Chainsaw Man Volume 1 cover courtesy of NA Weekly Shonen Jump

“Chainsaw Man” presents uninteresting plot, thrilling animation

Lethal monsters, a young male protagonist and his love interest – the same flat and basic formula that has been used by countless other T.V. shows, is seen once again with “Chainsaw Man”.

Originally written and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto, the anime series was brought to life by MAPPA studios. Fans can watch the 12 episodes using Crunchyroll, an online streaming platform designed specifically around anime.

The protagonist of the story, Denji, is a struggling young devil hunter who spends his time fighting off evil creatures known as — you guessed it — devils. However, he can’t seem to make enough money to sustain himself.

He is viewed as a street rat and is subject to constant ill-treatment.
As if that wasn’t enough, Denji is employed by a cruel leader who mocks him, reminding him he is in debt.

The story begins when Denji’s luck has finally run out — he’s been brutally murdered. The reason is slightly unclear, but there seems to be a betrayal by his debt collector. However, as a last resort, his pet devil Pochita willingly gives up its own life, and their spirits join together, resulting in a cross between a human and a devil.

This string of events is all very much expected, as the protagonist is very unlikely to die so early in the story, especially because an earlier scene depicted Denji saving Pochita’s life, foreshadowing the favor would be returned.

Denji is eventually found by a female devil hunter, Makima, but unfortunately, she fails to save this already mediocre storyline.

She is simply a new employer with a devil-hunting agency that has the same morals and ethics as Denji’s previous one. With Makima, there seems to be a lack of creativity and some recycling of events.

Speaking of recycling events, there is an uninspiring recurring sequence of events that consistently appears throughout the episodes, which involves a gory fight scene in which Denji fights a devil, then devolves into his thoughts about his female colleagues. While this process may seem exciting in Episodes 1 and 2, (especially for action enthusiasts), it gets old fairly quickly.

At this point, it would be fair to write this show off as a waste of time. However, there is one redeeming point. The one thing that made this show bearable was the cinematic animation. The attention to detail was impressive and made the viewing experience better. Dramatic camera movements and realistic sound design brought the more intense scenes to life and created emotions that matched the moment.

In one instance, Denji is in an intense battle with the Bat Devil. This grotesquely muscular, aggressive-looking creature had a particular hankering for human blood. Although the character design regarding the devil was shallow, the overall scene was engaging. The camera was moving swiftly around the towering beast and made the fight more realistic and dramatic.

With that said, the quality of the animation unfortunately does not make up for all of the other flaws that this show contains. Excellent CGI and effects simply can’t make up for the lack of plot and depth.

Rating — ★★☆☆☆

By Rehan Afzal

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