ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Chainsaw Man,’ Volume 3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Chainsaw Man Volume 3

Chainsaw Man has quickly become a favorite among Shonen Jump fans and over the last two volumes, the horror, action, and best boi protagonist Denji has proven why. Serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump since 2019, the series created by mangaka Tatsuki Fujimoto is published in English by VIZ Media through its Shonen Jump imprint (with individual chapter available on the Shonen Jump app). Translated into English by Amanda Haley and featuring touch-up art and lettering by Sabrina Heep, Chainsaw Man Volume 3 picks up immediately after the events of volume 2.

Capturing chapters 17 through 25, Chainsaw Man Volume 3 has Denji trying to achieve his next goal, a kiss with Himeno—and with tongue. To land his prize he has to defeat the Eternity Devil and get the piece of the Gun Devil that it holds. But this won’t be easy. The large fleshy mass of a Devil is an immovable force keeping Division 4 trapped in a hotel with no food or water to survive. But, the Devil offers the group from Division 4 an ultimatum, feed it Denji and go free, or they can all die.

Chainsaw Man Volume 3 is a triumphant gut punch. In the opening chapters, you realize how Denji’s lack of worldly ties and simple dreams makes him extremely dangerous and unafraid to jump into the mouth of a demon to save his team. From that point, you also get the chance to learn how easy it is for Devil Hunters to die, and the wounds those deaths leave behind on their teams. We see this through Himeno’s flashbacks and her dedication to keeping Aki alive.

That said, in the final chapter of the volume, Fujimoto decides that a happily ever after where Division 4 gets to be happy and together isn’t the story he wants to tell. Instead, he follows up his promise that Devil Hunters can die at any moment, by seemingly killing a majority of the cast. At a breakneck pace, chapter 25 aims to break your heart. Packed with action and emotional close-ups, Chainsaw Man Volume 3 ends with a punch and the uncertainty of whether your favorite characters will be coming back in volume 4.

Beyond the surprising turn of events at the end of the volume, which is extremely well-executed, Fujimoto’s art is disturbingly grotesque. The Eternity Devil is terrifying uncomfortable to look at. A wall of flesh, faces, and hands, and the Devil looking to take Denji’s heart made me physically recoil. But while the twisting flesh is disturbing, it’s Fujimoto’s use of teeth and mouths is just unsettling. In some panels, Fujimoto uses mouths as eyes and in others, he illustrates gnashing teeth that make me shake the way nails on a chalkboard do. The pulp-style of Chainsaw Man is one of the reasons why I picked up the series and chapter after chapter, Fujimoto delivers disturbing pulpy Devils that are grotesque and creative at the same time.

Overall, Chainsaw Man Volume 3 is fantastically unsettling. It offers the wholesome Denji that readers have fallen in love with, excessive amounts of blood and violence, unsettling Devils, and ends with a gutwrenching chapter. If you’re not reading the individual chapters of the manga on the Shonen Jump app, this volume will push you to it with its ending.

Chainsaw Man Volume 3 is available from booksellers on February 2, 2021.


Chainsaw Man Volume 3
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Chainsaw Man Volume 3 is fantastically unsettling. It offers the wholesome Denji that readers have fallen in love with, excessive amounts of blood and violence, unsettling Devils, and ends with a gutwrenching chapter. If you’re not reading the individual chapters of the manga on the Shonen Jump app, this volume will push you to it with its ending.