Violence, death and a lot of power

Chainsaw Man Season 1 may be over, but that’s not stopping us from listening to the phenomenal musical accompaniment that frames each episode. The closing songs — and their visual companions — have acquired a fan base of their own, fusing talented Japanese musicians with stunning animation that closes each episode with a bang and lingers in our minds long after our streaming service rudely asked, “Are you still?” Watch out?”

Ranking the songs is a bittersweet endeavor, as each has its own unique vibe and connection to the episode it crowns. For this list, we’re ticking a few boxes to sort order, focusing on the visuals and music that serve each episode while also capturing the mood of Chainsaw Man as a whole.

So let’s jump into this list and do our best to avoid a headbanging-induced migraine along the way.

12. Rendezvous of Canary (Episode 6)

Rendezvous by Kanaria follows the climax of the Eternity Devil arc in which the Special Division 4 is trapped in a hotel by the time-manipulating devil himself. Appropriately, the graphics show our heroes trekking down endless MC Escher-esque stairways, clad in drab grays and whites, reflecting the endless loop they’re trapped in.

The song itself is poppy and fun, and its lyrics effectively reflect the horrifying situation the hunters find themselves in, but lacks a darker punch that would fit the episode’s tone even better. The cerebral visuals also work well, but stagnate again as endless stairs dominate much of the screen time, punctuated by a very tepid attempt to forge the unrequited love bond between Aki and Himeno.

11. Dogland of Humans 1 (Episode 10)

A decently groovy song in its own right, Dogland from People 1 is given a slight boost by the unique visuals that accompany it, which mixes heavily edited real-life footage with animated scenes in a black-and-white-tinged montage of dark alleys depicting the seedy reality of one “Dogs” like Denji, surviving in a dangerous world on primal instinct alone.

Ultimately, the song just isn’t as strong as the other posts, and the themes/visuals that accompany it have little to nothing to do with the episode itself. After Denji and Power’s new brutal training regiment, depicting Denji next to dogs doesn’t make much sense and actually works better for a future storyline between him and Makima. The ending feels out of place and is a wasted opportunity for some wild training montages between Kishibe and his new recruits.

10. Chainsaw Blood of Vaundy (Episode 1)

Vaundy’s Chainsaw Blood kicks off the series with a relatively strong entry in the annals of Chainsaw Man ending songs. It has a sharpness and bite that sets the tone appropriately for the series, with a tight guitar backing supporting punchy vocals that match the violence we saw in Episode 1.

While the song is good, it doesn’t have the same “sticky” effect as some of the others on the list. Likewise, the visuals that play alongside are mostly scenes from the episode itself and don’t break new ground with unique animations. It’s a good start in the tradition of iconic endings, and as a trailblazer, it deserves love for pointing things in the right direction.

9. Queen Bee Violence (Episode 11)

Violence by Queen Bee has undeniably stunning graphics, throwing our characters into a matrix of glass and skyscrapers with crisp black and white and vibrant animations that make every paused moment worthy of a high definition screensaver. The title is apt too, given the zombie massacre the episode centers around and the introduction of the Violence Fiend himself.

The ending suffers from another song that doesn’t do justice to the visuals. Violence is catchy but not otherworldly memorable. While the animations are clean, they do little to convincingly intertwine with the episode itself, leaving our heroes (for the most part) idly interacting with the cold imagery around them and encouraging a sense of separation that the very team-oriented episode lacks 11.

8. In the back room of Syudou (Episode 5)

After the chaotic ending of Episode 4 (one spot down), Syudous In The Back Room takes it up a notch with its psychedelic visuals that fit the Eternity Devil arc started in Episode 5, which defies logic and leaves viewers in spite of the ominous situation in which the hunters find themselves in the Hotel Morin to a dizzying karaoke.

The only potential flaw at the end is its trippy visuals, which at times appear completely random and unconnected to the episode itself and the series as a whole. That said, the randomness in and of itself fits perfectly with Chainsaw Man’s irreverent, unpredictable vibes and contrasts beautifully with Syudou’s sing-along accompaniment.

7. Tablet of TOOBOE (Episode 4)

Episode 4 featured many of everyone’s favorite madcap bloodthirsty Fiend, Power, and ended with a hilarious key scene that amused us and made us uncomfortable in equal parts. It’s only fitting that TOOBOE’s closing song Tablet is just as chaotic.

The song bursts into your ears with heady blastbeats over images of a deranged looking screaming force, then rolls into its bold, upbeat rhythm to our blood-loving maniac fingers dancing around their signature horns. The entire ending is a frenetic whirlwind fit for power, aided by vivid animation and color that underscores its psychotic-childlike duality.

