Shonen Jump Showcase: Chainsaw Man

This surprising horror/action/comedy series is the perfect complement to the usual Halloween fare.

As we roll into autumn, the usual horror offerings make their way onto TV and into movie theaters. If you’ve already seen IT Chapter 2, and your Hocus Pocus VHS is worn out, you should head over to www.viz.com and check out one of the newer hit series in their Shone Jump lineup, Chainsaw Man. This series follows a young man, Denji, who lives in a world plagued by demons. Denji is poor and his only friend is a chainsaw-dog demon. The boy and his dog work as freelance demon exterminators for their daily wages, until one day when Denji crosses the wrong people and winds up dead, or mostly dead.

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In order to save Denji’s life, his demon dog makes the ultimate sacrifice, and, through some demon magic, takes the place of Denji’s heart granting him resilience and the ability to sprout chainsaws from his face and hands.

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This is clearly a metaphor for pubescent acne, or something. But Denji catches the attention of the government’s anti-demon squad. Even though Denji is a good kid, he’s still got a demon for a heart, so he can’t be allowed to run wild. They strike a deal: Denji will kill demons for the government in exchange for their promise to feed and house him, and if he does really well, the team’s female commander, Makima, will let him get to second base with her.

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How’s that for motivation?!

This series is bananas! There are demons, zombies, fiends, yakuza, secret agents, betrayal plots, teenage romance, drunken benders, 4th dimensional space traps, and a mysterious and powerful villain. It goes together horror, action, and romantic comedy elements in such a fascinating way. I have no doubt that this series will be adapted into an anime, and then eventually, every mangaka’s dream, a disappointing Netflix adaptation (looking at you Death Note).

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This series is going to be one of your favorites for its unique art style, bizarre story elements, and lovable characters. The best part is you can read this series weekly for free at www.viz.com. And for $2 a month you can catch up on all the older chapters as well.

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