For me, anime can be hard to get into, because there are so many choices, and a lot of those choices have so much backlog to get through at this point that it can be hard to stick to it and pull through each episode to get to the best bits that you’ve seen and heard so much about.
Luckily, I have found a few stories that are only just getting anime adaptations such as Demon Slayer and more recently, Chainsaw Man! So, here is my review for the first episode of this brand new anime.
Denji is a young man who lives a life of poverty, as he struggles each day to try and pay off his fathers debt to the Yakuza. He befriends a small and adorable devil-dog that has a chainsaw sticking out of it’s head and in fact, is a chainsaw itself, Pochita. After making a pact to help one another, Denji and Pochita are hired as Devil Hunters, in order to continue paying off the debt that is owed, in exchange for their own lives. The Yakuza however, never seem to be fully satisfied with what they have, and things take a dark turn when they make a deal with the Zombie Devil.
In the end, Denji has a newfound power and is rescued by three professional Devil Hunters who agree to enlist Denji as their newest…pet?
I wasn’t sure what to expect when going into this show, except for perhaps a lot of blood because, well…it’s anime and it’s chainsaws…that kind of combination could only mean a bloody mess, and I was not wrong. The story captured my attention and really builds a compassion for it’s protagonist and his adorable devil-chainsaw-dog. It’s a show that doesn’t give too much away and you just have to accept, for now at least, that this is a world where there are demons and devils running around, but there are also people hunting them, and when it comes to hunting something in anime, there’s usually some sort of governing body or ‘elite force’ that deals with the heavier stuff that our protagonist Denji will no doubt soon come to face.
The final scenes of the anime leave you begging for more with it’s blood-fueled massacre of zombies as our heroe’s newfound power is revealed.
For a show with a lot of depressing story content, it’s a very brightly coloured animation that reflects Denji’s dream of a better life. The colours are soft and the animation style is smooth for the most part, making it an easy watch for veteran and new anime fans to enjoy.
I think the biggest selling point of this series will be it’s gore content rather than it’s animation style. The episode ends with a bloodbath that seemingly alters Denji’s situation for the better, but as I said earlier, anime and chainsaws can only mean one thing for certain, blood, and lots of it.
So far Denji is a pitiful but likeable character that you sympathise for, because it’s not his fault his father was a deadbeat who left a 12-year-old in deep financial debt to the Yakuza. Whilst some might see his behaviour and characteristics as self-centered, it’s not hard to see why they would be. He has dreams of a better life, and literally gave up parts of his body to try and pay off the debt so that he could make his dream a reality.
I’ve only ever read the first volume of the Manga, but when I saw the first episode of this new anime, it was chapter one brought to life, so here’s hoping that the rest of the series stays this true to the source, and continues to bring us a faithful adaptations with little to no changes. Film, TV and even Anime always alter some elements of a story when adapting from books, sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse, but if the changes are minor then it should prove to be a great anime series.
I really enjoyed Chainsaw Man’s first episode and I am intrigued to learn more via continuing to watch the series as well as perhaps looking further into the manga. For those interested, the manga is created by Tatsuki Fujimoto and in the English Language editions of the Manga books there are currently 12 volumes released at the time of writing this. So if you’re reading this review around the time of it’s publication, there’s still plenty of time to catch up.
Chainsaw Man is available to watch exclusively on Crunchy Roll here in the UK. Watch the official trailer below.