Denji's character arc reaches peak in Chainsaw Man chapter 150 (and other new gen mangaka should take notes)
Chainsaw Man chapter 150 was released earlier this week, bringing with it what many fans are calling author and illustrator Tatsuki Fujimoto’s best writing of the story’s second part thus far. This is largely due to a moment within the issue which focuses on Denji and Pochita and serves as the peak of the former’s character arc throughout the series thus far.
Essentially, Chainsaw Man chapter 150 saw Denji come to peace with the normal life he got to experience, even admitting to Pochita that he was able to achieve his first dream as a result. However, Pochita followed up this statement with the innocent question of what’s next for his dreams, suggesting either money or having a lot of girlfriends.
Chainsaw Man chapter 150 then sees Denji simply answer that he wants to be Chainsaw Man for his next dream. However, the way in which Fujimoto has Denji answer Pochita, and the shocking event that comes immediately after, is what allows this seemingly small moment to be the peak of Denji’s character arc.
Chainsaw Man chapter 150 proves that no new gen mangaka is doing character-driven stories like he is
The peak of Denji’s arc, explained
The significance of Denji’s answer in Chainsaw Man chapter 150 and how it represents the peak of his character arc comes from the context of the aforementioned moment.
Denji and Nayuta are trying to get back to their apartment to check in on their pets, following the death and destruction, which, indirectly, began due to Denji being Chainsaw Man.
Along the way, Denji has the above conversation with Pochita. However, immediately after saying his new dream is to be Chainsaw Man, he and Nayuta find their apartment having gone up in flames, their pets presumably dead. This is incredibly significant, as this apartment was the headquarters of Denji’s normal life with Nayuta, which the issue confirms via Denji’s daydreaming of a normal life earlier on.
Throughout the series, up to Chainsaw Man chapter 150, Denji has had several smaller dreams and goals which he achieved or had the opportunity to achieve. However, he has rarely found the joy and happiness he thought he would from achieving these dreams. Even when he did find some sort of satisfaction, it was typically a hollow and fleeting one, which went away very quickly.
His dream of living a normal life is the same, with Denji forcing himself to be happy with Nayuta and his regular life because he thought it was best for both of them. As has been obvious in recent chapters of the series, the protagonist was seriously depressed over his "normal" life.
Thus, in a way, the burning of the apartment frees him from needing to keep up this facade, especially considering it’s immediately prefaced by him saying his new dream is to be Chainsaw Man.
Chainsaw Man chapter 150’s presentation and structure also seemingly confirms that being Chainsaw Man is the one dream in which Denji can truly find the happiness he longs for. By having his apartment burn down immediately after this proclamation, Fujimoto is almost inviting Denji to start anew without needing to worry about what he’d potentially leave behind.
Given that maturation and growth to determine personal happiness is an integral part of Denji’s character arc, leaving behind this masquerade of joy is very arguably the peak of his arc. This is further supported by the fact that he admits his dream is to be Chainsaw Man as his normal life is done away with.
While it remains to be seen if he actually takes advantage of this opportunity, doing so would undoubtedly allow Denji to find the happiness he and Pochita both long for.