On the surface, Chainsaw Man feels like a gory, cut-’em-up anime with protagonist Denji becoming this hybrid of a man and chainsaw. It’s all part of his new job after bonding with his demonic dog, Pochita, where he gets to kill “devils” (i.e. demons) to keep the world safe. Of course, all Denji’s concerned with is earning a salary, shaping an intriguing story about a morally corrupt world and a sinister force lurking that’s sure to bring out a heroic side even Denji doesn’t know he has within.
It’s a typical anime/manga story, to be honest, nodding to the likes of Naruto, Sasuke, One-Punch Man and so many other iconic heroes who underwent a journey they never anticipated with all their power. Interestingly, given the graphic nature and relentless violence of Chainsaw Man, it does serve as proof that another similar berserker property, Guns Akimbo, would make a just-as-thrilling anime.
Guns Akimbo Turned Miles into a Weapon, Literally
In Chainsaw Man, it’s fun seeing Denji infused with chainsaws in his hands and face. Little did he know that Pochita dying and bonding to him was going to make Denji this weapon of mass destruction, but he’s enjoying life as he gets to live his dream: killing demons and making money. Ironically, the protagonist in the 2019 action-comedy, Guns Akimbo, Miles (Daniel Radcliffe), became a hybrid as well, after the terrorist group, Skizm, embedded guns into his hands.
They forced Miles to participate in online death matches, with leader Riktor hating how Miles trolled their love of bloodshed and toxicity online. He hired his own killer, Nix, to hunt Miles, producing one of the online platform’s most grueling affairs, capitalizing on social media and the sadists on many platforms. Thankfully, Miles and Nix would team up, killing the American chapter off. Nix sadly died, but this ending inspired Miles even more to hone his craft and hunt the other chapters, in other countries as well.
Guns Akimbo’s Anime Can Focus on Miles’ Army
Unfortunately, Guns Akimbo’s director, Jason Lei Howden, had a Twitter meltdown with critics, which the studio, Saban, didn’t like. The film eventually got released but the overall reception was lukewarm, ending hopes of a sequel. Still, it’s developed a cult following since then due to its bonkers concept, which would be perfect for the anime medium. And make no mistake, Chainsaw Man has proven how it could work, shaping a story with Miles losing himself to his power, the same way Denji might.
A Guns Akimbo sequel can dissect Miles working with other folks like Nix, who lost families, were manipulated and then weaponized by Skizm — as well as law enforcement, which has been corrupted via Skizm buying off agents. This provides a chance for Miles to create a task force of hackers and soldiers, upgrade his pistols and go after Skizm’s other hunters. Skizm could follow the John Wick route and put a bounty out on Miles and his allies. In the process, it could create new human-hybrids bonded to weapons, not having to worry about budget constraints thanks to the anime medium.
Fans could see killers with swords attached to their hands, rocket blasters in their shoulder, or lasers in their eyes, à la Cyclops and Kano, upgrading what Denji and Miles are. This creates room for bloody wars that know no bounds, and a Miles who’d be torn on his future as he continues to bask in the kill. He does love his ex, Nova, and she’s making him a hero in her comics, so this can craft the emotional, human part of the story, revolving around if Miles and Nova can be together despite his mission.
It’d be a remix of Chainsaw Man‘s Denji being used by Makima in the Public Safety Unit, possibly exploring a romance, with Miles continuing Guns Akimbo’s brutal story in a less-supernatural way. Ultimately, Miles would have to choose between love, war and his ego, which does seem to be the path Denji’s ironically following, too.