After the defeat of the Cockroach Devil, Denji makes his appearance and a bombshell is dropped on Asa Mitaka!
Recap & Reaction
Chapter 103 starts off with the aftermath of the Cockroach Devil, defeated by Chainsaw man. The news crew is on the scene interviewing people about what they think about Chainsaw Man. In blatant fashion, Denji gets interviewed and he talks up Chainsaw Man and his immense fandom for him.
This scene is a perfect setup to introduce Denji’s motivations to get girls and that is to elevate his clout.
Hirofumi Yoshida appears and asks Denji out to eat to catch up. Being that Hirofumi is a guy and he honestly can’t remember who he is, Denji says “he’s broke.” Hirofumi offers to pay for his meal and they go out to eat. He relays to Denji that he’s “from an organization that’s tasked with keeping an eye on him.”
With Hirofumi introduced back in an earlier chapter at the start of this arc, it seems like he is somewhat fulfilling Aki’s old role of being the reasonable smart one. The first arc in Chainsaw Man delivered the typical shonen threesome of protagonists. Without Power and Aki, it begs the question of who Denji will end up teaming up with?
It is further explained that Denji is not allowed to turn into Chainsaw Man and telling the world that he is THE Chainsaw Man. In Denji’s perspective, he WANTS everyone to know that he’s Chainsaw Man. Hirofumi questions why he would want that and Denji of course wants booty.
A guy using his clout to get chicks—a motivation for guys that stems long before Jesus.
This is what makes Denji the lovable character he is. All guys can relate to what Denji wants. Flip your high status clout of being Chainsaw Man in order to get in bed with some hot IG models. It’s as primal as it gets, except this is Denji trying accomplish this feat. All of these antagonists up to this point, have been indulging in their devilish powers for some world changing ideal, however Denji still just wants something simple and that’s just some action from the opposite gender.
Denji is this funny metaphor for the common man. Even though he is one of the most powerful beings in the world, he doesn’t really care for saving the world or have any of these over-the-top altruistic shonen characteristics. It’s become the simple guy wanting basic things in life, while getting his life disrupted by all of these ideological scumbags. Remember that the powers that be (Government, War Devil, etc.), want to control or just eliminate Denji (the common man).
Chapter 104 opens up with Asa and Yoru in bed, frustrated over being saved by Chainsaw Man. Asa asks Yoru, “what’s her whole deal with Chainsaw Man?” She states that “she was defeated by him a long time ago” and that “he keeps coming back.”
Furthermore, he ended up eating a piece of Yoru, “weakening her,” which made the world start to forget about her. Curiously, Chainsaw Man is the reason that there hasn’t been any recent wars and that it is “Chainsaw Man’s fault.”
The War Devil’s Motives
Yoru stating her motives behind her hatred over Chainsaw Man is actually pretty straight forward. What the interesting part of her motive is is within the context behind their battle. Was this Denji as Chainsaw Man or was this before Denji, meaning Pochita? Either way, having these characters become symbols and metaphors for very political ideas has been the most hilarious representation of that.
Having the War Devil be a girl is a wild metaphor to use as a vehicle for war. Yoru being a “scorned chick” that got defeated by Chainsaw Man is a hilarious analogy in itself. A girl’s proclivity towards emotions accentuates the traits for “war” in a way that’s going to drive home whatever point the story ends up making. To craftily display the ridiculousness of this War Devil, when Yoru was throwing a tantrum on the bed with Asa trying to sleep—that’s the kind of absurd trait that makes you question the veracity of how previous wars started. War in itself is ridiculous, therefore I think this is Tatsuki Fujimoto conveying to the audience through Yoru, what he thinks about the idea of war.
Chapter 104 Continued..
The scene shifts back to Hirofumi and Denji speaking with Hirofumi asking Denji, “why were you a table for that girl.” Denji goes on to arbitrarily explain that “he gets paid 10 yen to be a chair for 10 minutes or he has to give a refund.” Hirofumi ends up giving Denji his I.D. that he dropped during the fight against the Cockroach Devil, confirming that he dropped it on purpose.
Denji being a chair is a hilarious “Denji” thing to do.
Then, Hirofumi asks, “if Denji was doing all of this for getting a girlfriend? Denji simply responds with “yeah.” Hirofumi offers to Denji that “if there is anything he wants, for him to come to me.” Denji responds with “introduce me to a girl who is desperate for a boyfriend.”
He then takes Denji to go see Asa.
Here we have Denji, who just wants the simple things in life. Then, we have Asa just wanting to be a normal girl, having to deal with this hissy fit of an all powerful devil. Now, with Hirofumi bringing in a sense of normalcy to the story, does the logical thing to help Denji. With the audience being in the know of all of these characters’ backgrounds, it yields a fantastically humorous scenario.
