Chainsaw Man Season 1 | Summary & Review
Discover the thrilling world of Chainsaw Man, a standout anime of 2022. Explore the unique storyline, compelling characters, and jaw-dropping action that captivated fans. Dive into the imaginative animation by MAPPA Studios and unravel the mysteries of this highly anticipated series. A must-watch with a 9/10 rating!
June 20, 2023
By: Simon Shoklevski
When it comes to anime, 2022 has probably been a year with some of the best releases we’ve seen in a long time. Apart from classic anime series like Bleach, Attack on Titan, Jojo’s Bizzare Adventures, and Demon Slayer getting their new seasons, some highly anticipated new series like Chainsaw Man have had their debuts.
Chainsaw Man is a fairly new short manga created by Tatsuki Fujimoto that was released weekly from 2018 to 2020 and later came back with its second part in 2022. The first part of the story was widely well-received, so MAPPA Studios (Attack on Titan, Jujutsu Kaisen, Dororo, and more) animated the first 38 chapters.
The first season, which consists of 12 episodes, covers the beginning of this weird and highly entertaining Shonen series and introduces us to many unique characters. It’s full of action with flashy and graphic scenes that will have you glued to the screen, tragic scenes that will leave you speechless, and humorous moments to lighten the mood.
A Breath of Fresh Air in the Shonen Genre
Chainsaw Man is a Shonen series, but don’t get fooled, because it’s nothing like the other generic stories out there. It starts by introducing us to Denji and his little Chainsaw-Dog Pochita who live an extremely difficult life trying to cover a debt. From tasks like killing and even selling his organs, Denji does everything he can to survive.
This optimistic boy does not give up and believes that he can someday live a happy and simple life. Little does he know that a glimpse of this life is soon coming to him. However, before getting there, he dies in a fight with devils, is resurrected by his dog Pochita and is saved by a mysterious woman named Makima.
This mysterious woman is a devil herself and a leader of Tokyo Special Division 4, an experimental unit made for hunting devils. She recognizes the power Denji possesses and recruits the boy by promising him warm meals and shelter.
There, Denji meets many new people that will soon become his allies. A character that stands out from this group is Power, a Fiend that brings so much chaos, fun, and cuteness into the show. She and Denji are a dynamic duo that doesn’t hold back whether we are talking about slaying devils or doing hilarious things together.
Since both Denji and Power have always been alone and lived recklessly, they were in big need of an older and mature person that act as their guardian. The man that takes on this mantle is Aki Hayakawa, a powerful but emotionally broken swordsman. And thus, a fan-favorite trio is formed, a perfect little family of three very imperfect guys who despite having their differences are slowly but surely warming up to each other.
Weird Goals, Tragedies, and Manipulations
A usual Shonen show has a very clear and predictable goal of beating the main villain, saving a loved one, etc. Well, apart from doing that by killing devils, our main character has a rather peculiar and brand-new goal when it comes to these types of shows. I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it in the show, and still can’t believe it months later in the time of writing this Chainsaw Man review. Putting aside the heroic acts, Denji has the main goal of touching a woman’s breast and having intercourse later.
While seeming weird at first, this might make sense if we take into account Denji’s past and the need for the creator of the manga to add fanservice to increase the popularity of the series. Anyways, despite having weak social skills, Denji manages to accomplish his first goal with Power and comes very close to accomplishing the second one with his superior, Himeno.
Himeno is a troubled character who before having Aki, has lost every partner fighting the devils. She and Aki were always emotionally supporting each other, up to the point where she died in one of the most jaw-dropping episodes in the series.
When it comes to plot twists and manipulation, one of the most enigmatic subplots in the series is Makima’s character. While we don’t know much about her, it’s almost certain that she is plotting something big that involves using Denji’s innocence and cravings for a woman’s touch. Her being the center of the show and much more than an average leader of a group is just a matter of time, something that we will probably see in the seasons to follow.
MAPPA Studios Strikes Again
In the past decade or so, the guys from MAPPA Studios made a name for themselves and put the studio on the top when it comes to animating some of the best anime shows. It’s a studio known for high-quality animation, great special effects, and most importantly a studio that closely follows the source material (the manga).
They stayed true to their craft and didn’t disappoint when making this show too. Chainsaw Man season 1 is very similar to the manga and all of the scenes are animated in a great fashion. The fights are smooth and all of the cities and landscapes of the country of Japan are animated beautifully. The only thing fans don’t like that much is the use and quality of CGI for making the models of some of the devils.
Taking into account the number of shows this studio has picked up for animation, we can only imagine the quantity of work that has to be done in order for every show to look as beautiful as expected. So, it’s understandable that some of the scenes were not top quality. I think that all in all the animation is completely fine.
The Cultural-Influenced Opening Theme
The director of this show has clearly had a goal of making this show as unique as possible. We’ve already gone through the story and pretty much came to the conclusion that it’s nothing short of weird, fun, and extremely entertaining. However, the fun doesn’t stop here because the opening theme has something in store for us, and that’s movie and pop culture references.
From recreating scenes from classic movies like Pulp Fiction, The Big Lebowski, and No Country for Old Men, to popular anime series like Neon Genesis Evangelion and even timeless paintings from The Devine Comedy, the opening sequence has touched every sphere of the world of pop culture.
Final Review: 9/10
Being one, if not the most anticipated anime of 2022, this show had a lot to prove. Luckily for all of the fans who had been impatiently waiting, Chainsaw Man season 1 was simply amazing. The entertaining fights, the humor, the great relationships between the characters, and all of the surprises and mysteries satisfied our needs for a superb show and left us craving for more.