By Christian Equihua Cortes
Tatsuki Fujimoto is a Manga author who creates anime-style comics in Japan. The comics are read from right to left which is the complete opposite of how books are read in the United States.
One of his works, “Chainsaw Man” is the first series of books that I read written by him and the first ever Manga series I have ever read in my life. First of all, the characters and story are unlike anything I’ve ever seen anywhere including movies, TV shows, and other books.
I collect the books, which are considered volumes, and usually read them in class whenever I have spare time. There are currently 12 volumes of “Chainsaw Man” and I own the first 11 of them which is the entirety of Part 1 of “Chainsaw Man.” The ending of “Chainsaw Man” Part 1 made me cry during class when I read it for the first time.
There are people all around the world who also love collecting it. In 2021 it became the seventh best-selling manga in the world with over 5 million copies sold!
Since it is in comic book format the author not only writes the story but also illustrates it. The way Tatsuki Fujimoto draws human expressions is honestly baffling. Throughout all of “Chainsaw Man,” he captures every single emotion throughout every single little interaction/experience.
In another one of his works “Look Back” there are pages that are filled with only pictures of progressive emotion with no words on the pages at all. Even in “Chainsaw Man” after an impactful moment, he takes time to draw panels of how each character really feels.
A major problem that a lot of people have about “Chainsaw Man” though is the pacing. Part 1 of “Chainsaw Man” has around eight story arcs spread across 97 chapters and 11 volumes in total. Since the pacing was a bit fast, some people found it hard to keep track of what was going on and keep in mind what aspects were important to the story.
I do agree that there were often times when a lot of things happened in a short amount of time, but I say a simple solution to that is to read just a tiny bit slower and use more time to process the art which helped a lot for me when the story was moving too quickly for me.
I also collected the books very slowly over the span of about seven months which also helped the pacing problem for me. The first volume of “Chainsaw Man” was a roller coaster of emotions. Throughout the first part, I felt really sad, then I found myself actually laughing out loud because of the outlandish things that would happen, and finally, I found myself shocked at the cliffhanger at the end. This was the first time ever in my life that I really couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next volume to see where the story would go.
The story at first is pretty basic. It’s focused on the main character, Denji, and other depressing or crazy friends that he makes that are trying to find and kill the Gun Devil for their own reasons. Eventually, though, the Gun Devil becomes more of a side plot, and a major plot twist slowly gets revealed as you get closer to the ending.
Tatsuki Fujimoto pulls no punches when it comes to creating manga which is unlike other manga authors which I love. As a result, a lot of the main characters end up dying tragically and even newly introduced characters have a chance of being killed within chapters of being introduced!
Many of his readers actually do have a problem with that because the pacing is a bit too fast which leads to the deaths of many characters being poorly handled. I don’t have a major problem with it though because I feel that it is more realistic this way and just impacts the other characters more.
Even with some problems I truly believe that Fujimoto should be awarded for the stories he’s told.