Rip And Tear Your Way Through Everything You Need To Know About Chainsaw Man

Rip And Tear Your Way Through Everything You Need To Know About Chainsaw Man
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Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man is a manga that answers a question that humanity’s greatest thinkers have been asking since the dawn of time: what if there was a guy who was made of chainsaws?

If you pay enough attention to the world of anime and manga, there’s a good chance you’ve heard Fujimoto’s series mentioned in some capacity. Chainsaw Man was the seventh highest-selling manga series of 2021, moving over 5.2 million volumes in Japan. That’s extra impressive when you consider that it didn’t have an anime adaptation drawing in new readers.

That popularity is definitely going to sky-rocket when its anime adaptation airs later this week. Get ready to see a lot of people wearing Public Safety Division uniform cosplays at all the upcoming anime and pop culture conventions.

So if you’ve been sitting on the fence about picking up the first volume of the Chainsaw Man manga or you’re dying to know the anime’s release date, here’s everything you need to know about the hit series.

What is Chainsaw Man about?

chainsaw man manga
Image: Viz Media/Tatsuki Fujimoto

Chainsaw Man takes place in a version of our world where Devils are very much real. These Devils are manifestations of human fears and while some of them are indifferent to humankind (some even form pacts with humans), most of them are frequently causing havoc.

The titular Chainsaw Man is Denji, who works as a freelance Devil Hunter so he can pay back his deceased father’s massive debt to the yakuza he loaned it from. He lives in abject poverty and squalor, with his only friend in the world being Pochita, a Devil that looks like a cuddly pug crossed with a chainsaw.

Denji’s pretty awful life gets much worse when he’s double-crossed by the yakuza and killed. He’s only saved when Pochita makes a contract with his friend and merges with him. Denji is reborn as a human-devil hybrid that can grow chainsaws from his arms, legs and head when he pulls a ripcord embedded in his chest.

Denji is quickly confronted by the Public Safety Division, which is a government-sanctioned team of Devil Hunters. Among them is Makima, the mysterious head of Public Safety Division 4, who offers to give him anything he wants, including a life free of poverty, if he promises to hunt Devils for her and do anything she says. Agreeing to Makima’s terms, Denji is teamed with Aki Hayakawa, a cold and stoic Devil Hunter, and Power, a violent but childish Blood Fiend.

Is it as good as everyone says?

Image: Viz Media/Tatsuki Fujimoto

It really is. It’s a weird blend of action, horror and comedy that all works, with some fun, unique characters and a compelling story.

Above everything else, Fujimoto’s art looks incredible. Even if you don’t particularly vibe with the story being told, if you love high-energy action scenes, this series delivers in spades. Fujimoto will also drop some of the creepiest pages this side of a Junji Ito – the kind of eerie shots that stick with you long after you’ve read it.

Fujimoto constantly toys with the reader’s expectations. Characters will receive a fully developed backstory and be built up as being “Important To The Story”, only to be suddenly turned into a bloody smear. In the hands of a weaker creator, those kinds of twists can come across as a bit hacky – shock for the sake of shock that doesn’t really service the story – but Fujimoto manages to keep a handle on it. You really connect with his characters and pray everything will be alright with every page turn you make.

For a series that is pretty gory and crude (Denji really wants to touch a boobie), Chainsaw Man is surprisingly heartfelt. One chapter is dedicated entirely to Denji and Makima hopping around a series of theatres to watch a bunch of movies. It’s such a quiet moment in a very loud manga, but it’s where Fujimoto’s strengths as a writer really shine, especially when it comes to character depth. (Fujimoto’s two recent one-shots, Look Back and Goodbye, Eri are both quieter character study pieces and are highly recommended).

Where can you read the Chainsaw Man manga?

Image: Viz Media/Tatsuki Fujimoto

Chainsaw Man was published from December 2018 to December 2020 in Weekly Shōnen Jump, and clocks in at 11 volumes long. If you’ve been reading manga for a while, you’ll know that’s a fairly short run for a shonen series (especially a massively popular one). For comparison, Dragon Ball Z is only 26 volumes from start to finish, while Demon Slayer is 23 volumes long. Hell, One Piece has entire arcs that are as long as the entirety of Chainsaw Man.

