Chainsaw Man vs. Jujutsu Kaisen: Similarities, Differences & Which One Is Better for You?

Chainsaw Man vs. Jujutsu Kaisen: Similarities, Differences and Which One Is Better For You
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As far as modern shonen manga and anime are concerned, every (even casual) fan knows that Jujutsu Kaisen is undoubtedly one of the most popular and important titles globally. Gege Akutami’s work has been one of the most popular ones for years now and fans are eagerly waiting for new chapters and episodes of the series. On the other hand, Chainsaw Man came out a bit later and has, in a very short period of time, become one of the most popular titles.

Both of these titles are still ongoing; Jujutsu Kaisen is supposedly nearing its end, while Chainsaw Man still has a lot to go. Both have also been adapted into globally popular anime series, both of which are also ongoing. Now, both anime series are on a hiatus, while the manga is ongoing in both cases. While we’re waiting for new content, we have decided to compare these two series for you and reveal some of the major differences and similarities between these two series, with a final recommendation on which one you should watch!

Similarity #1: Dark urban fantasy

The principal similarity between these two series is that they are both set in a world that can be described as a dark urban fantasy. Both Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man are fantasy works, that much is obvious, and due to the common plot threads – evil forces trying to destroy or submit the world in a very brutal fashion – they can be described as dark fantasy as well. But, there is also the fact that both of the shows are set in contemporary Japan, in a modern, urban setting, so they are both urban fantasy works.

If you combine all of these, you get the inevitable conclusion that both Chainsaw Man and Jujutsu Kaisen are dark urban fantasy works, along the lines of classics such as Darker Than Black and other works. This is an important similarity that fans of this genre will definitely like.

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Difference #1: Protagonists

Now, there’s not much science to crafting a shonen protagonist, but we have seen various interpretations of this trope over the years. While we cannot say that either Yuji Itadori or Denji bring something completely new to the trope, both of them are interesting in their own way and it is that fact that makes them – as an idea – one of the major differences between these two series.

Yuji Itadori and Denji both come into the story as “outsiders”, which is a typical shonen trope, but whereas Itadori led a relatively normal life before becoming the hero of his series, Denji was an absolute zero and came from the lower parts of his world. Itadori entered the jujutsu society to save his friends and rid the world of evil, whereas Denji was dragged into all of that so he could survive while he has, in the meantime, become a hero who wants to save the world, his original motivations were to get money so he could lead a normal life and to do whatever Makima wanted of him.

Similarity #2: Curses and Devils

One of the most important parts of the Jujutsu Kaisen lore are the Cursed Spirits (or Curses), evil entities created from negative human emotions. And while they are not the only villains in the series, they are certainly the most obvious ones. On the other hand, Chainsaw Man has Devils, which are embodiments of human fears that come from Hell. If people are afraid of something, it will manifest as a Devil, and the stronger the fear, the more powerful the Devil.

While Cursed Spirits and Devils are in no way identical, you can see the obvious similarities between these two entities, and that is why we have listed them here in the context of the similarities that you might enjoy.

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Difference #2: Powers

While both series undoubtedly feature supernatural powers and abilities, there is a major difference between the powers of the characters in Jujutsu Kaisen and those from the Chainsaw Man series.

In Jujutsu Kaisen, the essence of a character’s powers is their Cursed Energy. By manipulating this, each character can use various spells and techniques but also gain physical power-ups. There is more to it, but this simple explanation is good enough for you to understand what we’re dealing with.

On the other hand, in Chainsaw Man, characters can either make contracts with Devils to use their powers or can transform into them personally, as Hybrids. This is different in many ways, as in Jujutsu Kaisen, the characters focus on their innate powers, while in Chainsaw Man, the basis for the supernatural powers are the Devils themselves.

Similarity #3: Gore

When Jujutsu Kaisen first came out, many critics and fans praised the visuals, which often flirted with severe gore and violence. This was a major thing in the series, and while the gore was shoved into the background in later Arcs, the series is still known for its very raw and powerful visuals. On the other hand, Chainsaw Man goes even further with this, showing us many graphic scenes of violence, vomiting, and blood; the way some of the characters from Chainsaw Man die is more than brutal.

In that aspect, the gore present in both series is an important similarity that fans of this element will definitely like, although Chainsaw Man is more raw than Jujutsu Kaisen in that aspect, so be prepared for that.

Difference #3: Undertone

While we have explained above that both Chainsaw Man and Jujutsu Kaisen are dark urban fantasy works, there is an important difference in the undertone of each show, despite all these narrative similarities.

Namely, Jujutsu Kaisen has always been about fighting and stopping evil. The jujutsu sorcerers took care of the evil sorcerers and cursed spirits, and Itadori and the other heroes made it their goal to defeat Sukuna and Kenjaku. It was always about heroism, regardless of how some of the characters interpreted this value.

On the other hand, Chainsaw Man is not so straightforward. If you remember, Denji did not become a Devil Hunter because he wanted to be a hero. He wanted money and girls – both very non-heroic things. Sure, this changed a bit later and he did evolve into a protector/guardian-type of character, but the morals and ideals in Chainsaw Man are much more flexible, hence the obvious difference in the undertone of these two shows.

Similarity #4: Shonen

Both Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man are shonen works and that is very important for both of these shows, as this is a fact that has been shaping the stories since the very beginning. As we’ve said above, each of these shows has its own original aspects, but both of them belong to the shonen genre and, thus, have a lot of tropes that are typical for shonen works.

Sure, both of them also provide us with some original takes on shonen traditions, but the fact that tropes are present in both of them is an important aspect that we have to stress out.

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Difference #4: Villains

Ultimately, we decided to explain another important difference between Jujutu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man and that is the ideology of the villains in both series. In Jujutsu Kaisen, the two main villains – Sukuna and Kenjaku – simply wanted to reshape the world according to their own ideals (Sukuna wanted to be the stronger, while Kenjaku wanted to experiment). On the other hand, in Chainsaw Man, a lot of villains are either chaotic for chaos’ sake or want to have their revenge on Denji, the Chainsaw Devil, because the latter hurt them down in Hell. This is why this is a major difference as well, as the villains actually have different motivations.

And with this, our overall analysis is over. Allow us now to explain what we think which show you should actually watch and follow.

***

Ultimately, Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man are very similar series. They are both typical representatives of the modern shonen genre and if you like one, you’ll probably like the other. The major difference between them is that Chainsaw Man is a bit more raw, as the world it is set in is also much more brutal and raw than the one of Jujutsu Kaisen. This is not a major difference, but you do have to know that Chainsaw Man is, indeed, a work for those with a stronger stomach; Jujutsu Kaisen has its fair share of gore, but it is not as expressive as Chainsaw Man. Our final recommendation would be to see both these shows, as they are both great and will provide with you enough entertainment, especially if you’re a real shonen fan.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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