to have ever been published in Shonen Jump. That series being Chainsaw Man, created by Tatsuki Fujimoto previously known for his manga Fire Punch.

Chainsaw Man follows the story of Denji, an orphaned kid who hunts devils in order to pay off his debt to a mob. Even after selling numerous body parts and killing various devils, his debt still remains. One day Denji makes a deal with a devil to promise to live his best life.

When I first read Chainsaw Man, I didn’t really know what to expect, except a guy who turned into a chainsaw. Though the series from a glance seems simplistic and filled with violence, Fujimoto dives heavily into human emotions of wants and needs. After Denji has transformed into the chainsaw man, he develops that his main goal in life is to feel a woman's breast. This goal does sound weird and outlandish; that’s because it is. After achieving that goal Denji feels empty inside and begins to fall into an existential crisis. Though this is where Denji begins to develop as a character and begin to develop meaningful relationships with others.

The same development goes for someone like Aki and Power. Both characters start off despising one another deeply. Aki hating devils and those who think connections can be made with them. While Power’s arrogance distances herself between humans and other devils believing she’s the best in the world.

All of these emotions are portrayed by Fujimoto’s stellar writing and art. The art style of Chainsaw Man is vastly different from what is standard in Shonen Jump. In his previous work Fire Punch and Chainsaw Man, Fujimoto’s art stands out from other artists. His work almost feels unfinished with unconnected lines, sharp edges, and character designs being somewhat ugly at points. Yet, at the same time, Fujimoto can create scenes with intense emotion without a single point of dialogue. One drawing of a character’s reaction can encapsulate the entire message he’s trying to say. This is what I love about Chainsaw Man.

Fujimoto puts the characters within the story through hell, sometimes literally. However, Denji learns to find more in life through the interactions of others, which is where the message of Chainsaw Man truly is. It’s a story of going through a world that is hell and just an awful place but finding the right people in life who make it better and who help you travel through the madness that is life.

I didn’t think Chainsaw Man was going to make it in the ranking of Jump in its initial release. I figured that the series would be too odd for viewers. However, the series reached over 20 million sales just this November and I don’t think it’s going to slow down. The series recently just received an anime adaptation produced by Mappa Studios. The first episode caused the streaming service Crunchyroll to crash from such a high viewership which is the fourth time to ever happen to the service. Chainsaw Man is a crazy, violent, and beautiful manga series and has just begun its second part this past July. Whether you read it or watch it, you won’t be disappointed.

5/5 Stars

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