I will admit that Chainsaw Man Part 2 has been a bit of a disappointment for me. To be sure, Tatsuki Fujimoto has delivered some quality chapters during Part 2. But, as a whole, Part 2 has failed to hit the same highs as Part 1 and has failed to deliver the same complex web of plot lines and compelling supporting characters that populated Part 1.
Having said that, I always look forward to the latest chapter of Chainsaw Man. Chainsaw Man Chapter 120 delivers the debut of another character that we have not seen since Part 2 began in Chapter 98. Let’s go ahead and hit this review!
Words and Art: Tatsuki Fujimoto
Synopsis: We begin at Denji’s apartment. Denji’s roommate finally makes an appearance and it is none other than Nayuta. Nayuta immediately controls Yoru’s mind and makes her one of Nayuta’s dogs.
Denji tells Nayuta to turn Asa back immediately. Nayuta says she will not do so until Denji cooks her some food because she is hungry. Denji makes some food. Nayuta says that every woman Denji meets tries to kill him. Nayuta says that Asa is the same and that she should not turn Asa back to normal.
Nayuta then finally agrees to turn Asa back to normal as long as Nayuta gets to eat ice cream every day and Denji can no longer be friendly with Asa. Nayuta says she does not like Asa’s scent. Nayuta then alters Asa’s memories so Asa thinks Denji stood her up for their date to the aquarium. Denji agrees and says that Nayuta comes first.
We cut to Asa waiting for Denji. Yoru says that Denji stood them up. Asa says she does not care. That she prefers solitude despite her teenage hormonal urges for sex. Asa then wonders what is wrong with her and that all she should care about is getting her body back from Yoru.
Yoshida then appears on the scene and asks Asa if she would like some company. End of chapter.
The Good: Well, well, well. Look who finally made her grand appearance. We first met Nayuta in Chapter 97 with the conclusion of Chainsaw Man Part 1. Nayuta is the Control Devil who was reincarnated after Makima’s death. Nayuta is obviously now older and more mature, however still young enough to have an immature streak.
I appreciate that Fujimoto is presenting Nayuta as a sister to Denji. This is a brilliant move. When Makima was the Control Devil she was presented as a part aspirational love interest for Denji and part toxic and abusive female. I am glad that Fujimoto has gone in a completely different direction with Nayuta.
It has been quite some time since Denji has had a family. Fujimoto presented Denji as a lonely orphan whose only companion was Pochita. As Denji became a Devil Hunter, Fujimoto then built out a real family for Denji in the form of Aki and Power. However, this family was brutally taken from Denji by the end of Part 1.
It is nice to see Fujimoto returning some semblance of a family to Denji. This is something that Denji’s character certainly deserves. For my money, there was no better writing than what we got with the Aki, Denji, and Power family dynamic. It was the most brilliant writing of Part 1. I am unsure if Fujimoto can hit that same high with Denji and Nayuta. However, I am certainly open to the possibility that Fujimoto can pull that off once again.
Nayuta is immediately presented as a likable character which is a rarity for the characters in Chainsaw Man. Nayuta is pleasantly protective of Denji. It is nice to see a character who truly loves Denji and honestly has his best interests in mind. In turn, I like how Denji makes Nayuta a clear priority in his life. Denji is a character that often lacks much of a moral compass so it is important that Fujimoto show a more sensitive and caring side of Denji’s personality.
Nayuta serves as the perfect compliment to Denji’s character. Denji is forever oblivious to the dangers that await him. Denji has an eternally naive and hopeful outlook with any girl who returns his advances. Fujimoto smartly highlights this fact by having Nayuta highlight that every woman Denji dates try to kill him. Having Nayuta point out this fact also reinforces Nayuta’s role as the protective sister.
Fujimoto does a fantastic job creating some quality chemistry between Nayuta and Denji. In fact, this is the first time in Part 2 that Fujimoto has been able to generate any real chemistry between characters. Denji and Nayuta have personalities that perfectly complement each other and help to make the other one stronger and better for it. Never forget that Denji’s goal is to raise Nayuta in a fashion so that she never becomes like Makima.
I love that Fujimoto slots Yoshida into the story as a potential pairing with Asa. This is a smart move. The pairing of Asa and Denji was flat-out not working. Fujimoto failed to generate any chemistry at all between Denji and Asa. All the scenes with these two characters fell flat.
Another plus of moving Yoshida into the parking with Asa instead of Denji is that it increases the tension in the reader. Let’s be honest, at no point was the reader ever worried for Denji. The reader knew that Asa/Yoru was not going to ever be able to kill Denji. Therefore, there was no real tension in the reader since there were no stakes at all. This is not the case with Yoshida. Also, Yoshida being a Devil Hunter should mean that he would make for a powerful weapon should Asa/Yoru kill him.
Fujimoto delivers solid artwork. There was no action in Chapter 120 so there was no opportunity to get any of that amazing Fujimoto battle artwork.
The Bad: Asa continues to be somewhat of a dud of a character. Asa is rather one-note and lacks any personality or charisma. Unfortunately, Fujimoto selected Asa to be the main protagonist for the majority of Chainsaw Man Part 2. However, Asa is unlikable and too flat of a character to pull off that role. It just has not been compelling. It is time for Fujimoto to shift the spotlight back toward Denji. It is also a time to push Asa as more of the next big bad for Denji to defeat rather than the protagonist or the love interest for Denji.
In general, Chainsaw Man Part 2 continues to drag. Fujimoto lacks the razor-sharp focus that he had during Chainsaw Man Part 1. Part 2 is not full of various plot lines that organically weave together and naturally build toward the next story arc. We are over twenty chapters into Part 2 and we have no real long-range goal for Part 2 that is the equivalent of the Gun Devil threat and Makima’s secret plan. Part is basically nothing more than Asa wanting her body back and Yoru wanting to kill Denji. That’s it.
Part 2 also completely lacks the superlative cast of characters that blessed Chainsaw Man Part 1. During Part 1, Fujimoto graced the reader with characters like Makima, Power, Aki, Kishibe, Angel, Katana Man, Reze, Quanxi, and the Gun Fiend. In Part 2, we have gotten a watered-down version of Denji who has largely been ignored and that is about it for compelling characters. Part 2 utterly lacks the incredibly strong supporting cast of Part 1.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall: Chainsaw Man Chapter 120 is one of the better chapters that we have gotten in Part 2. I hope that Fujimoto is ready to start building out a quality supporting cast for Denji. I also hope that this chapter indicates that Denji will be firmly at the forefront going forward while Asa continues down her path as a villain.
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