6. ZutoMayo’s Time Remaining (Episode 2)

Time Left by ZutoMayo comes at you hard with a funky bassline and groovy off-beat drums, making your foot tap and your head bob to the “Up Next” prompt. The second entry into the Chainsaw Man ending kicks off with uniquely styled animations of our protagonists fighting off their boredom in their own unique way.

The graphics focus on the core trio, Power, Denji and Aki, making us feel like we’re embarking on a wild and unknown adventure with the three as each leaves their sedentary states and enters the city. Denji literally falls head over heels into his new partnership with the Devil Hunters from high above, preparing viewers for the exciting adventures that lie ahead, all while grooving.

5. Battle Song of Eve (Episode 12)

Eve’s “Fight Song” is the perfect lighthearted and uplifting outro to a season 1 filled with violence, sadness and ultimately triumph. With Katana Man defeated and justice served, the ragtag trio enjoy their well-deserved peace as they wander the city to Eve’s uplifting lyrics and beats.

The visuals are all in the same style as the anime itself, beginning with repeating previously shown scenes and working into new ones of the three living their quirky modern family existence side by side. Not only does it work as a feel-good farewell to our favorite felhunters, but also as a building block for Aki’s growing affection for family being forced upon him (a key story arc explored later).

The entire sequence feels like an extension of the episode itself, merging perfectly into the post-credits scene where we hear the voice of an integral character from Season 2 disrupting the happy mood with an ominous riddle about mice.

4. Deep Down by Aimer (Episode 9)

After Special Division 4’s decimation by Katana Man and Akane, it’s only fitting that the outro conveys a sense of loss and uncertainty. Aimer’s Deep Down executes that tone flawlessly with breathy, heartfelt vocals and emotive strings that make us feel like our heroes are at a point of utter despair and hopelessness.

The images are also delicate, showing Himeno solemnly disappearing bit by bit towards the spirit devil, falling into a black abyss of blood and organs, snuffed out like the cigarette that burns and falls in the final frames. It’s truly a fitting farewell to the one-eyed devil slayer, both visually and aurally.

3. Chu, Tayousei by ano (Episode 7)

Ironically, the very little action episode makes for one of the best endings. After a night of excess and debauchery, Chu, Tayousei by ano rolls us into the credits, stuffed with a stunningly retro aesthetic and a ’90s video game recreation of the episode’s events playing out on a tube TV.

Denji’s pursuit of women remains his top priority, and as a result, the ladies of Chainsaw Man take center stage in the romantic JRPG-esque recreation of his battling lust between Power, Himeno and Makima. Yes, there is a scene where Himeno throws up a rainbow in Denji’s mouth, but ano’s unique visuals and flowing musical accompaniment outweigh the moment, making the episode’s ending one of the most stylish and memorable.

2. Hawatari Niku Centi from Maximum the Hormone (Episode 3)

The epic fight between Denji and the bat-devil in Episode 3 could only be followed by a brutal headbanger fit for the devil that devils fear most. Maximum the Hormone’s Hawatari Niku Centi takes the challenge and executes it perfectly. The chunky bass line gives way to a cacophony of heavy metal styles fit only for a man with chainsaws for limbs.

Given that the episode features Denji’s first fight and a demonstration of his capacity for unbridled violence and mayhem, the frenetic hard rock anthem is a perfect ending, enhanced by the trippy, hypermanic visuals of our sounding protagonist bristling with ruthless aggression cuts through enemies. The sounds and the sights are exactly what we think of when we close our eyes and picture Chainsaw Man.

1. First Death by TK by Ling Tosite Sigure (Episode 8)

Led by Ling Tosite Sigure’s First Death by TK, Episode 8’s ending edged out the stiff competition. The closing sequence hits every single mark and then some. The song itself, for lack of a better phrase, is an absolute smash, thanks to a crisp drumbeat and piercing guitar riffs that embody the weight and violence of Chainsaw Man.

The visuals are understated compared to others on this list, but with great impact. The unique scenes not featured in the episode feel like we’re watching a high-quality, standalone music video for the series, expanding the plot of the unrequited love between Himeno and Aki in a dreamlike sequence dubbed the Ode acting on her intricate romance and a moment of serenity before the fallout in Episode 9.

First Death is by far the strongest song among the others on the list, and it fits so perfectly with the violent events taking place in the episode that the ending is not only an impressive, compelling work of art in its own right, but the best closing sequence of the Series. Violence, death and a lot of power

Fry Electronics Team

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