Aki Hayakawa as a character in Chainsaw Man series plays way too important role to keep him aside. By how frequent the series gets rid of characters; even the important ones, countless questions come in our mind about him. The foremost question is about Aki’s death!
We have read manga and light novels where a character tries extremely hard to become strong. The only goal the character has is to become stronger and ultimately take revenge from the one who destroyed their past. Aki follows the same path as those badass characters.
While I was reading the manga, this question came several times in my Mind, “Is Denji really the protagonist?” Aki’s imprint in the manga is so broad that it’s sometimes hard to accept that he is a side character.
Well, this post will explain some questions about Aki and his status as a Devil Hunter.
CRITICAL SPOILERS AHEAD!!
An Absolutely Tortured Soul!
For such a short manga series, the mangaka really went ahead and described Aki’s backstory. Though it’s only few panels, it goes back to when Aki was just a kid. He had a younger brother and parents who only cared about their younger son.
One fateful day he and his younger brother went out to play with snow and only then the Gun Devil hit Japan. Aki lost his family in that attack and his young brother whom he loved dearly. That incident completely changed him and then he decided to become a Devil Hunter to kill the Gun Devil.
The image above is kid Aki’s face from the moment the Gun Devil destroyed his family. That day luck was on his side since he wasn’t in the vicinity of the Gun Devil’s attack. He at least wanted his younger brother to survive, and somewhere in his heart he blames himself for his brother’s death.
For a kid of such young age, losing his entire family in front of his eyes is too great a shock to handle. Within a moment his life changed. What happened after and how he became a Devil Hunter was never revealed, but that was only the beginning of his cruel fate.
The next incident that broke him mentally even more and also changed his view towards Devils in particular is Himeno’s death. Himeno gave away her life to save Aki.
Why did Himeno’s death impact him? Himeno was the only one who he could call a family after his parents died in the Gun Devil incident.
As I said before, Aki became a Devil Hunter to finish the Gun Devil. But, as a Devil Hunter his target was not only the Gun Devil, he tried to kill each and every Devil that could be a potential threat in future. He and Himeno were a team working for years. Now, she is dead too!
The third incident why Aki is the most tortured soul in Chainsaw Man is directly related to him.
He was cheated by the person whom he trusted the most. His talent and Devil contract was used selfishly for personal reasons.
I remember when the chapter was first released having the image above. Believe me or not, I almost cried after reading it. Some in CSM community were furious about this extremely sad change of events. But, serious readers appreciated it calling the chapter and ultimately the series a masterpiece. There are countless fan-made theories that show something different from what the manga has represented. You can look for it if interested.
Isn’t it sad? He got taken over by the very thing he sworn to destroy? He faced mild discrimination through his parents who mostly preferred their younger child. Then they died! He never received the motherly or fatherly love. And, when he somehow got a companion after years of hard work, she died too by sacrificing herself. And, if that wasn’t enough. He was not only cheated, he died in the hands of the person her started accepting as a family.
I can go on and on about how tortured Aki’s soul is, but, I’ll leave it till here. I will describe this in a different post.
How Powerful Is Aki?
Yes, Aki is stronger than Denji when they are in their Human form. But, if Denji unleashes the Chainsaw Devil, the power balance shifts dramatically towards Denji.
But, since we are talking power difference in normal circumstances, then in every area Aki is more stronger and more experienced than Denji. And, it’s obvious! Aki has been doing this Devil Hunting job since years, and Denji is just a newbie.
Another question that may come is that, “Even Aki has contracts with other Devil, won’t he be more powerful even in Devil form?”
The way Aki uses his Devils is far different from Denji’s approach. Aki cannot become a Devil himself, he can only use their power to defeat his opponent.
On the other hand, Denji doesn’t have to invoke any Devil, he himself is the Chainsaw Devil.
Makima is the strongest character in Chainsaw Man series only after the Chainsaw Devil. And if we compare her power against Humans, It’s futile to even compare anyone against her.
It was Makima who recruited Aki as a Devil Hunter, hence, this proves that Makima has been a Devil Hunter even before Aki even thought of becoming a Devil Hunter.
Does Aki Die?
Yes, Aki dies in the most horrible way anyone could ever think of. The one to kill him is Denji.
He became a Devil Hunter to avenge the death of his little brother and his family. Though he was not suited for the job, he tried to push himself.
He did good for a teen, and eventually developed more advanced skills for higher tasks, and to kill more Devils. But, after Himeno’s incident he was almost broke from inside.
Why was his way of dying the most horrible one? Because he became the very thing he sworn to destroy. The Gun Devil. No, he didn’t become the Gun Devil itself but a Fiend.
A Fiend if born when a Devil takes control of the dead body of a Human.
In Aki’s case, he was taken over by the Gun Devil after dying hence he ended up becoming the Gun Devil Fiend.
Will Aki Return?
No, Aki won’t return since he died as a Fiend and not a Devil.
Only Devils can take birth again on Earth. Since Aki’s body was taken over by the Gun Devil, it will be the Gun Devil who will return. Good thing is that the Gun Devil won’t have memories of past life.
Now, it’s not clear whether the Gun Devil will make appearance in Part-2 of the series, and even if he does there are very little chances that it will look similar to Aki.
It’s still not completely clear why the Chainsaw Devil is feared so much and why it’s so formidable. But, according to Makima the Chainsaw Devil has a particular power that sends shiver down even the strongest Devils in existence.
If the Chainsaw Devil engulfs something, then that particular Devil is erased for every. It’s as if that incident and Devil never existed. After that, the Devil can never take rebirth.
Part-1 of the series tried to explain the reason but it was too vague and complex. But, even though Denji is powerful enough, it’s highly unlikely that Aki and Power will ever return in the same form as they were before.
The manga is short but intense. It’s hard to believe that it doesn’t even have 100 chapters in total(97 Chapters). And when the manga was in serialization two popularity polls took place. In both of them Aki came under top three.
In an insane series like this one, Aki’s presence was like a breath of fresh air. He was more Human-like than most characters in the serious. He had a tough side, but also a soft one which he hardly ever revealed.
This subtle characteristics of Aki made him the “Levi” of Chainsaw Man. But, the only difference between Aki and Levi from AOT is that the latter survived and the “top-not” didn’t.