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What Does “Easy Revenge” Mean In ‘Chainsaw Man’?

You don't usually expect devils to be holding cigarettes

Himeno's cigarette from Chainsaw Man
(MAPPA)

Spoiler alert: this article has major spoilers for the first season of Chainsaw Man

*sniffles* It means that Himeno is still the Best Girl.

Chainsaw Man is a show about sociopaths. But some sociopaths are a little less sociopathic than other sociopaths, know what I mean? Himeno falls within the former category. She’s sweet, fun loving, flirty, and will totally throw up in your mouth if she has too much to drink (yes, this actually happens). Himeno also dies, fallen in battle while sacrificing herself for her partner Aki. I’m still upset about it.

However, even in death, Himeno is able to help her partner defeat his foes. When Aki faces off a second time against one of Himeno’s killers, Akane Sawatari, Akane summons the formidable Ghost Devil. However, Himeno had a contract with the Ghost Devil when she was still alive. Mid-battle, the Ghost Devil gives Aki a cigarette with the words “easy revenge” written on it. This allows Aki to gloriously defeat the Ghost Devil. But what does “easy revenge” mean? And why is it written on a cigarette of all things?

To Answer That, We Must Go Back To The Beginning

Years before the show starts, Himeno is teamed up with Aki after burying another dead partner. Aki, at this time, is a rookie Public Safety Devil Hunter. The taciturn Aki and the boisterous Himeno strike up an unlikely friendship, and it’s totally adorable (and perhaps even a little romantic). One night while the pair is out to dinner, Himeno offers Aki a cigarette. Aki tells Himeno that he doesn’t want to take up the unhealthy habit, but Himeno counters by saying that most devil hunters don’t live long enough to experience the negative effects of smoking. An unspecified amount of time later, Aki takes up smoking. The two begin to share cigarettes, and one can infer that this deepens their bond even further. Aki’s smoking habit also implies that the pair have begun to share a similar worldview—one where life is precious and short.

It’s only fitting that after her death, Himeno would offer her final piece of advice to Aki on a cigarette, considering that a mutual love of smoking is what helped them to become even closer. But what about the words written on it? “Easy revenge” is actually a clue to defeating the Ghost Devil. Himeno is telling Aki that if he wants to avenge her death, he has to take it easy. But why would taking it easy help?

The Ghost Devil is a unique sort. All devils gain their power from fear. The more the public fears a devil, the more powerful it becomes. The inverse is also true, leading devils like the “Chicken Devil” to be quite weak. But the Ghost Devil takes its usage of fear one step further. Because its eyes are sown shut, the Ghost Devil uses fear to “see,” or rather “sense,” its victims. If a character show no fear, the Ghost Devil is effectively blind.

And that’s exactly how Aki managed to kill it.

In the aftermath of Himeno’s death, Aki’s worldview becomes even bleaker. He lost one of the few people (perhaps the only person) he was close to in the entire world. Not only that, but in his first battle with the Akane Sawatari and the Snake Devil, he relied on a cursed sword that gives him power in exchange for taking years from his life. After waking up in the hospital and finding out that Himeno had died, he also learns that he only has two more years to live. Surrounded by death, Aki becomes unafraid of it. He realizes that he only has a little time left and feels that in that time, he has nothing to live for except for revenge. Due to the horrors he’s seen, combat with the Ghost Devil becomes relatively mundane. The Ghost Devil simply doesn’t scare him anymore, so he’s able to climb up onto its back and decapitate it without breaking a sweat.

Himeno’s time on Earth was brief, but not without impact. Her bubbly but brutally realistic attitude allowed her to steal the hearts of many a Chainsaw Man character—and many a viewer as well. Oh Himeno, I know that Aki misses you. But honestly, I miss you more. I would give anything to watch you throw up in Denji’s mouth again. Okay, maybe not that scene. But any other scene. You know what I mean.

(Featured Image: MAPPA)

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