Chainsaw Man Pilot Review: Does MAPPA’s Latest Heavy-Equipment-Headed Hero Live Up To The Hype?

chainsaw man review

We finally have the Chainsaw Man movie that everyone has been waiting for! The first episode of the much-anticipated anime is brutal and violent,

but it also has some great gallows humor and some surprisingly poignant themes. And this is just the beginning: when the Chainsaw Man himself finally makes an appearance, all hell breaks loose and MAPPA delivers one of the coolest and bloodiest scenes to be animated in quite some time.

Chainsaw Man, based on the manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto, has been highly anticipated since it was announced as an anime series to premiere this year. While the show has yet to air, Studio MAPPA has managed to attract as many viewers as the most recent season of Attack on Titan with just trailers.

The story takes place in a world where people’s worst nightmares become real demons with the power to wreak havoc everywhere they go.

It’s possible for anything, from tomatoes to insects to sharks to guns to dark devils, to take on a terrifying form in this universe. Some of the individuals who sign contracts with these Devils use their abilities for evil, while others go on hunts for other Devils.

The Chainsaw Artist: Watch It Now Or Never?

The first image is a silhouetted figure walking through an opened door. We cut to a shot of a young man, who appears to be dozing off in a rundown shack.

Dressed in an eyepatch and a jacket, he stands up to leave, reciting the various jobs he’s held to make ends meet. You’re looking at Denji (Kikunosuke Toya), the young man who would grow up to be known as Chainsaw Man.

The Chainsaw Artist Watch It Now Or Never

The Brief: A young man named Denji has fallen on hard times. As a result of the crushing debt left to him by his late father, he has resorted to selling body parts and doing odd jobs to make ends meet in recent years.

Denji has very little money due to giving it all to the yakuza. Fortunately, he meets Pochita, a Chainsaw Devil (Shiori Izawa), and together they discover a way to supplement their income by hunting down and killing demons.

Sadly for Denji, he soon learns that the yakuza who have been mistreating him, making him work nonstop, and keeping him in abject poverty are sick of dealing with him.

After he and Pochita are left for dead by a terrifying demon encounter, the devil, who looks like a small dog, teaches him the value of friendship and inspires him to create Chainsaw Man. It means precisely what it seems to suggest. Because of Pochita, Denji becomes a devil with a chainsaw for a head and two more for arms. This is a sight to behold.

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Establishing Denji And Pochita In ‘Dog & Chainsaw’

Denji and Pochita are wonderfully introduced as characters who love and need one another in the first episode of the anime. Denji’s softer side, before he racked up a mountain of debt, gets a lot of screen time in the pilot episode, while his more jaded,

Establishing Denji And Pochita In 'Dog & Chainsaw'

weary self, who has had to sell pieces of himself to stay alive and puts himself in danger at every turn by hunting the evil devils of the world, appears later. Denji and Pochita have a mutually beneficial relationship because they need each other constantly.

Almost like the main character in a Pokemon game, Denji shares his deepest thoughts and feelings with his faithful animal companion, Pochita.

However, unlike in the Pokemon series, Denji’s hopes and aspirations in this story revolve around more pedestrian pursuits. Pochita’s cuddles and approving barks are enough to counteract the somber course Denji has taken.

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The episode cuts back and forth in time from Denji’s first meeting with Pochita to his later, more seasoned devil-hunting days, which have taken their toll on his psyche and body.

Denji can’t seem to get out from under the Yakuza, no matter how many devils he kills or jobs he finishes, and eventually, they’ll just have to kill him.

A Gory, Good Time

The Yakuza turn into zombie devils in the episode’s climactic act, impaling Denji and Pochita with their swords. After Pochita and Denji make a pact, they are resurrected as a single being: a chainsaw devil eager for some good old-fashioned bloody vengeance.

Denji roars and rips his way through a horde of zombie devils, putting to rest any fears that the anime wouldn’t be as bloody and brutal as the manga. As Denji kills what seems like hundreds of demons, their limbs fly, their torsos soar, and their screams resound through the air.

While Chainsaw Man is finishing up his boss fight, the mysterious Makima (Tomori Kusunoki) comes across an exhausted Denji and gives him the choice between an easy death and a life under her watch. In making a prudent decision, Denji ensures that we will see him again someday.

The episode as a whole was beautifully animated, and the music was fantastic, but the climax was especially impressive. Both the music (by Kensuke Ushio, who also excels in A Silent Voice: The Movie and Devilman: Crybaby) and the animation (by Kazutaka Sugiyama,

who also excels in Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation) are fantastic. If the first episode and trailer are any indication of what the rest of the series has to offer, fans of the manga and darker anime, in general, are in for a real treat.

Conclusion

When looking at just the first two episodes, MAPPA has already done an excellent job with the animation, voice acting, and writing.

In its current form, I predict that “Chainsaw Man,” with all its crazy, gory, and emotionally wonderfulness, will become the year’s, if not the all-time, most popular anime.

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Karan Siradi

I am an author and a public speaker. I was born in India and have travelled to many different countries. I have a masters in public communication from California University and I love to write about famous peoples from different industries.

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