Warning: SPOILERS for the Chainsaw Man mangaA nearly 10-second segment in Chainsaw Man‘s opening song where various characters are sitting in a movie theater is actually incredibly important, and those who have read the manga and mangaka Tatsuki Fujimoto’s other works undoubtedly caught this immediately.
Not just Chainsaw Man‘s monumental first episode, but the new anime’s opening song is attracting quite a bit of buzz among both manga and regular movie fans alike, and for good reason. There’s a lot to unpack in Kenshi Yonezu’s incredibly catchy intro song『KICK BACK』, and fans have almost been just as busy trying to spot all of the Easter Eggs therein as the actual anime itself, and the song isn’t even two minutes long.
Around 34 seconds into the two-minute mark of the entire episode, 『KICK BACK』has already begun, and various Chainsaw Man characters can be seen sitting in a movie theater. The shot is from the perspective of the movie screen itself, so the characters are facing the camera and, in turn, the anime viewers. Although they’re not in the center of the shot, the main focus is undoubtedly on Denji and Chainsaw Man’s most mysterious character, Makima, who are being more intimate than the host of other characters to the right of them, especially when Makima feeds Denji a piece of popcorn from their shared container.
What the Theater Scene Actually Means in Chainsaw Man’s Manga
Of course, this exact scene won’t take place in the anime, but it is referencing a moment from the manga. As fans who are new to Chainsaw Man will find out later, a great deal of the anime will focus on Denji and Makima’s odd relationship. One of the most pivotal moments in the series, and in their relationship, actually takes place in a movie theater where Denji and Makima go to a string of movies together. Even outside of Denji and Makima being on an actual date, this moment holds a great deal of thematic weight. How Denji reacts to the movies and how this makes him feel in relation to everyone else in the theater reveals a lot about Denji. These comparisons cause him to question who he has become and what that means. Both Makima’s reactions to these same movies and her kind response to Denji’s concerns are pivotal since they add another layer to the pair’s relationship.
But in what further underscores Fujimoto’s own personal interests, Fujimoto appears to be a major movie buff or, at least, is intrigued by and aware of the power and effect that film can have on viewers. Two of Fujimoto’s other manga works bring more attention to movies. There’s not only a scene in Goodbye, Eri where two characters watch and study movies together like Denji and Makima do in Chainsaw Man, but one of them even makes his own movies. Fujimoto’s previous manga series Fire Punch also has a prominent character obsessed with movies. Movie theaters – and the act of filming – are clearly important to Fujimoto, so it’s not a coincidence that a whole nine seconds of the Chainsaw Man anime’s opening song transpires in a movie theater, and it’s wonderful.
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New episodes of Chainsaw Man release every Wednesday on Crunchyroll!