Whenever I go about writing these introduction articles about characters appearing in popular anime going on, I always want to look at them beyond what a wiki might tell us. I mean, yeah, we can gather some facts about the Gun Devil by just reading a summary, or we can break their character arc down to see exactly what shapes them to be the way they are. Those are the things you can’t just discover through factoids on the internet, and in Chainsaw Man, there is always more than meets the eye.
I mean, the villains in the franchise aren’t just interesting, they are genuinely multi-faceted, and complex in a way that we haven’t seen happen before in a Shonen of this magnitude. And while people like to think that it’s just the villains who might be this way, the truth is all the characters here are layered and distinct. This, of course, includes the Gun Devil, which is an entity manga readers are quite familiar with now. Beyond being absolutely powerful, there is something more to this antagonist that is bone-chilling and haunting out of the ordinary. So, let’s dive in.
Table of contents
Who Is The Gun Devil (銃の悪魔 Jū no Akuma)?
So, anyone who has been into Chainsaw Man before the anime started airing, already knows what the Gun Devil (銃の悪魔 Jū no Akuma) is. But their origins are similar to every other Devil in existence. They are the manifestation of a fear that humanity holds, coming to life. And, well, humans do fear guns. This only increased when humanity thought that guns could be a good defense against Devils, except all it did was raise gun-related crimes. And thus, the Gun Devil was born in the pits of Hell.
Their first appearance was, and I can’t believe they go there, in America. Yes, I see the irony there, and I think it is pretty deliberate. But following a large-scale terrorist there, it led to another attack in Japan, where the Gun Devil was present for less than half a minute and managed to kill more than 57,000 individuals in a single go. With its speed, it did a world tour in under five minutes and racked up a body count of 1.2 million deaths worldwide.
It was this incident that led to strict gun control across the world while simultaneously raising fear of Devils overall. But apparently, the Devils aren’t invincible. Not even the Gun Devil. And so, it was revealed that someone had subdued them, and their unconscious body was found by the Soviet Union. Taking advantage of the vulnerability, their body was broken up into multiple parts and countries like China and America took a share. But about 37% of their flesh remained in the hands of Devils across the world.
And yet, surprisingly the Gun Devil is probably the least popular character in the franchise, despite the role they play in the story. Like, they rank pretty badly in polls. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t integral to the plot.
Occupations / Affiliations
The Gun Devil has or had been acquainted with the following:
- Wild Devil (formerly)
- Contract Devil for the USA
- Contract Devil for Governments
- Multiple Governments Across The Globe
The Gun Devil Changes Its Looks Every Time:
Perhaps the most interesting aspect about the Gun Devil is how they manifest in the various forms they take during Chainsaw Man. Because they were split into so many parts, we haven’t really seen most of them. So far, the only Devil form we’ve seen is the American-controlled one, at 20%.
In this form, they are this giant humanoid figure, floating around with humongous rifles for arms. Their head is basically a skull, but with a giant gun barrel coming out of it. However, anything below the torso simply didn’t exist. But they did have 6 tentacle-like appendages made up of NATO 7.62×51mm bullet ammo. And, I mean, imagine being stared down by something that has rifle arms the size of buildings and a skeletal body with severed heads screaming in agony. Imposing, to say the least.
But while their Fiend form is less chaotic, it is somehow even more impactful. Why? Because it is the former corpse of Aki Hayakawa. Yes, the Aki, part of Denji’s trio. In this form, we lose the more polished Aki we have grown to know. And instead, a specter takes his place, with hair loosely hanging around him and dark veins covering his face menacingly. And it goes full-on, the dead face of Aki is replaced by the barrel of an M1911, right where the eyes should be, and a slide is at the back of his head.
Needless to say, the Gun Devil looks terrifying. Which, I suppose, is the point.
And Yet, His Personality Eludes All:
The weird thing about the Gun Devil is that, while he remains the central antagonist of Chainsaw Man for a while, we never really learn what their personality was like. Even during their backstory, involving being this reckless embodiment of fear, it didn’t reveal much about how or why they behaved the way they did. The only motivation we know they have is wanting to steal Denji’s heart.
But then again, we don’t know if that is their personal agenda, or if they only crave it because it’s part of the mission assigned to them by America. They are there to intercept the true threat, which is Makima. Why? Because she is the Control Devil. And if she gets her hands on the Chainsaw Devil that currently resides in Denji, well. That doesn’t spell good times for anyone.
The best way to describe the Gun Devil’s behavior is that of a force of nature. Their very base instinct is to cause fear in humanity, and that’s what they start out doing. There is no malice in their action, their killing all those humans was just their very nature. They had to commit the massacre if they had any chance of stopping Makima from getting to the titular Chainsaw Man.
