Chainsaw Man anime started airing in Japan on Oct 11, 2022, revealing for the first time, its opening theme filled with movie easter eggs.
Tatsuki Fujimoto is a well known cinephile. So, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that the anime’s opening serves more like an ode to some classic movies. The OP’s director, Shingo Yamashita, has gone all out to embody the absurd, quirky tone of the manga in this opening theme.
From the author’s favorite movie, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, to Quentin Tarantino’s & Coen Brother’s iconic flicks, the opening theme has includes references to over 15 movies in it.
In case you missed it, we have made a list of all the references that we could find in the opening and listed them out below
The opening scene of Makima and the gang walking is a reference to Reservoir Dogs opening scene where the characters all walk out of the restaurant after having their discussion on tipping the waiter.
The next scene of Denji hugging Pochita and sitting is a reference to one of Fujimoto’s favorite movie, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Surely you did not forget the Monument man from the grave.
The third one is again from a classic Quentin Tarantino movie, Pulp Fiction. Kishibe pointing the gun is a reference to Samuel L. Jackson’s Jules pointing a gun at Ringo, who is played by Tim Roth, during the stand off at the diner.
Next up is the scene where Denji and Katana man are having a go at each other. The netizens were quick to point out that this was from the 2016 Japanese horror film, Sadako vs Kayako.
Remember Anton Chigurh from Coen Brother’s critically acclaimed western neo-noir No Country For Old Men? He too gets a callout in the Chainsaw Man opening, as the Violence Fiend, sitting in a motel and removing his shoe, is clearly an imitation of the cold-blooded antagonist’s pose.
Another reference from a Tarantino movie follows, and this time it’s his 2019 movie Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
The scene where Kobeni is crawling on all fours on the table, as Kishibe, Aki and Azai look on is a clever reference to the horror parody movie, The Attack of Killer Tomatoes. The reference stands out even more when you notice the poster of Tomato devil on the wall beside them. A killer tomato indeed.
What follows are references that mirror scenes from Hideo Nakata’s 1996 horror film Don’t Look Up and 1990 psychological horror movie Jacob’s Ladder.
The next big flick to be referenced by the opening is Constantine. The scene where Aki and Himeno meet is a homage to Keanu Reeves’ John Constantine and Rachel Weisz’s Isabel Dodson meeting at night in the movie.
The scene where Denji and Aki are polishing the bowling balls was quickly pointed out by fans to be a reference to The Big Lebowski, the second Coen Brother’s movie to make it to this list.
The reference was not even missed by One Punch Man illustrator Yusuke Murata, who added that bowling scene in the opening was a reference to both The Big Lebowski & Sky Crawler.
Thor: Love & Thunder, too finds its way into the mix, as Power’s entry is written in the same font as that of the movie.
With all the references involved, the Chainsaw Man opening would surely not miss out on Fight Club now, would it? Where else could the wrecking ball reference be from?
Other than movies, the Chainsaw Man anime’s opening also makes references to Neon Genesis Evangelion and also to one of Fujimoto’s own work, Goodbye- Eri.
Fujimoto had earlier revealed that Hereditary is one of his favorite movies too. So it was disappointing to see it missing from this list.
Also, there’s this scene in the opening where all the characters are sitting in a theatre and watching a movie. Is it the creators’ way of reiterating that the opening is certainly a homage to all the classic movies out there, or, could it be another easter egg that we missed? Inglorious Bastards? Anyone?
If you feel that we have missed any references, or pointed out something wrong, do let us know your thoughts in the comments section!