Over 1800 fans have signed a petition on Change.org demanding a complete remake of the Chainsaw Man anime. The predominant hope is that, even if a complete remake is impractical, at the very least Studio Mappa should opt for a different animation director.
There has been major discontent amongst Japanese fans ever since the Chainsaw Man anime premiered in October. After last week’s episode, this petition was started. While at first it wasn’t taken seriously, 1824 people from all over the world signed it within a week, the majority of whom were Japanese.
Japanese fan’s petition for a Chainsaw Man remake gains traction
Chainsaw Man anime was not only highly anticipated, but it was also highly marketed and publicized. However, compared to the manga sales, the anime did not perform well, either critically or financially. Fans of the source material, especially Japanese fans, raised concerns over the type of animation, the realistic tone, the casting, the color palette, and the background score almost as soon as the anime premiered.
Nearly a week ago, a Japanese fan under the handle Kobeni’s Car started a petition on Change.org with the goal of a complete remake of the Chainsaw Man anime. They gave a lengthy explanation for their demand which focused on the aspects of the anime they disagreed with. They listed the manga’s circulation (over 13 million) and the number of awards both Fujimoto and the manga have won, chiefly the Harvey Award for Best Manga.
They then list the issues they have with the anime, the list of which goes as follows:
. Director Ryu Nakayama’s realistic and Japanese-movie-like style, which takes away from the “gags” and “momentum”
· The creative liberties that were taken with the adaptation, the modification of some scenes, and the exclusion of certain lines.
· The storyboard fails to capture the essence and tempo of the original work.
· While the ending themes are very popular, the opening theme goes too far in movie fanatism.
· The background music is not memorable, while the sound mixing and acoustics make certain dialogue hard to hear.
· The casting, particularly that of Denji’s voice actor Toya Kikunosuke, is too subdued and lacks the character’s signature madness. In this regard, the demand for casting Nobuhiko Okamoto (Bakugo in My Hero Academia, Nishinoya in Haikyuu!!) is mentioned.
However, the petitioner does imply that the fault with the voice acting lies primarily in guidance and direction, and not with the actors themselves, stating:
“On the other hand, Toya-San’s performance in the game "Monster Strike" has been very well received, and it seems that he can more than satisfy the demands of the fans, depending on his acting guidance.”
Those who have signed have left comments that range from insulting Mappa to demanding a change in direction. Most of the attacks, however, are directed towards the director, who, fans feel, has not grasped the soul of the Chainsaw Man manga properly, but rather based his interpretation off of the mangaka Tatsuki Fujimoto’s interests.
“I agree with most of the things in the passage, never liked the awful direction of the new anime and the forced movie references, the director clearly doesn't know what Chainsaw Man is about and bases the anime on one of Fujimoto's interests rather than the manga itself, hence the awful "live-action" feel.”
“It's difficult to remake from scratch, so I don't want that much, but if you make a second season or a movie, I'd like you to change the director.”
It is unlikely that Mappa will remake the entire series, considering that Chainsaw Man was in production for several years and is deemed Mappa’s dream project. Mangaka Tatsuki Fujimoto himself has rallied in support of the adaptation and has been involved in the production as well. Although he has sometimes stated that the anime varies from what he expected, he affirmed that the director can interpret his work however he wants.
The international fans have been praising the animation and direction since the debut of Chainsaw Man anime and most of them find this petition to be unreasonable. Not only do they love the voice acting, but the opening and ending themes for each episode have been unanimous hits as well.
As a manga reader, the Chainsaw Man anime perhaps failed to live up to the anticipation for it. However, that has very little to do with the quality of the adaptation and more to do with the insanely high, and often illogical, expectations the manga readers have assigned to it. While the use of CGI seems a little excessive and the art style has more three-dimensional quality than we are used to, the overall feel and impact of the anime has been quite fascinating.
Perhaps this is not what most manga readers expected when they heard of a Chainsaw Man anime adaptation, but director Nakayama has the right to visualize and interpret his own version, both as an artist and as a reader of the original work. Fans certainly have the right to criticize his work and raise concerns, but they must also be respectful while raising their voices.