Chainsaw Man In Review

Ginger Fé Kaplan , Writer

The horror genre has been absolutely booming this year, with people of all ages enjoying classic horror, thrillers, slashers, and others. Though not everyone is a fan of the typical killer troupes, and some like a bit more thought involved with their horrors. From Junji Ito, to the Saw franchise, intellectual horror has also been popular as of late. But there are some viewers who need that balance of both exciting, gory massacres, and something deeper for the reader to follow. Enter Chainsaw Man. Chainsaw Man debuted in Shonen Jump magazine in December 2018, and has been running ever since, updating at a weekly schedule. More recently, it was adapted into an anime published by MAPPA, one of the biggest animation studios in Japan, who are famous for anime such as “Jujutsu Kaisen”, “Attack on Titan”, “Banana Fish”, and other mainstream anime titles. The Chainsaw Man anime was released October 11th, 2022, and has a total of 7 episodes as this article is being published. Tatsuki Fujimoto, the writer and illustrator of Chainsaw Man, had been submitting one shots to Jump for years before gaining commercial success with Chainsaw Man. Fujimoto is a huge fan of western movies, and often references them within his work, as seen within the opening of the anime, each frame is in reference to a different popular western movie including “The Great Lebowski”, “Pulp Fiction”, “Jacob’s Ladder”, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, “No Country for Old Men”, “Don’’t Look Up”, and more.  The series itself is full of lovable characters, my personal favorite being the protagonist Denji, a teenage boy, despite all the hardship he’s been through throughout his life, still has means to go on. As the series progresses, Denji starts to realize there is more to life then he was initially taught, and learns to love the life he has, instituting a strong moral compass throughout the entire series. The series not only covers the horror genre, but also takes on action, and comedy.  As the title suggests, the series itself isn’t sunshine and rainbows, but simultaneously there’s a tremendous amount of character development and angst that goes on underneath the bloodbath. As the anime was released, the series flourished with popularity. That being said, is it better to watch the anime and wait to see the story? Or should you read the manga before starting? It’s truly up to your preferences, if you’d rather enjoy something at a slower pace I’d start with the anime and read the manga later, but if you find yourself needing a binge, and the itch to invest yourself in a series needs to be scratched, I highly suggest starting with the manga. It’s ongoing, but doesn’t equate to something like One Piece. It currently sits at 111 chapters, and can take about a weekend and a half to read.  As someone who’s not typically a fan of the horror genre, this was seriously an eye opener for me into introducing another world of literary exposition. I had always generalized horror as explicit gore, and pointless chase scenes, my opinions on The Conjuring could get me kicked out of the horror community! But Chainsaw Man had a perfect mix of that cliche horror and the literary depth to satisfy me as a viewer, and highly suggest you watch it too!