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A man with a chainsaw for a head, wearing a button up and a tie, ripping through several people Image: Tatsuki Fujimoto/Shueisha Inc.

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Chainsaw Man is Shonen Jump’s new gore-filled success

Denji is a simple guy, but sometimes he has a chainsaw for a head

Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Chainsaw Man is considered one of Shonen Jump’s best new series, and for good reason. The graphic rip-and-tear fights, paired with a unique and funny story about devils makes for one great manga.

The series has been on Viz Media’s Shonen Jump line-up for a bit now, allowing subscribers to read it in full, and other interested people to read the first and last three chapters of the series. But the first trade paperback of Chainsaw Man, containing the first seven chapters, hit shelves today.

[Warning: Chainsaw Man is a little gory, so sensitive stomachs should look away.]

Who makes Chainsaw Man?

Tatsuki Fujimoto writes and draws Chainsaw Man. While he’s written many one-shot manga shorts, Chainsaw Man is only his second serialized story, after the full-of-twists Fire Punch.

What is Chainsaw Man about?

Denji is a young guy who’s desperate for cash. After his dad left behind a big debt when he passed, he depends on a devil dog named Pochita, who has a chainsaw blade jutting out of its face, to help him make money. Together they take down evil devils, collect lumber to sell, and do just about anything they can to scrap for some coin. Eventually Denji gets in over his head when fighting the yakuza, and, long story short, he and Pochita become merged, creating, well, a chainsaw-man-hybrid, and devil hunters recruit him to work for them. Now that he’s found stability, he becomes set on seeking out the happy life he never had.

What differentiates it from other shonen manga?

For one, Chainsaw Man is gory. Extremely gory. While the shonen world has plenty of manga that slices characters open in bloody explosions, Chainsaw Man shows the entrails and all. It’s pretty gross, but fitting for a dark manga about slashing devils down with a chainsaw.

It also has an interestingly goofy contrast between the characters and what’s going on. Denji cuts the guts out of devils without batting an eye. His main concern is wanting to eat good food or finding a girl to let him touch boobs for the first time. Despite the fact that his life is relatively off-the-rails, he just has the concerns of an average, slightly pervy teenage boy.

Is Chainsaw Man good?

Denji’s simple mind and kind-of-horny instincts can get tiring at times, but it doesn’t make Chainsaw Man bad. When the extremely interesting side characters get introduced, like devil-fiend Power and mysterious devil hunter Makima, the story takes a turn for the better.

Makima is by far the most interesting character introduced so far. Other characters are either enamored by her or extremely careful around her, giving her an aura of mystery. I caught myself reading the rest of the series online immediately after diving into the first novel, just so I could find out what her deal is.

One panel that popped

Denji, a man with a chainsaw for a head with other chainsaws attached to his arms, rips through dozens of zombies, spraying blood everywhere in Chainsaw Man volume 1.
Rip and tear!
Image: Tatsuki Fujimoto/Shueisha Inc.

Nothing like a guy with a chainsaw for a head ripping through multiple zombies at once to introduce the tone of a series’ fight scenes.