Chainsaw Man: the anime adaptation has just completed its first part!

We liked

– The crazy fury of Tatsuki Fujimoto!
– The hero, a miserable employee of a terrible Japanese state
– The MAPPA studio, always at the forefront!

We didn’t like

– But MAPPA remains shy and struggles to offer violence as exhilarating as that of the manga

In December 2018, the bomb chain saw man began its publication, and left an indelible trace with great blows of chainsaws in the pages of Shonen Jumpan unmissable manga publication magazine from Japan.

After the conclusion of the first part of the manga at the end of 2020, the anime adaptation, executed by the MAPPA studio, has just ended with a first part of 12 episodes.

Adapting a manga into an anime is always a great moment. A moment of feverish expectation, praying that the result will be up to par and the animation will be successful. You should also be on the lookout for the announcement of the dubbing cast (central element in the communication of anime in Japan). If the first visuals revealed by the MAPPA studio, studio behind Dororo, Kids On The Slopethe last season of The attack of the Titans or Jujutsu Kaisenhad already been able to convince the crowds, the end result turned out to be even more successful.

But before getting to the heart of the matter: It’s what chain saw man ? What is it about ? And why is it such a popular manga?

The story

Chainsaw Man is a manga written by Tatsuki Fujimotomangaka having already officiated with the excellent Fire Punchand which returned in December 2018 with a completely barred shonen with black and cynical humor as we like it!

We follow the adventures of Denji, a perfect example of the failure (a bit of a moron), who inherited his father’s debts and must kill demons to repay them. Betrayed and then trapped by his employers, he is then given a second chance and an immense power: that of becoming a chainsaw demon, cutting everything in his path. Recruited later in an office of demon hunters and hypnotized with love (and sexual desire) by the magnetic Makima, Denji is about to live a very eventful year because in this world, the greatest fears of people take still in shape, and in the face of this endless threat, only the demon hunters of Public Security resist.

What is immediately striking with chain saw manit is the totally exhilarating violence that escapes from this urban universe: endless butcheries, adolescent humor that beats up, chara designs very classy, ​​a ruthless side in the killing of the main characters… Fire Punch, which was already very strong in its genre, almost pales in comparison! However, after his psychotic vision of a post-apo humanity at bay, Fujimoto puts both feet in the dish of subversion by bludgeoning the rigid codes of shonen nekketsu to offer a ruthless look at the world of hunting. to demons. This model is certainly familiar to you, since the industry of japanimation has been feeding its readers with it for many years, repeating ad nauseam a process that already seems as old as the world, but which the public is still fond of, as evidenced by the success of My hero Academia and others… So, seeing mangas like Chainsaw Man arrive with the desire to upset the codes by offering a hero far from being heroic, it feels good.

The cinematographic influence is predominant in chain saw man, which relentlessly links references and compositions of panels worthy of a Tarantino film. The mixture of influences works, and therefore offers a universe whose general spelling is ultimately a huge love letter to cinema, as the mangaka already did in his previous creations.

Another highlight of the manga is its vision of death. The surgical precision with which the mangaka shows death from all angles, devouring everything around the protagonists, causes a feeling that is both frightening and fascinating, as if Fujimoto liked to bring chaos to his own universe. by massacring all his puppet theater with all his might. Simple desire to kill for free? Nay! This ruthless vision of society is ultimately only a mirror of Japanese society and its burnout repeatedly, here represented by the fact that the demon tracking service is a… public and state service. Our proud fighters here are just simple civil servants, eager to make a little money despite the risks, and death awaits around every corner.

And the anime?

The slew of twelve episodes served to us on a MAPPA set was an opportunity to recall the quality of animation offered by the studio: an effective compromise between CGI (computer generated imagery, to say 3D animation) and traditional animation, giving a convincing mix, whether during ultra dynamic clashes as in calmer life scenes.

Some of the most anticipated scenes for their adaptation will not have disappointed fans, even if some will criticize (rightly) a little lack of madness in the way of staging certain clashes. MAPPA stays in the nails with this adaptation, without compromising itself too much as a studio to follow, and offers a bloody and epic spectacle, which perhaps lacks a little spice.

Moreover, when we talk about animation, it is impossible not to mention the performance of the studio which consisted in offering not just one (as is customary in almost all anime) but twelve different end credits ! The opportunity to discover the genius of MAPPA at work, going as much in the tribute to the works of MC Escher (famous illustrator who notably designed this drawing of infinite stairs) as in the crazy.

The final rendering is accompanied by the dantesque soundtrack of Kensuke Ushio, an incisive mix of electronic sounds that will smash the most sensitive ears, and which perfectly matches the crazy sound atmosphere that we were expecting.

So, what to remember from these first twelve episodes, if not that MAPPA’s work is a pure jewel of composition, whose opening is a fresco tribute to our pleasures as moviegoers?

The anime of chain saw man therefore concludes its first salvo with honors, and we hope for a second part of the same quality, especially when you know what adventures await Denji…