Note: Starting in 2021, I’ll be reviewing the manga I’m reading. It takes up a bunch of my reading and totally counts. I definitely want to share my favorites.
Genre: Dark Fantasy Shonen
Year Release in English: 2020
Source: Viz Media Shonen Jump Subscription
Content warnings: Blood, gore, monsters
Monster transformations in anime/manga have got to me my favorite things. This one is something that has come back on my radar with the MAPPA adaptation coming, so I wanted to dive into the source material.
With the hyperviolence and “killing things like yourself” of Toyko Ghoul and a humorous tome reminiscent of Kill la Kill, I am super on board for this journey of a young man who merges with his dog to fight the devils terrorizing the world.
Volume 1 does not bother easing the reader into the set-up. We have Denji and Pochita, then by the end of Chapter 2, he has merged with a devil to become Chainsaw Man. Denji also has been burdened with his family’s debts and wants nothing more than to live a life of comfort. Luckily, the Devil Hunters organization is steady work with decent pay, and it seems like he’s set for a bit. He meets Power, a fiend, who serves as his partner, until the plot twist at the end of the volume.
I blitzed through this. The fights are fun, Denji is a bit of a jackass, and the art style reminds me a lot of Studio Trigger. The movements are dynamic, mirroring the raunchy goofiness of the dialogue and character interactions throughout. There isn’t a ton of depth, but there are hints to greater world-building around the devils and fiends, plus the brief introduction of other Devil Hunters contribute to anticipation of conflict and intra-team tension. I cannot wait for the rest.