Monstrous creatures from all walks of life (and death) form the compelling world of Chainsaw Man, but what are their differences, and how should we categorize our main character? Is Denji a fiend, devil, or hybrid in Chainsaw Man? Read on to find out!
What Is a Fiend in Chainsaw Man?
In the world of Chainsaw Man, a fiend refers to a devil who has taken over the corpse of a human.
Because of this particular situation, fiends don't look exactly appealing. However, there are some exceptions.
Fiends who are made out of corpses whose bodies and brains were intact might look a lot like humans, though they have some distinctive quality to mark the part of them that is a devil.
Power, for instance, is a blood fiend who has horns. Fiends tend to have the same personality as the devils who possess them.
This means that, unlike hybrids, the human who used to inhabit that body is out of the equation.
However, if the brain was intact at the time of the takeover, some of the human's memories and personality traits might be retained.
Fiends are normally not very intelligent, but Power is an exception as she's fully sentient.
Due to that, she got employed by Makima's special division as a devil hunter.
What Is a Devil in Chainsaw Man?
Devils in Chainsaw Man are a unique aspect of worldbuilding. They're born out of human fears, each one being a representation of humanity's collective fears of a particular object or concept.
For instance, the Gun Devil, one of the most fearsome devils in the manga, was created after a terrorist attack that involved guns.
Meanwhile, the War Devil, whom we see in the Chainsaw Man manga Part 2, embodies humanity's fear in relation to war.
Devils occasionally form contracts with humans but they tend to require something in return.
For instance, Himeno uses the Ghost Devil's power but had to sacrifice an eye in the process.
In general, devils are impossible to kill. If they're killed on Earth, they get reincarnated in hell and vice versa, making for a vicious cycle.
What Is a Hybrid in Chainsaw Man?
Hybrids in Chainsaw Man reflect the rare cases in which a human and a devil merge without either being completely eliminated.
In that case, the human appears to be the dominant one in the relationship.
Is Denji a Fiend?
In his new life as Chainsaw Man, Denji is still the same person inhabiting the same body. It is, however, fully regenerated and doesn't have any of the frailties and mutilations he suffered before merging with Pochita.
Is Denji a Devil?
Denji is not a devil. Full devils never had a life as a human the way Denji did, as they are born out of fears.
Before his merge with Pochita, Denji was fully human. As Chainsaw Man, he retains much of his humanity and only transforms.
Is Denji a Hybrid?
Yes, Denji is a human-devil hybrid due to his unique relationship with Pochita.
In Episode 1 of Chainsaw Man when Makima first encounters Denji after his first transformation into Chainsaw Man, she mentions that he has a unique smell, neither that of a devil, nor that of a human.
Denji is an interesting case because he went into a contract with a devil who selflessly laid down his life for him, only asking him to live a normal life -- rather than taking something from him, such as a body part, as most devils do.
Pochita is still alive as Denji's heart but he doesn't control Denji.
While he does resurface in later manga chapters, Pochita is unlike most devils who make contracts with humans, as he merged with Denji without hopes of taking over his body.
In this symbiotic relationship, Denji's consciousness is at the forefront, making him one of the anime's rare hybrids.
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