Chainsaw Man's Return Should Embrace Creator's Genius One-Shots

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Just Listen to the Song!

Mangaka Tatsuki Fujimoto's new one-shot Just Listen to the Song serves as the latest reminder that the return of his hit manga series Chainsaw Man should embrace the genius of these other projects.

Fans have been awaiting the return of Fujimoto's Chainsaw Man series ever since he completed the so-called first part of the manga in December 2020. During this nearly two-year hiatus, Fujimoto spent his time writing and drawing numerous one-shots including Look Back, Goodbye, Eri, and now the latest Just Listen to the Song. Although the drop date of Chainsaw Man's return on July 13 couldn't come fast enough, the deep introspective nature of these recent one-shots has been so compelling that even the most fervent Chainsaw Man fans can't help but feel bittersweet about the main series' return because it means that the release of these stories will end. Or will it?


Related: Chainsaw Man & To Strip the Flesh Creators Unite For New Manga One-Shot

Mostly devoid of violence, these one-shots explore varying real-life struggles, each one more different than the last. Look Back first illustrates the hardships of mangaka and the difficulty of maintaining a friendship as rivals before proving that death is so absolute that even the alternate realities one may create to escape the pain of loss can become distorted by the emptiness that the survivor must deal with. His one-shot Goodbye, Eri, tackles how loss can be channeled through cinematography and how the artist behind the camera can sculpt their own reality. The newest release from Fujimoto, (along with To Strip the Flesh mangaka Oto Toda) Just Listen to the Song serves as a satirical take on how people naturally look for hidden meaning in art, many of them ridiculous, when sometimes art should just be enjoyed at face value. And like all of his other works, Fujimoto built Just Listen to the Song upon a completely different foundation to add additional context, this one being to illustrate the struggles of teenage love and the cruelty of critics.

Everything gets blown out of proportion in Just Listen to the Song by Fujimoto of Chainsaw Man.

All of these examples aren't to say, however, that Chainsaw Man is nothing more than a gory bloodbath between over-the-top devils and monsters. That's far from the truth. Fujimoto has showcased a genius that spans well beyond just a gratuitous amount of violence. For example, the main character Denji struggles with a profound sense of fear that him becoming Chainsaw Man has eliminated all aspects of his humanity. There was also the time when Denji's ostensibly random date in his devilish form was actually a showcase of his character desperately trying to hold onto his dreams, ones that his disturbing display as Chainsaw Man tragically proved was obviously out of his reach. Some profound moments of suffering have also been portrayed through fantastical means like one's inability to escape a loved one who has tormented and betrayed them even when all ties with that person have been severed. Others are much more realistic, like how a severe case of PTSD can bring two people together who have otherwise been forced to be friends unwillingly.

With these and many other examples, it's clear that Fujimoto can easily incorporate numerous diverse themes into part two of Chainsaw Man to the point where it could feel like multiple one-shots in a single story. Since Fujimoto has already expressed a desire to prevent Chainsaw Man from taking over his life, hopefully, he'll take another hiatus later on like the one that's currently unfolding so his genius isn't just confined to one story, even if it's completely captivating.