MANGA REVIEW | "Chainsaw Man" - Volume Three
If there were a Nobel Prize for violence, Chainsaw Man would be a top contender. It has been years since I’ve seen a manga go so balls-to-the-wall with its gore and mayhem. Tatsuki Fujimoto does not hold back at all with the carnage and chaos he creates in his series, even if it means pressing his readers’ buttons. This is very evident in Chainsaw Man’s third volume, which proudly flashes a middle finger at its audience while rightfully demanding some respect!
Still stuck in a hotel’s eighth floor, Denji and the members of Special Division 4 go face-to-face with a demon demanding our hero’s heart. Running out of options, Denji decides to give the monster what he wants, with interest! Soon after, the gang has some welcoming celebrations, leading towards Denji getting another first in his life. Meanwhile, as he and Himeno make a pact to help each other in the art of love, another threat that could be connected to the Gun Devil makes a bloody appearance.
One of the things Fujimoto does right with Chainsaw Man is its balance of violence and humor. It often reaches a point in Denji’s fights where it gets so gory, that it’s funny. Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive is a prime comparison to what this manga is trying to achieve, where things get so grotesque and downright nasty, that you can’t help but be in love with what’s brought to the pages of this manga. (Okay, perhaps we didn’t need to see Himeno barf into Denji’s mouth, which made me gag like nobody’s business!)
It also appears that Fujimoto doesn’t care how attached you are to certain characters. While it may seem like a possible trick just to rile up his readers, there’s a moment where one of the main players of Special Division 4 bites the dust. The situation happens out of the blue, in a way that could only bring tears of anger to those who wanted to see more of this character throughout its series. But as mentioned, there’s always the possibility that the wool’s being pulled over our eyes, and that they’ll be back in some form in the next volume.
The highlights of Chainsaw Man are — of course — the big fights. Watching Denji learn how to regain energy while battling with the hotel demon showcases that he may be a hero that won’t have a reason to putter out. However, the real Nobel Prize for Fighting belongs to Aki and his fight with a spike-headed demon. Not only is the villain’s design all kinds of badass, but its maneuverability showcases some top-tier boss battle techniques! (Seriously, can we get Suda51 to make a video game version of this manga?!)
Volume Three of Chainsaw Man has no fucks to give, but it will take every readers’ supply in the blink of an eye. Fujimoto does not want to play by the same rules as all of the other shonen manga series out there. Consider that a good thing, as it can give way to some legit surprises and a lot of new storytelling pathways that haven’t been tread as much. There’s a big reason why Chainsaw Man is the series keep a close eye on, and its third volume shows why: it breaks all the shonen manga rules, and makes up its own for the sake of fun, head-throttling entertainment!
Promotional consideration provided by Gabrielle Dyer of VIZ Media