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Denji's Basic Character Motivations In Chainsaw Man Make For A Hilarious Protagonist

"Chainsaw Man" is the kind of wild premise that could only come from the wacky world of anime and manga. Revolving around a half-devil, half-human who can manifest chainsaws out of his body to create some of the most intense carnage this side of "Attack on Titan," the series is sure to appeal to its target audience of shonen and seinen viewers (via Parrot Analytics).

However, unlike "Attack on Titan," "Chainsaw Man," which is based on the manga of the same name by Tatsuki Fujimoto, can be a surprisingly light-hearted affair, with lots of goofiness thrown in for good measure. This helps to balance out the blood and gore of the fight scenes and keeps the characters likable and relatable despite the absurd stakes of the world this story is set in. With that in mind, series protagonist Denji (Kikunosuke Toya/Ryan Colt Levy) becomes instantly relatable to viewers based on his simple goals. While Denji's highly-anticipated transformation makes him seem out of this world, he's surprisingly one of the most realistic protagonists in modern anime.

Denji's motivations might make him particularly relatable

While your typical shonen or seinen protagonist might be motivated by revenge, a desire to save the world, or a rivalry with someone else, Denji's goals are much more simplistic in "Chainsaw Man." Financially strangled by the Yakuza debts of his father, Denji struggles to survive despite his lucrative devil-hunting gigs.

Denji is so poor that he lives in a dilapidated shack at the start of "Chainsaw Man" and can barely afford to share a piece of toast with his devil-dog, Pochita. In the first episode, Denji dreams of a wonderful life where he can afford as much toast as he wants, along with a plentiful collection of different jams to smear all over the bread.

Surprisingly to Denji, he achieves this goal instantly once he's taken on by the government branch of Devil Hunters in "Chainsaw Man." From there, an overjoyed Denji sets his sights on a new goal: touching boobs. Though this is a hilariously basic goal for an anime protagonist, it's one that might be relatable to the viewers of the series as it is more realistic than the goals of other anime protagonists. For instance, an average person cannot become a superhero like Deku or King of the Pirates like Luffy, but taking things further with a woman is attainable. 

While Denji might not have the lofty goals that the typical anime protagonist has, his realistic desires make him likable while often setting up some of the silliest and weirdest scenes to show up in any anime from the fall 2022 lineup.