To this date, a question constantly ponders in my countable brain cells – How did Shonen Jump green light Chainsaw Man? Honestly, the absurd and beautiful creation of Fujimoto defied everything WSJ stands for, and yet it’s one of their best-sellers.
Chainsaw Man paints an abrasive and eccentric landscape depicting what humans are capable of, when not fighting devils. Its exploration of human nature in its ups and downs through a wacky narration strangely feels very befitting.
So, when a remarkable tale of exploiting nihilism and romanticizing unorthodoxy got over, many of us were lost. After following Denji’s ridiculously eerie yet weirdly satisfying journey, what to read next?
The next story that I embark upon, will it fill the void that Denji’s journey left? Well, that’s where I come in to help you find the next best manga like Chainsaw Man. Here’s a ranked list of several mangas similar to Fujimoto’s latest endeavor that’ll keep you in check until the anime arrives.
Okay, enough chit-chat, let’s dive in without any further ado.
14. Nijigahara Holograph:
Nijigahara Holograph captures the events that occur after a girl is thrown into a well by her classmates. And what follows afterward is a tale of remorse and agony that’ll haunt them for their whole life.
Okay, let’s state the obvious first – Nijigahara Holograph is a very dark and gruesome experience similar to Chainsaw Man. At one end, we have Arie Kimura who has suffered more than enough, much like Denji did unknowingly.
Both of them are very unpredictable with their narrative; shocks and surprises are around the corner. In addition, there’s a monster-like figure in Nijigahara Holograph that can be seen as the primary antagonist.
Although what constitutes this as a ‘manga like Chainsaw Man’ is the uncanny and sinister-like feeling Fujimoto had. At first, Nijigahara Holograph sounds like a horror manga which it prominently is. But, as you read on, the mysterious vibe you once had while reading Chainsaw Man returns.
13. Yogen No Nayuta:
Yogen no Nayuta follows a tale about a prophecy involving a girl (Nayuta) with horns. The age-old prophecy says that she’ll bring destruction upon the world and thus, must be killed. But, it won’t happen as long as her brother’s alive.
Can this list be completed without mentioning another work of Tatsuki Fujimoto? No, it can’t. As the plot reads, this is a heartwarming but quite unusual take on the relationship between a brother and sister.
What makes this manga (one-shot) unbelievably similar to Chainsaw Man comprises several things at once with a mixbag of gore and beauty. Apart from Nayuta looking almost identical to Control Devil’s reincarnation, the story also explores a meaningful bond.
And much like Chainsaw Man, it’s grotesque yet charming and beautiful yet uncanny. After reading everything Fujimoto had to offer, it becomes clear that the man loves to exploit and explore humane relationships. The same goes for Yogen no Nayuta as well as Chainsaw Man too.
After Nakoshi willingly drills a hole in his head by Ito Manabu for money, his life drastically changes. Now, he’s able to see homunculus in every other person. With an awry perception, how will he face the horrors of homunculi?
Remember the gloomy tone Chainsaw Man had, both in its art as well as the story of a homeless orphan? Well, Homunculus more or less achieves the same uninviting mood that revolves around Nakoshi’s life.
Furthermore, it also takes a skeptical insight at poverty, a prominent resemblance to one of the themes of Chainsaw Man. Apart from Homunculus imbuing a dark atmosphere, Nakoshi and Denji’s progression has a similar pattern to it. The most important one being – questioning their humanity.
Additionally, both of these mangas truly defy their genres in an ominous manner. However, Homunculus is a far stressful read and has a lot of symbolism going on through every chapter. But, keeping aside that, there are several aspects that make Homunculus a manga like Chainsaw Man.
11. Shounen no Abyss:
After having a surprise encounter with her famous idol Nagi Aoe, Reiji falls into a rabbit hole of scandalous events. From there, he navigates through the abyss of atrocities and obsession while he tries to surface back up to normalcy.
Right off the bat, you’ve Reiji – a teenage boy with a bleak outlook on the future stuck in hopeless situations. Tell me, this doesn’t remind you of Denji? In fact, if both of them ever met, they’d most probably be best friends with each other.
Shounen no Abyss yet again has a very dark and grim tone and it’s very apparent too. Not to mention, both the protagonists are manipulated by the women around them. Besides that, the artwork in Shounen no Abyss is very reminiscent of Chainsaw Man.
Aside from that, existential dread is also present in both the mangas. And it’s quite apparent in the depiction of Reiji when compared to Denji. But hey, that doesn’t make it any less of a contender for a manga like Chainsaw Man.
Set in a dystopian world, Abara’s story revolves around creatures known as Gaunas. When they transform, they can shape bone-like armor and weapons around themselves. And, this is the story of one such Gauna – Kudou Denji.
