Is Denji Still Chainsaw Man?

    So, imagine you’re a successful, long running manga series that just had its climax. But you still have a lot more potential and story to tell, despite the main character’s arc being done. Very rarely do mangakas take advantage of their own world building and create a sequel story that works with a new cast, while still incorporating old favorites. But it can be done and done well. It’s one of my favorite types of sequel work and it’s something Chainsaw Man has really excelled at.

    Sure, Denji isn’t the main protagonist of the series anymore, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to be focused on at all. Ever since the introduction of newcomer Asa Mitaka, it is clear that the creator is setting up Denji as the new standard which Asa is aiming to get to. Instead of Denji being the bumbling newcomer, we finally see him embrace all his character growth and become a goal that Asa aspires to achieve. Both are antagonistic towards each other, in a strange way.

    Having a manga be split into two parts with different protagonists, that oppose each other, is definitely something you don’t see a lot. It’s a pretty bold choice and one that needs be done in a way where it appeals to old fans, while adding something different to pull in new ones. The best way to do it is to keep fan favorite characters consistently present in the background.

    Luckily, that isn’t happening in Chainsaw Man Part 2. We seem to have a pretty solid set up for Asa to take up the mantle from Denji and create something new from it. And luckily Denji will be present to keep an eye out. What are both of their roles exactly? Let’s figure that out in Lore Analysis! Where we take a close look at the history of specific franchises across the Animesphere to predict where the plot might be headed. Today, it’s Devil Highschooler!

    Asa Mitaka: Meek Until The Devil Takes Over.

    Denji Chainsaw Man

    When we first met Denji, he was a down on his luck adult, indebted the Yakuza and crying over his dead father. Those are some dire conditions to introduce your main character in. Which is why Asa is a more relatable experience.

    She is an average high school kid, pretty quiet, and someone who doesn’t really bring attention to herself. Her life story is that she hates Devils because she lost her parents to them. And that’s really it. She’s just a normal teenager going through the motions of life. That is, until she (quite literally) stumbles upon the War Devil and becomes its host.

    When the War Devil possesses her, Asa goes from being a wallflower to bold bloom. She is rambunctious, a little more of a rebel and unafraid to speak her mind. She barely shows any remorse when executing her teacher and a fellow student. This part of her owed to the fact that Yoru, the War Devil, is literally half her brain at this point.

    Your is there to basically single out Chainsaw Man, as she believes it’s one of the students. However, as time goes, Asa realizes to tolerate the other Devils around her. Which include Chainsaw Man and the like. Suddenly, her life isn’t as boring as it used to be.

    This time, she gets to be as selfish as she likes.

    Why Denji Is Pushed To The Background (or Now):

    Denji And Pochita Chainsaw man

    Denji taking a background role to all the conflict taking place, and even playing a pseudo-antagonistic role in Asa’s life is going to be intriguing.

    Technically, we know how the War Devil is only possessing Asa to get to him and destroy the Chainsaw Man. Even though, technically, he hasn’t done much to deserve this ire beyond him being an active threat the Four Horsemen of Hell. One of whom happens to be the War Devil. But after he beat them all, that was supposed to be the end of everything. But clearly, that didn’t happen.

    Seeing the perspective shift from good guy Denji being the protagonist, to him becoming more of a target with the antagonist as the main character? It’s definitely something new. It might not be a permanent shift, but it’s refreshing to see a change of pace.

    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi is a writer, licensed dentist and certified Uchiha fangirl. When she isn't doing root canals or listing down anime waifus, you can find her screeching about her favorite JRPGs across social media.

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