Chainsaw Man Chapter 102, Save the Cat Review: A Darker Spider-Man.

Tatsuki Fujimoto has made it no secret that he is a massive fan of movies.
Refrences to both films and the filmmaking process litter his works.
Thus, it makes it quite easy to believe that Fujimoto was inspired to name Chapter 102 of Chainsaw Man, “Save the Cat”, after Save the Cat! The last Book on Screen Writing You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder.
Only the act of saving the cat is much more literal in Fujimoto’s case.
The chapter begins with Asa and Yuko running for their lives from the Bat Devil, who quickly knocks the two of them down, along with another passerby.
Unlucky for the passerby beause this results in the Bat Devil devouring them but it does give Asa enough time to plan her next move, after seeing Yuko’s leg has been impaled and that she has been knocked unconcious.
Typically, Yoru jumps right on the “kill her” option, wanting Asa to turn Yuko into a weapon to save themselves.
Although, I’m not sure if Asa could do this since in the last chapter it was revealed that Yoru cannot take control of her body when her host is terrified, which she should still be.
Regardless, Yoru continues in her attempts to goad Asa into killing her new friend, revealing that Asa did not feel sorry for killing Bucky but felt sorry that other people saw her, leading to her further isolation.
Yoru assures her that no one is watching and reminds her of how she promised to live her life more selfishly before Yoru revived her.
A succession of panels follow where Fujimoto shows us Asa’s flashbacks of Bucky’s death, her being isolated because of it, the class president and teacher being reported dead and Yuko befriending her.
Intermingled with these panels are ones of the Bat Devil approaching and Asa reaching for her axe, seemingly considering Yoru’s proposal to kill Yuko to save herself.
In the end, however, Asa chooses to save Yuko, much to Yoru’s dismay, carrying her friend in her arms as she flees from the Bat Devil, only to trip, much like Kobeni would in this situation.
This causes Asa to recall all the times she has tripped in her life, from at a Birthday party, to a race, to the day her parents died.
It is revealed that her parents were killed in an attack by the Typhoon Devil.
At first, I thought this confirmed my prior theory that Asa’s parents were killed in Denji’s fight with the Typhoon Devil and Reze, giving her reason to want Chainsaw Man dead.
However, upon closer inspection, the Typhoon Devil is clearly different from the one in the Bomb Girl Arc, since the new one has a moustache while the old one did not.
So, it is clear that the Typhoon Devil killed Asa’s parents after it reincarnated, meaning Asa hates Chainsaw Man just by association for him being a Devil.
However, while the Typhoon Devil may have been responsible for the death of Asa’s parents, she certainly does not entirely see it that way.
No, she blames herself the most for their deaths because of a decision she made on that day.
While fleeing from the Devil, Asa saw an injured cat and bent down to save it while running for her life.
This caused her to trip and her mother then pushed her out of the way from a flying car, sacrificing herself for her.
The owner of the cat then arrived and thanked Asa for saving it, making the whole situation worse because it causes her to blame herself, since had she never saved it then her mother might still be alive.
This flows into the next flashback, where Yuko gave Asa her shoes but Asa initially refuses, saying Yuko should not try to save her, seemingly harkening back to her parents’ death but under the guise of being dismissive of Yuko.
Yuko, however, quickly dismisses these protests, saying that even if she makes mistakes then her heart will be in the right place.
Back in the present, Asa connects with this, deciding to keep her heart in the right place and save Yuko.
Yet, this resolve is not enough to save them, as the Bat Devil quickly catches up and swallows them.
What is enough to save them is Chainsaw Man himself, as Denji arrives on the scene, lauching the Cockroach Devil he was fighting into the Bat Devil, killing it and saving Asa and Yuko.
This was one of the possibilities I suggested for how Asa and Yuko would be rescued in my review for the previous chapter.
In that review, I stated a theory that in Part Two we would intially see Chainsaw Man before Asa meets him as Denji.
Well, this theory has been proven correct, as Chainsaw Man unintentionally saves Asa and Yuko, before fighting the Cockroach Devil in some gloriously gory full page spreads from Fujimoto.
The super hero influences are obvious, with even the Cockroach Devil calling them out, and giving Denji the option of saving a car full of elderly people or a young highschool student.
This seems to be a clear homage to the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie, where the Green Goblin gave Peter Parker the choice to save a group of children or Mary-Jane.
However, while Spider-Man managed to save both Mary-Jane and the children in the movie, Denji saves none of the hostages when killing the Cockroach Devil.
Instead, much like Asa, he saves a cat.
Along with being darkly hilarious, this moment also once again points to the parrallels between Denji and Asa, much like the first chapter did.
While Asa saved a cat and regretted it because it lead to her mother dying, Denji let people die to save a cat and is praised for it by the media at the end of the chapter.
It’s kind of morbidly humorous that they don’t mention the people Denji did not save.
However, this may be a tactic to make people fear Devils less, resulting in less deaths as a result.
As for Denji himself, it was great to see him back again, and him saving the cat honestly reminded me of Power looking after her cat.
I wonder if Denji purposefully saved the cat in rememberance of her?
Like I have stated earlier, though, I do not expect to see Denji himself for a little while.
We will probably just keep seeing him as Chainsaw Man before Asa meets Denji.
Overall, “Save the Cat” is a fantastic chapter and one of the best of Part Two so far, along with the first one.
It had amazing character devlopment for Asa, reintroduced Chainsaw Man in a classically gory fashion, and had some darkly humorous homages to both Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screen Writing You’ll Ever Need.
The next chapter drops on August 31st.