No manga out there can captivate readers with its odd mixture of hard-nosed trauma and dark comedy quite like Tatsuki Fujimoto's Chainsaw Man. Since beginning its serialization in December 2018, Chainsaw Man has enjoyed overwhelming commercial success, selling more than 3 million copies in eight volumes (in Japan). Complementing its swift growth is its critical recognition, garnering nominations and awards fairly early on. The series has even managed to cross over to foreign audiences, particularly in English-speaking countries, leading to the recent release of the first volume's English translation from VIZ Media.
To promote the volume's English release, an 83-second trailer was uploaded to tease the story's highlights. It's a pulse-pounding affair, with a stream of violent jump cuts and hard, driving rock music over a pouncing EDM beat. However, through all of the gore and bloodshed and cacophonous crescendos of sound, fans took notes of something peculiar: a chorus. What's more, they were singing just two words...and it shouldn't be hard to guess what they are. And, while it might seem like another of Fujimoto's dark jokes, this song is actually pitch-perfect for the series' off-kilter narrative.
Chainsaw Man tells the story of Denji, a 16-year-old boy whose life was plunged into destitution thanks to his father's crippling debt. He befriends Pochita, a mysterious chainsaw Devil dog, and the two work together to pay that debt back pennies at a time. One thing leads to another and Denji fuses with the Devil dog and comes under the employ of Makima, the leader of the Public Safety Bureau. She essentially forces Denji to hunt and destroy Devils, or else be destroyed himself. All the while, he yearns to realize his dream of living a normal life. The series is both tragically dark and the beneficiary of a totally twisted sense of absurd humor — all of which is perfectly captured by the song.
Adding to the bizarre spectacle, a behind-the-scenes video was also released alongside the original book trailer, showing the chorus singing their lines in the recording booth. As the music plays for the video, the chorus chant in unison for the story's protagonist, figuratively worshipping his glory, with just two lyrics: Chainsaw Man.
The emphasis of the preview lies squarely on Denji, Chainsaw Man himself, their manic praises of him indirectly speaking volumes about the role the Devil hybrid plays in the story — his story. His goals are laid bare in the preview and he savagely fights to attain them, no matter how trivial they come across. Even the singers' own nonchalant booth performances say a lot about the type of story Chainsaw Man is, even if by accident.
Chainsaw Man is available to read and buy in English on the VIZ Media website and the Shonen Jump app.