Chainsaw Man is the most riveting read on the market, right now. There is no other manga delivering such gripping reads on such a consistent basis. Tatsuki Fujimoto dropped another massive bomb on the reader with the ending of Chainsaw Man Chapter 81. I am excited to see what Fujimoto has in store for us with Chainsaw Man Chapter 82! Let’s do this review.
Words: Tatsuki Fujimoto
Art: Tatsuki Fujimoto
Story Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 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 Makima closing her front door and leaving Power’s corpse in the hallway. Makima and Denji walk back to the sofa and sit down. Denji looks dazed. Makima comments that the tea is cold and that she is going to make more. Denji asks if he is dreaming.
Makima lays down with her head in Denji’s lap. Makima then starts to laugh in a creepy manner. Makima then busts out loud and laughs until she begins to cry. Makima sits back up and says that was a good laugh. Makima tells Denji to take off his shirt. Denji continues to look stunned and takes off his shirt.
Makima lays back down in Denji’s lap. Makima says that in exchange for Denji living a normal life that Pochita gave Denji a heart. That Denji did not make a promise with Pochita. That it was a contract. Makima asked herself how she could break that contract. How she could make Denji hurt so that he could not longer be capable of living a normal life. So damaged that Denji could not bounce back for as long as he lives.
This seemed a challenge since Denji felt plenty of happiness while living impoverished with Pochita. Makima said that she decided to make Denji much happier. Makima gave Denji a job that paid good money and fed him lots of delicious food. Makima gave Denji a family. Aki became a good big brother. Power became the lovable bratty little sister. Makima decided to make this level of happiness Denji’s new normal and then destroy it all.
Makima says that if Denji overcomes his grief and makes new friends then she will immediately kill them. If Denji gets married and starts a family then she will immediately kill them.
Makima says that it is time for Denji to atone for his sins. That Denji’s brain hid a bad memory. We then see the mysterious door that has warned Denji to not open the door. Makima says that Denji hid a bad memory behind this door for survival’s sake. Makima says that Denji’s father did not kill himself. That Denji killed his father.
We cut to the mysterious door. Denji is a young boy. Denji opens the door. Inside the room is his dead father. Makima says that Denji’s father was a drunk and that Denji had no choice but to kill him. That the other adults would not get their money back like that, so they made the death out to be a suicide.
Makima says that Denji was finally able to open the door. That Denji helped her kill Power. That there might have been a way to save Aki, but Denji killed him, too. Makima says that Denji murdered his father. Makima says that someone like Denji has no right to wish for a normal life.
We cut to Denji as a young boy in his old apartment. Makima is squatted down before him. Denji agrees that he has no right to wish for a normal life.
We hop back to Makima’s apartment. Makima makes breakfast and coffee. Makima sits down to eat her breakfast while Denji lies on the sofa in a daze. End of chapter.
The Good: What. The. Hell. Chainsaw Man Chapter 82 grabbed my brains, scrambled them in a bowl, and poured them back into my head. I am totally blown away by Chapter 82. This story is the culmination of every single thing that Fujimoto has been doing on this manga since Chapter 1. Chainsaw Man 82 is stunning, brilliant, and mind-blowing. I need to gather my thoughts before progressing in this review.
There is so much to process after reading Chapter 82. My main takeaway is how Fujimoto has brilliant plotting skills. Seriously, the manner in which Fujimoto has built the story toward the big reveal in Chapter 82 is nothing short of superlative. Fujimoto manages to take every single disparate plot line ranging from Aki, Power, Pochita, Denji’s youth, Denji’s career with Public Safety, and Makima’s secret plans and pulls back to curtain to show the reader how everything weaves together to form a mesmerizing and complex tapestry. This detailed tapestry is what forms the story in Chainsaw Man Chapter 82.
Fujimoto spent 77 chapters building up to the moment in Chainsaw Man Chapter 77 where Denji opened the door and came face-to-face with Aki as the Gun Fiend. Fujimoto then spent Chapters 78-80 tearing down Denji’s entire world that had been built up in the first 77 chapters. With Chainsaw Man Chapter 82, Fujimoto lays out the master plan to explain why everything happened the way it did from Chapter 1 all the way up to Chapter 82. Fujimoto knew where he wanted to be in Chapter 82 all the way back when he was writing Chapter 1. That is long-range plotting and vision that few comic book writers possess.
It is stunning how Fujimoto can take everything he has been doing on this manga since the very beginning and pull it all together in such a powerful climactic moment. Even more impressive is that Fujimoto manages to do it in an organic and logical fashion. Nothing is forced. Every piece of the puzzle slides together perfectly. Fujimoto demonstrates plotting skills that rival anything you would see from master world buildings like Geoff Johns and Jonathan Hickman.
Let’s get right to one of the two huge reveals. Makima’s plan. I knew Makima was evil! Fujimoto had been giving the reader enough uncomfortable moments from Makima to make them nervous about her character. With Chapter 82, Fujimoto peels back Makima’s veneer and reveals a cold and heartless character. Makima is officially the biggest villain of the story.
