In Chainsaw Man chapters 145 and 146, author Tatsuki Fujimoto pulled the rug from under our feet totally. He did a complete 180 degree on the plot lines involving the Justice Devil and the Chainsaw Man church.
However, he didn’t stop at that, and went ahead to add a new devil – the Fire Devil, to the equation. The Justice Devil was just a red herring all along.
Turns out that all the contracts handed out to the followers of the Chainsaw Man Church came from the Fire Devil.
The details that were revealed in the above mentioned chapters raised a lot of questions, especially related to the Fire Devil’s powers and abilities.
Not much has been divulged yet, however, but I guess we have enough information to cook an article regarding. So, here we go!
Fire Devil’s Powers & Abilities explained:
The Fire Devil’s basic ability is definitely pyro related. It can cause fires, both huge and small as seen in chapter 146 (an explosion was caused after a building caught fire). Also, the fire devil grants contractors the power to transform into what they desire.
When you look at it, there are some interesting aspects to the fire devil’s powers and I will be discussing them in depth in this article.
Before we get to that, here’s a question for you to ponder on, do you think the fire devil’s ability will be related to ‘heat’ itself (thermodynamics as in) or will only be revolving around fire?
The Fire Devil & contracts:
Barem states in chapter 146 that the fire devil grows stronger as the number of people contracted with it increases.
This is very much in line with how fires function in real life. The more a fire spreads, the more it rages and the harder it is to put it out.
Fujimoto has used this as an inspiration for coming up with this particular detail regarding the number of contracts. It also explains why the Chainsaw Man church made a lot of humans form contracts with the fire devil.
However, it doesn’t end there. Let’s take a look at how exactly these contracts with the Fire Devil were formed.
To become a member of the Chainsaw Man church and enter the contract, members were required to have s*x and then they proceed to marry in the chapel. Nobana was the one who revealed the marriage part in chapter 140, which was then confirmed by Barem in chapter 146.
Now, fire is often used to symbolize love, desire and passion- you know, the flames of desire and love from the poetries.
It is also used as a metaphor for lust on numerous occasions in literature. The word burning is used with a sensual connotation often.
The process which led to forming a contract with the fire devil, involved stages of lust and desire. This ties in perfectly with the symbolisms and metaphors once again. Fujimoto is spot on yet again.
The next part of the fire devil’s abilities is even more well thought out and interesting mind you.
The Fire Devil’s ability to transform everyone into Chainsaw Man:
As I mentioned before, the fire devil has the ability to grant its contractors the power to transform into anything they desire, and that’s how it could transform all the contracted people into Chainsaw Man.
The aspect of transforming into anything is something unique to fire.
Fire is an element that has been used frequently to change the shape/form of one thing to another, or in short to transform something completely.
For instance when you burn something, it changes its state at the right temperature. Water is converted into steam. Wood, paper and other objects burn and turn into ash. Even metals like iron undergo a change of state when exposed to the right amount of heat.
Fire is an element that brings about a molecular change in objects it comes in contact with. On top of that, fire itself doesn’t have a fixed shape or form. It’s volatile.
This perfectly translates to the fire devil’s ability, which lets people transform into what they desire. Take a look at what happened to the humans who entered into a contract with the fire devil.
When they received the powers of the fire devil, they initially could transform into monstrous devils with gruesome forms. However, once the mass marriages took place, these contractors became closer to the Chainsaw Man.
It’s similar to an object changing its state of existence. There is a volatile, unstable phase in between before the final desired form is achieved by attaining the right temperature with a hotter fire. The gruesome forms were like the intermediary phase of a chemical reaction, before the final product is achieved.
As the fire devil grew stronger with the mass contracts, it was able to transform everyone into the Chainsaw Man. And since they were all members of the Chainsaw Man church, would it be wrong to say that they looked up to and desired to be Chainsaw Man themselves.
Fire is a symbol for desire too, remember?
It also makes sense that the people lost control of themselves because of the volatile nature of fire itself. It’s hard to control.
There is also an interesting wordplay employed here when it comes to the fire devil’s powers. As pointed out by reddit user u/RandomUserName2357, the Japanese word for fire used in the manga is 火 (pronounced ‘hi’)
However, this kanji can be pronounced as ‘ka’ too. For instance the word 火事 (kasai), also translates to fire (notice how ‘hi’ is pronounced as ‘ka’ in this word). Now the kanji 化 is also pronounced as ka, which in English means to change or to transform, which perfectly aligns with the fire devil’s powers.
This isn’t the first time he has employed such word play either. For instance, Makima’s devil name translated to both control and conquest. The latter meaning had hinted that she is one of the four horsemen in part 1 of the manga itself!
The harbinger of war:
Now, on to the last part. I don’t know if this was intentional on Fujimoto’s side but it still makes for an interesting connection.
Along with the above mentioned connotations, fire also has a chaotic side to it and is seen as a destructive force. It is often used to paint grim pictures of war, and even to portray the pits of hell.
So, it isn’t a surprise that the fire devil is being used as a tool to strengthen the war devil in the manga.
Pretty sure no one is complaining about the pace of Chainsaw Man part 2 now!