Chainsaw Man Vol. 3 begins with the end of the Eternity Devil arc. In the last volume, Denji and the others were trapped on the eighth floor of a hotel, and that’s where we catch up with them now. As the situation leads to their emotional and mental collapse, the Eternity Devil gave them the proposition of killing the protagonist, which some of them are seriously considering.
The manga does a great job of portraying their breakdown. The characters are visibly worn out, with dark circles under their eyes and sweaty, disfigured facial expressions. It also affects their behaviors, with Kobeni and Arai being hit the hardest in the sanity department while the others (specially Denji and Power) are mostly the same as usual. Still, it’s hard to really consider them truly sane or normal, to begin with.
In fact, Denji’s madness and lack of common sense are a big part of the dispute’s resolution. The battle with Eternity Devil is a bloody affair born of insanity, with horror and gore aplenty, not to mention Denji’s disgusting tactics as scenes drive home the reality of the situation.
It’s not just about having power; surviving demands a specific mindset. Only someone capable of thinking beyond normalcy would be able to deal with such a twisted situation and come back alive. Messed up people in a messed up world is a strong suit of author Tatsuki Fujimoto and he certainly delivers it in spades.
This is also explicitly mentioned by Himeno’s mentor in a flashback. As she sees the situation develop, it’s impossible for her not to be reminded of his words about how fearsome devil hunters with some screw looses are. The volume offers another glimpse at her relationship with Aki through various small bits, which was previously mentioned in volume 2.
Then comes the aftermath. A big welcome party acts as a small breather, allowing characters to hang out a little at an izakaya. Besides the food and drinks, Denji is obviously nervous about finally having the chance to get his first kiss. After Makima shows up and Himeno gets really drunk, the situation gets a little messy to the point Denji gets an experience that’ll definitely be hard to forget.
The volume ends with an unpredictable turn for the worse as a new arc begins, reminding the readers that death is commonplace in a world of powerful demons. With an ending that hangs in the middle of the conflict, confusion ensues, and the consequences will only be fully understood in the next volume.
There’s also a small extra with tidbits on Power’s personality. As the character is amusing, those extra pages offer decent comic relief while also explaining her traits.
Overall, Chainsaw Man Vol. 3 is an excellent example of the manga series’s chaotic energy. Changing quickly between dark comedy and bloody battles is a reminder of how the messed up fun so far won’t be without consequences even though the story is still in its early stages.
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