Chainsaw Man is Repeating Itself, & It’s Ruining the Series

Warning: Spoilers for Chainsaw Man chapter 115Once-pleasant parallels are now coming across as forced clichés as Chainsaw Man part two attempts to mirror essentially everything that transpired in the first part’s early chapters to a fault.

The effort officially began to lose favor with some Chainsaw Man readers when Asa Mitaka tries to bribe Denji into giving her the money they just gathered in chapter 116 of Chainsaw Man by Tatsuki Fujimoto. Mitaka’s endeavor ends up being quite successful after she says she’ll grant him any request, a promise that Denji enthusiastically accepts as he quite willingly hands over everything to her.

This latest development is clearly mirroring at least two earlier moments in Chainsaw Man part one. The first time occurs when Power tricks Denji into saving her cat Meow by promising that he can feel her up afterward. The second instance lasts for essentially the entire first part of the series. In return for eliminating the Gun Devil, Makima informs Denji she will grant him any wish. Of course, Denji and readers at the time assumed that he would request that she take his virginity, but due to extraneous circumstances, Denji eventually wishes to become her dog.

Chainsaw Man is Becoming a Caricature of Itself

Although a fun parallel, this is the last of many blatant attempts in Chainsaw Man to repeat moments that occurred much earlier in the series. Aside from reintroducing the Eternity Devil from part one, the date that the Eternity Devil ends up taking advantage of is a retread of two other times in which women used the the prospect of a date as a means to manipulate him. Like how Makima and Reze once pretended to show interest in Denji, now Asa Mitaka is luring Denji into a trap under the false pretense that she wants to go out with him when, in actuality, her plan is to turn him into a weapon. Alone, those parallels were compelling, but the addition of Mitaka saying she’ll grant Denji any request now is just a bit too much and makes the earlier connections feel forced.

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Of course, Chainsaw Man might try to justify this repetition by having Denji request something that isn’t perverse and doesn’t demean himself. This would show how much his character has grown. But, ironically, even this would come across as self-aware since Denji has already shown how much he’s evolved in the aquarium where they’re both trapped now. What made Chainsaw Man‘s initial call-out to Denji’s earlier fake dates so effective was that Denji actually stands up for himself with Mitaka in the present day, as opposed to before when he allowed others to take advantage of him. The fact that Denji also tries to cheer Mitaka up after their horrible date in this latest chapter demonstrates the kind of maturity Denji lacked throughout part one. So Chainsaw Man shoving Denji’s growth like that would just come across as overkill. Chainsaw Man is an often groundbreaking series, which is why it’s so unfortunate that its second part is just repeating the first part.

Chainsaw Man is available on Viz.com.

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