Is Chainsaw Man based on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Explained

Denji and Leatherface (Image via Sportskeeda)
Denji and Leatherface (Image via Sportskeeda)

Chainsaw Man has been taking the anime community by storm ever since its release last year, and its popularity has only grown since then.

The anime recently finished its first part with 12 episodes, with the final one releasing in December 2022 and the fans cannot wait for the second season to be announced.

Owing to the obvious resemblance, many fans have been wondering if the manga is based on the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and if the speculations about this hit MAPPA production, and how it came to be, have proven to be right.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and other movie references in Chainsaw Man

Movie buffs among the fandom have wasted no time in pointing out the various cinematic and pop culture references in the Chainsaw Man anime and manga. Allusions to a number of popular Hollywood classics can be found within the opening sequence of the anime and also in the manga panels.

One of those movies is the iconic 70s horror flick, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. According to several reports online, the mangaka of Chainsaw Man, Tatsuki Fujimoto himself, has admitted to the movie being an elemental inspiration for the manga.

Chainsaw Man Facts #22 Chainsaw Man was also inspired by the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise

The core similarity between the movie and the anime is very obvious, as the movie features a masked man called Leatherface, slaughtering people with a chainsaw, much like what Denji does, except for the fact that he kills devils instead of people.

Fujimoto reportedly said that he found the idea of chainsaws very cool and wanted to create something around that. Direct references to Leatherface, along with Jason, another famous fictional serial killer, even appears in a panel in the manga as well.

Masks of Leatherface and Jason in Chainsaw Man manga (Image via Shueisha)
Masks of Leatherface and Jason in Chainsaw Man manga (Image via Shueisha)

A slasher movie calls for being unapologetically bloody and gory, something that Chainsaw Man doesn’t shy away from either. The manga and the anime features some pretty graphic scenes, full of spilled guts and blood splatters, which was introduced in the very first episode when Denji first morphs into the chainsaw man and goes on a killing spree.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre came out in 1974, and quickly established itself as a modern slasher classic, which led to the birth of a franchise. Besides the subsequent films that have been released over the decades, with the most recent one being in 2022, the movie had also inspired video games and books.

The original movie itself was inspired by a real-life serial killer called Ed Grein. However, none of the events of the movie happened in real life, and Grein never used a chainsaw.

chainsaw man is peak fiction

Fujimoto’s love for cinema is apparent once the allusions in the manga are discovered. Fans online have also pointed out that several aspects and panels are reminiscent of Evil Dead, like the shot of Ash, the protagonist of the movie, holding a bloody chainsaw.

Besides The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, there are many other movies that have become a staple in contemporary pop culture, that have been referenced in the anime. For example, the very first frame of the opening sequence - where Makima, Aki, Denji, and Power are shown walking down a street - is a shoutout to the opening credits of the Tarantino gem, Reservoir Dogs.

@Sanjistars Never skipped a chainsaw man intro the whole season !!

The movie in question can also be found in the opening sequence. The adorable shot of a young Denji cuddling Pochita in his arms is visually reminiscent of the blood-curdling scene where Leatherface holds up two of his mutilated victims.

Chainsaw Man will continue from episode 13, which will hopefully come out soon. But only an official announcement from MAPPA will confirm the speculation. You can watch the first season on Crunchyroll.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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