1) THE DRAMABAIT
The story begins with trying to make you care about the protagonist because he has suffered a lot, lost everything, and is risking his life for peanuts. It would work too if it wasn’t all taken away in less than an episode. The anime does the typical emotional manipulation trick of wanting from you to root for the protagonist by victimizing him and then you are supposed to not realize you are still rooting for him even when he gets fully healed, gains magical superpowers, and becomes overpowered in less than an episode later. You are supposed to think he deserves it because he suffered, and not if he is worthy of it. It’s silly power fantasy and plot armor you get in any other similar show. You are also supposed to completely ignore the fact that nobody came to his help as a child. You know, a relative, a teacher, the police, public service, a neighbor, anyone in general. It’s like watching Elfen Lied all over again, nobody does anything for the sake of overblown drama. You could assume nobody wants to mess with the mafia thus they don’t help him, but we never saw that, the mangaka didn’t bother to show it, the animators didn’t bother to include it, thus you end up making a headcanon for the sake of excusing the dramabait.
2) THE BETRAYAL
The protagonist is often excused to be idiotic because he didn’t have a proper upbringing. He was being manipulated and exploited for years so he doesn’t know how to behave or doesn’t know what to expect from people. Thus when he gets betrayed by the devil he was working for all this time the audience is supposed to excuse it as him not knowing whom to trust. Well, that’s the thing, you are not supposed to wonder how the heck he was fooled by a devil despite fighting the devilkind for a decade. We constantly see how manipulative they are and we are told he was killing them for a decade. How did he manage to do that without knowing they are manipulative? It’s as if after so many years of fighting he had learned nothing. The show does not expect from you to think about it, which is also why it never shows us him fighting any devils while he was a regular human. It’s impossible to have survived for so long without being somewhat cunning. Trying to excuse it as him dealing with very weak devils all this time is once again a headcanon, for the same reasons mentioned above. I make a big deal out of it because it won’t be something that happens only once. He gets constantly betrayed by devils (Power and Makima) and yet he still acts like the same retard. He never learned a thing when he should have, otherwise he would be dead. By the way, this is not limited to the protagonist. Power gets a silly dramatic flashback about her cat and when a monster betrays her the audience is supposed to forgive this exploitive bitch for what she did to the simp protagonist, as well as ignore the hundreds of innocent people she murdered for not much of a reason. But hey, she is hot and has a sad flashback, let’s simp for her.
3) THE PLOT ARMOR
The protagonist (and Power to a lesser degree) should have died because of his stupidity. Not once but a hundred times. But that never happens because he is given a power that makes him immortal no matter how much he gets injured. He can be chopped to little pieces and he will still be fine in the next scene. The show does not even attempt to hide his plot armor, making every fight to lack tension since you know he’s going to be fine no matter how many times he gets fooled by a devil and then gets butchered to little pieces. He doesn’t learn because he doesn’t have to.
4) THE ZERO STAKES
Remember when the first episode wanted you to feel sorry for the protagonist for having lost body parts? It’s extra annoying to see every other character in the show sacrificing parts of their bodies when they make a contract with a spirit, while the protagonist doesn’t pay any price. In fact, not only he got super strong and gained immortality thanks to the devil, but also got back every organ he had lost in the beginning of the story. This extends to the other devil users as well. They are also immortal no matter what happens to them. Power gets munched and swallowed by a monster, she gets boiled in gastric acid, and she pops out of the belly perfectly fine. Not even the mundane cat she was holding was hurt. Not even the monster getting butchered to little pieces with a chainsaw so she and her cat can come out seemed to have hurt them. Then assassins shoot Makima in the head. She’s fine a few minutes later. What exactly is the viewer supposed to feel here? There is nothing to lose, nothing is at stake, and nothing will come out of anything that happens to them, making the whole show vapid.
5) THE CGI GOREFEST
The action in the series is mostly ugly CGI gorefests. Many are fine with the CGI, but just compare this monstrosity with Army of Darkness, a far superior piece of peak fiction about a guy with a chainsaw and lots of gore, and tell me what looks better. That aside, there is nothing to care about the action. The protagonist is just swinging his chainsaws until the CGI monster is dead. There are no tactics, no choreography, or even stakes since he’s immortal and can never lose. The bad guys are also just one-dimensional evil devils that exist to kill and be killed without ever being given any depth.
