Manga Review: Chainsaw Man Volume Four

Chainsaw Man Volume Four reveals a plot to capture Denji and gives the reader a little more insight into Makima.

Chainsaw Man Volume Four
Written by: Tatsuki Fujimoto
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 6, 2021

Two new characters are introduced in Volume Four: Samurai Sword and Sawatari (a girl who wears a hoodie). It turns out Samurai Sword is the grandson of the yakuza member that drove Denji into the debt trap that he was stuck in at the beginning of the series. Samurai Sword wants to capture Denji for revenge, but he also wants to get Makima out the way because of the power that she possesses. In addition, attacks are launched against Special Divisions 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Early on in Volume Four, we get to see a lot more of Makima than we have previously in the series. At the end of the previous volume, we saw her getting shot, but it turned out she survived the attack. Kurose and Tendo, the associates that Makima is meeting in Kyoto, get quite the shock when they see that Makima is still alive. I have to admit that I was so sure that Makima was killed in the previous volume, that I was also surprised to see that she had survived. It’s even more surprising later in the volume when it’s revealed Makima knew that this attack was coming. By the end of the volume, the reader can definitely see that Makima isn’t the person that Denji thinks she is. If I had been shipping these two prior to this volume, I would definitely not be at this point.

The next section of the manga focuses on Makima while she’s in Kyoto. The biggest thing that happens here is that the reader gets to see just what kind of power Makima really has. To be honest, it’s actually quite frightening. She gathers some convicts together at a temple, blindfolds them, and then orders each convict to say a name. It turns out these are the names of people who are involved in the attacks in Tokyo, and having these names said causes these people to die. Like I said, the idea of this is frightening. It reminds me a lot of the power of the Death Note, except the person’s name is said out loud instead of being written down in a book. After seeing this, it’s understandable why Samurai Sword would want to see Makima dead.

When Makima returns to Tokyo, she learns that there have been mass resignations from the four Special Divisions. With these resignations, the other three Special Divisions will be merging with Special Division Four, and Makima will be in charge of this merged division. It’s going to be interesting to see how this major change will impact the story of the series as a whole.

There’s also a section that focuses on Aki, who is recovering in the hospital. He’s greatly affected by Himeno’s death, and also learns from the devil he has a contract with that he only has two more years left to live. His thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of Kurose and Tendo, who are there to help train Special Division 4 at Makima’s request. As part of the training, they want Aki to make a contract with a stronger devil. We see the devil that Aki makes a contract with… and this devil is one with the power to see the future. Sure enough, this devil confirms that Aki is going to die, and hints that it’s going to be… interesting. The devil likes what it sees so much, that it agrees to make a contract with Aki.

Denji and Power are also getting training from a new character named Kishibe, who was a Devil Hunter with Special Division 1. But his training is anything but kind. Denji and Power get so annoyed with him that they try to use their brains to outsmart him. Which is an amusing thought, since neither of these characters are exactly the sharpest tools in the shed. So it’s not surprising when their attempt to use their brainpower on their instructor doesn’t work as expected.

Right at the end of the volume, an operation is launched on Samurai Sword’s hideout. What awaits are zombies… and a terrible surprise for Aki. The volume ends as this operation is just getting started, so I have a feeling that Volume 5 will be focusing a lot on this operation.

Whew! Volume Four was quite a whirlwind. There’s so much upheaval that takes place within this volume that it took me a little while to entirely follow what was happening, It took a second skim through this volume for me to pick up on some of the things that I missed the first time around. And with these changes, I thought the tone of the series changed drastically. Right now, I really can’t say whether I like this change in tone or not. Hopefully things will settle down in the next volume, so I can adjust to Chainsaw Man‘s new tone.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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