‘Chainsaw Man’ Anime Season 1 Review

Chainsaw Man is an anime horror comedy from the Japanese animation studio MAPPA. It made its way to the United States through the Crunchyroll streaming service. While it launched in 2021, the season ended in 2022.

In this world, hunters track down bizarre paranormal creatures called devils who have invaded Earth. Sometimes, devils will work with humans as devils rarely have loyalty to each other. Denji (Ryan Colt Levy) is a loser saddled with the debt left behind by his deceased father to the Yakuza, but he dreams of more. He works as a devil hunter with the small half-dog, half-chainsaw devil Pochita (Lindsay Seidel) to make money. When the Yakuza betray him, Pochita agrees to merge with Denji if he continues to share his dreams. This turns Denji into a half-human, half-devil Fiend armed with chainsaws. He is swiftly recruited by Makima (Suzie Yeung), a leader in the Public Safety Commission for that organization. She saddles Tokyo Special Division 4 leader Aki Hayakawa (Reagan Murdock) with Denji and the insane Power (Sarah Wiedenheft). Working with fellow members indifferent Himeno (Katelyn Barr), the frightened Kobeni (Bryn Apprill), and hardened veteran Kishibe (Jason Douglas) to search for a powerful monster known as the Gun Devil.

Based on the manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto, the best way to describe the anime is crass. If you are looking for a gold-hearted hero like Deku, a courageous powerhouse like Kirito, or even a good-humored survivor like Kenji, this is not the show for you. Denji is a deranged, foul-mouthed, selfish, and lecherous protagonist whose sole motivation is to engage in what he considers “fun.”

That being said, that is kind of what makes it enjoyable. It is not for everyone and it is clear that the creators are not lifting up Denji or even Power as some sort of icon of virtue. You watch Denji who was basically raised by the Yakuza and was so poor he could barely afford to buy bread go through life and grow as a person. The story shows how people who were raised with no sense of purpose or good mentors can become the very monsters they fight and how others will take advantage of them. Denji is shallow because of how he was raised, but it also displays the consequences of being shallow in a humorous, but sometimes gross fashion.

Some fans of the manga are not receiving it as well as others. There have been complaints that Denji’s derangement has been toned down for the show and since I have not read it, I cannot confirm this fact. For me, while I was definitely grossed out by some of the animated gore you see on screen, I kind of had a good time with it.

I am unsure if it will get renewed for a second season. The first twelve episodes were a smash in the United States and in Japan, along with the manga. If it does get renewed, I intend to watch it and hopefully enjoy it.

Check out the trailer below:

This review is based on the English dub.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Suggestive and rude humor, Foul language, Violence and gore, Sexual content

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of the first seasons of My Isekai Life and Call of the Night. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.

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