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Chainsaw Man, the demonic manga

Tatsuki Fujimoto's new creation is called Chainsaw Man, and it's been the hottest manga of 2018. Following the adventures of Denji/Chainsaw Man, we discover a world populated by demons, obeying some rather peculiar rules. A shonen manga published in Weekly Shonen Jump (Shueisha) and then in Shonen Jump+, it was adapted into an anime in 2023 and will soon be released as a cinema film.

The world of Denji

Chainsaw Man's success is due to a number of factors, one of the most important being that it introduces us to a world populated by demons. We discover this world through the eyes of the hero Denji, a rather simple young man who becomes a demon hunter, even though he himself is a human/demon hybrid.

In this world, human fears come to life in the form of demons. For each fear there is a demon, such as the bat demon, the typhoon demon, the blood demon... and many others.

The story takes place in 1997, in a reality different from our own. The existence of demons has meant that traumatic events such as the Holocaust, nuclear weapons and the AIDS epidemic have been erased. In fact, the Soviet Union still exists in this world. These events have been consumed by a demon, the chainsaw demon, and exist only in the memories of certain powerful demons.

Denji is a young man who lives in poverty and has to carry out difficult tasks for the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. He earns nothing because his work is used solely to pay off his father's debts. He has to hunt demons, but to do so he is helped by Pochita, the chainsaw demon, who also serves as his pet dog.

Denji is tricked by his own employers. We learn that humans can make contracts with demons, and Denji's employers have done so with the zombie demon. They manage to kill Denji, but Pochita decides to offer him a chance: he merges with his heart and gives him his powers, in exchange for which Denji lets him enjoy the simple life he dreams of.

Chainsaw Man

Denji returns to life in his human form, but with a difference: a cord protrudes from his chest. Pulling on it transforms him into Chainsaw Man, with a chainsaw for a head and chainsaws growing out of his arms.

Denji is soon spotted by a team of demon hunters, after he destroys the zombies and kills the zombie demon. Denji joins the team, led by Makita, with whom he quickly falls in love. He has to help them hunt other demons, in particular the Gun Demon, one of the most powerful and dangerous.

As part of the team, he quickly learns how these hunters work: they have signed contracts with certain demons themselves. Other creatures are also possible:

  • Aki and Himeno are human hunters who have signed contracts with demons such as the fox demon and the ghost demon.
  • Power is a hominidemon, a dead human body inhabited by the blood demon, who joins the team after trying to deliver Denji to the bat demon in exchange for his cat (hominidemons take on the memories and personality of the human they inhabit).
  • Angel and Spider are demons whose natural form is human, making them nice demons.

Chainsaw Man's enemies

In the course of his adventures, Denji/Chainsaw Man will encounter some particularly difficult enemies. Most of them are demons, like the Eternity Demon who imprisons his team in a time bubble and demands to swallow Denji in exchange for their freedom. Denji finally agrees and begins to torture him from the inside out with his chainsaws, until the eternity demon begs him to finish him off.

One of the most formidable opponents is another hybrid: Katana Man. He's the equivalent of Denji but with katanas... and much faster.

Finally, Chainsaw Man's ultimate enemy turns out to be Makita, who is actually the domination demon. His plan was to break Denji, because the chainsaw demon inside him is special. Demons die, go to hell and then can return to Earth. But those who are consumed by the chainsaw demon disappear from human memory. That's why all the demons are obsessed with Denji and want to swallow or kill him.

Find all your Chainsaw Man goodies in our geek shop: figurines, school supplies, cuddly toys, bowls, etc. There's something for everyone!