Who Is Akane Sawatari In Chainsaw Man?
You really don't know? God they don't tell these new devil hunter recruits nothin'.
So you can’t figure out who Akane Sawatari is huh? I don’t blame you. Getting any kind of information out of the cast of Chainsaw Man is kinda like pulling teeth. You tried to talk to Power, but she told you that you were a “spineless worm and not even worthy of an answer.” You tried to ask Denji, but he got that weird murdery look in his eye, and you thought better of it. Probably for the best, since he’d most likely just try to fondle you anyway. And when you tried to talk to Aki, he just lit a cigarette and gave you the classic thousand yard stare. You thought Makima would have the answer, but she just patted you on the head and said “good dogs don’t ask questions.”
So how the hell are you supposed to do your job as a Public Security Devil Hunter if no one will tell you what’s what? Well, listen kid. I’m here to help you. I’m not sure how much good it’ll do you, considering that the life expectancy of a Public Safety Devil Hunter is marginally worse than a World War II fighter pilot. But who knows, maybe you’ll surprise me.
Maybe… but I doubt it.
Your Briefing: Who Is Akane Sawatari?
Spoilers for the end of Chainsaw Man‘s first season below!
Or, more accurately, who was Akane Sawatari. God, they really didn’t tell you anything at all when you got here, did they? Oh well, let’s start from the beginning, when Miss Sawatari was still with us.
We first met Akane Sawatari on a rooftop in downtown Tokyo. She appears to be a petite young woman with blonde hair and an oversized red hoodie. Honestly pretty stylish, in a laid back Billie Eilish sort of way. She appeared on the scene moments after Public Safety Devil Hunter Aki Hayakawa defeated the mysterious Katana Man (think Denji but with katanas coming out of his face instead of chainsaws). She is able to mysteriously resurrect Katana Man, allowing him to resume his devastating attack on the Public Safety Devil Hunter Squad.
In order to combat this, Aki’s partner (and resident Best Girl) Himeno uses the power of the Ghost Devil to throw a wrench in Katana Man’s gears. Himeno sacrifices her body to the Ghost Devil in order to save Aki, dying in the process. Her sacrifice proves to be in vain after Akane Sawatari summons the Snake Devil to devour the Ghost Devil whole. It should be noted that in exchange for the command she makes to the Snake Devil, Akane loses one fingernail. Which probably explains why she likes to keep her hands in that hoodie pocket.
Denji then engages the Katana Man in battle, but is overwhelmed and defeated by the combined efforts of Katana Man and Akane. After falling unconscious, Denji is taken by Akane and her subordinates and stuffed into the back of a van. Akane considers her victory to be assured, but her efforts are soon thwarted by Denji’s superior, Makima. Makima uses a mysterious power to violently crush Akane’s subordinates into a bloody pulp, one by one, causing the normally calm and collected Akane to lose her cool.
Outgunned and outmatched by Makima and the surprisingly badass moves of Kobeni Higashiyama, Akane and Katana Man flee in their van without taking Denji hostage. The pair regroups at their headquarters with their remaining subordinates, telling them that they intend to launch a counterattack against Special Division 4 by using the zombies created by the Yakuza. Since Katana Man is actually the grandson of the former Yakuza head. Remember how the Yakuza made that horrific contract with the Zombie Devil in episode one?
Denji, Aki, and the rest of the Division 4 forces are able to successfully repel the attack, leading Aki into another confrontation with Akane. Akane commands the Snake Devil to spit out the Ghost Devil, which now fights on her side. However, Aki is able to defeat the Ghost Devil by remembering that it sees through sensing fear, and he is able to decapitate the devil by keeping a cool head.
Akane is stunned, and tries to summon the Snake Devil to continue the fight, but is stopped by Aki’s colleague Kobeni at knifepoint. Like Aki’s “kon,” Akane’s devil summoning powers also require her to move her hands to issue commands. With Kobeni holding a knife to her throat, she is not able to move her hands without the risk of death.
Akane is taken prisoner by Kobeni and the rest of the Public Security Team. However, while in transit to Special Division 4, Akane’s head is suddenly devoured by a force which looking suspiciously like the Snake Devil. Interestingly enough, Akane was handcuffed at the time, suggesting that she could not have issued a command at that time.
But why would the Snake Devil kill Akane?
Makima seems to think that it was because she made a contract with an even more powerful devil, the Gun Devil, while working as a civilian Devil Hunter. She used this contract with the Gun Devil to hand out guns to the Yakuza, which also explains that connection. According to Makima, the terms of this contract was that Akane would “recover the Chainsaw Devil’s heart.” It’s likely that Akane’s capture violated her contract with the Gun Devil, which resulted in her death.
But What Was The Motive?
Good question. But we don’t know. All we know is that Akane and Katana Man were hellbent on capturing Denji—or at least “Chainsaw Man”—alive. While attempting to kidnap Chainsaw Man, Akane made sure to remind Katana Man not to damage Denji’s heart. But remember, Denji’s heart was replaced by Pochita’s. This backs up—with no small amount of intrigue—Makima’s statement that Akane and Katana Man didn’t want Denji, persay, but were after “the Chainsaw Devil’s heart.”
It’s likely that they simply want to cut out Denji’s heart and use the awesome power of the Chainsaw Devil. Makima’s statement that they’re working for the Gun Devil is also likely, as the Gun Devil is one of the most powerful devils in existence and a whopping 1.4 kilograms of Gun Devil flesh was found at Akane / the Yakuza’s headquarters. The Gun Devil is currently split up into several pieces across the world, and it may desire to use the power of the Chainsaw Devil to gather up the pieces of itself and become whole again. It’s also possible that the Gun Devil may wish to use Denji’s power in order to take over Hell and solidify itself as the most powerful devil in existence.
As for her death: we have no idea if Snake Devil and the Gun Devil are by any other means than Akane’s contracts.
But why would Akane enter into a contract with the Gun Devil in the first place? Your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps the Gun Devil promised her power, perhaps riches. Or perhaps like Denji himself, her work for the Devil simply allowed her to meet her basic needs. Unless Season 2 of Chainsaw Man decides to give us some answers, we may never know. Or I guess you could see if there’s more answers in the manga, but maybe your contact with the Manga Devil doesn’t allow it? Who’s to say?
(Featured Image: MAPPA)
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