Chainsaw Man Anime Review
Chainsaws stemming out of the hands and the head with dripping blood seem like a gross Halloween look panned by a threatening nutty brain. As absurd as it sounds it is the very concept of the much anticipated 2022 fall anime release, Chainsaw Man. Tatsuki Fujimoto’s manga with the same name is the inspiration for this anime adaptation. The story behind the odd name and character design is far more fascinating than anyone can think. It might seem like a bizarre idea from a flop horror film but it somehow actually worked and became popular with anime fans all over the world.
Being one of the awaited adaptations of the year it created a buzz with its amazing posters and leveled-up visuals. Like several other animals, this one also focuses on the key concepts of world building and action tropes. The title is the name the main character is addressed with and responds to. But no one hates their kid so much so as to name him after a mechanical tool. The potential superhero, Chainsaw Man’s original name within the anime is Denji. And this regular boy for the regular name has an interesting but traumatizing back story that we are going to analyze right here.
Denji is a regular teenage boy with a very sad story haunting him. The fabric of this boy is nowhere close to the makings of a main character. He rather seems like a stock character who turns out to be an overpowered MC as the story progresses. Just like a regular person he has dreams to see even in the most dreadful circumstances. He is overburdened with the debts taken by his dead father. And the paid job of devil hunting comes into the picture perking up Denji’s life and the anime world simultaneously.
The taking up odd jobs to survive story seems like a dark chapter from a sad 90s movie. And of course, anyone meant to be the hero of the main character will not be a subject of it for long. Among his few acquaintances of Denji is a furry companion Pochita, the devil-hunting dog with a protruding chainsaw like appendage. His simple dreams and the endearing relationship with the devil dog are quite adorable. The contract with Yazuka in an unexpected turn of events leads to the near-death encounter and reformation of the main character as the Chainsaw Man. His body becomes one with Pochita powers and becomes the focal point of the story.
From being the lovable loser this boy transforms into an electrifying devil killer. Chainsaw Man rips apart people’s hearts and courage with the grand entrance in the highlight scene of the first episode. The show’s genre turns from traumatic to escalating horror within seconds. MAPPA, the studio that was critically acclaimed for providing its expertise to anime titles like Attack on Titan and Jujutsu Kaisen, delivers the best animation in this series. Coming back to the plot there is a lot of action and bloodshed that seems grotesque sometimes.
Apart from Denji, there are a couple of other weird characters that add to the madness of Chainsaw Man. Working for the Public Safety Department the weird group of devil hunters, Chainsaw Man meets one of the special division members Power. She is a fiend and in my opinion one of the most savage female anime characters. This self-centered and greedy character makes Denji’s life complex. She is rude and aggressive and her shocking level of brutality comes forth as a shock every time. We also have Makima, the leader of a special and successful devil hunter squad adding intensity to the anime.
Next up is a shout-out to the crafty execution of the adaptation. Art Director, Yusuke Takeda along with Kazutaka Sugiyama and Kiyotaka Oshiyama working on the design did a fair job. The action designs and deadly fight scenes seem even scarier with the up-top animation. The experimental fusion of raw 2D drawings with 3D virtual character models blends well and provides a good visual aesthetic. Studio MAPPA’s employment of CGI in Chainsaw Man had mixed reactions from the audience. the debatable use and quality of CGI start up a huge controversy among anime lovers.
Some frames of the anime were surely complex and noticeable with the shortcomings in CGI. Even though the story is up close to the original manga plot but the minor failures in execution did disappoint the manga lovers of Chainsaw Man. Considering the fast paced action sequences the 3D animation is a bit jarring as it could not justify the mechanical precision of Chainsaw Man. However, it does not affect the engaging storyline of the show. The music and impressive voice acting balances the minor mistakes in the animation and captivates the audience.
Character design in this series looks like a complicated job. The outlandish superhero along with a plethora of nasty devils would not have been easy to turn into visuals. Taking into account the complexity of Chainsaw Man himself, the work on precision to detail is astonishing. For a larger part, the audience might miss out on the great designs shadowed with splattered blood and not-so-pleasant killings. Yet the anime has some amazing sketch frames with a striking color pallet. The monsters featured in the series come out even better than the horrifying image designed in the Chainsaw Man manga.
Disclaimer: There is a lot of violence ahead!! Proceed at your own risk.
The premier episode has some great fights and speaking of that it has a lot of monstrous or rather barbarian violence. In many action sequences, there are fountains of blood and splattering guts flying out of the devil’s bodies and that might be an unsightful thing to watch. If you are not a fan of incredibly violent and blood laden anime stories then you might not enjoy this one. And if you can survive the carnage and destruction filled within the first episode, the story would be an edgy entertainer packed with lots of action.
The animal production of the first installment of the voluminous manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto is appreciable. Looking back at the record of compelling and absurd stories that the artist creates could be just a warm-up for the heightened drama ahead in the presumed installment adaptations of the Chainsaw man. Everyone definitely hopes to find a better animation and more intelligent story in the consequent adaptations of the marvelous manga Chainsaw Man; if made in future.
Chainsaw Man stood strong against the controversies and brimming criticism around its first installment. And so it has also become the most popular watch of the season. With a total of 12 episodes, the series is available on Crunchyroll with the season finale releasing on Tuesday, December 27.