For two long years, manga readers have awaited the second coming of our lord and savior, Chainsaw Man. Finally, Chainsaw Man Part 2 is among us, and folks, its first chapter slaps.
Chainsaw Man is a pulp-fiction-esque manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto. The story follows Denji, down-and-out and living in poverty, who survives by taking odd jobs from the local yakuza to kill devils alongside his adorable half-dog, half-chainsaw companion, Pochita. After a near-death incident, Denji finds himself with the power to turn into a chainsaw devil, and commences killing other devils under the employ of the equally mesmerizing and controlling Makima. While Denji’s initial motivation is literally only wanting to “touch some boobs,” his simplistic aspirations gradually develop as he navigates through the bonkers world as Chainsaw Man.
Admittedly, I was nervous about whether the first chapter of Chainsaw Man Part 2 would live up to the manga’s previous heights. But after having read its newest chapter, I’m happy to report that Chainsaw Man Part 2 not only meets those high standards, it has me more excited than ever to see what misadventures lie in store for Denji. Here’s what happens in the first chapter of the highly-anticipated Chainsaw Man Part 2.
(By the way, if you haven’t caught up on this joint yet, what the hell is wrong with you? Read that shit right now. Would be weird to just skip it entirely, but I suppose FOMO works in mysterious ways.)
As Part 2 begins—we’re in chapter 98: Bird and War—the public considers Denji bigger than Jesus. Well, not Denji specifically, but his devil alter-ego Chainsaw Man. Denji was straight sobbing at the fact that the public started to adore him toward the end of the first part, albeit under the duress of him being the only savior people had while the big bad ran rampant throughout the city. But I digress. We’re gonna just go ahead and count that as a win in the now-reformed terminal simp’s book.
Years have seemingly passed since the finale of the previous chapter, and the society has changed drastically. In comparison to devils being tantamount to a domestic terror event waiting to happen, now there are inclusive devil-centric school courses and Chainsaw Man has his own merchandise, like a branded burger with collectable stickers.
In Bird and War, a high school class learns they’re going to have a devilish class pet, a headless, talking chicken called Bucky. He’s got no feathers, but that bow-tie is just eggcellent. Alas, their teacher explains that they’ll be killing the fowl beast in three months. Sad. However, the subject of the story isn’t the punnerific feathered devil, despite how on board I was for that. Instead, it focuses on a new character, a sardonic girl named Asa Mitaka.
While her classmates wholeheartedly love Bucky, Mitaka abhors him and other devils, especially Chainsaw Man. While her class dotes on Bucky, Mitaka sulks in the background. When Bucky’s final hour is at hand, the class almost unanimously decides—Mitaka’s the holdout—to spare him. Turns out the class passed some sort of extracurricular devil test, as merriment then ensues.
Until it doesn’t. When Mitaka decides to join in on the fun after Bucky remembers her name (something even her classmates routinely forget) the clumsy girl trips over the misshapen bird, killing him outright. Like, his little chicken guts and everything spill out of his poor jolly stomach. This strange death sets us up for the new chapter’s highlight.
One night Mitaka is invited by her teacher and class president to visit Bucky’s grave, and the latter reveals she had made a contract with a devil and was responsible for Mitaka tripping on Bucky. Turns out the class president, despite being in a sexual relationship with their teacher, was jealous of Mitaka for being a “goody-two-shoes” and attracting his attention.
After suffering a life-ending injury from her class president, a mysterious bird-like devil offers Mitaka a contract, transforming her into the War Devil. Mitaka, in turn, rips the head of her teacher clear off his body and transforms it into a sword to dice up the malevolent prez, before turning her victim’s severed arm into a grenade and walking away while they explode. Yikes.
In the chapter’s final panel, the newly devil-powered Mitaka swears that Chainsaw Man will suffer a similar fate to her teacher and class president, only instead, she’ll make him “vomit up nuclear weapons.”
Chainsaw Man Part 2’s first chapter doesn’t just effectively set up a The Last of Us Part II-esque narrative focus shift to Mitaka, but picks up naturally from where its previous part left off. In Chainsaw Man Part 1, Denji’s sole purpose transforms from simping for Makima to being adored by the public. Now that he’s achieved the level of notoriety he’s desired, it’s only natural that his newly found fame would be the central conflict of Part 2. Although the reason behind Mitaka’s urge to destroy Chainsaw Man has yet to be revealed, her narrative foil to Denji, as well as her powers as the War Devil, make her the perfect rival. Peak Fiction: Part 2 is going to be interesting.
If you’re champing at the bit for something else to sink your teeth into ahead of Chainsaw Man’s next chapter (and upcoming anime), I recommend you check out some of Fujimoto’s one-shot manga—specifically Goodbye, Eri, and Just Listen to the Song. They’re just as exquisite as today’s CSM chapter. If you’re looking to feel utterly distraught, Fire Punch, Fujimoto’s first serialized manga, might be more your speed. Happy reading, and glory to Chainsaw Man.