Chainsaw Man: 4 ways Denji and Asa are similar (and 4 ways they are different)

Like true foil characters, Denji and Asa's similarities and differences are both numerous (Image via Sportskeeda)
Like true foil characters, Denji and Asa's similarities and differences are both numerous (Image via Sportskeeda)

Author and illustrator Tatsuki Fujimoto's Chainsaw Man has become one of the most popular manga series to debut in recent years. Following the release of the first part, the series gained a massive cult following. Its popularity and household name status have only been catapulted to further relevance by the upcoming anime adaptation, the trailer for which was recently released.

This has resulted in an influx of readers just as Chainsaw Man's second part begins serialization, shifting the focus (for the time being) from Denji to Asa Mitaka. Interestingly enough, fans have noticed that the two are both very similar and incredibly different in many ways.

Here are four ways Chainsaw Man’s Denji and Asa are similar, and four more ways they’re different.

Desire to live selfishly and 3 other ways Chainsaw Man’s Asa and Denji are similar

1) Devil contracts

One of the most striking similarities between Denji and Asa in Chainsaw Man is that they both have contracts with various Devils. Furthermore, both contracts were made and acted upon when each of their lives were about to be lost forever, allowing each to come back to life and continue living.

The circumstances in which each contract was triggered to activate are also similar, with both Denji and Asa being attacked and killed by a Devil.

2) Feel responsibility for parents’ deaths

As revealed in the latest Chainsaw Man issue, both Denji and Asa share guilt over the passing of at least one of their parents. The latest issue of the series revealed that Asa Mitaka ended up tripping and falling when running away from a Devil, resulting in her mother sacrificing herself to push her daughter out of the way and save her.

Denji, meanwhile, was revealed towards the end of the series’ first part to have killed his father with his own hands in self-defense. While there are certainly varying degrees of responsibility and involvement, both clearly and unmistakably bear some level of responsibility for each of their parents' deaths.

3) Want to live selfishly

Both Denji and Asa expressed a desire to live a more selfish life after being given a second chance at life in Chainsaw Man. While their objectives differ, they both use the word "selfishly" when discussing how they intend to spend the rest of their lives after being given a second chance.

It’s appropriate for both characters to arrive at this decision, with each having less than ideal lives up to the point where they make their respective declarations. It’s one of the best ways in which the two are similar, which will undoubtedly make their imminent confrontation even more engaging and exciting.

4) Love cats

One final, incredibly telling way in which they’re similar is that both are shown to love cats and have a desire to save them. The manner in which the latest Chainsaw Man issue shows each saving a cat is also fairly indicative. Asa clearly wants to save anything and everything that crosses her path, even if it means jeopardizing her chances of survival.

Denji, meanwhile, chooses to live selfishly by saving only that which he truly wants to save, even if it means others have to die for him to live how he wants. It’s an incredibly telling similarity, which proves how similar yet different the two are.

Feelings regarding the Devils and 3 other ways Chainsaw Man’s Asa and Denji are different

1) Relationship with respective Devils

The first and most significant difference between the two is their relationship with their respective Devils. Denji and Pochita were always characterized as a team working together with a common goal, even before they began sharing Denji’s body and became Chainsaw Man.

Asa Mitaka and War Devil Yoru, meanwhile, initially and continuously find themselves at odds with one another, with Asa’s way of life constantly angering and confusing Yoru. While there are moments where the two get along and work towards common goals, the majority of their relationship has been characterized by bickering and disagreements.

2) Circumstances of upbringing

The circumstances of their childhood and young adult upbringings are one way the two differ. Denji, for example, had a father who would constantly beat him to the point of death, and it's likely that there was no mother present to intervene. Asa, meanwhile, had a mother who loved her so much that she sacrificed herself to save her child.

It’s an interesting dichotomy which certainly distinguishes how the two act. For example, one could argue that Asa’s desire to save anything and everything she can comes from her mother’s selfless love. Meanwhile, Denji’s desire to save only that which he values or cares about could reflect a lack of unconditional love in his childhood.

3) Feelings regarding the Devils

One major way in which the two Chainsaw Man main characters are different is in their thoughts and feelings towards Devils. While Denji was a private Devil Hunter, he always had a close relationship with Pochita and was clearly shown to care for and value the fragile Devil, even sharing food with it and sleeping in the same bed with it.

Mitaka, meanwhile, was introduced via her distaste for Devils, instantly hating one even as weak as Bucky despite knowing nothing about it. While she does have justification for such a sentiment, it’s a clear distinction between the two characters, which reflects how they value life that is vastly different to their own.

4) How to live selfishly

Finally, while these two Chainsaw Man central figures both agree to live selfishly upon their second chance, they do so in incredibly different ways. Denji desires to fill his life with various hedonistic pleasures, such as food, women, video games, and nearly everything else in the book.

Mitaka, meanwhile, expresses a desire to live a happier and fuller life, vowing to be more outgoing and take the initiative in making friends. It’s an interesting dichotomy which shows what the two want out of life while also painting Asa as a foil to earlier Denji, who did at one point desire friends before moving onto his hedonistic desires.