Chainsaw Man 008-010 – Manga Review

Synopsis: Meet Denji, he’s poor. Like, sell your body parts poor. But he’s found a gig killing demons with his chainsaw dog. Will it be enough to pay the bills? (Official Shonen Jump Synopsis.)

Warning: Spoilers to Follow:

Review:

Chainsaw Man Chapters 8 through 10 don’t contain a lot. Chapter 8 is entirely focused on the fight between the Bat Demon and Denji. The action is great, with an easy to follow fight that makes excellent use of the series’ more rough art style. The one problem is that Denji’s singular mindset “Touch Boobs!” grows thin here. It’s a fun gag, but only in small doses, and getting mentioned near every chapter since introduced means it’s really starting to go past its prime.

The series has an answer to that though. Jumping past Chapter 9 and most of Chapter 10, Chainsaw Man seems poised to evolve. When Denji loses his fight with the Bat Demon’s vengeful lover, choosing to pit the importance of his dreams vs. her’s, the boy appears broken. It’s this moment that makes me wonder if Denji is going to evolve more so as a character, moving on from his superficial dream and onto something grander (Assuming the series lives long enough to explore that. Its Shonen Jump rankings aren’t great right now.)

Going back, Chapter 9 and 10 aren’t terribly meaty. Chapter 9 is mostly a fake out chapter. It’s a false wrap up as Power gets emotional, our hero reminds her of their deal, and finally the Bat Demon’s lover shows up for the trope, “It’s not actually over yet.” the flow is fine, but Power remains such a thin character, as does Denji, that all of Chapter 9 fails to leave any real impression.

Chapter 10 is also a bit odd. We have all the talk of pitting dreams against each other, part of why I feel like the series might be ready to grow Denji as a character, before the fight ends abruptly, with our gaggle of additional characters arriving to save the day. Everything rushes to a close as these additional characters zoom in, finish off the baddie, and quickly talk of medical treatment and debriefings, with even a gag line about taking the cat to the vet.

Again, out of all three newest Jump additions, Chainsaw Man takes top spot. Only just though. The series feels thin, surface level, lacking greater depth and meat to form an ongoing series. But compared to Ne0;lation and Hell Warden Higuma, I feel like Chainsaw Man has the greatest chance of turning around. There are tiny elements hinted at, that if expanded on fast enough, could turn the series into a much stronger, ongoing title. But as with every shonen, time is of the essence. If it waits too long audiences aren’t going to come rushing back, no matter how good it gets. I’ll be giving Chainsaw Man another set of 10 chapters to turn things around and impress.

That’s it for today. Please let me know your thoughts on Chainsaw Man in the comments below!

Chainsaw Man is published as part of Shonen Jump.

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