Chainsaw Man's 2nd Part Finally Fixes its Big Repetition Problem
Warning: Spoilers for Chainsaw Man chapter 118The second part of Chainsaw Man‘s manga finally stopped repeating key moments from part one in the best way imaginable. It first presented an opportunity that would have made another blatant repeat possible, and then the alternative it did something that the manga should have done since Part 2 began.
In chapter 118 of Chainsaw Man by Tatsuki Fujimoto, Denji decides to cash in on Asa Mitaka’s earlier offer where she promised him that she would grant him any request in exchange for helping her our of the aquarium. Denji not only wants a second date with her, but for them to attend a local movie theater’s all-night mummy marathon. Unfortunately, Mitaka shuts down the idea because it’s pricey and suggests watching VCR rentals at Denji’s home instead, an alternative Denji only begrudgingly accepts.
Had Mitaka accepted Denji’s original suggestion of attending an all-night theater marathon then the series would have been repeating another scene from Chainsaw Man’s first part. In fact, Mitaka’s promise to Denji mirrors two earlier moments. The first time occurs when Power tricks Denji into saving her cat Meow by promising that he can feel her up afterward. The second instance lasts for essentially the entire first part of the series. In return for eliminating the Gun Devil, Makima informs Denji she will grant him any wish. Of course, Denji assumed that his request would be sexual, but extraneous circumstances caused Denji to wish he was her dog instead. Though Chainsaw Man’s second part subverting expectations is welcome, it was a long road to this point.
Aside from reintroducing the Eternity Devil from part one, part two copied how Makima and Reze once used the prospect of a date as a means to manipulate Denji by having Asa Mitaka luring Denji into a trap under the pretense that she wants to go out with him. If Chainsaw Man had only chosen one of these instances to repeat, then the parallel would have been compelling, but copying two plot points from Part 1 within a relatively short time feels as though the series is trying too hard to make callbacks.
When there was a chance that Denji and Mitaka could watch movies at a theater, it seemed as though Chainsaw Man was setting up another movie scene like Part 1’s. But Mitaka’s quick pivot now presents the opportunity of introducing Nayuta, who long-time readers have been waiting to see more of since Part 2 began. Nayuta, who’s the reincarnation of Makima, has been living with Denji, so since their date is happening at Denji’s home then that means fans can finally see her and how she interacts with Denji.
Although Chainsaw Man has avoided another forced parallel, hopefully the story will use future callbacks more tastefully, even if they only turn out to be nothing more than an amusing attempt at trolling. Everything doesn’t have to be connected or even revisited. This only diminishes the few times they are actually done well in Chainsaw Man while unnecessarily risking clichés.
More: Chainsaw Man’s Anime Foreshadows the Manga’s Worst Scene
Chainsaw Man chapter 118 is available now from Viz Media.