Chainsaw Man (Season 1) Recap & Ending Explained: From “Fullmetal Alchemist” to “Attack on Titans,” the Manga world is filled with extraordinary, whimsical stories with detailed world-building. Tatsuki Fujimoto has also created a similar world of devils and devil-hunters in his quirky and downright weird Manga series, “Chainsaw Man.” Based on the manga, the anime series’ first season is streaming on Hulu. “Chainsaw Man” is a compelling anime with its juvenile humor, conflicted protagonists, and outrageously engrossing fight sequences that we can’t wait for the next season.
Chainsaw Man (Season 1) Recap:
Denji Becoming Chainsaw Man
Denji is basically destitute. His only source of income is doing odd jobs. One such job is unofficially fighting off devils. Ironically, his partner in that job, and his only friend, is another devil. It is a cute dog-like devil called ‘Pochita.’ Pochita has a chainsaw attached to its head. Pochita and Denji have been friends since Denji’s childhood. Denji’s only inheritance is the crushing debt of his father.
The old Yakuza man who collects Denji’s debt betrays him one day. The Yakuza man has made a contract with the Zombie Devil. In this world, human beings can make a contract with the devils which is bound by life. In exchange for some sacrifice (like a limb perhaps), the devil would lend their specific power to the human. As part of the Zombie devil’s deal, the old Yakuza man brings Denji as the sacrifice.
After a futile fight, Denji gets killed by the many zombies of the devil. At this moment, Pochita makes a contract with Denji in a bid to save him. In exchange for the life and the chainsaw powers, Pochita would provide to Denji. Denji would need to experience everything that they have missed. From eating expensive food to kissing a girl, all these experiences would be shared with Pochita. Pochita would reside inside Denji’s heart. Thus the culmination of the dog and the man creates the eponymous Chainsaw Man.
Denji Joins the Public Safety Division
Denji’s Chainsaw Man turn is noticed by the Public Safety Division’s Devil Hunters—especially the leader, Makima. Makima is an enigmatic and alluring woman. Denji quickly becomes infatuated with her. Makima brings Denji to the Public Safety Division and introduces him to the various members who are going to be Denji’s new colleagues.
Aki Hayakawa is a serious devil hunter. He has contracts with two devils: The Fox Devil and the Curse Devil. Then, we have Power, a Fiend. Fiends are devils who have possessed human forms. They are supposed to be less powerful than fully-fledged devils, but powerful nevertheless. Himeno is Aki’s partner. She has lost one eye for her contractual exchange with the Ghost Devil. Then we have Kobeni, who is the timidest but has potential as a devil hunter.
The Division’s Pursuit of Gun Devil
Makima immediately makes it known to Denji that one of the division’s top priorities is finding and killing the Gun Devil. Gun Devil is the fiercest devil in history. This devil has appeared in America (unsurprisingly) and was responsible for a million deaths. Aki’s entire family was wiped out by one whoosh of the Gun Devil’s attacks. Aki, expectedly, has a personal revenge angle here.
The pursuit of Gun Devil leads the team to fight many other devils. Key among them was the Eternity Devil, who trapped the entire team in a limbo-like reality. This was before Denji’s relentless chainsaw attack for three days, which twisted the proverbial arm of the Eternity Devil. But, before the team could successfully plan for the Gun Devil, catastrophe hits the Tokyo streets.
Tokyo gets hit by several gun-wielding mercenaries’ terrorist attacks. Makima herself gets a bullet to her head. Many members of the Public Safety Division get killed. At the same time, Denji gets attacked by the Katana Man. Katana Man, just like Denji, is a hybrid of Katana and Man. The fight between Denji and Katana Mangoes is in favor of Katana Man.
Aki sees no choice but to call the Curse Devil, a powerful devil who immediately defeats the Katana Man but cannot kill him. Aki loses more years of his lifespan as a deal to Curse Devil. Despite all this, Katana man and his associate, Akane Sawatari, beat Denji and Aki. When Aki seems to be on the verge of imminent death, Himeno sacrifices herself to protect him. Himeno sacrifices her body to get the Ghost Devil to appear and protect Aki. However, Akane calls the Snake Devil, who swallows Ghost Devil. Himeno dies.
