Chainsaw Man’s Denji Subverts the Classic Shonen Protagonist Trope

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After months of anticipation, the anime adaptation of Tatsuki Fujimoto’s extensively acclaimed Chainsaw Man manga has lastly arrived. The sequence’ electrifying premiere episode teased an all-new, gritty satan looking journey dropped at life by Studio MAPPA and a world simply begging to be expanded upon.


The story of Chainsaw Man follows Denji, who by some means manages to be the quintessential protagonist whereas subverting basic tropes which have nearly turn out to be anticipated of the primary characters in fashionable shonen titles. Here’s how Denji is each related and totally different from different shonen leads.

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How Chainsaw Man’s Denji Is Similar to Other Shonen Protagonists

Denji is an orphaned, self-trained satan hunter with no present family members or mates. His solely companion is a moderately cute chainsaw-headed satan named Pochita, whom Denji rescued as a youth and has been fostering ever since. While Pochita can’t communicate, the bond between the 2 is plain. Pochita is each bit as pleasant as a traditional pet could be, and in addition serves as Denji’s weapon of selection when he goes satan looking.

At first look, Chainsaw Man‘s Denji looks as if many different shonen protagonists; by way of circumstances out of his management, he finds himself on their lonesome and is the clear underdog of his world. When Denji’s father died, he left behind excellent debt to the yakuza, who’re hell-bent on getting what they’re owed from the poor boy. They groomed Denji into changing into their private satan hunter to be able to repay his father’s debt. Impressively, regardless of his exhausting luck, Denji is sort to a fault and stays optimistic within the face of adversity.

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How Chainsaw Man’s Denji Differs From Other Shonen Protagonists

What units Denji aside from his shonen friends, nevertheless, is his motivation — or moderately his lack of it. While many shonen protagonists are depicted as extremely motivated go-getters with lofty objectives in sight, Denji prefers to reside a easy life. He seems to have nice success in satan looking with Pochita, however has no want to be considered the best of his time or something of the type. All Denji desires are a couple of easy pleasures in life, not only for himself however for Pochita as nicely. In Chainsaw Man’s first episode, the one needs he expresses are to ultimately get a girlfriend and to someday style bread with jam.

Even when Denji is positioned in an all-too-familiar setting, his simplicity by no means wavers. Usually, when shonen protagonists are positioned in near-death situations, they expertise epiphanies that always drastically alter the picture of the individual they aspire to be — not the case with Denji. When he’s betrayed by the yakuza and left for lifeless, what would’ve been ultimate ideas have been simply him bemoaning how pitiable his existence had been till then, and mourning his incapability to realize the traditional life he strove for.

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Luckily, Denji is given a second shot at life by Pochita, who donated their coronary heart to him, reworking him into the titular Chainsaw Man within the course of. He is subsequently rescued by a mysterious satan hunter named Makima, and promised precisely the type of casually snug life he needs for — if he’ll turn out to be her “human pet”. Denji agrees to this provide, and in so doing begins a brand new chapter in his life.

The specifics of Makima’s proposal stay unclear, however it’s exhausting to think about it being worse than Denji’s earlier dwelling situations. However, its implied lack of company is one more trait that separates Denji from different protagonists. After only one episode, Denji has already made his mark as a extremely compelling character — and Chainsaw Man viewers have an entire sequence of latest adventures to sit up for.



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