Chainsaw Man Chapter 79 was an intense and heart-breaking read. It looks like we have concluded the Gun Devil story arc. I am interested to see how Tatsuki Fujimoto picks up the pieces and moves forward from here. At any rate, Chainsaw Man Chapter 80 should be another quality read. Let’s do this review.
Words: Tatsuki Fujimoto
Art: Tatsuki Fujimoto
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Cast:Denji: Denji is the Chainsaw Man! Denji was near death when his faithful chainsaw devil dog, Pochita, merged with him and made Denji something unique. Not Devil and not human. Denji is a member of Special Division 4 at Public Safety.
Power: Power is a fiend who is a member of Special Division 4 at Public Safety. Power is selfish and childish. But, she has become bonded to Denji.
Makima: Makima is a high ranking devil hunter who runs Special Division 4 of Public Safety. Both Makima’s personality and powers are mysterious. Makima’s powers are immense, but their source is unknown. Makima shrouds her goals from even her co-workers at Public Safety.
Aki Hayakawa: Aki is a devil hunter who works under the direction of Makima at Special Division 4. Aki has a contract with the Curse Devil and the Future Devil. Aki is in charge of both Denji and Power.
Synopsis: We begin with a black panel saying Anki died. We learn that Aki left half of his money to Denji. Denji used the money to get an apartment. Then Denji and Power bought a bunch of video games and used all the time that they weren’t working to play video games and watch movies.
We cut to Denji heading out of the apartment to get ice cream. Denji walks to the convenience store. Denji gets some ice cream. Denji walks back home. Along the way, Denji sees a park bench and decided to sit down and eat an ice cream bar. When Denji finishes the ice cream he sees that the wood stick for the ice cream bar has something written on it. It is the word, “Winner.”
We get a black panel that says, “I killed Aki.” We see Denji on the park bench throwing up the ice cream. Denji lays down on the park bench and thinks how his brain is all jumbled up from the moment he wakes up to the moment he falls asleep. That good food does not even taste good anymore. Denji thinks about how his brain has turned to crap.
Denji calls out for Pochita. Suddenly, Makima appears on the scene. Denji shows Makima the wood stick and says that he won a free ice cream. Makima feels Denji’s hands and says that they are freezing. Makima tells Denji to come to her apartment. That they will drink warm tea together.
The two walk to Makima’s apartment that is in a luxury apartment building. Makima’s apartment is on the second and third floor. (Damn! Somebody is getting paid!) Makima opens her apartment door and seven dogs jump upon them. Makima laughs and pets her dogs.
Denji sits on the floor and plays with the dogs who love all over him. Makima comes over with freshly made tea and a slice of tiramisu. Makima tells Denji that one of her dogs is named Tiramisu. That the one dog that Denji is rubbing on the belly is Cream Puff.
Makima then gives her dogs doggy treats while Denji eats the tiramisu. Denji sips his tea and looks at Makima playing with her dogs. Denji thinks that this is the best place in the world. Makima holds Denji’s hands and says that they are now warmed up. Denji thanks Makima and says that his brain feels a little better because of Makima.
Makima says that Denji has been through so much and that he did a good job of surviving. Makima says that Denji is a “very good” boy. Denji starts to get teary-eyed and then says that it is not what it looks like. Makima’s dogs then rush over to Denji and start licking his face. Denji starts laughing.
Makima says that Denji saved her, too. Makima asks if Denji remembers their promise. Makima asks Denji to tell her the wish that he wants her to grant. Denji stares off while thinking about his answer. Denji then answers, “I…wanna be…your…dog…” (Ewwww.…that was a creepy way to end Chapter 80.) End of issue.
The Good: Chainsaw Man Chapter 80 was a wonderful read. The first eight pages are particularly impressive. Those pages deliver soul-aching sadness that swallows up everything. Fujimoto captures the emptiness inside your chest after the loss of a loved one. Denji attempts to fill this emptiness with everything that a young man could desire. Excellent food, video games, and movies. Yet, nothing works. Denji still feels the hollowness of life after Aki’s death.
Fujimoto allows his strong artwork to tell the story in the first eight pages. There is little dialogue. Instead, Fujimoto’s artwork effectively communicates the lack of meaning in Denji’s day-to-day life. The reader can see how Denji’s mind has turned into a jumbled mess and simply shut down on him. Fujimoto draws quiet panels that pierce the reader’s heart.