We learn several huge plot reveals as Makima explains her plans and motivation to Denji. First, up to now, the reader has always viewed Denji’s relationship with Pochita completely different from any other Devil Hunter’s relationship with the devil that grants them their powers. Fujimoto presented Pochita’s sacrifice to save Denji as one of love and kindness based upon a promise from Denji. This stood in sharp contrast with the cold and impersonal contracts between Devil Hunters and devils.
However, Makima reveals that the deal between Denji and Pochita is actually a contract that is based upon Denji agreeing to live a normal life. Makima’s plan to break that contract fits perfectly within the rules of this universe. This also explains perfectly why Makima gave Denji an older brother in Aki and a younger sister in Power. It all makes sense. The reader saw Denji rising from living impoverished all alone to having a job, making good money, and having his new family. It seemed that Denji had achieved all of his goals. It was the perfect scenario all orchestrated by Makima.
Of course, Makima’s plan to give Denji a family and then kill them just to permanently damage Denji is chilling. Makima’s threat to kill any other friends, wife, or children of Denji at any point in the future is flat out evil. Fujimoto hammers the point home with this moment. If the reader was still unsure how evil Makima was then this threat of future violence clearly affirms to the reader that Makima is the big bad evil of this story.
Fujimoto also uses Makima to finally reveal the mystery surrounding the door and the voice telling Denji not to open it. Readers have been waiting for this reveal since the very beginning of this manga. And this reveal was worth every minute of that wait, too.
The mysterious door is the door of Denji’s childhood apartment. The voice is Denji’s subconscious. Denji sealed off this terrible memory from himself. And the terrible memory? That Denji killed his father. Talk about a massive “holy shit” moment. This is a stunning reveal that smacks the reader in the face. We knew that Denji’s father was a piece of garbage. But, the fact that Denji was forced to kill his father to not be abused or killed himself is such a tragic moment. We knew that Denji had a tough childhood, but this reveal shows that Denji had to deal with far more than what the reader initially thought.
I love the concept that anytime when Denji’s mind drifts back to that moment in his childhood his subconscious warns him to not open the door so that he will continue to forget the terrible memory. This door sealing away the bad memory is also linked to the doors that have led to Denji’s biggest losses: the deaths of Aki and Power. In both cases, Denji’s subconscious warned him to not open the door. And in both cases, Denji ignored his subconscious and the results have been the deaths of Aki and Power.
What happens to Denji in Chainsaw Man Chapter 82 is heartbreaking. Fujimoto has done a masterful job getting the reader to bond closely with Denji as this manga has progressed. It has been great to see Denji grow from being a poor lonely person to being a successful Devil Hunter with a family of his own. Denji’s solitary life that we saw in Chapter 1 blossomed into a full life with Aki and Power serving as his loyal and loving family. To see Makima heartlessly destroying everything in Denji’s life is a gut punch to the reader.
Fujimoto succeeds in getting the reader to feel Denji’s pain. The sense of hopefulness and confusion as Denji’s world collapses in on him is palpable. Fujimoto does a brilliant job capturing that dazed state of mind where a person is so shocked that they become detached from reality. That is where we see Denji in this chapter.
Fujimoto has placed our hero in a seemingly impossible situation. Makima has presented herself to be the most horrifying villain possible. Denji appears to be at his lowest in his entire life. Both Denji’s spirit and will appear to be completely shattered. The reader is left wondering how our hero can ever rebuild himself from this point. Fujimoto has presented Denji with the toughest test in his life. I am excited and eager to see where Fujimoto takes the story from here.
After blowing up the reader’s world in Chapter 82, I love how Fujimoto ends the chapter with such a quiet scene. We get no dialogue in the final three pages. It is a simple scene of Makima making her breakfast and then enjoying it while Denji lies comatose on the sofa. This is a beautiful and unique way to end a chapter with so many explosive plot reveals. This ending also wonderfully emphasizes Makima as a sociopathic villain.
As always, Fujimoto delivers plenty of solid artwork. There were no cool splashy fight scenes to allow Fujimoto to flex his muscles. However, Fujimoto continues to show that his artwork excels at the small moments. Fujimoto continues to demonstrate the uncanny ability to let his artwork completely carry the story at certain moments. The art also encapsulates perfectly Denji’s descent into a nearly comatose state as his mind appears to completely shut down.
The Bad: I have no criticisms of this chapter.
Overall: Chainsaw Man Chapter 82 is a brilliant read. This chapter is a study in phenomenal long term plotting and the ability to construct a complex story full of varying plot lines that all meld together in a coherent and intelligent fashion. I have no idea how Fujimoto has been able to continually top himself over the course of the last five chapters. Seriously, Chainsaw Man is one of the best mangas currently on the market. Definitely make time to check out this manga when it comes out in collected format.
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