Title:Chainsaw Man Vol. 12 Author: Tatsuki Fujimoto Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi Publication Date: October 3, 2023
What did I say in my last review about Chainsaw Man Vol. 11 being the final volume?
Well, in my defense, sometimes a series will come back as a sequel to itself like QQ Sweeper became Queen’s Quality, or how Boruto will continue under a subtitle. I expected Chainsaw Man to do the same but nope. We’re just going to continue on.
When we last left off, Makima revealed her true colors to the world so I fully expected Vol. 12 to build upon that. Instead, we get a completely different approach. We are introduced to Mitaka, a girl who just wants to live in the shadows and coast through high school without worrying about friends. Their class adopted The Chicken Devil named Bucky to take care of. Then, they were going to eat it. In the end, they decided not to eat Bucky. They go to play soccer and invite Mitaka along; however, she gets tripped and ends up killing Bucky.
The person who tripped her was a devil as well who ended up killing Mitaka but the War Devil called out to her and brought her back to life. Together, their target is Chainsaw Man. The War Devil even went so far as to promise that if they kill Chainsaw Man, it will give Mitaka full control over her body back to her.
The first step was to join the school’s devil hunter program. She gets paired up with a boy named Yoshida, whom she had an awkward encounter with earlier, and a girl named Yuko. Yoshida goes off on his own but Yuko tries her hardest to befriend Mitaka, despite her pleas not to. On a devil patrol, they run into the Cockroach Devil. The War Devil wants Mitaka to kill Yuko as the closer and deeper the bond she has with a human, the more powerful the weapon she can create from the corpse. Mitaka can’t do so it’s up to Chainsaw Man to save the day.
The volume ends with Denji meeting up with Yoshida who explains who he really is!
Looks like we have a brand new main character in Mitaka… or at least a main character for this arc. We’ve seen how this series handles itself so something tells me not to get too attached to her as she’s no different than anyone else in the sense that she’s after Chainsaw Man… or rather, the War Devil (Yoru) is. Mitaka herself still just wants to be left alone. In fact, she hates life so much that she doesn’t even care that she dies. If that was the case, then why did she run from the Cockroach Devil when Yoru told her to? Deep down, she does want to live and I suspect that will play into her development in future volumes.
The War Devil is just a devil through and through. She/He? Only saved Mitaka because it wanted to kill Chainsaw Man and thought that using her as a vessel might help it track him down. Outside of that, there is no indication that Yoru cares about Mitaka at all outside of just using her to obtain its goals.
Yoshida is pretty interesting, though. I won’t spoil what he truly is but to think that he’s part of something related to Denji is quite interesting. Unfortunately for him, though, when he meets up with Denji, he finds out just what kind of person he really is and it’s hilarious! It’ll be interesting to see how these two interact with each other from here on out.
I really thought that we would follow up on the whole Makima/Gun Devil situation but it seems like the beginning of a brand-new story rather than a brand-new arc. The new characters are fun and interesting so I wonder how all of this is going to play out in the end. This could be the start of something different or it could just be another story arc like the time they got trapped in the looping apartment, or when they encountered the Sword Devil/hit squad, etc. I’m guessing it’ll be more like those scenarios but it makes me wonder how or why all of this would tie into the main overarching story.
Regardless, it’s nice to have Chainsaw Man back… even if I have to switch my status back to Reading on AniList and lower my completed series count by 1 on my spreadsheet… (yeah, that was annoying for my OCD). Glad to see that Denji hasn’t changed all that much. The return volume was quite good and has me looking forward to seeing what happens so even if the expectations of following up on Vol. 11 weren’t met, it was still done well enough to where I’m, once again, hooked on this series!
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