6) THE SIMPING
The protagonist is the definition of a simp, someone who acts like a playful dog whenever a manipulative woman commands him to do something, in hopes of getting a sexual reward at the end. He gets some, but also gets betrayed a lot in return. He also doesn’t care nor does he learn from it, because he’s immortal and there is no whiplash from using his power. He is not even listening to what they advice him, such as being told sex is better if it’s with a person you know of. A few minutes later he forgets that and runs like a dog when a woman promises him a kiss. I am baffled by how many people found that to be a positive trait of his character and call him the most relatable character there is. Since when is being a simp a good thing? When you ask them they will claim that’s how real men behave in real life, while men who are idealists and strive to achieve greatness are fake. Real men are simps who just want food and women to exploit them. Seeing so many zoomers living by this mantra is plain laughable. Laugh! Point at them and laugh!
7) THE GROOMING
Also there is no way to overlook the fact that Denji is a minor (and a baby in terms of mental age) who is being groomed by older women into their sex toy. This goes beyond comical fan service in the likes of Shinji and Misato in Neon Genesis, it’s plain nasty and immoral yet many prefer to ignore it because the waifus are hot. Calling it fiction so it’s okay also negates the claims of the show being realistic since it’s like real life. Are real men supposed to be groomed into sex toys?
8) THE WRITING
Most fans refer to this anime as peak fiction, implying its writing is impeccable. They pretend stuff like foreshadowing, establishment, and build up don’t matter one bit. There’s a second devil that pops out of nowhere when the bat devil dies and she is supposed to be his wife. Then a devil hunter appears out of nowhere and kills her with an ability that also popped out of nowhere. Then Makima knows the names of everyone who attacked her out of nowhere. Then she uses a power that makes them explode from afar without ever establishing such a thing being possible before it was needed in the plot. Then she threatens some crooks with their families which she knows where they are without explaining why. It’s all random nonsense, yet the fans insist it’s peak fiction.
9) THE GROSS COMEDY
A lot of jokes are gross and thus impossible to be enjoyed by anyone who doesn’t like scat and puke. As much as the fans say it’s an acquired taste, those jokes are plain nasty. Also having stuff like refusing to flush the toilet and puking inside peoples’ mouths further proves this anime is anything but mature.
10) THE ORIGINALITY
Thank goodness there is no other story quite like Chainsawman. Only there is and it’s called No More Heroes. It’s the exact same thing and you get to be part of the action.
11) THE SALES
As a final nail to the coffin, I will mention the abysmal Blu ray sales. Nobody bought this anime because nobody liked the artstyle which so many were hyping for a year. Around the same time it was airing, a typical cute girl show with an average budget and no hype for over a year, sold ten times as much as the show that was supposed to revolutionize anime as we know them. So much for hyping it. Nobody liked it, hahaha!
3S Review no. 79 (short, simple and salty/sweet/spicy)
So, I am the kind of person to save the best for last, and when it comes to every anime season, I save the most hyped show to watch it after everything else, now, that strategy really backfires cause most often than not, the over hyped series are nothing but golden laced mediocrities and this one wasn’t different, yet I’ll keep doing until the day comes that the show I saved for last will actually be amazing, will that day ever come? Unlikely. Will I ever learn my lesson? Unlikely. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, you can’t make a new and amazing show if you follow the same old reliable boring shounen recipe, and you can’t stop the anime community from being blissfully oblivious.
Story, so, I watch the first episode and what do I realize, that I have watched it many times again, just different iterations of it.The kid has it rough cause his father left him only but debt, he is as good as dead but conveniently a pork chainsaw demon thingy (which is cute as hell btw) appears, they do an impromptu contract apparently, the kid is barely keeping afloat by killing devils with his porky friend repaying his never ending debt to the yakuza (his father left him) passing by with eating a piece of bread on a good day. Then in an unexpectable turn of events they yakuza decide they want more power so they become… zombies, yup, zombies by forming a contract with a zombie demon, because… well because they are really bright, then for no apparent reason they lure in our protagonist to kill him, they do just that, they tear him to pieces and throw him in the garbage, they didn’t eat him for some convenient reason even though as we find out later demons just wanna eat humans. What happens next you ask? Oh something even more unexpected, the piggy offers its life merging with our protagonist, Denji, and he becomes… well.. special of course, what else, neither human neither demon, and really strong obviously. Then it gets even more typical, there is this organization fighting the devils, they pick him up and use him to kill devils.
