Chainsaw Man Part 2 Was Never a Sequel - It’s a Spin-off

Warning: contains spoilers for Chainsaw Man chapter 99!

Fans of the immensely popular manga Chainsaw Man have eagerly awaited its return, but the second part’s initial chapters are very different from what they expected. This should not be too surprising as the manga’s author Tatsuki Fujimoto is known for taking his stories in interesting and unexpected directions. But it does mean that fans may have to adjust their expectations for this new era, seeing it as a compelling spin-off rather than a continuation.

Part 1 of Chainsaw Man follows a boy named Denji who makes a contract with a devil that enables him to become the titular character, with chainsaws sprouting from his head and arms. Denji is taken in by the government and used to hunt devils under the command of the mysterious Makima. She attempts to use him to eradicate many of the world’s evils as Chainsaw Man, but Denji eventually escapes her control and kills her. Part 1 ends with Denji finding out that she has been revived as the child Nayuta and deciding to lovingly raise her so she doesn’t become like her former self. This was a superb ending, with most characters having complete and satisfying arcs and many plot threads being tied up. But that didn’t make the prospect of Denji raising a mini Makima any less exciting, and fans eagerly awaited part 2. Now, after over a year and a half, part 2 of Chainsaw Man is finally here. But it isn’t what fans were looking forward to.

Related: Chainsaw Man's Most Breathtaking Moment Has an Incredibly Dark Origin

Part 2 of Chainsaw Man opens with an extra long chapter introducing a girl named Mitaka who eventually becomes the host of the War Devil. While this could have just been a way to introduce a major enemy for Denji to face in part 2, the next chapter doubles down on this focus, showing Mitaka going to high school and meeting some aspiring devil hunters. The ending of that chapter implies that the next chapter will dive into their characters further and establish their relationship with Mitaka. As such, it seems like the manga will be focusing on Mitaka for a while longer, instead of Denji as fans hoped.

Although readers may have entered part 2 expecting a sequel to part 1 following Denji as he enters high school, these early chapters indicate that part 2 will actually be a sequel set in the same world but following different characters. This actually is less surprising than it may first appear, as the ending of part 1 did a great job wrapping up Denji’s character arc while leaving some open questions about Chainsaw Man's world. Denji was set to be a much less compelling protagonist than in part 1 as he has less growth to go through. Mitaka on the other hand clearly has issues she needs to work out, and that’s before she becomes possessed by the War Devil. At the same time, a 'spin-off' can still answer the various open questions left by part 1.

While this may disappoint fans who were looking forward to seeing more of Denji, he will still probably appear at some point in the story. After all, Mitaka’s mission is to track him down. But he will likely not show up for some time (outside of rumors and stories other characters tell about Chainsaw Man). Fans who are reading the latest chapters of Chainsaw Man expecting to get back to Denji should likely adjust their expectations and consciously invest in Mitaka, trusting Tatsuki Fujimoto to tell a masterful story about an unknown character, just as he did with part 1.

More: Chainsaw Man Leaps to Life in Terrifying Gory Cosplay

Chainsaw Man chapter 99 is available to read from Viz Media.

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