All three: Denji, Hirofumi and Asa meet on this balcony where the conversation starts with Hirofumi asking if Asa got saved by Chainsaw Man. Asa goes on to explain why she “hated” Chainsaw Man at one point. Jab after jab, those words knifed through Denji’s skin as she explains how Chainsaw Man looks disgusting and how he’s a lame for “only saving women. “
A conversation between Denji and Hirofumi quickly turned into an “oh crap” moment when all 3 characters met up. The story abruptly turned into an anticipation of how this conversation is going to turn out making it for the reader, anxiety inducing. Shot after shot, Asa actually has good points in regards to the Chainsaw Man character as a whole. As hysterical as Asa painted Chainsaw Man, it makes so much sense that Denji IS Chainsaw Man. If Asa would have made a violent move in response, it would have made just as much sense for that reaction.
The true genius of these manga panels is how much Tatsuki Fujimoto is able to convey this back and forth between Denji and Asa. The choice of side-by-side panels of the dialogue and Denji reacting, vividly comes across as hilarious as one would have thought about this scenario. It’s kind of a cliche way to portray these kind of conversations that I’m sure has a more technical term for manga artists. However, you get my point!
Asa doesn’t believe that Denji’s dumb self would really be Chainsaw Man. Asa & Yoru go back and forth about it and Asa ends up telling Yoru to lure a devil out to the school to get Chainsaw Man to come out again, while she goes to visit her friend, Yuko.
Asa meets Yuko at her home to sit down and girl talk. The genius of these panels to set up awkward friends confiding into each other takes a turn similar to chapter 104 between Asa and Denji. Yuko brings up that they should tell each other embarrassing secrets because that’s what real friends do. So then, Asa tells Yuko a secret about how she peed herself when she was younger and Yuko follows it up with a haymaker reveal with “I killed someone yesterday.” She goes on to explain why and a neighbor stops by to say hi.
The conversation continues and Yuko is adamant that they are besties now. Then, she drops another bombshell that she made a contract with the Justice Devil and now has the ability to read minds—meaning she knows about her incident with the teacher & the class rep and most importantly, the War Devil!
Once again, these panels with these back and forth conversations delivers a jaw dropping moment. In chapter 104, it was used for anticipation for Asa’s reaction to Denji saying that he is Chainsaw Man and this time it hit with dramatic effect the awkward silence on pages 12 and 13. The delivery of the magnitude of these moments feels just as satisfying as it would be if it was animated. Constructing these moments with the right manga bubbles can significantly change the perception of these interactions. Tatsuki Fujimoto delivered these pivotal moments brilliantly in chapters 104 and 105.
In this kind of awkward moment between Yuko and Asa, it starts off as a “two awkward girls becomes close friends” moment to “two awkward girls become close friends with deadly stakes” moment. From this period on, Yuko’s character elevated from another side character that Asa could confide in as a voice of reason to a massively violent wild card that will most likely bring forth Asa’s next character development.
Asa questions that “unauthorized contracts are illegal.” Yuko continues saying that “it’s okay in the name of justice.” For her next course of action, she’s going to solve Asa’s bullying problem, stating to Asa that “she shouldn’t go to school tomorrow.”
The Plot Thickens
If the story wasn’t already getting good and especially coming off the chapter with Denji revealing himself to be Chainsaw Man, this chapter compounds the excitement for the next phase of the plot. The simple assumption after the introduction of the War Devil was the obvious grand interaction between Asa with Yoru against Denji as Chainsaw Man. However, Yuko with the power of the Justice Devil brings in another element of surprise that can literally take the story in either direction for Asa’s development.
Like Makima, everyone has their own idea of “justice.” If Yuko’s idea of justice is simply killing another human for squandering welfare money, then we can expect many fireworks to take place as she takes more and more acts of righteousness into her own hands. Like many of the arcs before with characters like the Katana Man and Reze, Yuko could just end up being another antagonist that’s building towards this Chainsaw Man versus the War Devil clash. As fast as Yuko is flexing her powers, her fate might end sooner than become a mainstay.
Most importantly, the trait we know most about Yuko is that she is a lonely person herself. Asa and Yuko legitimately only have each other to confide in. Asa has to be the one to stop Yuko from killing people. These upcoming interactions with Yuko will ultimately determine where Asa’s mindset will shift to next. Will she be heroic and stop Yuko’s justice? Or will she join on the side of “justice” with her “bestie.” We all know that Asa’s morals and ethical code is teetering, so what she does next will change her for better or worse.
The Genius of Chainsaw Man
Chainsaw Man has had an incredible way to hysterically portray real world themes by metaphorically turning all of these devils into representations of them. The Control Devil, the War Devil, the Gun Devil and now the Justice Devil; these are all direct correlations to humanity’s greatest threats. The power to control, start a war, shoot guns and apply your sense of justice has so many layers of real life depth that really deserves its own blog post.
Without going that much deeper, Denji is most of us. We want the simple things in life. In his case, having delicious food, keeping a roof over your head and to be with hot chicks. It’s a drag for the populace when one of these people with a strong sense of their own morals and ethics comes across an almighty power and forcibly applies it onto the world. That’s pretty much Chainsaw Man to this point. With the addition of Yuko, that motif carries on.