Now, do you see the similarities? Of course you do (at least I hope), the story plays like every other typical shounen, we have the “special” protagonist, the organization, the team that is formed by special cases such as Denji and another fiend we meet later, nothing exciting, nothing you haven’t seen before. Everything plays out really conveniently, and not just in the pilot where if you are lenient you can excuse it in order to make a kickstart, later on as well. Like in the hotel episodes, everything is so terribly forced that it’s laughable. A lot of stuff don’t even make sense, like how they treat Denji and Power at the start when every devil hunter has a contract with a demon apparently. In general, the drama is forced, the suspense is forced, fan service is forced, only some dark humor appears to come naturally at times, ofc at times that is very forced as well. There are some good stuff about ti as well though, it has some nice pace so far, the backstories are implemented in a nice way and it follows a recipe that you already like, it tries nothing new, so it cannot fail. And no, having a lot of gore, blood and sex does not make it mature. Also the protagonist’s dream being that he wants to caress some boobs doesn’t make it a parody, every shonen’s protagonist dream is equally shallow no matter how superficially valiant it seems. Also there are some nice themes presented, like the fulfillment or lack there of that comes when you achieve something you thought you wanted, all this dopamine related sensations and the subjectivity of how important or insignificant one’s goal may seem. They are not greatly explored or anything, but it is a nice touch non the less.
Characters are on the same boat as the story, you have seen them all already, our protagonist is your typical thick as pigshit, dense shonen prototype, yeah he has some quirks to him, like being unintentionally kind, that doesn’t change the fact that he is kind, and him having a dream that is not so major or grande but that doesn’t change the fact that he is fighting ruthlessly in order to achieve his dream while screaming from the top of his lungs. And no, the fact that he was living a life of slavery, only to continue living a life of some kind of new slavery doesn’t make him tragic and so far it absolutely means nothing, except making the audience like him cause he is unfortunate or laugh at him cause he is being treated like a dog. We also have the silent and gentle senpai type, we have the strong and wacky annoying female lead. I like the concept of Makima, who is not the typical frightening boss, she is more the femme fatale manipulating type, which is way, way more frightening. Now, how good is all this going forward remains to be seen, cause as of now is just another excuse for fan service, cause she could be the exact same character but way less explicit it would be exactly the same, if even more scarier. Now, all of that being said, the more adult and serious tone that the story and the characters have, even if it just a dress, it is still better than the more typical shounen and ofc I prefer it that we don’t have a tournament arc and I hope it stays that way.
Animation… oh boy the animation is good, you know, it is Mappa, doing Mappa things. Yeah they have perfected by now the Nintendo trick of making something look better than it actually is, but that doesn’t matter as long as it looks good, and it does, look good. The action is great, the choreography and movements are great and some designs are nice, I mean the dude has chainsaw sticking out of his freaking forehead, that is cool, some of the demons though look very bland. My only issue though is that it has a lot cgi use, and yeah said cgi looks good (especially if you compare it with cgi from other shows) but still, I find it excessive for no reason. There is also some nice cinematography, some nice angles, some nice shots, and some nice attention to detail that unfortunately at times is forgotten, like Aki walking with his katana on the back, then later on without it, or the car starting moving forward with the gear stick being pulled back.
Sound is also very very good, the music is great and fits whatever is going on the screen, the voice acting is on point. Opening is quite good and the crazy people even made a different ending for every episode. Some of them are better than others of course, but still, that is madness, or it is love and passion coming from the production team, whatever it is, I appreciate it.
So, is it worth a watch? Well, yeah, it is worth it, unless you absolutely cannot stand the shounen formula, then no, this not a show that breaks the box, it is not innovative, it is nothing special, it is by no means a masterpiece. If you are not a shounen hater though, it is an enjoyable show, yes it is not reinventing the wheel, but it has a more adult and mature tone to it (as superficial as it is) than most shounen, nice action, good pace, spectacular production values, some good humor at times and of course fan service, all of these make it entertaining. I prefer the feeling the show has over Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen, even though if you strip it down it is kind of the same thing, a typical shounen dressed in the priciest silk.
P.S. If my opinion changes as the show continues, i will update my review for better or worse (same goes for my other rreviews). And no, reading the manga does not change anything and is by far the stupidest comment that everyone makes in this forum, this is a review about a show, not a manga, not a video game, it is irellevant.
