Who Is the Famine Devil in ‘Chainsaw Man’?
And where can I get earrings like hers?
There are so many devils that I can’t even keep my head straight! It keeps trying to spin around and vomit pea soup everywhere! What gives?
I miss the good old days. The days where you only had to worry about one devil. THE devil. Remember him? He turns into a black goat and does orgies with witches in the woods. Kind of a vibe. Now there’s a bajillion devils to deal with as Chainsaw Man keeps chugging along. I literally just wrapped my head around the Gun Devil, and now this! What’s a pious child of the Lord to do?
Let’s start with the basics … What ARE devils?
Devils in Chainsaw Man are different from the devils (or more accurately demons) of the Judeo-Christian faiths. In Christianity, demons are fallen angels who were sent to Hell after siding with Lucifer (the literal devil) to overthrow Yaweh, the God of Abraham. These angels were sent to Hell, where they transformed into hideous beings hell-bent on causing suffering to humanity. Demons in other religions tend to be evil spirits that pop up out of thin air to do harm to people, or they are a species of supernatural ogre or troll that likes to feast on human flesh. In many cases, the gods of one religion become the demons of another, especially when one civilization was conquered by another in the ancient world. The religions of conquered people were rewritten in order to wipe away their cultural identity and de-sanctify the gods and spirits once deemed holy. Pretty messed up, right? We’ll get into more Bible-related shit later, but now we move onto the TRUE scripture: Anime.
The devils in Chainsaw Man share some similarities with the demons of old. They are denizens of Hell and delight in the suffering of human beings. However, unlike the Judeo-Christian devils that were once angels made by God, these devils were made by human beings. A devil in Chainsaw Man is born out of human fear, and is the manifestation of that fear in the collective psyche. There are varying degrees of devils with regards to strength, just as there are varying degrees of danger to the fears that they embody. For instance, there is a Tomato Devil. It embodies the fear of tomatoes (I guess someone has it?) and it was pretty easily killed by our hero Denji in the first episode.
However, there are devils that are far more powerful. The Eternity Devil is a formidable devil, because who isn’t freaked out by the concept of forever? Space is freaky! Infinity is freaky! Realizing that you are just a monkey floating on a rock in the middle of the vast, dark ocean of the cosmos is, again, freaky! And that’s not even the most powerful of the devils! The most powerful of all the devils come from old, ancient fears. The Darkness Devil, for instance, is as old as humanity itself. There are some immensely powerful new devils that are born out of modern anxieties, such as the Gun Devil, but that one is the exception to the rule. As one can no doubt imagine, the Famine Devil is one of the most powerful devils around. Famine has killed MILLIONS of people in the course of human history, and we are wise to be afraid of it.
So, what makes the Famine Devil special?
So, remember how I said we were gonna jump back into Judeo-Christian Bible stuff in a minute? Those 60 seconds are up! The last book of the Bible is called Revelation, and it is a bone-chilling, dreamlike account of the end of the world. There are numerous theories as to why Revelation was written, but many scholars agree that it was an account of the tumultuous times in which the writer, John of Patmos (not the Apostle), found himself. After all, the Roman Empire was on some shit at the time, but we don’t have to get into that now. A world of violence and bloodshed mostly likely inspired John to create four characters that are supposed to herald the End Times. You’ve probably heard of them before. They are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and their names are War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death. Technically their names were War, Hunger, Conquest, and Death, according to the original translation, but scholars changed Hunger to Famine as War tends to bring about food shortages due to scorched earth. Conquest was also changed as the Horseman is said to have carried a bow and arrow, and the bow and arrow were associated with poisons, as war archers often poisoned their arrowheads.
In the world of Chainsaw Man, these Horsemen exist as well, albeit in different form. The Four Horsemen are the collective name for the Famine Devil, the War Devil, the Conquest Devil, and the Death Devil. These devils are some of the most powerful devils in existence, and rival even the Primal Fear devils, such as the Darkness Devil. Over the centuries, the Four Horsemen have taken numerous different forms, but tend to appear as young women with golden eyes, Makima being one of them. The Famine Devil bears a similar appearance, and resembles a tall high school-aged girl with light-colored hair and golden eyes. And she goes by “Fami,” so cute!
So, what can Fami do?
What can’t this girl do? As the embodiment of Famine, she has a slew of scary abilities. Weirdly enough, one of them is that she can heal people, and this healing process causes them to gain significant strength and size. Maybe she has power over nutrients? I dunno! She is also able to communicate via telepathy (which is what happens when you truly eat enough vegetables) and disappear at will. Her deadliest ability, however, is similar to that of the Eternity Devil: She is able to create a sort of “pocket dimension” that she can trap people inside, and then kill them by starving them. Yikes. It would be bad enough if she could leech all the nutrients out of the body with a touch or something, but her ability to render a victim with no choice but to die a slow, agonizing death is way scarier. But what did you expect? This girl is super creepy to begin with.
I will give her points for style, though. Her earrings are sick, and they are another Bible reference! The Horseman of Famine is depicted as carrying scales in the Book of Revelation, and that’s exactly what her earrings look like, no? If you meet her, be sure to tell her she looks nice—else she might send you to bed without dinner. Forever.
(Image credit: MAPPA)
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