REVIEW: ‘Chainsaw Man,’ Volume 2

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Chainsaw Man Volume 2

I’m not going to lie; boobs and shonen manga don’t have the best track record. While I’m not against fan service – I love a good ecchi title – nothing is worse than an important story element being ruined by your protagonist falling into the closest pair of boobs. This happens so much in shonen and is doubled when a lecher trope is nearby. And that’s why I was beyond hesitant when I first started reading Chainsaw Man. That said, when I opened Chainsaw Man Volume 2 and saw the very boob-centric goal, I didn’t roll my eyes.

Chainsaw Man Volume 2 is published in English by VIZ Media through its Shonen Jump imprint with individual chapters published on the Shonen Jump app. From mangaka Tatsuki Fujimoto, this volume is translated by Amanda Haley and features touch-up art and lettering by Sabrina Heep. At the end of the last volume, Denji was double-crossed by Power, the demon best girl he was entrusted to, and is now fighting a large devil with an even larger appetite. As he fights for his life and Power’s, he holds on to his one dream: to touch a boob.

So yeah, this sounds fanservicey, and something that I would normally balk at, but Fujimoto manages to make a quest to touch a boob a noble endeavor. First, Denji is asking for permission. But second and most importantly, this is Denji’s life goal, and it doesn’t come from a place of perversion like the lechers in shonen; instead it comes from a craving to experience the small moments in life that can bring happiness. And that makes all the difference.

In the last volume, it was clear that Denji lives one of the most pitiful lives in shonen. He takes odd jobs for money, hunts devils without sanction, sells his organs, and will even put a cigarette out on his tongue for a penny. Saddled with his family’s debt, Denji has known nothing but struggle, work, and the cruelness of the world around him. So to him, a boob touch has the magnitude to make his life be just a small fraction greater, happier, and just more. This is why Denji is not only a great protagonist but one that is relatable.

While Chainsaw Man Volume 2 hones on his dream, it also builds out the world’s lore by explaining more of the damage done by the devils and alluding to how they come to be. Additionally, we see more of Kun’s backstory and get to understand this potential tsundere character’s cold and callous personality. By adding scope to the world, Fujimoto makes Denji finally pursue a quest larger than what he can see and thus adds depth to his character. And at the same time, this expansion of lore also allows for even more eventive and horror-inspired art that pushes body horror to the max.

Where it stands, Chainsaw Man is a phenomenal manga series. It has heart, range and ultimately offers art that delivers a pulp horror punch.

Chainsaw Man Volume 2 is available from booksellers now.


Chainsaw Man Volume 2
5

TL;DR

While Chainsaw Man Volume 2 hones on his dream, it also builds out the world’s lore by explaining more of the damage done by devils and alluding to how they come to be. Additionally, we see more of Kun’s backstory and get to understand this potential tsundere character’s cold and callous personality. By adding scope to the world, Fujimoto makes Denji finally pursue a quest larger than what he can see and thus add depth to his character. And at the same time, this expansion of lore also allows for even more eventive and horror-inspired art that pushes body horror to the max.