Chainsaw Man Proves He Can Defeat Anyone, Even on Fire & With Worse Odds

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Chainsaw Man Volume 8 by Tatsuki Fujimoto, now available in English through Viz Media.

The gory and bizarre adventures of Denji/Chainsaw Man continue in Volume 8, with the back half of the "International Assassin" arc featuring all the violence, humor, gut-wrenching plot twists and terrifying monsters that make this series a bestseller. This time Denji must contend with the most powerful devils of all, which can even put the Gun Devil to shame.

Denji and his allies face new foes from all directions, including the deadly female assassin Quanxi and the mysterious "Santa Claus" who is anything but a merry old man in a red suit. In Vol. 8, Denji soon takes the fight to his enemies in true style on Makima's orders -- but that may not be an entirely good thing.

Denji might think Quanxi is his worst enemy, but Chainsaw Man Vol. 8's chapters quickly prove him wrong. One of the assassins, a dark-haired woman whom Tolka only knows as "Master," outs herself as the true antagonist of this arc and springs her trap in brutal fashion. She is the true Santa Claus, and the old man everyone presumed to be him is merely one of her dolls, a decoy.

Santa Claus exits the department store battlefield and makes a deal with the Hell Devil, one of the strongest devils of all, and sacrifices four people -- including the fake Santa -- to teleport most of her enemies into Hell itself. Santa thus fits the "evil puppetmaster" theme, and no one is safe from her exploitative machinations. Not even the mighty Power can stop her.

Through Tolka's doll body, Santa makes another deal with the terrifying Darkness Devil, gaining the power of darkness itself. Even when Denji and the survivors return to Earth from Hell, Santa Claus becomes too powerful for most of the heroes to handle. She can survive any blow dealt in the darkness, and can rapidly heal her bizarre new body. As night falls, not even Quanxi and her fearsome Devil powers can take Santa down, but Denji can. He shows true grit and, on Makima's orders, leaps into battle like a dog of war, complete with a fiery new trick. Denji's loyalty is commendable as he sets himself aflame to counter Santa's darkness powers -- but it's also worrisome.

chainsaw man vol 8 panel 2

With Quanxi's help, Denji delivers a serious beating on Santa Claus' darkness-enhanced body, demolishing her with his chainsaws and the light of his flaming body. Denji's stubborn loyalty to Makima is rooted in his personal interest in her, but her actions in Volume 8 make it clear he has a truly merciless master commanding him. Only moments after Quanxi's minion Cosmo shatters Santa's mind with a mental attack, Makima arrives with a sword in hand. Quanxi surrenders, only for Makima to behead her and her minions with zero remorse or hesitation. Yoshida and Kishibe have blindfolds on nearby, and the latter in particular can't bear to watch anyway.

Once again Denji and Makima make a good team, going to extraordinary lengths to assist one another. However, Makima may have an ulterior motive and will likely go to extreme lengths to see it carried out. She never bats an eye at the deaths of her friends or enemies, and is in a perfect position to exploit Denji's dog-like loyalty to her.

As Chainsaw Man continues, it's likely that Makima will either betray Denji or manipulate him into performing truly villainous acts on her behalf. He's already willing to set himself on fire to destroy Makima's enemies and will probably do whatever she tells him. Santa may have gone down, but Denji isn't safe just yet. He might never be.

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