I’ve said this multiple times, I just can’t stand a franchise where the characters are so black and white, yet there is no flavor to any of them. Like, imagine starting an anime that doesn’t go anywhere in terms of character growth or nuance. Sometimes, you need those morally grey characters that add depth to a premise, simply by their actions and tone. It’s important to discern between them. It’s why manga such as Chainsaw Man has been so popular. Characters like Power and Pochita hold a lot of potentials.
Let’s talk about Pochita. A lot of people have this misconception that Pochita is an evil character. When it’s a little more complicated than that. Yes, Pochita happens to be the infamous Chainsaw Devil. And all Devils, by their nature, happen to be antagonistic towards humankind. But that’s not the route he takes when he encounters Denji, a human who ends up helping him out. From then on, his views on humanity take on a new form. If he’s evil, it’s unintentional at best.
Honestly, we have seen this dynamic before of a Shonen protagonist coming to terms with the supposed evil being inside of them. For example, the relationship between Naruto Uzumaki and Kurama in Naruto Shippuden was very similar. Technically, Kurama was a force of destruction that destroyed Naruto’s home. But, later on, the two became genuine family to each other and there was way more added to their relationship.
And I think those layers of depth are what we see with Pochita and Denji. Pochita isn’t some scary monster from the nether, there to kill and kill mercilessly. He has more going on underneath the surface. And that is exactly what we are here to elaborate on in Character Analysis – a segment where we take popular characters across the Animesphere and break their personalities down to see what makes them so interesting. Today, it’s the notorious Contract Devil.
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Pochita: Not A Bad Guy, Just Dealt A Bad Hand
To insinuate that Pochita is a villain because he’s technically a demonic being is a little farfetched. When we first encounter Pochita, he’s been beaten the hell up by the Four Horsemen and the other Weapon Devils causing him to flee to the Human world.
Why? Because he’s the only one that could effectively destroy them. See, Pochita is the Chainsaw Devil, which means he has this special ability where he can ‘consume’ other Devils. This is the only thing that can kill Devils, who are effectively immortals thanks to reincarnating back in Hell if they are killed on Earth. The Four Horsemen were scared that this meant Pochita was stronger than them all. And to eradicate the threat to their lives, they tried killing him before he could get to them.
And so, after narrowly escaping this assassination attempt, Pochita finds himself stumbling in a cemetery where Denji is crying over his father’s grave. And Denji, bless his heart, doesn’t think twice. He sees something in need of his help and offers what he can. To Pochita, that means a lot. It saves him and so, in return, he saves Denji. He sticks around until Denji is almost dead due to the Zombie Devil, dismembered into broken pieces. And so Pochita chooses by becoming his new heart, effectively transferring his power and consciousness to Denji, so he becomes the Chainsaw Man.
How A Devil Pays His Dues:
So, Pochita didn’t have to save Denji. If he was truly so evil, he would’ve taken what he wanted and moved on without giving a flying hoot about this insignificant human he encountered. But that’s not who Pochita is.
As I said, just because he is a Devil, doesn’t mean he can’t make the morally correct choices. It’s why he sacrificed his autonomy to save Denji’s life. At best, Pochita is defensive, and, can you blame him? He was attacked for something he can’t control. Practically banished from the only home he knew. So, he reacts aggressively but calms down when he’s shown a little bit of kindness. Overtime he bonds with Denji and ultimately, he’s like a stray dog. Vicious to everyone around him because of being attacked almost every moment of his life but caring the moment someone else shows him kindness.
All he wanted was compassion. And when he got it, he became the most loyal friend to an unlikely ally.