Chainsaw Man part 2 served quite the subversion of trope when it came to its protagonist (pulled a Jojo?). Instead of continuing Denji’s story, we were introduced to Asa Mitaka, a reclusive college student, who unfortunately became the vessel for the War Devil.
And from then on the events unfold from her point of view. But it wasn’t just the protagonist, the pacing and the level of bizarre crankiness too whittled down.
That said, there were some uncanny parallels between Denji and Asa. One of them certainly has to be how they both were at death’s door but ended up getting pulled right back into the world of living, but this time with a cool set of powers.
While it was clarified earlier on in the series that Denji was a hybrid, the relationship between Asa and War Devil, who dubbed themselves Yoru, is a tad bit different.
For starters, we get to see Asa interacting a lot with Yoru, which wasn’t the case with Denji and Pochita. And the marks on her face when Yoru took over Asa’s body pointed at her being a fiend.
But then, she didn’t lose her memories like a fiend should have, nor did her personality completely turn out to be like the War Devil’s.
In fact, Yoru is shown possessing Asa’s body intermittently, and the latter does retain her conscience and her persona. There are even circumstances where Yoru cannot take over Asa’s body, which clearly shouldn’t have happened if she were fiend!
So what is Asa really? A fiend or a hybrid?
Is Asa Mitaka a fiend or a hybrid?
While it was hard to give a definitive answer to this question at the start, looking closely at certain developments that came to happen later in the story has helped me come to a conclusion.
To answer in short, Asa is a hybrid in Chainsaw Man!
While the scars on the face are certainly a deterrent, there are a lot of clues that point out that Asa is a hybrid, with the most important one till now coming in Chapter 124 of Chainsaw Man.
The way Asa functions is more akin to that of a hybrid than a fiend. Curious to know why? I have listed out all the possible reasons below, just keep reading!
The parallels in devils taking over:
Now, there are parallels in both narration and imagery when it comes to how Denji and Asa ended up housing a devil in their bodies. I can go on and on about how manga is a medium that uses both text and images to relay its story or message, and how authors often use their art to paint parallels. But then you already know this, so let’s get to the point!
As I mentioned above, in their respective introductory chapters, Denji and Asa found themselves at death’s door, and both of them were saved by a devil who made a contract with them.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that the way Fujimoto represented both of their awakenings (or possessions) has a similar vibe to it! Check out the comparison below!
But it doesn’t end here. We have seen Yoru take over Asa’s body multiple times in Chainsaw Man till now. And everytime that happens, there is a slight pause where Asa goes limp, followed by Yoru being in possession.
This is very similar to what Denji went through when the Chainsaw Man took over him in chapter
He went limp for a while, before the Chainsaw Devil took over his body.
It might not stand out at first because Pochita never took over Denji forcefully multiple times, but this indeed suggests that in a hybrid union, the devil in question does have this sort of control over their host.
Even so, I’m pretty sure you can’t help but wonder why Yoru seems to be the one in control when it comes to Asa’s case. Well that can be explained by a possible difference in their contracts.
It is easy to miss out the fact that Asa and Yoru actually have a contract in place, because it wasn’t highlighted enough in the initial chapter. But, the War Devil did form a contract with Asa, which is evident from the following panel.
Instead of taking over the body of a dead Asa, the devil puts forth a term, stating that if Asa wished to live she would have to be the host for the War Devil.
The difference in statements aside, this once again is similar to the exchange Denji and Pochita had in the first chapter.
Why is this important? Because having a contract with the host is only a norm when it comes to hybrids.
A contract in its most basic form is an understanding between the host and the devil; terms that are laid out for co-existence between the two.
In the chapters that followed, it was made explicitly clear that Asa and Yoru did have such an understanding. Yoru even goes to the extent of saying that she will return Asa’s body if she attains her goal. While this statement cannot be completely trusted, it still validates our theory that they indeed have a contract in place.
Now, coming back to why Yoru seems to have more control on Asa, it is mostly because of the difference in terms of their contracts.
Yoru and Pochita’s relationship with their hosts are clearly different. Pochita made a contract with Denji keeping the latter’s wellbeing in mind. But in the War Devil’s case, it was based on the devil’s selfish desires.
This is where the difference in statements that I mentioned above comes into picture. Yoru didn’t have any soft corner for Asa at the beginning unlike Pochita, so that explains why she is the one in control.
