And while Chainsaw Man always focused more on Denji and the plot than flashbacks and their depth, there are some relevant scenes from the manga that actually filled in a lot of blanks and gave a lot of depth to the characters. One such scene has been shown in the most recent episode of the anime series and actually comes from chapter 13 of the manga. The scene involves Aki having a snowball fight with his younger brother and while it might seem like an ordinary flashback, the scene is one of the most important scenes of the first part of the manga, and in this article, we are going to explain why that is.
The flashback that Aki had about a snowball fight with his younger brother actually revealed how and why his family died, and why he wants to kill the Gun Devil so much. The scene proved to be important later when Aki became the Gun Fiend, because he remembered the scene once more but with Denji instead of his brother and that made him stop fighting Denji, so the latter used that to defeat him in battle.
The rest of this article is going to focus on Aki’s story in the manga and the relevance of the snowball fight for his character development. This important scene has been featured in the first part of the manga, but it had plot-wide implications and was crucial to fully understanding Aki and his story from the manga. If you haven’t read the manga, we have to warn you that there are going to be spoilers present in this article.
Chainsaw Man‘s snowball fight explained
Those who have read the Chainsaw Man manga will remember a scene from Chapter 13 that was shown in Episode 5 of the anime, and here it is:
The scene shows a sick boy in bed, his parents reading a children’s book about a town mouse and a country mouse to him. An older boy approaches him and asks if he wants to play, but the boy is sick and their parents tell him to go play catch alone. The older boy remarks that the younger boy is never well enough to play, to which the younger boy replies that he wants to play and goes out with his brother.
Outside, in the snow, the older boy goes several steps ahead of the younger boy and tries to send him away, but the younger boy is persistent and wants to play. At one point, the younger boy throws a snowball at the older one and they have a brief snowball fight. The older boy notices that the younger one does not have any gloves and that he is cold, so he sends him home to put something on and then come back. As the boy goes inside, the older boy stays in front of the house and waist.
At that moment, a gust is seen and the whole house is blown away. The plot returns to the present as the readers and viewers become aware that they have seen a glimpse of Aki’s past. Aki was the older boy and he saw his family die during a dreadful attack by the Gun Devil, one of the most powerful and dangerous Devils there is. They weren’t even attacked directly, they were just collateral victims of another powerful attack that left Aki orphaned.
Why is the snowball fight scene so important?
The scene is of vital importance for Aki’s character and his character development. First of all, it gives a lot of depth to the character. Namely, save for Denji and a bit of Power, Chainsaw Man didn’t give us much in-depth insight into the characters in the early arcs of the manga, which is why such a scene – however short – was a welcome insight into Aki’s past. This bittersweet scene, which was also quite heartbreaking in the end, explained Aki’s motivation and his personality in the present time and was crucial for explaining why Aki was like he was.
We’ve seen a version of Aki, but not much had been explained about him as to why he was like that. He was taken for granted as a grumpy, cynical character and it seemed like it did not require any additional explanations. Yet, as it turned out, it did. It was vital to understand why Aki became that and what shaped him into such a person because his family history had a profound influence on him being like that. He wasn’t simply a moody person – he was forced to become one because of the tragedy that had happened to him when he was a child.
This scene also explains Aki’s motivation, something he had spoken about to Denji earlier, criticizing Denji for his lack of serious motivation for being a Devil Hunter. Now, Aki did explain that he wanted revenge and his hatred for Devils was also taken as both understandable and natural, but we saw here, in this scene, why he hated them so much and why he wanted revenge, especially when the Gun Devil was concerned.
This scene was also crucial for understanding how emotional Aki actually was. This gave us a better psychological insight into the character than any other scene, as it explained both why Aki acted so cold towards others, as well as how much pain and emotion he had inside him. This was important because it explained Aki’s later change of attitude towards Denji and Power. Namely, it showed that Aki was actually capable of something like that because he had it in him – he simply kept it hidden to avoid more pain, which is a normal psychological reaction.
In that aspect, Aki’s change of attitude toward his two proteges was completely natural and something that – in light of the snowball fight scene – made complete sense and was completely expected. Aki grew fond of Denji and Power because he saw that despite their differences, they weren’t bad and that they were not enemies; they were simply too honest and somewhat naive, like two younger siblings he had to take care of, which is why he eventually developed such a protective attitude towards them.
But, aside from the fact that it explained Aki’s past, this scene also had a pivotal role in future developments. Namely, in an ironic twist of fate, Aki was not only killed by the Gun Devil later on but his body was also possessed by the feared Devil, thus turning Aki into the Gun Fiend, which was actually horrible to see, knowing Aki’s past with the Gun Devil.
In that state, Aki went to kill Denji, and the two engaged in a fierce duel. While his body was fighting, Aki – inside the Fiend – started hallucinating and remembered the snowball fight scene he had with his brother, but this time – he was playing with Denji instead of his own brother. This was also heartbreaking because it illustrated both Aki’s internal struggles and the importance of that tragic scene. During his hallucinations, Aki began remembering Denji and fought the Gun Devil for control over his own body.
In the end, when Aki ultimately saw Denji cry in his hallucination, he gave up fighting completely and that was reflected in the Gun Fiend’s behavior. Denji used the opportunity to kill the Gun Fiend and Aki with him in one of the series’ most crushing scenes. This time, the snowball fight saved Denji’s life, and all of these reasons, added together, show how and why the scene was so important for the evolution of the plot.