Review Blitz: Revving Into Action With MAPPA's Chainsaw Man | Teen Ink

Review Blitz: Revving Into Action With MAPPA's Chainsaw Man

November 10, 2022
By junipler BRONZE, Cypress, California
junipler BRONZE, Cypress, California
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Devils, chainsaws, and pets all take on a whole new form in “Chainsaw Man,” an anime adapted from the manga of the same name by Tatsuki Fujimoto. Releasing weekly beginning on Oct. 11, “Chainsaw Man” follows Denji, a destitute teenager living in a shack who struggles to make ends meet after being left with his father’s massive debt. A chaotic, brutal, and bizarre whirlwind of a show, “Chainsaw Man'' brings to life compelling characters behind its violent veneer.

In the absurd world of “Chainsaw Man,” devils, the physical manifestations of fears, live alongside humans. Accompanied by Pochita, an endearing dog with a chainsaw for a nose, Denji hunts devils for a living. After Denji is killed by one, Pochita merges with him, granting Denji the ability to turn into a devil with chainsaws replacing his head and arms. Forced to join the Public Safety Devil Hunters, or risk being killed as a Devil, he fights devils with a team of strange companions.

Produced by MAPPA, the studio behind iconic anime “Jujutsu Kaisen” and the fourth season of “Attack on Titan,” “Chainsaw Man” likewise captures audiences with its stunning visuals. The studio’s signature style integrates traditional hand-drawn animation with 3D modeling, creating expansive perspectives. Although the CGI occasionally feels overly detailed in creating simplistic settings, it works best in Denji’s chainsaw transformations that set him apart from his enemies. The series doesn’t shy away from violence — instead, it revels in it. In its rapid fight scenes, the animation shines as fluid action and detailed choreography bring out the series’ blood and gore in all its glory.

Paying homage to the manga’s gritty and rough art style, the raw, unfiltered sense of the show is embodied in its complex shading and muted color palette. “Chainsaw Man” is unpredictable, full of twists and turns in swiftly moving storylines that leave no room for filler. With intense, gruesome fight scenes offset by Denji’s immature wit as he fights anything from Tomato Devils (created from the fear of tomatoes) to the embodiment of eternity, there is never a dull moment.

Ultimately, the characters are what make “Chainsaw Man” compelling. Navigating a world of devils and backstabbers, Denji is easy to sympathize with. Unlike his coworkers’ aspirations for revenge or power, Denji wants nothing more than a plain, unadorned life with a roof over his head and someone to care about. After a life of loss and squalor, his childish sense of humor and superficial aspirations make him a change of pace from typical action anime protagonists with lofty goals of greatness.

Bold and unflinching in its outrageous concepts, “Chainsaw Man” is a worthy adaptation of the famed manga. Bringing complex storylines and goofy characters to life, fans are eager to see how the anime will execute the rest of its story in its upcoming episodes.

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