What are the demons in “Chainsaw Man?”
Picture via Hulu
Warning: the following article contains spoilers for Chainsaw Man first season, first episode, “Dog and chainsaw.”
Chainsaw Man is Hulu’s new anime filled with bloody action and powerful social commentary. The story follows Denji, a desperately unlucky teenager trying to make ends meet as a devil hunter and things don’t go well for him. But what exactly are these demons?
Devils are vicious demons from hell, born out of humanity’s fears and collective consciousness. They are usually made up of bones, skin and internal organs and their names indicate what type of demon they are. Demons terrorize people, feeding on the blood and fear of humans and other demons, which heals and strengthens them. Devil Hunters like Denji kill them to protect humanity and earn money from this oppressive world. There are many demons all over the place Chainsaw Man canon that vary in power and nature, so it’s best not to assume that they all share the same motivations, and a few appeared in the first episode. Denji’s pet Pochita, for example, has a chainsaw built into its head, proving that some can even be domesticated. (More on that later.)
The first episode begins with a day in the life of Denji as he laments all the debt he has accumulated and what he had to give up. Denji’s father’s debts have been passed on to him and that doesn’t make his life any easier either. He goes on a mission to hunt a devil with his own pet Pochita. He finds the Tomato Devil, a giant tomato monster with many eyeballs and a vertical mouth and he gets to work, cutting it down with his chainsaw. He tells his employer that the seeds will have to be burned or they will grow back, and it seems like Denji really knows his stuff when it comes to his job.
In a flashback sequence we see when Denji first meets Pochita, he expects to be killed from the encounter. Instead, the little devil is injured and Denji offers his blood to him and Pochita bites him, restoring his vitality. Denji also makes a deal with Pochita. Since he helped save her life, he wants demonic power in return, and Denji is able to use Pochita as a chainsaw weapon.
Later, Denji is lured into a trap by the debt collector who wants the boy dead. He transforms into a huge zombie devil who has his own horde of zombies that he controls. These are people who accepted the debt collectors’ offer for more demonic power and became mindless minions controlled by the zombie devil. They attack Denji and their numbers overwhelm him as Denji laments that he just wanted a normal life.
Denji is dismembered and thrown into a dumpster (hard), and another flashback reveals that some demons can grab dead bodies. Denji tells Pochito that if that’s something he can do, then he wants his pet demon to have his body, which is both morbid and sweet. Luckily, Pochita has the ability to take control of her body. While lying in a dumpster, Pochita attaches herself to Denji’s dismembered body and her limbs reassemble. Denji and Pochita are able to communicate with each other and Pochita makes another deal with Denji, offering to give him his heart in exchange for his dream being fulfilled.
Denji gets up unscathed, except he now has a sawcord strapped to his chest, and when he is pulled, he becomes the chainsaw man with chainsaws on his arms and on his sharp-jawed face. He cuts through the zombies and leaps into the air to deliver the finishing blow on the Zombie Devil. As Denji faces the rest of the zombies, he notes that they have gone “full devil”, implying that the zombies’ old humanity has totally disappeared, and he finishes the job of destroying them without caring for their good. -be.
In the end, the Public Safety Devil Hunters arrive on the scene and believe that Denji is the last demon to be killed. But when Devil Hunter Himeno walks up to him, he asks for a hug, and when she agrees, his chainsaw accessories slip away. Denji is confirmed to be unpossessed, and he has the option of being killed as a devil or remaining a human within the organization. Denji chooses the latter, and after the life he had, no one could blame him.