Chainsaw Man isn’t finished, however. Those 11 volumes comprise Part 1 of the series, while Part 2 began serialization on 13 July.

If you want to read the manga digitally, you can find it through Viz Media’s Shonen Jump service or Shueisha’s Manga Plus.

If you’re someone who prefers physical copies of your manga, here’s where you can grab volume one of the series: Angus & Robertson ($11.25) | Booktopia ($11.25) | eBay ($18.75) | QBD ($11.99)

Is there a Chainsaw Man anime?

Image: Crunchyroll/MAPPA

There is, but it hasn’t aired yet. Announced back in December 2020, the 12-episode Chainsaw Man anime is being produced by MAPPA, the studio behind Jujutsu Kaisen, Dorohedoro and Attack on Titan: The Final Season.

Considering how good those mentioned series look – along with the few clips we’ve seen – it’s a safe bet that Chainsaw Man is going to rank high on a few “Best Anime of 2022” lists. Kotaku US were given a preview of the anime’s first episode ahead of its release, declaring that it “more than lives up to the hype.”

Here’s the main staff working on Chainsaw Man (via Crunchyroll):

  • Director: Ryu Nakayama (Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 19 Director)
  • Screenplay: Hiroshi Seko (Mob Psycho 100, Jujutsu Kaisen)
  • Character Design: Kazutaka Sugiyama (Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation)
  • Action Animation Director: Tatsuya Yoshihara (Black Clover, Yatterman Night)
  • Assistant Director: Masato Nakazono (Jujutsu Kaisen, SSSS.Gridman)
  • Devil Design: Kiyotaka Oshiyama (Flip Flappers, Space Dandy)
  • Background Art Director: Yusuke Takeda (Vinland Saga, Jujutsu Kaisen)
  • Color Design: Naomi Nakano (Sword Art Online: Alicization)
  • Screen design: Yosuke Miyahara (Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans)
  • Music: Kensuke Ushio (A Silent Voice, Devilman Crybaby)
  • Animation Producer: Keisuke Seshimo (Jujutsu Kaisen)

And here’s what the Japanese cast looks like:

  • Kikunosuke Toya as Denji
  • Tomori Kusunoki (Natsume in Deca-Dence) as Makima
  • Shogo Sakata (Karin Sasaki in Fire Force) as Aki Hayakawa
  • Fairouz Ai (Jolyne Kujo in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean) as Power
  • Shiori Izawa (Nanachi in Made in Abyss) as Pochita
  • Mariya Ise (Killua in Hunter x Hunter) as Himeno
  • Karin Takahashi (Suika in Dr.STONE) as Kobeni Higashiyama
  • Taku Yashiro (Vulcan Joseph in Fire Force) as Hirokazu Arai
  • Kenjiro Tsuda (Kento Nanami in Jujutsu Kaisen) as Kishibe

As for the English dub of Chainsaw Man, only the main cast has been announced ahead of its release date:

  • Ryan Colt Levy (Komi Can’t Communicate) as Denji
  • Suzie Yeung (Demon Slayer) as Makima
  • Reagan Murdock (Dragon Ball Super) as Aki
  • Sarah Wiedenheft (Dr. Stone) as Power

Do we have a release date for the Chainsaw Man anime?

chainsaw man anime
Image: Crunchyroll/MAPPA

We do! After much waiting, the Chainsaw Man anime was recently given a concrete release date of 11 October. It looks like Crunchyroll holds the exclusive streaming license for the series (except in Asia), so you’ll find it there once it launches. Crunchyroll will also be airing an English dub.

When can Australians watch Chainsaw Man?

Image: Crunchyroll/MAPPA

According to Crunchyroll, the Chainsaw Man anime will premiere at 9am (PDT) on October 11. For Australians, that means it should be available from 3am (AEDT) on October 12 – so it’ll be ready to watch by the time you wake up.

In the meantime, you can rewatch the trailer again.

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At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


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