Update: If anything, right now i am tempted to drop the story grade even lower, cause you know, shounen happens, overpowered enemies appear out of nowhere, motives are completely uknown, stuff play out conviently as always, and in typical shounen fashion as long as it has shock value, fuck proper build up, fuck hinting, fuck proper pacing, fuck the intelligent viewer in general. On the contrary there are at least some nice character moments, but once again, the lack of proper build up and complete absence of any kind of knowledge or premonition makes them feel very flat. But, i'll wait till the season ends.
End of season update: Well, yeah, middle finger in the face of the intelligent viewer seems to be the trend. We still didn't find out any motives even after we took the bad guys down, the katana guy decides to talk it out with Denji first just to waste a minute of our time with making 0 sense whatsoever, we are haphazardly introduced to new characters for the first time (for some reason even though they belong in our squad) in the typical shitty shonen infodumping fashion, Plot armor saves the day once again, don't know why the girl would even use Ghost instead of her way stronger snake, or why it stopped chocking Aki, and while you can say that it is kind of implied, Aki explaining how the Ghost moves means absolutely nothing, it could have meant something if we had some knowledge about it, but saying out of the blue that his senpai told him that at some point simply makes it plot armor and convinience. Speaking of convinience the future demon would rather get to watch free gore porn than actually getting something in return, even though he could have gotten something in return anyway, it is not like Aki had any leverage in the deal. The fucking constant cgi and the stiff robotic walking movement really got to my nerves afterall. Makima does seem interesting and frightening and the whole boob caressing scene offered nothing other than belittling her authority. So yeah, story section score lowered, character section only slightly lowered cause it got salvaged by the lets say revenge that was a anice momment for the characters, animation slightly dropped cause as i said the fuckin cgi just got to me at the end, and honestly i was about to lower the sound section as well, cause in the second half of the season, when i needed the music to really hit the spot at some specific momments, it really didn't, but listening to Kenjirou Tsuda's god damn magnificent voice, as well as looking forward to the different ending every episode just couldn't let me do it. Overall the season was okeyish, but i am really hoping that the story and characters become better next time around, and that the cgi will not be getting abused so fuckin much.
Also, now that i think of it, since we got this whole explanation that humans will get turned into zombies if they get bitten by one, how comes Denji wasn't turned into a zombie, i mean in the first episode, a horde of zombies tore him to pieces and threw him in the garbage, but not a single zombie bit him once? Not even a nimble? Just a tiny little nimble? Like, the fact that the demon didn't eat him wasn't enough of writing convience already, we also had to add the fact that not a single zombie bit him on top of that. But... coulnd't the second part just have been avoided if you didn't go out and say that zombies turn humans into zombies if they bite em, you could have just implied that only the zombie demon can make zombies out of humans, was it that hard? Or you know, skip the whole zombies all together since it had no other point other than to "introduce" (and that is a very kind use of the term) to us the other squad 4 memebers, an introduction that had exactly 0 reason to happen in this specific point of the season, let alone in such a shitty way, and keep Power occupied (another scene that made no sense) because we specifically wanted Aki to fight the girl and Denji the katana guy, nevermind the practical stuff of where did they have the zombies since Denji should have killed all of them already, or how they actually transported all of them, just so much fuckin convinience everywhere.
Neither do I understand the hype about this anime nor why it's missing the ecchi tag when it's so full of shitty fanservice.
If an author is not confident enough about his anime and needs to include shitty fanservice for his main plot, then it already has failed for me.
The main guy's biggest objective is to fondle some boobs. So when he achieves that, his next goal is to have sex with a girl.. it's like a soft porn and the reason why I dropped it after 5 episodes.
Went in with high expectations and this masterpiece delivered beyond my high expectations, its a true masterpiece and deserves anime of the year for 2022. Full of gory action, comedy and mature themes with realistic views.
This anime is a disaster in every aspect, yes, including the bad production (animation, sound and direction).
Chaotic, uninspired and too edgy story for my misfortune.
No reason for me to care about a stupid, immortal protagonist if the series is trying to take itself seriously and is not a parody.
Unpleasant characters with banal and absurd (not to say irrational) motivations, behaviors (simping and lack of self-love) and really uncomfortable scenes to watch (like the gorefest, vomiting scene or the scene in Himeno's bedroom, two others additional ones).
Bland voice acting, horrible CGI and dead color palette. Added to the lazy attempt at cinematics that breaks with the pace and tone the series is trying to achieve.
The show appeals too much to the unpredictable (sacrificing coherence in the process), (bad) mindless action and also becomes too pandering to certain audiences (cringe scenes).