Chainsaw Man let Kobeni fail, and that’s why it’s a great anime

With the broadcast of the season 1 finale, today marks the finale chainsaw man third of the year. Although our main group of characters has been through a lot in the 12 short episodes of the series, none of them have suffered as much as Kobeni Higashiyama.

chainsaw man is the story of Denji, an unlucky teenager who, until a few weeks ago, thought he was going to die without ever touching his chest. Currently, he has merged with the Devil of the Chainsaw and is threatened with death by the Japanese government to fight other demons. Denji is a major character, and while a lot of terrible things have happened to him, it is possible to at least pretend that he will learn from it.

Kobeni Higashiyama is not the main character. She is a demon hunter who goes along with Denji, but she doesn’t have the powers of a Chainsaw Devil – at least, nothing she can share or use at the moment. In fact, she doesn’t seem to have any powers at all. Kobeni spends most of his time screaming and crying in the face of the extreme violence Denji is used to. If Denji’s journey is to discover what modern life is all about, Kobeni’s life is a humorous routine. She got stuck in the rat race. She didn’t want to be there, but she had no choice. Her parents tell her she needs to earn money to send her brother to college, and she has a choice between becoming a demon hunter or a prostitute.

Though I do feel sorry for Kobeni and the endless stream of suffering she goes through, having her around. chainsaw man It’s like having a Coen brothers character in my super violent, stylish cartoon. She is like Brad Pitt’s character in Record After Reading, in that she doesn’t know what’s going on and is often in great danger, or like Barton Fink, in that she makes mostly wrong choices and is constantly drenched in sweat, tears or confusing mixture of the two. Unlike her fellow demon hunters, she couldn’t even keep her composure when she saw the horrors she had to fight. She reacts like any ordinary swindler; screaming, crying, and begging for mercy.

The funniest thing about Kobeni’s suffering for me is that she didn’t even get to die. As her colleagues fly like flies around her, Kobeni is, for whatever reason, still alive. By the time this season ended, almost every demon hunter Kobeni knew had already been killed. But not Kobeni. Though she yearns for the sweet embrace of death, she instead has the privilege of entering the final showdown of the season, and has blood on her face for her troubles. When her colleague demon hunter Aki asks her why she is still doing this job, she replies that a bounty is coming.

What Denji learned throughout chainsaw man is the mundaneity of the modern world. Things that seemed magical, almost mythical to him before he became a demon hunter, like touching breasts and hanging out with girls, turned out not to be as life-changing as he thought. But while Denji may be on a journey of self-actualization, most of us are watching the same as Kobeni. Nothing special happened to us. The universe does not bend itself to open up our personal growth. We all just have to keep doing our bad jobs until they kill us, or we get the bounty. Kobeni may be better at wielding knives at the end of the season than at the beginning of the season, but no great destiny awaits her. With her luck, she will never die.


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