However, we get to empathize more with them when they take over Aki’s body and basically become a haunted version of him. Aki’s mind is warped by the Gun Devil and it’s an entire mess. The only thing we can say about the Gun Devil, for sure, is that they are a relatively young Devil, considering guns are a recent invention. However, it is the fear that clocked up during the massacre in which Aki saw his entire family perish, that gave them their insane power boost.
The Gun Devil: A Literal Speed Demon With Headshots Galore
Perhaps the most memorable fact about the Gun Devil is how they were directly responsible for all the pain and hurt in Aki Hayakawa’s life. But that was due to how powerful they became in such a short amount of time.
The best part is that they wouldn’t be this heinous if it wasn’t for humanity itself inflating that fear, thereby enabling the Gun Devil to gain more strength as the fear compounded. And that’s exactly what leads to their abilities becoming near God-like.
I mean, they killed millions in the span of minutes. That’s almost faster than the speed of light itself. And it helps that their accuracy in shooting is so deadly, that they leave no survivors. Like, it is not just ‘oh they are the literal personification of a gun and its dangers, so they can shoot on sight’, but they are capable of causing literal mass destruction. Like, they headshot every child in a 1500-meter radius with 0 remorse. Talk about stone cold.
The Gun Devil’s regenerative abilities are also kind of insane. Their body, if dismembered flesh hangs off after an attack, turns that meat into a rail of bullets. And these bullets can power up nearby Devil upon consumption. Best part? The Gun Devil doesn’t even have to be fully aware of this, it happens even if they are greatly weakened or near unconsciousness. But that would probably never happen, considering their entire body is made up of just guns, which lends them some intense durability during fights.
However, the scariest part about the Gun Devil is the same issue with every other Devil but just dialed up to 100. The Gun Devil can not die. Like, at all. At worst, they can be teleported back to Hell and go through the process of being revived, but death isn’t really on the table for them. Except when it comes to the Chainsaw Devil, of course, that’s when things change. But that’s going too far ahead.
Add to this the fact that they can be broken into multiple pieces, spread far and wide, and still come back. All in all, the Gun Devil is one tough cookie to crack through. No arguments there!
So, Why Was The Gun Devil So Hyped?
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to the Gun Devil and how their actions basically set the stage for the true villain which is none other than Makima. They were basically a Red Herring to throw off readers from the plot that was being set up in Chainsaw Man. Because of course, a humongous entity made out of guns that can literally end a small country in minutes is terrifying to comprehend.
But that’s just a general fear we have. As humans, we naturally fear weapons of destruction. So, things like the Bomb Devil and the Katana Devil are easy to see as genuine monsters. But they are just for show, to take the heat off of what is truly frightening. A Primordial Fear, as Chainsaw Man, dubs it. Think Death itself. Or the lack of autonomy, like with the Control Devil.
So, the Gun Devil is still a threat, as they should be. Tatsuki Fujimoto, the creator of Chainsaw Man, even flexes that by portraying the names of all the victims they had killed so far, and it included some very noticeable mentions. Like Tite Kubo, Eiichiro Oda and Hajime Isayama. You know, the respective mangaka for works like Bleach, One Piece, and Attack On Titan? When I saw that panel, I genuinely freaked out. Clearly, Tatsuki had a point to prove.
Ad yet, despite all the bells and whistles we heard, the Gun Devil didn’t amount to much beyond the whole thing with Aki. As stated before, their character isn’t really a thing with fans. And so, for a while, their entire deal with the Devil Hunters felt hollow because the villain just didn’t feel like a character that you could invest time in.
But now we know why. It was because they were never the villain we were meant to fear. They were just the placeholder for the one behind the scenes, aka the Control Devil. And once that was revealed, well. It served as a reminder that no matter how frightening we think the Gun Devil is, with its ability to cause literal genocide? Apparently, there is something far, far worse right around the corner. And they use sweet words like poison to get what they want. Insidious, because you won’t even know when you’re enthralled by them.
It’s why America was so trigger-happy (this was in bad taste; I refuse to apologize.) about deploying the Gun Devil in the first place. Because they knew exactly what it could do, the power it held. And somehow, the prospect of Makima being out there was genuinely more frightening to them.
Better the Devil you know, than the Devil you don’t, am I right? And Chainsaw Man took that phrase literally.
The Gun Devil’s Defeat?
So far, there isn’t much to discuss with the prospect of what’s going to happen with the Gun Devil. And while things might look dim, it is safe to say that the Gun Devil won’t be an issue for very long.
Yes, he does get attacked by Makima at one point, alongside seven other devils, and manages to survive. But really, we all know how this will go. At some point, Makima will have to take out the competition for Pochita, the Devil that Denji has made a pact. Just like she did with Reze.
After that, the arc with the true villain will start, and the Gun Devil will feel like nothing more than a pawn that failed the long con.