The Sobering and Cruel Death of Aki in Chainsaw Man

If there is one thing that Chainsaw Man has in common with Berserk, it’s the willingness to get down to the dark details. While it isn’t as disturbing as the latter, it is up there. Fujimoto Tatsuki is more than willing to risk public backlash. Especially if it meant pulling off his plot devices. Stripping the plot armor from major characters is one example. The death of some characters in the franchise has broken the hearts of many fans. Yet, the execution of each one is nevertheless profound.

I applaud Fujimoto Tatsuki for his ability to set up the death scenes with prior details. In a “blink-and-you-will-miss-it” manner, the deaths have been hinted at in earlier chapters. Aki’s death is one of those. The circumstances behind his death are heartbreaking. Yet, I would not have it any other way. Join me in this article as we talk about the circumstances behind the death of Aki in Chainsaw Man.

What Happened to Aki in Chainsaw Man?

Before we talk about the specifics of his death, we must reveal his backstory first. Without this information, the impact of his death is less prevalent. In a previous article, I explored his story and connected it to the Gun Devil. For the sake of this article, I will keep the recap brief.

Pre-Chainsaw Man Events Leading to the Death of Aki in Chainsaw Man

Hayakawa Aki lived in Hokkaido when he was a child. He had two neglectful parents and a younger sibling who liked him. On one awful day, tragedy struck. The Gun Devil passed through Japan, decimating most in its wake. Aki’s parents and younger sibling were part of the destruction. The former was barely within range and only survived through luck. From there, he began his hatred towards Devils; specifically, the Gun Devil.

Pre-Chainsaw Man Events Leading to the Death of Aki in Chainsaw Man

Much of his teenage years and young adulthood is unclear. However, we can conclude that Aki was at least a high schooler’s age when he decided to become a Devil Hunter. Losing his parents and sibling left him a hollow shell of a man. After training for a few months, he then met Himeno. Under Himeno’s watchful gaze, he was able to grow into a dependable and strong man. It was thanks to her that he was able to come out of his shell. Unfortunately, his vengeance toward Devils was still at an all-time high. He continued his work as a Devil Hunter into the events of Chainsaw Man.

At one point, he met Makima. According to him, it was her that saved him from his life of misery. Makima was likely responsible for picking Aki up. Having him join the Public Safety Devil Hunter group is also her doing. With his cooperation, the latter promised him that he will be among the first to kill the Gun Devil.

During Chainsaw Man Events

By the time he first met Denji, he disliked the boy at first. The two did not get along even with Makima’s insistence that they do. Aki chose to see Denji as a tool for his revenge against the Gun Devil. That was all there was to it. In earlier chapters, there was even visible animosity towards Denji. Led on by Makima’s promise, Aki only kept Denji alive so he could be useful in killing the Gun Devil.

Chainsaw Man Aki

Power, at one point, joined the two and it became his brand-new dynamic. Aki’s previous quiet life filled with a vengeance was now replaced by a loud and obnoxious one due to two Devils. Despite his perceived dislike of the situation, he appreciated it. He began to see them as more than tools, especially after the death of Himeno. His mentor’s death has greatly impacted him. Thankfully, Denji was there to help him let lose his grief.

Chainsaw man Aki

Despite the hilarity of the situation, it was a crucial bonding moment between the two. It was from there that Aki began to care for his two roommates. From baggage, he began to see them as unruly siblings. Denji and Power were beginning to replace what he has lost: a family who he could love and love him. This is made all the more evident during his visit to Hokkaido. It was an annual visit to his family grave where Denji and Power came along. He never got the time to grieve over his family, but, instead, appreciated the company of his two friends.

It was thanks to this that he chose to withdraw Division 4 to keep Denji and Power safe. However, fate, or let’s say Makima, had other plans.

Aki’s Vendetta Towards the Gun Devil was His Downfall

Consumed by vengeance his entire life, Aki focused too much on killing the Gun Devil. He failed to appreciate those around him. When he finally started to see there was more to life, it was already too late. With the help of the Future Devil, he saw how he and Power would die because of Denji. Instead of turning on Denji, he instead took it upon himself to get stronger. He tried to find a way to keep Power and Denji away from the fight. He never once blamed Denji. He simply wished the two were to have happiness at the end of it all.

Unfortunately, Makima already had the plan in motion for Aki to become the Gun Fiend.

How Did Aki Die in Chainsaw Man?

How Did Aki Die in Chainsaw Man?

After the defeat of the Gun Devil, Makima had Aki become its vessel. With the former Devil now possessing Aki, Makima led him to Aki’s apartment. It is there where Power and Denji were staying. Makima wanted to use this situation to push Denji further on her lap. While it would be wishful thinking that Aki was unconscious, he wasn’t. Aki was semi-conscious the entire time he fought Denji. If you take a look at Team Fortress 2’s Meet the Pyro Trailer, then you have a general idea. He believed that the two of them were engaged in a friendly snowball fight.

How Did Aki Die in Chainsaw Man?

In reality, he was shooting at Denji and was involving innocents in the crossfire. The battle got too much and Denji was forced to make a decision. Meanwhile, in Aki’s mind, he thought he was having a heartfelt moment with Denji. In his unconscious, he expressed his gratitude to the latter. That it was thanks to him and Power, his life finally became a bit more fun. Tragically, Denji doesn’t hear this. However, Aki was able to see his reaction. The grief on his friend’s face was palpable. When Aki was about to realize that something was wrong, it was already too late.

Aki died in the arms of his best friend and someone he considered his younger brother.

How Did Aki Die in Chainsaw Man?

Who Killed Aki in Chainsaw Man?

The blame as to who killed Aki lies in multiple answers. If you wish to know who has done the act, it was Denji who is responsible. Otherwise, Makima is responsible for Aki’s death as part of her plan to enslave Chainsaw Man.

Why Did Denji Kill Aki?

It was sadly a matter of Denji’s hands being forced. If Denji didn’t choose to kill Aki, he would be leaving innocents to die. Killing Aki was also the only choice. The latter’s entire life was to kill the Gun Devil for killing so many people and his sibling. If he discovered that he killed people as the Gun Fiend, he wouldn’t be able to live with himself.

In a sense, Denji killing Aki is an act of mercy. The sad part is that Denji wouldn’t have understood this due to his impeded growth.

Why Did Makima Kill Aki?

While Makima was not directly possible for Aki’s death, she was responsible for it indirectly. She planned to get rid of all the people around Denji so she could have him for herself. She wanted to mentally break him so he could no longer think about anything else. Aki’s death was a strategic move on Makima’s part and she felt no remorse for it.