It’s hard to believe we’ve reached chapter 100 of Chainsaw Man! Chainsaw Man Part 2 is underway, so let’s look at the released chapters and see why everyone’s talking about them!
Another Side, Another Story
What’s interesting about Chainsaw Man Part 2’s first three chapters is the fact that Denji’s nowhere to be found. Sure, Chainsaw Man’s huge in a post-Part 1 world, but the fact that he’s physically absent is interesting. Instead, our perspective turns to Asa Mitaka, a seemingly normal student that wants nothing to do with devils.
Which is precisely why her class’s teacher brings in a headless chicken named Bucky to teach the class a lesson. He states that the class may choose to kill the lesser devil at the end of their lesson plan. Luckily, they don’t, and Bucky gets to live amongst the classmates. It’s here we get to see Asa warm up from her normally cynical demeanor, which frames her personality.
Asa is a loner much like Denji, who also ends up meeting a grisly demise. Thankfully, someone comes to her aid. Unfortunately, this isn’t Pochita we’re talking about; this is the War Devil.
A Means to an End
From the very beginning, Asa wants the concept of devils and Chainsaw Man to go away. To do that, she forcefully makes a contract with the War Devil in order to survive. Right away, Chainsaw Man Part 2 differs in its narrative by making the symbiotic relationship caustic rather than pleasant.
Both Asa and the War Devil want to kill Chainsaw Man, but the latter forcefully controls Asa’s body. The War Devil threatens that at any time it can kill Asa’s brain to take control. This isn’t ideal, since the Devil Hunters would be able to extinguish the threat at ease. Therefore, there’s a sense of urgency and deception between the duo’s relationship. It’s not one of friendship, but one of mutual fear. They need each other in more than Pochita and Denji needed themselves, and this creates an entertaining conflict.
Honestly, War Devil’s power set (creating weapons from beings that belong to it) feels awfully like Makima’s Control Devil. Hmm…
A Familiar Face in a Strange Place
While Chainsaw Man Part 2 doesn’t have Denji yet, we do get a returning character: Yoshida! Back from the International Assassins arc (thankfully), he’s put in a team with Asa and newcomer Yuko. The trio seem to parallel the original three from the first part. Yuko is a gregarious person who wants to know Asa more, while Yoshida is suspicious on what Asa’s truly hiding. Hopefully the three can stay alive for a while, since I want to see how they work out as a team.
It’s interesting to note that while the first chapter of Chainsaw Man Part 2 was grisly, the other two… aren’t. The Devil Hunter Club is explored and even romanticized in the school, but there isn’t much action in chapters 99 and 100. In a way, they harken back to the previous Fujimoto one-shots. Yuko’s insistence of giving Asa her shoes reminds me of Look Back’s gentler panels. It’s just so strange to have a breather so early in the series, but then again, it can go sideways very quickly.
Also, where the heck is Denji? He (or rather, Chainsaw Man) is constantly referenced, but he’s nowhere to be found. I’d like to see more details on that arrangement, but we’re only three chapters in.
The Jump to Another Platform
As I wrote previously, Chainsaw Man Part 2 gets some more freedom moving to Shonen Jump+. Firstly, we get chapters every Tuesday now! It’s not a big thing, but I like getting a treat in the middle of the workweek. The manga can get away with much more if needed, but for now, the content is relatively tame. (We’ll see how Fujimoto feels in a few weeks.) Now that the manga doesn’t have to compete against other Weekly Shonen Jump series, it can go wilder than usual. (I’m talking Fire Punch levels of action and dread, man!) Regardless of what happens next, I’m strapping in for another go on the Chainsaw Man rollercoaster.
P.S. I want more Kobeni. Please, we need to see her survive more wacky hijinks.