The following contains spoilers for Chainsaw Man Episodes 1-3, now streaming on Crunchyroll, as well as a brief discussion of suicide.
chainsaw man it is, in a word, dark. The first episode has the protagonist Denji counting how much money he has earned by selling various body parts. Even his general color palette is gray and washed out, setting up the series and Denji’s future to be filled with tragedy. The only light that shines in the story so far is the friendship between him and the devil dog, Pochita.
Despite their nature pitting them against each other as enemies, Denji and Pochita truly love each other and want nothing more than each other to be happy. They work well as a team and support each other. In the span of a single episode, Denji and Pochita have had fans rooting for them simultaneously, then crying when one’s life is tragically cut short.
Denji and Pochita saved each other
Denji met Pochita the day his father committed suicide, leaving him with a huge debt. As he stood in front of his father’s crudely built grave, Denji no longer had the will to live. When Pochita faced him, the boy didn’t even try to protect himself. Death was inevitable for him; now it was only a matter of when. Seeing Pochita severely injured caused Denji pity, but also the recognition that Pochita was a reflection of himself, and the startling realization that Denji, desperate as it all was, did not want to die.
As the two lay dying in the dumpster, Pochita recalled a conversation he and Denji had earlier. Denji told him that it was very likely that he would die fighting a demon, and though he was still resigned to his death, the emotions behind his words were different than when he was standing in front of Denji’s father’s grave. the. He wouldn’t have cared if he died back then because there was no one left to care about, and no one left to care about him, but the situation had changed: now he would leave Pochita behind.
Unlike the other Devils and humans in chainsaw man, Denji and Pochita really care for each other. Denji doesn’t earn enough money to buy them food and lets Pochita eat most of the slice of bread. Instead of abandoning Pochita, Denji has saved him more than once: the first when he offered his arm for the devil dog, and the second when his blood dripped into Pochita’s mouth, reviving him once more. Even dead, Denji was still trying to save Pochita.
Denji and Pochita from Chainsaw Man are true best friends
Due to his upbringing and circumstances, Denji’s dreams were painfully simple. He wanted to live a normal life: share a piece of toast spread with jam with Pochita, ask a girl out and have a girlfriend. Normalcy was a luxury far out of his reach. It was a fact that he had accepted for a long time, but he hoped that his death would give Pochita a chance to “live a normal life and die a normal death” and essentially carry out Denji’s dream for him.
In episode 3 of the anime, Denji remembers a time when Pochita disappeared. She had searched everywhere for him before going home where Pochita was crying, waiting for Denji. By then, Pochita should have recovered enough to leave, but he didn’t want to leave. The two of them had developed an incredibly strong bond in a short amount of time. In a world where it seemed like everyone and everything was out to get them, the only people Pochita and Denji could count on were themselves.
Denji’s contract with Pochita is unlike any other
However, Pochita did not want to live Denji’s dream. She wanted to see Denji live his own self dream, thus sacrificing himself to save the child’s life. This is the second time Denji makes a contract with Pochita, the first time being when he offered his blood to save the devil dog. Both contracts are unusual in chainsaw man, different from the others that the Devils do with humans. There has to be an offer of some kind that usually involves suffering on the part of the human in order for the human to use the powers of a Devil. The sacrifice can range from body parts to a part of your life.
Denji’s two contracts with Pochita cannot really be categorized as contracts in the traditional sense because they are not transactional. Although Denji offered his blood to Pochita in the first contract, it doesn’t seem to be a regular thing. On the contrary, Pochita is content to work with Denji as a team and wants nothing more from him than camaraderie.
In the second contract, Pochita was given the chance to take Denji’s body as her own when he died, which Denji wanted her to do. Instead, Pochita gives Denji his heart and wants nothing in return more than to show Pochita his dreams. While it can be argued that Pochita’s sacrifice involved Denji’s suffering, it was never the devil dog’s intention. If Denji’s dream was to live a normal life, Pochita’s dream was to help him finally achieve it.
NEXT: How Denji And Makima Are Chainsaw Man’s Grits And Griffith