You know, over the years I’ve become an avid fan of the direction mainstream Shonen anime has taken when it comes to the interactions between men and women. It isn’t like it used to be, with badly proportioned femmes either getting a singular ‘girl boss’ moment and then being forgotten. Or being used as the butt of a badly told joke. Nope, mangakas have learned from their mistakes and we have some good interactions between the men and women. Case in point? Power and Denji.
Now, the surprising bit is that, despite how Power and Denji share a singular brain cell, they aren’t siblings. Like, they had a very rocky start, did some questionable things, realized it didn’t work and now they are in a platonic loving relationship that is very rare in anime. Specifically mainstream Shonen. But that’s what makes their relationship so good. It’s the atypical nature of their friendship.
And, amazingly enough, this is becoming less and less uncommon. We have seen some really entertaining interactions between the female and male characters in anime such as Jujutsu Kaisen. The fight where Nobara Kugisaki and Yuji Itadori team up remains one of my favorite scenes in the show. And their dynamic after that, too, is just plain old fun between them. Seeing healthy relationships between the two opposite sexes, that isn’t framed by sexual tension, has been so refreshing.
And the duality between Power and Denji has proven that it can be done without either going to extremes of weirdly sexual or weirdly incestuous. They tried it, but the spark wasn’t there and now we have this entire new avenue to explore. So, join me in a segment of Lore Analysis to discern exactly what kind of relationship the two are now in, and how it might affect their arcs going forward. Let’s get right into it!
Power And Denji: Finding A Bro-ship In The Most Unlikely Of Situations
You know, I relate to Power quite a lot. And I feel like other girls can find solace in her too. She’s extremely loyal to the people she cares about, a little unhinged, and would absolutely sell a boy out for the well-being of her cat.
At least, that’s what happened when she met Denji. They were both partners on the Public Safety Devil Hunter team, under Makima. But unlike Makima, who he was head over heels for, Denji thought Power was nothing more than a thorn in his side. Of course, he didn’t realize how accurate he was until she was trading him off to the Bat Devil for Meowy, her pet kitty.
After their rocky beginning, the two ended up connecting over their nature of being excessively greedy. But also, because the two are Dumb and Dumber, an anime edition. After Denji rescues Power from the Bat Devil, she becomes increasingly loyal to him, and they grow close enough that they even give each other nicknames. She’s ‘Powy’ and he’s ‘Buddy’. And honestly, it’s all well and good until Makima reveals herself to be a conniving enemy and kills Power. Sure, she comes back. But that’s where their dynamic morphs into something different.
Why The Platonic Nature Of Their Relationship Matters:
So, while it is important to note that Power did develop romantic feelings for him at first, they pretty much burnt out by Chapter 71 of the manga. This chapter is really important in cementing just how comforting the bond between Power and Denji is to both of them.
It’s especially interesting to note here that Chainsaw Man doesn’t shy away from mature content. It’s bloody and it acknowledges that Denji was obsessed with the idea of sex and love. Yet, in the one scene where we see Denji and Power naked, there is no underlying sexual tension involved. Power has just come back, she is traumatized and not eating food. And Denji is careful about his actions.
He treats her kindly, comforting her by taking a bath, and both note that there is nothing lustful about it. They aren’t siblings or lovers. They are just best friends taking care of each other. And that’s a normal aspect of a lot of close friendships. It’s intimacy without an inherent sexual nature.