Why Did the [Spoiler] Help Aki in Chainsaw Man?

The unexpected turning of the tables and who made it happen.

by J.R. Waugh
Image: MAPPA

Chainsaw Man is the most impressive anime to come out of 2022, a gory, thrilling Shonen series with action and morally-nuanced characters. Not only is the anime adaptation gorgeous, but it’s been consistently buzzworthy since before its debut. In the last episode of Chainsaw Man season 1, Public Safety Devil Hunter Aki Hayakawa finds himself at the mercy of the Ghost Devil, gasping for air, only for it to help him win. What was its motivation, and how did this come to pass?

What Did the Ghost Devil Do to Help Aki in Chainsaw Man?

In the beginning moments of Chainsaw Man episode 12, the Ghost Devil stopped strangling Aki and handed him a cigarette marked “easy revenge” seemingly to help him. He then had a flashback to his friend and colleague Himeno, offering him a cigarette as a way to bond with him, hoping that he’d be around for a while. She offered to return the cigarette to him once he was of age, and able to develop an addiction but instead handed it to him by using the Ghost Devil.

Image: MAPPA

This signifies that Himeno’s presence lingered with the Ghost Devil, which is nothing but fitting. It was clear that Himeno’s consciousness was there, such as when the dismembered Ghost Devil’s hand awakened Denji to fight Samurai Sword in a prior episode. Handing Aki the cigarette was Himeno’s final way to essentially offer up the Ghost Devil’s weakness, that it has no eyes, and uses fear to see. Aki stripped himself of any remaining fears after contacting the Future Devil, as well as his own life largely forfeit after constant bargaining with the Curse Devil. Aki then killed the Ghost Devil with ease.

Ultimately, the cigarette was Himeno’s final goodbye, bringing Aki comfort that she was there, and removing any doubts. Aki knew he would join her in death soon, and had come of age, smoking cigarettes after the fight to honor her memory.

Chainsaw Man released on Crunchyroll on October 11, 2022, with the English dub released later that month.

- This article was updated on January 13th, 2023

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