However, Yoru does seem to be mellowing though, and it would be interesting to see how their relationship develops over the course of this arc.
Another thing I want to point out is the fact that Yoru is not in complete control over Asa’s body. Whenever Asa is scared, Yoru is not able to take over her body, and if she is in possession, the devil gets pushed out, as seen in chapter 124.
Once again, this adds more credibility to Asa not being a fiend, as this would not be possible in its case.
Asa using War devil powers:
If Asa were a fiend, she should only be able to use the War Devil’s powers when Yoru was in control of her body. Heck, if she was a fiend, Asa wouldn’t even have control of her body completely!
However, there are multiple instances in the manga where Asa is able to use Yoru’s powers on her own. I have listed out these instances below, check them out!
The fight with Yuko –
The first time we see Asa independently using the powers of the War Devil was against Yuko in her Justice devil form. Here, Yoru voluntarily gives up control of the body to Asa, who then proceeds to make a weapon out of her uniform.
Aquarium Spear –
The second time Asa pulls this off is when she is stuck inside the Aquarium with Denji and the members of the Devil Hunters club. Thanks to Fami’s (Kiga) interference, Yoru was taken out of the picture, leaving Asa to fend for herself.
Once again, she is able to use the War Devil’s powers on her own, turning the entire aquarium into a spear.
Then again in chapter 145, she is about to convert her room into a sword BEFORE Yoru takes control of her body!
All these instances prove that Asa is capable of using Yoru’s abilities even when the latter is not around, just like how Denji and other hybrids can use the powers of their corresponding devils at will.
Such a feat wouldn’t be possible if Asa were a fiend. In fact, in chapter 112 Yoru specifically asks Asa to build her a stronger weapon than her Uniform sword, so that she could go on and defeat the Chainsaw Man.
The dependency, which is absent in case of fiends, obviously points to Asa being a hybrid.
Biggest hint in chapter 124 & 145:
That said, the biggest hint for Asa being a hybrid came in Chainsaw Man chapter 124, where the Fall Devil (apparently) calls them a fusion of human and War Devil.
Why is that the biggest hint? Let me explain!
The literal meaning of the word fusion is ‘to create a new entity by merging two or more different things’. In this case, the two things that are merged are Asa and Yoru.
Now, the Fall Devil seems to be a chef, and her statements and terminologies also revolve around that profession. So, in culinary terms, when you create a fusion, the ingredients that went into it retain their distinct flavor.
Basically, we can say that it implies Asa and Yoru are both present in their fusion, which is literally what a hybrid is.
However, as some readers pointed out, it could be pointing to the future possibility of both of them actually fusing. Does that seem plausible?
But then, in chapter 145, Asa Mitaka was called the War Devil by the Public Safety, and not the War Fiend. If that is not a translation mix-up, that’s another hint pointing to her identity.
To conclude, I will definitely say that Asa Mitaka is a hybrid. But before I sign off, I’d like to point out some more technicalities to you. I know this has been a long read, but the next part is interesting, trust me!
Some technicalities (for being a Fiend):
Well, as I mentioned above, we shall be looking into some technicalities related to Asa, hybrids and also fiends, just to clear up a few points.
Now, Yoru mentions in the beginning that she left a part of Asa’s brain alive, so that it would make it easier for the devil to adjust to this world; meaning Asa didn’t die. Technically, fiends are only formed when a devil possesses a ‘dead body’.
And to add to it, their heads have a peculiar shape. The least peculiar shaped head we got was of Power’s and even she had horns.
However, Asa lacks this particular feature. All she has is a scar on her face when Yoru takes over. And this scar is noticed by Yoshida and even the common people when she fights devils.
Also, Asa’s name in Japanese is certainly a deterrent. If you check out the wiki for Asa, she is called the Senso no Majin, which in Chainsaw Man terms translates to the War Fiend.
Does that mean Yoru ‘revived’ Asa and left a part of her brain alive? If that is the case then we would be seeing our first case of a fiend who is alive.
Is Fujimoto bending the rules of his own universe? There’s nothing wrong with an anomaly existing, but sometimes it’s soo hard to not have a proper answer!!! AARRRRGGHHHHH!!!
My frustrated screams aside, what are your thoughts on Asa? Do you agree with my theory of her being a hybrid or do you believe she is a fiend? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!