First things first, the devils in Chainsaw Man heavily resemble the Gaunas in Abara. The inspiration behind the monster designs for Chainsaw Man is evident at first glance. In fact, here’s a side-by-side comparison of Chainsaw devil and Kudou Denji.
Secondly, the name of both the protagonists – Denji. However, that’s not as important as the menacingly dark atmosphere Abara is set in. Lastly, in Abara, the action sequences can be very graphic and gory, similar to Chainsaw Man. So, if you’re missing some crazy monster fights, check it out.
Also, did I mention that Fujimoto himself said that Abara was an inspiration for Chainsaw Man? Come on, now it only makes the manga more enticing. And I think Abara will be a good warm-up before you read Tsutomu Nihei’s Blame.
Dandadan follows Takakura, an occult maniac who doesn’t believe in ghosts, and Ayase, a girl who doesn’t believe in aliens. Both of them try to overcome their differences when they actually encounter the paranormal.
I don’t even have the words to describe how sublime, wacky and wholesome the world of Dandadan is. Despite being set in completely different settings, Dandadan manages to exude the eerie vibes of Chainsaw Man.
Not to mention, it’s written by Yukinobu Tatsu (Fujimoto’s former assistant) and the author himself recommends Dandadan. Apart from having absurd panels, Dandadan also got a great comedy that’ll remind you of Chainsaw Man.
And amidst all of this, you get some spectacular fighting sequences, a good teenage romance, and a fiery/fierce grandmother. Come on, what more do you need at this point? Dandadan is a manga like Chainsaw Man and no one can deny that, not even Tatsuki Fujimoto.
Jigokuraku follows Gabimaru the Hollow on an expedition to an island that is believed to be Paradise. However, the island is full of surprises and he along with many others might not be able to handle them.
From the get-go, Jigokuraku isn’t what one can consider a conventional shonen, the same can be said for Chainsaw Man. Another key point would be the amount of violence and its portrayal. Both of the mangas make it their USP that the action sequences are something that feels extraordinary.
Apart from all that, the art style of Hell’s Paradise is bound to remind you of Chainsaw Man. And why it shouldn’t as Yuuji Kaku was another former assistant of Tatsuki Fujimoto. Also, the characters are pretty likeable and charming too.
And before I forget, the principle of ‘being strong’ in Jigokuraku aligns with the notion of Denji’s characterization very well. One needs to be vulnerable to be strong is very well depicted in the final chapters of Chainsaw Man.
Shintarou Jagasaki is your average police officer with something a little off in his mental. One day riding the train a mysterious monster appears and it’s Jagasaki’s job to fix it. But he can’t; until he discovers he can now transform his right hand into a sort-of gun.
What primarily makes Jagaaaaaan a manga like Chainsaw Man is its gruesome yet interesting take on human nature. Although it largely focuses on one element – ‘desires’, one can’t discard how well it aligns with Chainsaw Man’s themes too.
In the cynical and crazy world of Jagaaaaaan, we have a messed-up protagonist who’s seemingly trying to be a hero. Furthermore, there are these ‘fractured humans’ who are very similar to fiends.
In addition, both of them have masterfully violent and fluid action sequences that altogether make the mangas exhilarating. The dark themes, violent imagery, unpredictable circumstances, and a few cinematic panels, Jagaaaaaan has it all.
Lastly, it got some good situational comedy too, and you don’t want to miss that.
After merging with Amon, a devil, Akira Fudou tries to stop the calamity his father would bring to the world. With the help of his friend Ryou Asuka, he ventures on a journey to stop the demons from inhabiting his planet.
Okay, this is as obvious as it can get – a demon merging with a human to stop other demons. Well, I am pretty sure you have heard of this plot before too. Along with that, there’s an excellent betrayal, more than adequate gore, and an elegant story.
In fact, one can deem Devilman as the great grandfather of Chainsaw Man. Not to mention, both of these over-the-violent stories were published in teen magazines. And guess what, they both have protagonists with not-so-good fathers. I mean, can this get any better than this?
Lastly, the development of Akira, as well as Denji, happens very haphazardly which conveniently progresses the plot too. Both of them seemingly act as a catalyst to the narrative’s development.
5. Jujutsu Kaisen:
Jujutsu Kaisen follows Yuji Itadori, a high school student who joins a secret organization of sorcerers to kill Ryomen Sukuna. But, how will Yuji kill the powerful curse if he becomes the host for Sukuna?
Okay, basically, Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man follow extremely similar plot structures and character tropes. But at the end of the day, both of them are very different with many similarities as well. Oh, the irony is too beautiful here.
Let’s start off with the most obvious yet most neglected part – both the mangas are set in Tokyo. Moving on, Jujutsu Kaisen’s supernatural world and its characters are pretty crazy, the same goes for Chainsaw Man as well.
