Following a successful premiere Chainsaw Man returns with a second episode, which despite not being as emotional as the first one, introduces highly likeable characters and is incredibly fun to watch.
The show continues to amaze with its ability of transcending genre. It manages to beautifully blend comedy with action and horror. Imagine Deadpool was an anime written by Guillermo del Toro; that’s the vibe of Chainsaw Man.
Denji (voiced by Kikunosuke Toya) continues to prove an amazing protagonist. He doesn’t want to be a good person and exterminate all evil, seek power or revenge. He is a simple man with simple goals; his first dream – living a better life – was achieved in just one episode, which is bizarre by anime standards. Anime protagonists never manage to achieve their goals in just one episode, the action is always a journey lasting at least a season, usually the entire series.
Denji was raised on the streets, he fights dirty and is brutally honest. He did not go to school and mostly knows the world as a fight for survival. Recruited into a government agency, he finds himself struggling to adjust to a new life and to make friends with people who spent their lives living in a different environment.
That is, perhaps, the best thing about episode two – the variety of personalities it brings onto the screen. Aki (voiced by Shogo Sakata) is a ruthless, revenge-driven and quiet, but seemingly arrogant Devil Hunter, whose behaviour clashes with that of the protagonist. However, the way he is written suggests a probable character development and future friendship with Denji.
Power (Fairouz Ai Kadota) is a Devil possessing a dead human body. She is fierce and sadistic, driven by blood lust and the urge to kill. Despite that her behaviour is satirical, as she is simply incredibly funny. Confident with her own abilities she doesn’t think twice of charging straight into battle and enjoys being violent. Power seems similar to another anime fan-favourite girl – Mirko from My Hero Academia.
The last character this reviewer must mention is Makima. Tomori Kusunoki provides her with a wonderfully soft, innocent-sounding voice, which makes both Denji and the fans instantly adore her while putting her on some unreachable, godly level. She first appears in the ending scene of the first episode Dog & Chainsaw. Makima is the one to recruit Denji into the Public Safety Devil Hunters organisation, which would designate her as the mentor archetype in a typical story structure. Like a classic mentor, she demands change of Denji and makes his life turn upside-down.
However, Makima is also acting as the romantic interest of the protagonist. She assigns him missions to complete and expects total obedience, rewarding him with gifts and affection. Moreover, Makima is controlling and manipulative, which are traits of an antagonist. Who will she turn out to be in the end? Mentor, love interest, or villain?
So far, any hidden plot or agenda for the story has not been revealed, which makes the anime’s ability to instantly hook the audience in absolutely phenomenal. The wonderfully written characters are the reason to keep watching, but this reviewer’s prediction is we will know more about the plot soon enough. And that will be when the weekly wait for new episodes will turn into agony.
The first two episodes of Chainsaw Man are now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Featured Image Credit: MAPPA/Crunchyroll