I Wanna Be Literated #222

I Wanna Be Literated #222

Tuesday, 04 April 2023

Chainsaw Man
Chapter 1- 122
by Tatsuki Fujimoto

This is the year I got more into manga. I’ve always been an anime fan, but I started to realize that some of my favorite animes were never going to come back, so I went back to the manga to get more content. Chainsaw Man was one of the most high-profile animes of 2022 and definitely one of our favorite TV shows. The manga is ahead of the TV show, and as a fan of the show, reading the manga was a no-brainer.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the manga reads exactly like the anime almost panel by panel, so it was interesting to pick up on clues or revisit some of my favorite moments, and characters. Fujimoto’s style is very raw, yet complete. Like, a professional giving his panels a first-pass. It’s still easy to get into it as a fan of the anime. But I guess, I should just cut the crap and get to the point. The manga is very disappointing.

It mostly has to do with the fact that Fujimoto builds this world and these character dynamics and some mysteries for us that he just completely blows up shortly after the run that encompasses the first season of the anime. Yes, there are some losses, but the dynamic of Denji/Aki/Power is completely torn apart, which is a shame, because it was one of the draws of this story to me. Basically the whole tone of Chainsaw Man shifts. Then there’s the issue of Makima. Say what you will of how the character develops in the manga, but what it seems is that Fujimoto himself had no idea what to do with the character so he wants to have his cake and eat it too. She was set up as a mysterious leader who might have selfish inclinations, but the public sector operated like a team under her command. All of that slowly unravels and we end up with just Denji, which let’s be honest, can be an incredibly boring and detached character. It doesn’t even seem like he evolves as a person at all. There are tons of inconsistencies or suspension of disbelieve to even follow what’s going on, so as the public sector arc winds up, it’s actually all super exhausting. Basically, nothing makes sense, and you’re reading a bunch of gobbledygook on the page. This is incredibly frustrating when you want a proper ending to a story you’ve invested in.

Things shift in the second School arc as new characters are introduced, but it’s a little too late for me. It feels like a reboot of the series and a story I’m not that interested in anymore. It had some good moments, but I’m happy abandoning the series at this point.

It’s hard to make any sense of what happened to Chainsaw Man. It started as one thing, that apparently was poorly thought out, and then changes into a completely different, less interesting story. I feel burnt.

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