2022 is the year of chainsaws

Anime is bigger than ever – an obvious sentiment for anyone who spends enough time online – with groundbreaking films like Demon Slayer: Mugen Train setting all sorts of records between 2020 and last year. and Jujutsu Kaisen set its own 0 this year. These two movies, along with movies like My Hero Academia, are clearly among the biggest hits at the moment. But this year belongs to one series and only one series: Chainsaw Man. And 2023 will be no different.

Chainsaw Man is really the big anime to watch this year, which I guess is not surprising since it’s a popular Shonen Jump manga animated by a studio with a solid legacy behind it, Mappa . The thing is, though, anime adaptations of popular manga are often made to alter more manga volumes and create a consistent feedback loop that frequently increases a series’ popularity. But Chainsaw Man was a hugely popular manga long before the anime was scrapped. Want to know how I know? Because the cosplayer is all on it.

Playing: CHAINSAW MAN English dub Actor based on the inspiration behind the character’s voice

I attended London Comic Con in October, which started just a few days after the anime’s third episode was released. My partner and I made a bet on which franchise would get the most cosplay–we picked safe bets like Demon Slayer, Genshin Impact, and threw in some wildcards like Inflatable Between Us costume and Sailor Moon x Knight Moon cross. Personally, I was looking forward to seeing a few Chainsaw Man cosplay… and it turned out to be one of the most popular cosplays we saw there.

There are a lot of Powers and Makimas, with a few Denjis and Kobenis also very good. As a huge fan of the manga, I know it will eventually create a strong cosplay community, like all major fandoms. But as soon as the anime drops? It quickly proved to me that even though it was only three episodes, it was indeed the year of Chainsaw Man.

Soon after, my TikTok feed – arguably the birthplace of de facto fandoms in this day and age in the post-Yahoo-acquisition-Tumblr world – was flooded with Chainsaw Man cosplaymemes, fans art, and animations. I’ve seen a lot of manga flooding my Twitter, that’s how I approached it in the first place. Even so, a fandom hasn’t fully formed yet, but with the arrival of the anime, fans have come out in full force, showing the strong starting point of the series, all thanks to the manga.

Let it rip!
Let it rip!

Fandom clearly tends to lean towards the younger side, and Chainsaw Man is no different in that regard. But if My Hero Academia was able to appeal to that teen crowd, Chainsaw Man seems to have attracted 20-somethings, mostly because of its characters, I think.

Denji, the best school boy, has simple goals. He dreamed of toast and jam, a girlfriend, and finally, he dreamed of touching breasts. Kobeni, too, is forced to work as a demon hunter to pay for her siblings’ school fees under pressure from her parents, even though she has dreams of her own. Although the world of Chainsaw Man is larger than life, the characters at their most human level are not. It’s a damn sight more understandable than Deku’s desire to be the world’s greatest hero (though I admit I’m a bit downplaying his personality there).

Fandom is often born for its ethos, but people have been attached to Chainsaw Man in ways I haven’t seen in a long time. They are happy! Strength is a giant gremlin, but she’s not a musical note, and she and the rest of the cast have to grow in meaningful, real ways. Aki, becoming a reluctant older brother to Denji and Power, does indeed have a connection with the two of them, even though they are both nasty. But that’s family sometimes, isn’t it?

Best Gremlin in town.
Best Gremlin in town.

Then comes the second part of the manga, a fascinating and enjoyable surprise, and no spoiler, which is moving in a direction of storytelling that will appeal to a wider audience than a typical male shounen has, or at least is aim at .

Of course, the manga is also doing extremely well, even more so since the anime was dropped, with the series having reached 20 million copies in circulation worldwide. since November. Not bad for a series with just over a dozen volumes at the time of writing. Above all, It won the Harvey Award for Best Comica prestigious award for achievements in the field of comics, for the second year in a row.

Basically, Chainsaw Man is currently unstoppable. Denji himself, a literally unstoppable force, continues to frantically rip through any motionless object that stands in his way, making the film an unstoppable pleasure to watch as it evolves. This year is the year of Chainsaw’s Man, but also the year it just started. And I can’t wait to see what it does next.

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