You may know Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba, the lively feeling of killing demons. But what about Chainsaw Man, the manga about killing demons? He has an upcoming anime that could very well blow up demon slayer out of water. Demons, devils, potatoes, right? While there are immediately apparent differences between the villains, iconic characters, and the stomach-churning world of Chainsaw Man set it apart from its killer competitors. And best of all, the anime is produced by MAPPA, one of the most impressive studios out there.
So when is it going to stop? According to the studio, sometime later this year. Their teaser material just promised a 2022 release window, but Crunchyroll recently announced that they’ve licensed the anime. They will stream it with English subtitles and dubs when the episodes are released in Japan. The anime will air one episode per week, so don’t expect to be able to swallow it all at once. But coming out of the manga, something big happens chapter after chapter and builds into an extremely complex narrative. It will be a slow burn that will surely spread until it is everywhere.
The series tells the story of Denji, a young devil hunter with unusual power who will do anything to live a comfortable life. At first glance, it looks like a typical battle series that leans into shocking visuals, but the story is surprisingly rich. Through and around thrilling combat, Denji takes on an increasingly disrupted world with just the right amount of madness. It is both funny and tragic, exciting and meditative. The losses he suffers, the horrors he sees, the horrors he creates, all drive Denji to appreciate the precious brevity of life. The bloodless scenes are cathartic and infectiously funny, but have the potential to be terrifyingly dark. And likewise, the battle scenes are both funny and extremely moving.
The source material is so strong. Across just under 100 chapters, Fujimoto introduces dozens of memorable characters and memorable confrontations that work in unison to mature Denji’s simple (and very funny) worldview into something deeply relatable. And on the sales side, he already has at least 11 million books in circulation, a Harvey Award and a huge fandom. Back when VIZ released the first volume in English in October 2020, the books literally couldn’t be reprinted fast enough to keep up with demand. due to COVID restrictions. There was even a time when people were paying multiple times the sticker price on eBay just to get their own copy. Once supply was able to meet demand, the series remained on Amazon’s best-selling manga list, with the 11th and final volume due out in June in the United States. Having already experienced its own cultural moment, the anime will tap into all of that and more.