Denji and Yoru shocked at their own kissing in Chainsaw Man chapter 167
(Tatsuki Fujimoto / Shounen Jump)

Let’s Talk About That ‘Chainsaw Man’ Chapter, Huh?

Tatsuki Fujimoto has never been afraid to take the most brazen possible route. This was true in his previous manga, Fire Punch, and it’s true in his current manga, Chainsaw Man. In fact, that mischievous “f**k it” attitude is a huge reason why those who love Chainsaw Man, love Chainsaw Man.

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But even when you know, logically, that anything’s possible in Chainsaw Man, Fujimoto has the uncanny ability to twist his narrative so sharply that he ends up giving his readers one hell of a gut punch. These moments are so sharp that they stick in your mind forever and ever—whether they’re played for comedy, or heartbreak, or both. The vomit kiss. The snowball fight. The birthday cake. Bucky. Just to name a few.

In some ways, the climax of chapter 167 is merely the next example of Chainsaw Man‘s many jaw-dropping “what the f**k” moments. (Pun intended.) In others, it’s shocking new territory for the series— shocking enough that not only did the chapter immediately go viral upon its release, but fans’ reactions are strong and all over the board.

The lead-up to chapter 167

Major spoilers ahead for Chainsaw Man through chapter 167!

Leading up to chapter 167, Denji was hitting a possible all-time low. Which, considering the several tragic turns Denji’s life has taken, really means something. His pets were purposefully burned alive in a fire by the Chainsaw Man Church. Nayuta, his effective little sister, is missing and presumed dead. Denji himself was surgically, methodically cut apart and dismembered, and only put together again after Asa Mitaka led a rescue to go save Chainsaw Man.

Denji finds himself surrounded by an eclectic party who want him to get his head back on straight. Mainly so that the War Devil (AKA Yoru) and Katana Man can fight Chainsaw Man at full form. When offered either food or sex to cheer him up, Denji of course goes for sex, only to find that Katana Man’s brothel had burned down. In chapter 166, Denji has a breakdown, crying, “I’m always, always thinking with my dick!! It’s all my dick’s fault! I can’t fight it! It ruins everything around me!”

Yoru, tired of Denji’s shenanigans, therefore makes a blunt offer: “I’ll cut it off for you.”

And that was the cliffhanger from last week.

The final panel that shocked the internet

The following discussion is sexually explicit

After offering to cut off Denji’s dick so that his life could no longer be “ruined” (his words) by his sexual urges, Yoru leads Denji down an alley. We brutally watch her turn a rusty nail into a knife, which already made me wince, just thinking about what could possibly happen.

But naturally, Denji has second thoughts. The tussle results in Denji flicking the knife out of Yoru’s hand, which makes Yoru in turn immediately grab Denji’s member with her hands. “I have no interest in your foolish feelings,” she says, dick in hand. “What if I crush your balls? Will that get you in the mood?”

To be clear: this moment constitutes a sexual assault. One hundred percent. Denji is not at all consenting and looks to be panicking. Yoru’s actions here are not okay.

But then, Yoru has a realization: they have kissed before. Denji is initially confused, but the moment leads to Denji and Yoru making out. With lots of spit and sweat exchanged, from the look of it. Denji initially seems uncertain—at first, his mouth is kind of closed, and he never knows what to do with his hands. But it does very, very much appear to turn into consensual kissing.

All the while, Yoru has not taken her hand out of Denji’s pants. That leads to the perhaps inevitable conclusion, the shock of which makes Yoru snap back into being Asa. Asa pulls her hand out of Denji’s pants, and in the final panel of the chapter, we see her hand is full of cum.

The reactions are … intense

The final panel of chapter 167, which shows Asa’s hand full of Denji’s semen, is a shocking panel. It’s the kind of panel which makes clear why Chainsaw Man is no longer published in the Weekly Shounen Jump magazine. Instead, when the second saga started, it was shepherded onto Shounen Jump Plus, where it could be more explicit. Even so, this level of explicitness is rarely witnessed in Shounen Jump.

The whole chapter is such a whirlwind that you don’t quite know how to feel, which is where consent plays in. The fact that Denji begins non-consensual, then becomes consensual, makes it confusing. Furthermore, you could also make the argument that Asa never consented—Yoru did. The fact that the moment of Denji’s climax makes Asa take over for Yoru hints that she was not thrilled about that conclusion.

But still, I’m not mad at the chapter. This is Chainsaw Man. I know what manga I’m reading. Very few people expected this to happen, but now that it has, what else other ending could the situation have possibly reached? It’s the perfect punchline to the frustration and dynamics that have been building up for several chapters. It’s also perfectly in character for Denji. The guy was telling us just one chapter ago that he had no self-control. Did we not believe him?

Because chapter 167 was so shocking, it immediately went viral on Twitter. Many users pointed out that it’s highly possible Fujimoto is making an End of Evangelion reference, as the final shot of the chapter is nearly identical to a moment in the first part of the film when (spoilers) Shinji cums from masturbating at Asuka’s bedside. Like the Chainsaw Man scene, the Eva scene deals with a very emotionally turbulent teen thinking that satisfying his sexual urges will “help” in some larger way and asks the audience to sit with some tricky questions about consent.

There’s another new parallel between Evangelion and Chainsaw Man. Some people are so infuriated by chapter 167 that there are even a few death threats floating around Twitter/X. But what would those parties rather have happen instead? Would they rather have had Denji become a eunuch? Or … did they want Denji to kill Yoru/Asa?

It’s not really a matter of “liking” what happened in chapter 167. I don’t know if anyone “liked” it. But those kinds of diabolical-yet-well-calculated turns have always been part of Chainsaw Man, which has killed fan-favorite character after fan-favorite character. When we read Chainsaw Man, some truly twisted sh** is always on the menu.

At the very least, you’ll certainly remember where you were when you first read chapter 167.


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Author
Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.