The opening sequence in Chainsaw Man episode one actually didn’t appear until chapter 38 of the original manga and wasn’t answered until much later.
Warning: SPOILERS for Chainsaw Man episode 1The highly anticipated premiere of Chainsaw Man not only started off strong as longtime manga fans expected but began with a dark scene that actually didn’t appear until much later in the manga.
Anime studios have always had the tough job of walking the fine line between staying completely true to the mangaka’s original work and adding their own creative flourishes. Although few comply 100% to their main sources of inspiration, some anime studios stray more than others like the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime did (especially its controversial ending) before Brotherhood returned to the manga’s roots. For the most part, anime studio MAPPA seems to have stuck almost completely to mangaka Tatsuki Fujimoto’s first chapter of Chainsaw Man except, ironically, for the opening scene.
In the opening sequence of Chainsaw Man’s first episode, the main character Denji who eventually becomes the eponymous Chainsaw Man can be heard breathing heavily as he slowly makes his way down an alleyway leading to an ominous-looking door. The closer he comes to this door, the more the viewer realizes there’s an eye peering out through a peephole. Then, as Denji reaches out cautiously to turn the door handle, he wakes up.
How Chainsaw Man Changed The Manga’s Door Scene
This unsettling scene doesn’t occur until chapter 38 of the manga where Denji recounts these moments as part of a dream he has been having. Unlike the manga itself, there’s nothing in the anime adaptation that explains who or what is behind that door. Its only purpose in the anime is to create a sense of unsettling tension. The manga, by comparison, makes it abundantly clear what is behind that door and how that relates to Denji. At first, readers are led to assume that this scene is cr Chainsaw Man’s version Naruto’s relationship to Kurama. The manga later references the door in chapter 71 when Denji seems to come to a decision on how he should view it without giving any definitive answer. The truth isn’t fully realized until 11 chapters later during a rather intense plot twist that no one was expecting.
What lies behind that disturbing door is actually something that has allowed Denji to pursue a normal life, one that viewers first learn about in episode one of the Chainsaw Man anime. What’s incredible is that anime-goers won’t get this burning question answered in the first season. It probably won’t even happen by the second season, either if the anime adaptation honors Fujimoto’s original work. The fact that MAPPA chose to include this door in not only the first episode will undoubtedly place more importance on the door and what it represents than the original manga. This is actually a smart move on MAPPA’s part since the door and its contents do play a crucial role in Denji’s overall story and deserve to have more screen time than Chainsaw Man’s original manga devoted to it.
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