the anime that is going to cause a massacre

After (long) months of waiting, the Chainsaw Man anime is finally here! Demons galore, hemoglobin do you want it, here it is… We were not disappointed with the trip. Find out what we thought of Chainsaw Man in our spoiler-free review.

If you’re looking for this fall’s anime, we’ve found it for you. After a wait that seemed endless to us, the adaptation of Tatsuki Fujimoto’s nugget is coming to the small screen. A breath of fresh air is blowing from Crunchyroll since chain saw man is a real UFO that breaks the codes of shōnen in due form. With MAPPA at the controls, all the ingredients seem to be in place to offer fans an anime worthy of the name. But does the result live up to our expectations?

Available this evening on Crunchyroll, we had the opportunity to discover the first episode of chain saw man a little ahead of time. The least we can say is that we were amazed. We tell you everything in our review of the first episode.

Chainsaw Massacre

Published in 2018 in the Weekly Shōnen Jumpin other words the Holy Grail for any self-respecting shōnen, chain saw man destabilizes. Tatsuki Fujimoto’s manga is a far cry from what Japanese publishing house Shūeisha’s manga preprint magazine usually offers us. Here, the protagonists have nothing glorious. We follow Denji, a teenager crippled with debts since the death of his father. Everything is good to repay this colossal sum of money: sell an eye, a kidney and even a testicle. But that is not enough. So the young man works as a demon hunter for the mafia. To get by, Denji can count on Pochita, a chainsaw demon who looks like an adorable little dog.

In his extreme poverty, Denji has very modest dreams. Faced with a life that makes him see all the colors, the boy does not have grandiloquent ambitions like other heroes of shōnen. Far from the morals and laudable dreams of Naruto, Luffy or even Tanjiro, Denji is a touching but wild and wobbly character. A real mad dog. If he could afford the luxury of putting jam on his slice of bread and hugging a girl, it would be heaven. Yes, but life has decided otherwise…

The mobster he works for sets a trap for him and, on the verge of death, Pochita and Denji merge. Now the teenager is able to turn into a chainsaw demon. He then falls on Public Security who offers to hire him as a demon hunter on their behalf… Or to kill him.

In this episode, the focus is on Denji and Pochita’s relationship, with the latter clearly being the glue of the work. We are already entitled to some flashbacks, in particular to discover their meeting. The bond between the two is strong, almost unbreakable. And extremely touching. They can only rely on each other. And then that’s all.

Pochita and Denji in Chainsaw Man
© MAPPA

Like any first episode, you have to lay the groundwork. Thereby, chain saw man takes its time. But that’s not a problem. As they say, “Good things come to those who wait for”. And our patience is quickly rewarded.

Nothing Stops Chainsaw Man

MAPPA warned us: out of the question to censor Tatsuki Fujimoto’s manga. And they didn’t lie to us. The first anime episode chain saw man is just as violent, gore, dirty as the paper version. Severed limbs, blood splattering all over the place, bits of brain sticking out… The essence of the manga is there. So buckle up and don’t watch anime while eating.

Indeed, although chain saw man was published for a time in the Weekly Shōnen Jump, it rather ticks the boxes of a good seinen with regard to its violence. So don’t go showing chain saw man to your 8-year-old nephew… If fans dreaded the anime adaptation, for fear that the studios would water down the manga’s brutal universe, they will be delighted. This first episode is a real killer, both literally and figuratively.

A devilishly qualitative animation

With MAPPA at the controls, there was hardly room for doubt. Despite everything, it continued to float above our heads. But after seeing this first episode, the verdict is final. Visually, chain saw man is a slap. The drawings are very close to those of the manga, for our greatest pleasure. The colorimetry of the anime is faithful to what we imagine when reading the manga: it’s gray and gloomy, even a bit gloomy. The atmosphere is almost sad enough to cry. But it is adequate.

But where we expected the anime at the turn, it is in the animation work. MAPPA has already delighted us with the first season of Jujutsu Kaisen, among others. And this time? The animation of chain saw man is smooth and very clean, the few fights we’ve seen are absolutely insane, and the anime’s pacing is well balanced. Some scenes are impressive and really well thought out in their execution. This is particularly the case of the fusion of Pochita and Denji but I will not dwell too much on this scene to leave you the pleasure of discovering it for yourself.

music from hell

On the side of the soundtrack of chain saw man, Kensuke Ushio is in charge of sublimating the anime. This composer has already dazzled us with his work on Devilman Crybaby Where A Silent Voice. Thereby, chain saw man is no exception. In this first episode, the few musics that we hear are mastered and in line with what we see on the screen. Both touching and powerful. The anime pulls off a tough exercise that I didn’t expect before seeing this first episode: you have to find the balance between the music and, when it transforms, the background noise of Denji’s chainsaws. A detail, perhaps, but which is very important when you go from manga to anime.

Finally, we give a special mention to the first OST of the end credits which is as energetic as Denji. To see what we have in store chain saw man for the next eleven episodes given that MAPPA has promised us twelve different end credits. One for each episode. Something to make our mouths water.

Chainsaw Man: the infernal anime not to be missed

If our expectations for chain saw man were (too) high, MAPPA did not let us down. On the contrary, this first episode is extremely promising. From graphics to animation to music, everything is under control. Fans of the manga as well as the curious who have not yet opened a single volume of Fujimoto’s work should appreciate this masterful anime adaptation. Especially since if it continues on this (very) good momentum, we should go crescendo and it should improve with each episode. Which is great news. Without a doubt, chain saw man is positioned as the must-see anime this fall. Crunchyroll meets us every Tuesday at 6 p.m. for our dose of hemoglobin and zigouille demons.

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