Both of them have exorcism of some kind, intelligent curses/fiends, and a solid power system. Additionally, Jujutsu Kaisen has a scratchy art style that manages to amplify the action sequences, similar to Chainsaw Man.
Apart from being dark and edgier shonen mangas, both of them inculcate the horror element pretty well too. Also, if you miss the exaggerated and weird expressions of Chainsaw Man, Jujutsu Kaisen will definitely fill that hole for you.
Berserk chronicles Guts’ life as a mercenary who vows to kill the person responsible for making his life hell. And, he will let nothing stop him, not even death itself, until he enacts his revenge. This is a relentless journey of a man who lost everything.
Let’s begin with a commonality that only Berserk and Chainsaw Man share – loneliness. Because what makes and breaks Denji is the ‘hollow feeling’ burning inside him, similar to Guts’. And, the very fact that both of them have to relentlessly bear it only makes it more interesting.
Now, aside from that, Berserk’s godly spreads might remind you of the dreadful yet beautiful spreads of Chainsaw Man too. Other than being an intense rollercoaster ride, Berserk has some excellent monster designs too.
In fact, their actions and desires can be traced back to Chainsaw Man’s devils too. The portrayal of rage, violence, and severe traumas in Berserk qualifies it to be manga similar to Chainsaw Man too. Oh, did I ever mention ultra badass protagonists?
3. Tokyo Ghoul:
Ken Kaneki finds himself caught in a world between humans and ghouls after an unfortunate incident. But, luck is on his side and he somehow manages to survive after the tragic event. And, now he has become a half-human and half-ghoul.
One thing that adamantly stands out in Tokyo Ghoul is an altogether different organization for hunting ghouls. Although JJK has it too, Tokyo Ghoul’s approach and setting resemble more when compared to Chainsaw Man.
Furthermore, Tokyo Ghoul and Chainsaw Man focus their stories in an edgy, violent, tragic, and dehumanizing manner. Ken’s harrowing journey also has him questioning his morality similar to Denji’s. Also, it’s really interesting to see their takes on human nature and how it works in their respective societies.
Lastly, the semi-apocalyptical world with a tinge of optimism and happiness is also present in Kaneki’s journey. Combine all this and several other thematic parallels and you get a strong contender for a manga like Chainsaw Man.
2. Fire Punch:
In an ever-frozen dystopia, Fire Punch tells the story of Agni, a man ruthlessly burning for revenge. Amidst all the chaos, will he be able to find what he came for?
Yes, another work of Fujimoto that sweeps its way to the second position. But, what makes Fire Punch a manga like Chainsaw Man? Aren’t they completely different? Long answer short, you’re in for a ride, read it right now.
The most prominent feature of Fire Punch that resembles Chainsaw Man is the sense of strangeness that it portrays. In a way, Fire Punch encapsulates most of the things Chainsaw Man did – ranging from chaos to utter loneliness. Simply put, the core ideas remain very similar in both of the mangas.
Besides that, you also get the breakneck pacing that Chainsaw Man had with a simple-minded protagonist like Denji. Both of them are pretty gritty and unforgiving, to its characters and their dreams as well. However, it only adds to the charm that Fujimoto brings in his art and narration.
Last but not the least, Fire Punch has some of the most breathtaking cinematic-like manga panels to experience. And, the same can be said for Chainsaw Man but let’s be honest, Fire Punch’s paneling is better.
Follow Agni’s revenge saga on Viz.
An epic by Q Hayashida that narrates the story of Kaiman – the lizardman. He’s an amnesic man disfigured by Magic who tries to recover both his original face and memories about his past.
Dorohedoro was the manga like Chainsaw Man even before the beginning of Chainsaw Man. Let’s begin with how hopelessly charismatic and goofy both the worlds tend to be. And while you’re at it, add some sprinkles of cynicism, heavy dosages of dark, gore, and atrocious violence and themes.
Then, next are the broken characters with eerie personalities but despite that, they’re charming and likeable. Furthermore, both the mangas have an urban setting with demonic elements and nutritional jokes (eating and vomiting).
Finally, both of their protagonists i.e. Kaiman and Denji feel like a breath of fresh air. They bring so much to the narration and the surprisingly neat trainwreck of development they get is pretty alluring. At this point, Dorohedoro is the best option if you want something like Chainsaw Man but with a different story.
You can read Kaiman’s adventures through Viz.
And it’s a wrap:
Oof, it’s over. Take a rest, maybe note down some mangas you want to read or reread Chainsaw Man. I mean, there are several options at your disposal, use them wisely.
Also, if you crave for a manga like Bleach, I got you covered. See, I do care for you all. Okay, that’s it for today and by any chance you’ve some recommendation then be kind and write it down in the comments.
See you next time, bye.