Book Recommendation: ‘Chainsaw Man, Vol. 1’ by Tatsuki Fujimoto

Recommended by ANDREW KLEIDON, Creative Director, Peninsula Pulse

So maybe you want to check out this “anime thing” all the cool kids are talking about. Or maybe you’re already a fan who’s looking for the next big thing. Well, Chainsaw Man might be your best bet.

Now, I don’t think Chainsaw Man is good beginner material for someone who has never read manga (Japanese comic books) or watched anime (Japanese animation), but it has an anime adaptation coming out in October that will be produced by Studio MAPPA, which is known for its stunning animation.

Chainsaw Man follows Denji, a young man who’s living in the shadow of his deceased father’s debt to the yakuza, the Japanese organized-crime syndicate. He’s made ends meet so far by doing odd jobs, selling his body parts and working as a devil hunter – all while living in a shack and taking care of his companion, Pochita, who’s a cross between a small dog and a chainsaw. 

When Denji is betrayed by his contractor and murdered by a devil, his loyal Pochita sacrifices his life to restore Denji by merging with him. How does that work, exactly? When Denji pulls the ripcord left in his chest after merging with Pochita, he sprouts chainsaws from his body and uses them to kill any devil that gets in his way – a job he’s given by a group of government-funded devil hunters who agree not to kill him for being a devil himself as long as he cooperates with them.

It’s a wild story with striking art and all the ingredients of a modern-day Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Horror and gore, a fun cast of interesting characters and a monster-of-the-week story structure that builds to immense proportions later.

Even if you don’t follow Japanese media, you’re sure to see this Chainsaw’ed man popping up on TV, social media and plenty of merchandise when the anime makes its debut later this year, so why not get ahead of the frenzy by checking it out now?