In my first article for Anime Corner, I will be reviewing chapter 133 of Chainsaw Man manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto. After expending all my energy into esports for a while, I felt now was the time to take my talents back to anime and manga, and so without further ado, let’s look back at what happened in chapter 133 of Chainsaw Man.
The chapter opens with an overhead shot of an ongoing protest that is against Chainsaw Man, in stark contrast to the favorable opinion the public had of him at the start of the second part of this main story. Due to the fiend’s propensity to incite death and destruction as a result of fighting other devils, the crowd believes there’s no other option to deal with Chainsaw Man but to put him down–and is there any reason to disagree with them?
In the last chapter, the city was ravaged by the fight between him and the Falling Devil as it led to thousands of casualties. Understandably, that prompted the public’s fear of suffering yet another cataclysmic disaster should they continue to have Chainsaw Man living amongst them, hence the protest.
A Movement Is Spurring Against Chainsaw Man
This growing sentiment is what Hirofumi Yoshida wants Denji to understand as they are seeing discussing while the protest continues in the background. He explains to Denji that these people marching alongside them are fighting against Chainsaw Man, not supporting him like in the past. Even so, Denji doesn’t understand why that is the case since he has been “a good boy” the entire time, with his past subjugation at the hands of Makima and her Public Safety Bureau as their errand dog remaining ever-present in his mind.
At the same time, there has been pushback on the general cause as some people were seen fighting the protesters in reflection of their support for Chainsaw Man, which Yoshida points out also to Denji, thereby setting the clear picture of where Denji, as the Chainsaw Man, stands in the middle of all this.
Denji, always the shrewd observer, remarked that it felt “kinda nice havin’ people fight over [him].” As someone who lived a challenging life throughout his life, from the death of his father to the abandonment of half of his humanity to exist as Chainsaw Man, Denji was never in a position to be desirable to someone else, and in the off chance it did happen, it was only done to serve the interests of someone else (case in point, Makima).
At the very least, with no pretext lying underneath the crowd’s cheering or jeering–-to his understanding–Denji is satisfied upon seeing what is taking place in front of him. With that, he knows his goals of getting popular and having the ladies all over him (as explained in the 103rd chapter) are creeping ever closer to becoming a reality.
However, Yoshida explains that this is not simply the case. Whereas before when the Chainsaw Man Church was filled to the brim with his supporters thanks to his booming popularity, it has been welcoming young people nowadays, the majority of which are still in school, for no particular purpose. They’re just in it, as Yoshida explains, for the thrill of it. Not only that, Yoshida reveals that the Japanese politicians, acutely aware of the support Chainsaw Man has with the young vote, are contributing their resources to the Church for their own gain.
With people looking at Chainsaw Man for anything other than genuinely supporting him, and with many more taking advantage of the popularity it brings, Yoshida tells Denji that he no longer has full control of his public image of Chainsaw Man. Furthermore, with his image spiraling beyond Denji’s control, Yoshida admits there’s a possibility of it snowballing into “a larger conflict.”
Speaking of which, let’s say hi to the Famine Devil (“Fami” for her shortened name) and Haruka Iseumi and their scheme of molding Chainsaw Man’s image by introducing the Church in chapter 132. Despite it being ridiculed by a television host and Haruka’s grievances over the fact, Fami, in addition to a mysterious person lingering behind them, assured him that it is all part of their plan, that is all to “walk toward a world without evil” and “for Chainsaw Man’s sake.” Surely, there’s no sinister undertone beneath those quotes, right?
Yoshida’s Ultimatum to Denji
Anyway, back to the crux of the issue, Denji demands Yoshida what he must do to see Nayuta and the dogs, to which Yoshida replies with just seven words: “I want you to do absolutely nothing.”
Denji doesn’t understand upon first hearing Yoshida so he asks for clarification. “I’m asking you to never transform into Chainsaw Man again,” Yoshida said.
Mind you, readers, Yoshida is asking Denji, AKA Chainsaw Man, to not be Chainsaw Man again. And he says this in a series called “Chainsaw Man”. Yeah, we know what Denji might say to that. “Hell, no,” Denji replies. Yeah, figured as such. This then lays the groundwork for Yoshida’s ultimatum to Denji: “If you keep turning into Chainsaw Man…we’ll be showing you Nayuta’s corpse.”
As cruel as it sounds for Denji, with Yoshida, it only reinforces the work he has done for whichever organization he works for. Back in chapter 103, Yoshida mentions how he was tasked to keep watch over Denji and not allow him to become Chainsaw Man in public, and as Denji’s obligations change over time, the mission remains the same. And as a result of the magnitude of Denji’s actions becoming greater with each passing day, Yoshida saw no choice but to put him in such a precarious situation: either refrain from turning into Chainsaw Man or finally live life as a human being and with Nayuta, unharmed and all, by his side.
Yoshida tries to persuade Denji into selecting the latter option by reminding him of the perks he can have should he not continue his Chainsaw Man ways. School, a safe home, a healthy social life, and potentially falling in love (with a woman who doesn’t want to kill him, no less). All this can be Denji’s and more should he no longer turn into Chainsaw Man. It’s an intriguing proposition that anyone would take…except for Denji.
Denji doesn’t want just one of the two options Yoshida presented to him. He wants both. He wants to have Nayuta while also staying as Chainsaw Man. He wants to remain popular. He wants to have people fighting on his behalf.
Even so, Yoshida insists Denji to decide. He emphasizes that Denji can’t have both, but Denji counters by attempting to command the protesters–which are Chainsaw Man’s protesters–to kill Yoshida without recognizing that he’s powerless unless he turns to Chainsaw Man first.
Amidst the hysteria from both the ultimatum and the protest, Nayuta calls out for Denji from the other side of the street. As the two embrace each other in relief, Yoshida admonishes Nayuta’s handler on why he let her go before he could wrap up the ultimatum. The man replied by saying he fully expected Yoshida to have Denji fold before he arrived, thereby blowing the whole thing over as a result.
Near the end of the chapter, Yoshida reminds Denji of the consequences of turning into Chainsaw Man and what that will bring to Nayuta in the future, prompting the latter to walk away and leaving the former wondering if he understood all the things he said throughout the conversation.
So Yoshida, the man who went toe-to-toe with Quanxi, the man who conversed with the Famine Devil like a daily occurrence, the man who was nonplussed when he found himself trapped in an infinite aquarium, the man who looks like he’s on cruise control for the entire story so far, failed to strike a deal with a dude whose mental capacity mostly revolves around popularity and women.
But looking beyond Yoshida’s personal struggles against Denji, the chapter presented the start of a counter-movement against Chainsaw Man and the work he has done up until now. While deciphering the origin of this movement is disputed, such as it is the reason why the fake Chainsaw Man emerged in chapter 128, it has nonetheless become yet another obstacle for Denji amidst this constantly changing world. Add that to the forthcoming Nostradamus Prophecy, which will feature, as Fami said, “the ultimate terror,” things will continue to go sour for him and everyone else.