One of the most highly anticipated Fall Anime of 2022 finally premiered, and its opening theme song features a music video that pays homage to different cinematic moments from different films!
Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man finally made its long-awaited debut last October 11th and hidden in the video of its banger opening theme song are film references you might have missed if you looked away even for a fraction of a second!
It is no secret that the hit manga-turned-anime’s creator, Tatsuki Fujimoto is a film geek, and he completely showed that versatile side of him in the opening theme song of Chainsaw Man. The video features the different characters of the anime recreating legendary cinematic moments from different well-known classics.
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Watch the Chainsaw Man Opening Theme Song
If you squint hard enough, you can see a flash of Evangelion in the scene at the junction, which is a reference to Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. The references span from The Big Lebowski to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The OP even clues viewers in, first showing the references and then turning to the group eating popcorn at a movie theater. Here is the full list of films referenced in the Chainsaw Man opening (in case you’d want to watch the films as well)!
1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Aired in 1974, Directed by Tobe Hooper)
What a witty reference for an anime of gore, devils, and zombies, right? In the Opening theme song, Denji clutches Pochita like how the main characters of the films clutch the skull. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is about A group of five hippies on a road trip across rural Texas in the 1970s who fall victim to a violent cannibalistic family comprised of a leather-masked chainsaw-wielding lunatic, his knife-wielding grave robber brother, and their cannibal chief father and decomposing grandfather. Quite fitting for an anime with almost the same theme.
2. Pulp Fiction (Aired in 1994, Directed by Quentin Tarantino)
Next on the list of references is Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp fiction which aired in 1994. It’s pretty obvious who Tatsuki Fujimoto’s favorite director may be. Quentin Tarantino has quite a number of entries for the references in the Chainsaw Man opening theme song. The Opening theme song of the anime features a rather attractive Kishibe pointing a gun like how Jules Winnfield did in the movies. Pulp Fiction features a story about Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega who are hitmen for crime lord Marcellus Wallace. Wallace is currently dealing with Butch Collidge, a boxer who failed to fight after receiving Wallace’s money and is now attempting to quit the city but can’t leave his father’s watch behind. When Wallace begs Vincent to show his wife Mia a nice time while he’s abroad, he runs into some issues of his own. Some of these people redeem themselves, while others do not, and all receive a fate befitting their actions.
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3. Sadako vs. Kayako ( Aired in 2016, Directed byKoji Shiraishi)
Next on the list is a Japanese classic! The Chainsaw Man opening theme song also features a reference to Koji Shiraishi’s Sadako vs. Kayako which first aired in 2016. Like the movie, the OP also features a fight scene between two characters. Sadako vs. Kayako is… a horror-thriller story that follows the story of Natsumi, who by chance, watched a cursed videotape that led to her impending doom. To counter the curse of Sadako who is set to kill her after two days, she has no choice but to make Sadako fight Kayako, a menacing spirit that inhabits a haunted house.
4. No Country for Old Men (Aired in 2007, Directed by the Coen Brothers)
Presumably another one of Tatsuki Fujimoto’s favorite directors, the Coen Brothers also has quite a few entries for this list. The first one is a film that aired in 2007 entitled No Country for Old Men the Opening theme song features Galgali in a hotel room taking off his shoes. The story is about A heroin deal that goes bad in the Rio Grande desert, and Llewellyn Moss, the welder, discovers $2 million in a box. He retains the money for himself, but Chigurh, an unemotional psychopathic killer, pursues him. He kills everyone in his path in order to obtain the welder, employing his own unique weapon. By this time, the elderly sheriff Ed Tom is attempting to get to the bottom of the situation.
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5. Once Upon A Time in Hollywood (Aired in 2019, Directed by Quentin Tarantino)
The next film entry is another one directed by Quentin Tarantino. Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is about Rick Dalton who rose to fame and money after playing in a 1950s television Western film, but he is now trying to find meaningful employment in a Hollywood he no longer recognizes. He spends most of his time drinking and hanging out with his easygoing best buddy and longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth. Rick also lives next door to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, the filmmaker and aspiring actress whose lives have been irrevocably transformed by members of the Manson Family. Much like the movie, the Chainsaw Man OP features Aki and Denji casually hanging out inside the car.
6. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (Aired in 1978, Directed by John de Bello)
Next on the list is John de Bello’s Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Following a rash of reports of inexplicable attacks on humans and pets by the typically docile fruit, a special government task team is formed to investigate the violent fruit and put an end to their murderous rampage. This crack team includes a lieutenant who never leaves the house without his parachute, an underwater expert who never leaves the house without his dive gear, and a master of disguise who disguises himself as a black Adolf Hitler. The Chainsaw Man OP Scene featured a funny and chaotic scene from the movie though, but nobody’s complaining because it fit in really well!
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7. Constantine (Aired in 2005, Directed by Francis Lawrence)
[ TRIGGER WARNING: Mentions of Suicide ]
The next film featured on the list is another classic directed by Francis Lawrence. It follows the story of a suicidal survivor, demon hunter John Constantine (Keanu Reeves). He has been to hell and back, and he knows that when he dies, he’ll have a one-way ticket to Satan’s world unless he can earn enough goodwill to ascend God’s stairs to heaven. While assisting Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) in her investigation of her identical twin’s apparent suicide, Constantine becomes entangled in a mysterious plan combining demonic and angelic forces. Based on the DC/Vertigo comic book series “Hellblazer.”
8. The Big Lebowski (Aired in 1998, Directed by the Coen Brothers)
Another Coen Brothers Classic. When “the dude” Lebowski is misidentified as a billionaire Lebowski, two thugs urinate on his rug to force him to settle a debt he has no knowledge of. While attempting to obtain compensation from his affluent counterpart for the ruined carpets, he accepts a one-time assignment with a huge pay-off. He enlists the assistance of his bowling partner, Walter, a gun-toting Jewish convert with rage issues. Deception leads to greater difficulties, and it quickly appears that everyone wants something from The Dude, from porn empire tycoons to nihilists.
Pretty interesting film choices for an anime opening don’t you think? There are many more easter eggs in the opening theme song of the Chainsaw Man anime that pays tribute to numerous other films and movies. You might even find a reference for ‘Goodbye Eri’ Tatsuki Fujimoto’s other work, so keep those eyes open, and those senses keen!
Does any of the films referenced in the Opening theme song catch your eye? Chainsaw Man is currently streaming on Crunchyroll. The anime just aired its first episode, and the episodes will be released weekly!
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