Chainsaw Man: Asa Is the Character the Series Deserves

Chainsaw Man may not sound like it from the title, but it is one of manga's most thought-provoking series in print right now. Creator Tatsuki Fujimoto is a master of subtly when it comes to character-led stories, after all. While the Chainsaw Man manga has plenty of gore and gags to keep fans entertained, readers keep coming back for its quiet reflections. As of late, Asa has been the one to give fans those moments, and the most recent Chainsaw Man chapter proves the girl is the heroine this manga deserves.

If you are not caught up with Chainsaw Man, you should know chapter 124 went live this week, and it features Fujimoto's signature blend of almost violent introspection. We meet up with Asa as the girl faces her biggest threat yet with the Falling Devil. Not even Yoru, the War Devil, can walk away from the Primal Fear with ease. That is why the devil tries to rescue Asa from the scene, but the encounter gives our heroine the space to dress down Yoru at last.

"I don't know the first thing about you. You're always saying scary things and you take over my body whenever you want and you cut my hand," Asa cries. From body language alone, you can tell Asa is becoming unhinged under the Falling Devil's weight, and she has plenty to reflect about. Fujimoto lined Asa's life with delicious angst that has brought her to where she is. While characters like Denji fought against their fate in increments, Asa has all but resigned herself to existence. It was only once Yoru arrived that a spark was lit inside Asa, but time has yet to reveal whether the spark was a curse or blessing.

As for this latest chapter, Chainsaw Man lays Asa bare in this chapter and puts words to her greatest fears. "I have trust issues, but I'm lonely so once in a while, I'll approach someone but something always goes wrong. I get hurt and then wind up alone again. Solitude and companionship, I'm afraid of both!"

In a simple spread, Fujimoto manages to speak to a core fear so many have in this life, and Asa is our avatar in Chainsaw Man fighting to rise above. The manga may not be triumphant in the way of typical shonen series where optimism always saves the day. The world Asa and Denji navigates is sharp in every way as we know. Still, Chainsaw Man chapter 124 shows even the most resigned people can face their fear and still struggle to move forward. And if that does not make Asa an A-list protagonist, nothing will.

How do you feel about Chainsaw Man's new protagonist? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.