The latest installment in the Chainsaw Man manga gave us some much-needed character development from Denji, as he chooses his REAL DREAM of being Chainsaw Man over living a normal life.
In Chapter 150, Pochita suddenly appears after 3 years in Denji’s subconscious and questions Denji’s resolve to live a so-called normal life. This is actually quite deep because we see the reality of life when Denji stamps on a crow, indicating that life ain’t as hunky-dory as it is advertised to normal people like us.
Actually, there’s suffering in both lives Denji lives in. As Chainsaw Man, he had made several enemies among Devils, attracting the attention of the Control Devil (a.k.a Makima), which led to his friends like Aki and Power dying.
As a “normal” school student, he has to focus on studies, do a part-time job, fight as Chainsaw Man, take care of Nayuta, her 8 dogs and Meowy, and balance all of this while having zero friends.
No wonder he wears this expression on his face constantly.
Now, what Yoshida is trying to do, is convince Denji to stop being Chainsaw Man for… reasons. And Denji was thinking about it seriously. Even Pochita talking in his subconscious is proof of that. And the reason why Pochita asked, “Okay, so what is your dream next?” is because he knew Denji wasn’t satisfied. He knows Denji better than anyone; he’s literally his heart.
Denji reveals in Chapter 150 that his dream is to really encompass Chainsaw Man and live a meaningful life.
However, we know Denji’s track record of getting screwed over constantly.
In the very first chapter of Chainsaw Man, he stated that his dream was to hug a girl before he goes to the afterlife. But you know how that turned out.
(Denji getting screwed over by the girls he meets)
His idea of a normal life is the daily routine we have in the real world: wake up in the morning, go to school/college/work, watch TV for a bit, take care of your family, sleep, rinse, and repeat.
And in recent chapters, he admits that he’s getting bored and wonders if he’ll be able to maintain that life with the same routine every day for the rest of his life.
He once thought that the epitome of his life was to touch a girl’s boobs, and after touching Power’s and Makima’s, he was like, “That’s it??”.
Chainsaw Man repeatedly sends us the message that what people consider a normal life is ultimately meaningless and doesn’t give actual fulfilment at the end of the day.
Through Denji, we realize that something is still missing, despite having our immediate needs fulfilled. And by having that sheep mentality, we think, “Oh, if I buy this, I can be happy. If I get more money, I will be happy.”
Not only is Denji clueless about what he wants to do in life, but essentially, his definition of “normal life” is thrown out the window. A similar case was studied in the life of Spider-Man as well. Peter was a school student but also had supernatural powers. But he soon realized that he won’t be satisfied by just living a normal life of a student. His powers sort of demanded that he do something with it, either for good or evil.
Similarly, Denji stepping on a dead crow is a clear indication that the idea of living a “normal life” will lead to his doom. Crows in Chainsaw Man always been a bad omen.
In that moment, Denji realized that if he were using his Chainsaw Man powers to their full potential (while having control), he could save a lot of people, hence quoting the age-old statement from Uncle Ben.
With this goal, he could not only get the fame he wanted all this time but also wouldn’t have to feel guilty about himself or how pathetic he is.
Sure, all this time, Denji has used his powers selfishly and openly stated that he doesn’t become Chainsaw Man to save people around him. But now, he realizes that if he doesn’t use its powers, those who are close to him, like Nayuta, Asa Mitaka and so on, will die.
And this chapter gave a taste of it with Barem setting his house on fire, killing Nayuta’s dogs, and Power’s cat Meowy, the only reminder Denji had of his girl.
(Chainsaw Man Chapter 150)
Barem merely followed Fami’s agenda to power up Chainsaw Man in order to defeat the Death Devil, the most powerful Devil there is. And to be honest, his goal is right, but the way he’s going about achieving it is obviously downright bad.
This will obviously enrage both Denji and Nayuta enough to be feared amongst people once again, but again, this would take away from Denji realizing his dream—to be loved as Chainsaw Man.
Fujimoto is setting up Denji, Asa and Nayuta to fight the Death Devil under the leadership of Fami but is it going to be that simple? I doubt it…