MAPPA’s Chainsaw Man was a delight to watch all the way through to the end every week because the show, in a feat that flexes both an impressive budget and a tireless team of animators (MAPPA, please rest), featured a new artist and ending animation for each episode. However, not all songs are equal.
Obviously, this list is going to be subjective, since this is going off of what I personally like to listen to or watch. However, my taste in music is impeccable. Therefore, this list is objectively perfection and the undeniable truth in terms when it comes to the best Chainsaw Man ending.
- “Chainsaw Blood” – Vaundy (Episode 1)
It is probably because it was the ending for the very first episode but “Chainsaw Blood” is the weakest one of the twelve. Its melody was not memorable to me, even though I have listened to it many times now, and the animation sequence was more or less a compilation of scenes from the episode. When I watched it for the first time, I remember feeling more concerned than hyped at the idea that Chainsaw Man would have a different ending every time.
- “Violence” – Queen Bee (Episode 11)
“Violence” had the same issue for me as “Chainsaw Blood” where the overall hook and melody did not stand out to me. While the camera angles in the animation were really cool, it was not that interesting to watch. Since Episode 11 was kind of a breather episode before the finale, it suited the mood of that. But ultimately, it was still a pretty forgettable ending.
- “Deep Down” – Aimer (Episode 9)
When I say that I am the most surprised that Aimer is this far down the list, I am being very honest. As soon as MAPPA announced that Aimer would be one of the artists contributing an ending theme to Chainsaw Man, I thought for sure she would be in the top five. But it’s slow and the hook feels lost at times. In fact, Aimer’s opening for the NieR Automata anime was also not a personal favorite from her previous songs. Though the grainy retro vibe of the ending animation was neat, it felt like I was watching a more experimental anime that I accidentally stumbled upon at 3:00 AM than anything.
- “Rendezvous” – Kanaria (Episode 6)
“Rendezvous” has a really fun and chill vibe. It sounds like a song that I would listen to while working or something I would put on as background music. The Escher stairs-like sequence, which suits the Eternity Devil that the group was facing, was fun to look at. That close-up of Aki’s eye turning into stairs? Love to see it.
- “First Death” by TK – Ling Tosite Sigure (Episode 8)
The only real reason that I think this ending is better than “Rendezvous” is because the animation sequence, especially after what happens in Episode 8, was really cool. Ling Tosite Sigure has a very interesting sound that works for Chainsaw Man’s atmosphere. Plus, the fast pace of the song is a great match for both the visuals and what the viewer was probably feeling after Himeno’s showdown against the Katana Man.
- “Chu” – Tayousei – Ano (Episode 7)
As a song, “Chu – Tayousei” feels like something from the mid-2000s, and the old-school video game-inspired animation sequence only adds to that nostalgic feel. The psychedelic barf was a fun visual, even if it was kind of gross to see. It is a fun ending to watch! It’s also got a peppy rhythm and melody that would be out of place in any episode other than Episode 7, which was a really chill one for the majority of its runtime.
- “Tablet” – Tooboe (Episode 4)
“Tablet” is so fun! The accompanying visuals of Power dancing and posing were really great to watch, and MAPPA did a great job with animating it all. In fact, this was the one where I started to get really worried for MAPPA’s animators, since Episode 4 also had one of the best hair-tying animations I had seen in anime. Though the song does border on forgettable for me, it more than makes up for it with what a joy it was to watch.
- “Time Left” – Zutomayo (Episode 2)
When “Time Left” started after the slightly disappointing “Chainsaw Blood” song, I was prepared to not enjoy this one either. But the hook was a pleasant surprise! The animation sequence also had a really cute style to it slightly reminiscent of those lo-fi music streams on YouTube, and it was genuinely a pleasure to watch. Though “Chainsaw Blood” suited the vibe of the show more and thus deserved to be the first (even if I didn’t like it), “Time Left” was a great follow-up.
- “Fight Song” – Eve (Episode 12)
Eve is also an artist I liked prior to Chainsaw Man but, like with Aimer, I found “Fight Song” to be just ‘alright.’ However, the reason why it is so high up on the list is because of how cute the ending animation is. The little Hayakawa family is adorable and them all just hanging out and eating is a great note to end the show on before Season 2. Do I think that the visuals and the music matched? Not exactly. But since both the sequence and the song felt very smooth (the intro, verse, and chorus were all at the same base level of excitement), they work together in a way.
- “In the Backroom” – Syudou (Episode 5)
Syudou is, like a good half of the artists on this list, someone who has a distinctive sound, which is always fun. The hook for “In the Backroom” was fun, and though the animation sequence straddles the line between ‘surreal’ and ‘trippy,’ it matched how bizarre the Eternity Devil’s hotel is. “In the Backroom” placing this high was a surprise for me when I made this list, but it deserves it.
- “Hawatari Nioku Centi” – Maximum the Hormone (Episode 3)
Maximum the Hormone is a really funny band because half the time I listen to their songs, my initial kneejerk reaction is “I don’t like this” until the third time listening to it. Then, magically, the song becomes one of the best things I’ve ever listened to. That’s exactly what happened to me with “Hawatari Nioku Centi.” A huge part of me liking this song as time went on was due to the fact that MAPPA actually used parts of it in the episodes. Hearing it in a more fast-paced context suddenly opened my eyes to how hype the beginning part is, and the second half of the song is just beautiful. The tonal shift of the song syncing up with Makima dressed up like an angel made for a fantastic and memorable contrast.
- “Dogland” – People 1 (Episode 10)
Okay, I admit that the visuals for this ending are not as appealing as “Tablet” or even Maximum the Hormone’s. However, the song absolutely slaps. When I listened to this the first time, my jaw dropped when it got to the hook and then I immediately went to subscribe to People 1’s YouTube channel. This song is high-energy the entire time through and though the animation is not as impressive as some of the other endings on the list, I still enjoyed watching it. If the reference to dogs is because Denji is like Makima’s dog (which the opening also alludes to), I do wish MAPPA used this song in an episode where Makima was actively trying to influence Denji into doing something, though.
Chainsaw Man is available to stream on Crunchyroll. The manga is being localized by Viz Media.