is already garnering widespread acclaim with animation studio MAPPA's anime adaptation of Tatsuki Fujimoto's gut-wrenching manga. The series manages to accomplish the feat of being simultaneously over-the-top violent -- as the title of the series would suggest -- and emotionally resonating.
It's relentless in how it tells the story's tragic elements, especially after fans spend so much time getting invested in the colorful personalities of the series' unique cast of characters. From the shocking death of Himeno to the darkly ironic demise of Aki, has made several grim events that will stay in fans' minds.
opens in a genuinely grim fashion, with protagonist Denji and his best friend and devil Pochita living in squalor and under the thumb of the local Yakuza. After Denji's father died, he was burdened by the Yakuza to pick up his indentured servitude to the organized crime group.
Even still, he was desperate to see the silver lining in things. Pochita was there every step of the way up until that point, culminating in his grand sacrifice to save Denji's life when he's inevitably betrayed by the Yakuza. This turns him into the titular Chainsaw Devil, with Pochita (technically) dying to fuse with Denji.
As ruthless as it can be, was of 2021 for how masterfully Fujimoto wrote gripping character drama. Himeno is one of the several supporting characters in the series that fans were easily able to get invested in, and her untimely death makes it that much more crushing.
After an attack on the Devil Hunters takes Denji's team by surprise, Himeno sacrifices herself to her devil to get its full potential and give her friends a chance to escape with their lives. It shocked many fans how fast she died in the series and highlighted how little holds back. While seeming somewhat aloof, Himeno deeply cared for her friends and particularly gave her life to protect Aki, whom she fell in love with.
Reze was a rather short-lived character in , but no less impactful. Her somber role in the arc is likened to a manga version of the "star-crossed lovers" trope, as Reze's relationship with Denji was always poised to end miserably. She appears in the story to befriend and fall in love with Denji, only for it to be revealed as part of her plan as a Russian assassin trying to get to Makima.
Still, Denji refuses to kill her, and she leaves with her life, but Reze is then killed later on by Makima, just as she was about to meet him for a date. She truly had feelings for him after all, and it's doubly tragic for this and how everyone in Denji's life has tried to manipulate him in some form or another.
He may be a relatively minor character, but Beam was largely looked on affectionately by fans. Beam was also known as the Shark Fiend, and he had a sense of enthusiasm about him similar to Denji's. The Shark Fiend always and excitedly supported Denji and brought a feeling of levity to such a bleak story, thanks to his comedic relief.
He's eventually warped along with several others to Hell and at the mercy of the imposing Darkness Devil, where he sacrifices himself to revive Denji. It's another example of how cruel the world can be, as Beam's compassionate nature deserved far better.
Angel is one of the most interesting supporting characters in , as his being the Angel Devil is an oxymoron in and of itself and shows in his personality. He appears sympathetic to humans while simultaneously claiming they should all suffer and die.
Even so, he ended up becoming something of support for Aki in the aftermath of Himeno's death. How Angel dies isn't totally clear, but it's suggested that he was also killed by Makima after discovering her grandiose, evil master plan. It's more unfortunate, considering that he had more empathy than he led others to believe.
Though initially dysfunctional and hostile, Special Division 4 with Aki, Denji, and Power grew to be an endearing family dynamic in their own way. Aki was certainly more of the brooding type, with his mission defined by his quest for vengeance after the death of his family at the hands of the ominous Gun Devil. It's for that same reason that his death was among the most tragic in the series, as he ultimately died by becoming what he sought to eradicate.
In one of the , the Gun Devil possesses Aki's body to lead a massacre, with Aki none the wiser and hallucinating his rampage as a playful snowball fight with Denji. The action then cuts to reality, where physically and emotionally battered Denji was forced to kill Aki.
For another kindhearted and paradoxical character, fans didn't have to look far with Galgali. Known as the Violence Devil, Galgali is, in reality, the furthest thing from ruthless and violent despite his imposing appearance and name.
In one of the most notable instances of the character's empathetic nature, he apologizes to Beam for accidentally hitting him in self-defense, and has demonstrated other cases of being a polite person. But like some other kind characters in , he doesn't last long as he ends up being torn apart in a Devil attack.
A late entry in the first part of the manga, Quanxi was nonetheless able to resonate with fans toward the end of the story. Throughout the series, Fujimoto proved he's more than capable of getting readers deeply invested in a character without needing much drumroll.
Quanxi is the renowned first Devil Hunter, and she's amassed a harem of Fiends that she cares for and has as companions for her contracts. She has a clear melancholy and stoic air about her, but her death at Makima's hands as she tries to save her Fiends was saddening to see amid the rest of the chaos. However, she could make a return.
Power has been emphatically beloved by the fan base as one of the . She's loud, bombastic, and initially callous, but Power has a unique charm to her that makes her growth as a character incredibly rewarding. Initially hateful of humans and willing to betray the likes of Denji, she comes to love her newfound family and the titular protagonist.
That makes things all the more brutal when she's killed after the depths of Makima's vile character and intricate machinations are revealed. Makima mercilessly kills Power in an attempt to manipulate Denji further, with her sudden death almost whiplash-inducing. However, the manga's ending suggests she may not be gone for good.
They weren't the most tragic casualties in nor the series' most vital characters, but it's the potential of what could have been that made them a sad loss on their own merits. And this is especially so when considering how Fujimoto depicts character deaths throughout the manga. What makes the team's death feel so cruel is what they were ordered to do; Makima orders them to act as Denji's bodyguards when his identity as the Chainsaw Devil is leaked.
Soon after, they're viciously killed by the violent group of American Devil Hunters dispatched to kill Denji. Death is commonplace in this line of work, but Division 1's death as "collateral damage" is even darker, considering Makima was the true villain behind the story and another example of how she uses people as pawns.