“Chainsaw Man” premiere revs up anticipation

Sonali Khanna, Contributing Writer

Chainsaw Man is the newly serialized adaptation of an ongoing manga written and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto, with new episodes releasing every Tuesday on Hulu. It follows Denji, a young man trapped in a seemingly never-ending process of paying out his deceased father’s hefty debt, who turns to devil hunting as a means to earn money. The first episode barely touches the surface of the extensive series (consisting of over 100 chapters) but establishes the titular part-saw part-man hybrid Denji has become.   

The show’s initial moments have been almost identical to the source material. With expertly crafted scenes and an energetic soundtrack, the intense action sequences rise to a new level of ferocity. Animation as a medium allows for more opportunities to dive into the more horrific aspects of the story (like Denji’s body mutilation), which though still prevalent in the manga, might not have been as hard-hitting unless brought to motion.

So far, the series’ loyalty to the manga creates anticipation for just how berserk a previously seen fight scene can get. But for those unfamiliar with the source, the potential for unknown violent spectacles is equally compelling.

The show’s main appeal is an eccentric plot bolstered by its absurdity. Weirdness isn’t something it scares away from (considering our protagonist now has a chainsaw sticking out of his neck), but an unapologetic embrace of these quirks helps it stand out.

Unfortunately, starting this ecstatic also sets them up for some potential disappointment. An enjoyable introduction demands future episodes to maintain, if not improve, the already established standard of entertainment. Hopefully, the show is holding off on unleashing its true potential and will use the premier as a mere jumping-off point into future episodes.

The premiere skillfully captures the ambiance of the manga in a way that makes it engaging for new audience members while also delivering on the expectations of the more seasoned viewers. It’ll be challenging for them to amp it up going forward, but it’s hard to determine the fate of an entire series just by its first episode. A gripping introduction with plenty left to explain initiates some much-deserved excitement for what’s to come.