The use of all-black panels with the words “Aki died” and “I killed Aki” are both highly effective ways to get across the bleak and all-consuming nature of these thoughts rampaging through Denji’s mind. I also love how Fujimoto contrasts Denji being a “winner” of the ice cream promotional contest with him obviously feeling like he is losing at life at this moment.
The remaining eleven pages of Chainsaw Man Chapter 80 are solid, but not nearly as powerful as the first right pages. This is the most human that we have seen Makima. Don’t get me wrong, Makima is still creepy. But, this is the most intimate look we have had at Makima up to this point.
I am curious to see if Fujimoto delves into Makima’s previous 29 lives. Fujimoto just casually dropped that bomb on the reader during the Gun Devil story arc. There is no way that we do not go back and investigate this in a more detailed fashion in an upcoming story arc.
Overall, there is still something about Makima that makes me distrust her. Makima’s behaviors during the Gun Devil story arc revealed a toxic side of her personality. I am still waiting for Fujimoto to give Makima a villainous turn. I continue to get a really bad and uneasy vibe from Makima’s character.
My favorite moment of the final eleven pages would be how the dogs make Denji happy. Dogs are great. There is nothing better in the world than a loyal and loving dog.
Chainsaw Man Chapter 80 is well-plotted and paced. I appreciate that Fujimoto eases off the gas pedal and slows down the story. After such an intense read with the Gun Devil story arc, it is imperative that the reader gets a moment to catch their breath and take in fully all that happened during the Gun Devil story arc.
I appreciate that Fujimoto is wise enough to know this fact and understands the importance of a quiet and slow issue that helps to reset the table for the upcoming story arc. Chapter 80 is character-driven and allows the reader a moment to see where Denji and Makima are spinning out of the conclusion of the Gun Devil story arc.
Paul Levitz was the master of this type of issue during his run on Legion of Super-heroes. After every big story arc, Levitz would take an issue to simply assess how the big story arc impacted the characters and allow the characters to reflect on what had happened. This would also allow the reader to catch their breath and prepare for the next big story arc. Fujimoto achieves the same goal here with Chapter 80.
It appears that the Gun Devil story arc has officially concluded and that the Gun Devil was indeed defeated at the end of Chainsaw Man Chapter 76. The Gun Devil story arc was the culmination of everything that Fujimoto has been doing on this manga since Chapter 1. This is a pivotal moment in this manga. Fujimoto is going to have to figure out the new direction and purpose of Chainsaw Man going forward. This presents Fujimoto of the challenge of a full reset of the chessboard for this manga. I am excited to see where Fujimoto goes from here.
As I stated earlier in this review, the first eight pages deliver incredible artwork and effectively carry the story without words. The art in the remaining 11 pages is solid with the high point being when Denji is considering Makima’s question about what wish he wants her to grant. All in all, Fujimoto always delivers solid artwork that helps to effectively tell the story.
The Bad: Chainsaw Man Chapter 80 was not free from defects. The ending of this chapter is super creepy. And not a good creepy. Just a really uncomfortable and awkward creepy like you just walked in on your parents having sex. I really am not interested in reading about other people’s weird fetishes.
First, Denji saying he wanted to be Makima’s dog had Sid Vicious’ hit song running through my head for the rest of the day. Second, this move does absolutely nothing for Denji’s character. Fujimoto already writes Denji as a simple-minded character. However, at least Denji still retained a sense of agency even if he had a simple view of life. With this ending, Fujimoto robs Denji’s character of any agency. This makes Denji too subordinate and completely reliant on Makima’s character for his purpose and existence.
This new direction for Denji’s character is not the path of a hero. It is also a move that does not garner Denji had respect from the reader. Hopefully, Fujimoto has something brilliant in mind with this direction that I am not seeing at the moment. Which would be fantastic because right now I am not that excited about this new direction.
Another problem with the final eleven pages in Chainsaw Man Chapter 80 is that the Makima/Denji pairing is just not working at all. Fujimoto has failed to create anything that even remotely appears like chemistry between Makima and Denji. This relationship feels forced and lacks any genuine emotion. The reader is never invested in this pairing at all.
Overall: Chainsaw Man Chapter 80 is another solid read. Fujimoto delivers a beautiful introspective read that serves as a wonderful bridge between the Gun Devil story arc and wherever we go from here. Seriously, if you have not given Chainsaw Man a try then you really need to do so.
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