Chainsaw vs. Katana
Katana Man decapitates Denji and tries to take off with Denji’s heart. However, it was not to be. We finally see the true extent of Makima’s power. Makima walks away completely unscratched from the bullet to her head. She gathers many death row inmates in Kyoto. And by sacrificing each one of them, she starts to kill all the mercenaries of Gun Devils in Tokyo. The audacious power scares Katana Man and Akane. They leave without taking Denji’s heart.
After the attack, the department mourns the loss of the fallen. Himeno’s death scares everyone, even the seemingly unperturbed Denji. Aki finds a new devil to make a contract with. Denji and Power get enrolled in the training program with Kishibe, who is one of the best devil hunters. His teaching techniques completely knackers Denji and Power.
Meanwhile, everyone in the Division prepares to find the Katana Man and Akane. Makima threatens the current Yakuza bosses to find the lairs of Katana Man. The new-look squad of the division reaches the building where Katana Man and Akane have taken shelter. Gunmen and zombies immediately greet them.
Chainsaw Man (Season 1) Ending, Explained:
How did Denji beat Katana Man?
The final fight between Denji as Chainsaw and Katana Man becomes a bloody affair. However, Denji starts to apply some of the tricks he has learned from Kishibe. As Aki continues to fight with Akane, Chainsaw takes responsibility for Katana. Once again, Katana seems to have the upper hand in the fight. Denji seems to lose limb after limb in each of the vicious and precise attacks of Katana.
When Denji loses both of his chainsaw hands, Katana taunts him. Denji goads him by saying he still has his head, where a broken chainsaw still exists. Katana and Denji lunge at each other, like in a Western Duel. Katana breaks the chainsaw at Denji’s head. Just when Katana seems to think he has won, Denji repeats what Kishibe has told him before. One should not trust the words of a hunter.
Before the final lunge, Denji implied that his only weapon is on his head. Thus, redirecting Katana to attack his head. However, Denji has chainsaws on his legs as well. When Katana Man starts to split into halves, Denji shows how he used his leg chainsaw to defeat the Katana Man. After the beating, Denji and Aki take turns in kicking Katana Man in the balls.
Who is the mysterious woman in the post-credit scene?
In the climactic scene, Denji is called by a mysterious woman. She asks Denji if he would be a city mouse or a country mouse. For most, it is unclear who that person is. However, those who have read the manga know that the woman is Reze. Reze is often known as the bomb girl. Like Denji and Katana Man, she is also a hybrid. And if Denji had Chainsaw, and Katana man had, well, Katana, we can guess what damages the bomb girl can cause.
What can we expect from Chainsaw Man Season 2?
There would be subsequent seasons. There are plenty of questions that would keep the fans on their toes. One of them would be Makima’s Power and her intention. The seemingly cute and alluring femme fatale has a certain fearsome aura about her. Her power is freakish, even for devil hunters. Makima has shown a certain level of apathy as well.
Her abrupt recruitment of Denji is suspicious. And she seems to be the only one in the division to know why Gun Devils and others want Denji’s heart. Speaking of Gun Devil, we can expect the notorious villain of season one to make an appearance in the next seasons.
Then there is also the question of our chainsaw devil itself. The cute Pochita might not be all that meets the eye. In both the inaugural and closing episodes, there is a reference to Denji trying to look past a door in his dream. In the last episode, we also hear Pochita asking Denji not to look beyond the door. And Pochita’s voice seems to come from behind the door. Pochita likely has many secrets behind that cute face of his.
One of the primary secrets of Pochita is why everyone wants him. From Gun Devil to Makima, everyone seems to obsess over Denji’s heart. Understandably, they are not doing so for the love of Denji. It is because Pochita resides in Denji’s heart.