God, I love shows that world build their own power dynamics and they actually make sense for once. I’m no talking Dragon Ball Z power levels here which, honestly, don’t seem to have any standard beyond being able to defeat Son Goku. I’m talking actual distinct categories where you can shuffle characters and maybe have some complications to mix things up a bit. A good Shonen should always have properly done categories because that’s what makes them coherent. Take a look at Denji the Devilman in Chainsaw Man, for example.
Fans always question whether Denji is a Devilman, but just a simple google search reveals that he very much isn’t. Though, the confusion is understandable. The way Chainsaw Man works is that you have these very distinct classes of creatures from Hell and how they manifest in the earthly realm. Each of them are dependent on the contracts they make or the hosts they inhabit, or whether they are immortal or mortal. Denji happens to be one of the more unique ones, which is ‘Hybrid’.
The world of Chainsaw Man is filled with Devils, contracted or otherwise, and humans. The Devils are borne from the fears of men, and they feast and terrorize the humans in return. So that means you can have an array of different manifestations. And some of these Devils are basically as old as humanity itself. Think of them as a phenomenon that has been there since the humans first started exhibiting emotions. And they can either manifest as their true Devil forms, or as humans, if necessary.
And being either a Devilman or a Hybrid doesn’t matter, because either can be evil. This is why Denji has to look out for himself and see who a friend is and who’s really a foe. But those intricacies are exactly what we are going to discuss today in a round of Lore Analysis – where we take an in depth look at the plot and world of famous anime to see they might be leading us. Let’s discuss the supernatural world of Chainsaw Man!
Denji The Devilman: Taking From The Dead Without Consent
Devilman are your prototypical depictions of the Demons from Hell. They are also known as Fiends or Human Devils.
They are the Devils that take over corpses that are lying about in order to walk in the Earthly realm where humanity lies. Devils can manifest onto Earth, but they would be severely weakened in their state. Possessing a dead person means that they don’t have to get permission to inhabit their bodies. Basically, Devils choose to become Fiends when they are on the brink of death and need to survive.
But, most importantly, they have full control of the body they possess because there isn’t anything conscious to fight them back. To Hunters, this is also known as Devil Possession. And that is why they are the most hostile towards other humans. When the Devil takes over, it has physical attributes that showcase them. The heads of the corpses that are taken over appear to have similar physical traits to the devil that possesses it.
Examples of Fiends that look the most human happen to be Power, the Blood fiend, with only horns to make them stand out. Pingsti and Beam, on the other hand, look more traditional. However sometimes, there are Fiends that retain a tiny bit of their hosts memories if they haven’t consumed everything, like the Violence Fiend.
Hybrids: Humans Playing Host
So, if Fiends basically use human corpses as no more than meat puppets for them to inhabit, Hybrids are the opposite.
Hybrids are Devils that co-exist with a human via contract. They merge with the human body they possess but it’s different from how Fiends do it. Because in this case, both the Devil and the human remains alive. They can also form a contract by implanting a part of the Devil into the human body, like it happened for Denji when Pochita took the place of his heart.
However, this is a very rare situation. A human won’t willingly settle down with a devilman if they can help it and, if they lose too much blood, they stop transforming (unlike Denji), period. This can be remedied if they are fed more blood but it’s pretty high stakes.