The Mortal Kombat game franchise is one of pop culture’s bloodiest yet most beloved, and now, Chainsaw Man has the potential to be its successor.
The Mortal Kombat video game franchise is one of the world’s most popular properties. The iconic series, helmed by Ed Boon and John Tobias in the early ’90s, has gone from a one vs. one fighting game to a story mode that’s truly cinematic. In the process, it’s become more accepted in mainstream culture — a far cry from the days when calls were made for it to be banned due to its excessive violence, guts, and gore.
The series now has movies (both live-action and animated) being made and comics that extend the lore, reminding fans how rich the franchise has become. At its core, this expansive tapestry involves fighters such as Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, and Raiden protecting the realms from threats such as Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn, and the Elder Gods. Interestingly, while loyalists await news on MK12, there’s one property that could do with this treatment and be a hit if adapted into a video game: Chainsaw Man.
Chainsaw Man Has the Same Blood-Soaked Atmosphere
The Chainsaw Man franchise focuses on a teen, Denji, bonding with a demon, Pochita, and working with Japan’s Public Safety Unit. There, other hybrids like himself, Fiends (corpses that the demons possess), and the raw form of the demons themselves (known as Devils), work together to take out monsters deemed enemies of the state.
This creates the perfect backdrop across Japan, from the Kyoto train station to the Tokyo high-rise, where Denji and Co. could face each other and demons one-on-one. Seeing as the anime and manga deal with high-level, rapid, intense contests filled with combos, Chainsaw Man really has that energy and aura made for bloody brawls, especially given how unrelenting and unforgiving the story is. It loves graphic and aggressive kills, and with Denji’s unit trying to rid Japan of evil, it’s got the ideal cast for an MK-like remix.
Chainsaw Man Has the Perfect Killers
Denji is half-human, half-chainsaw, and there are plenty of badass villains that are just as superhuman. For instance, Katana Man has swords for his hands and face. Gun Devil is a walking arsenal of guns, Bomb Girl can transform herself into bombs, and Power is similar to Mortal Kombat‘s Skarlet, able to use her blood and turn it into weapons. They have extra durability, regenerative capabilities, and the resilience of gods, as seen with the rest of Denji’s Suicide Squad-like team.
Other monsters who can partake include the Bat Devil (a nod to DC’s Man-Bat), but the humans who have contracts also have potential, just like MK‘s Jax, Johnny Cage, and the other Special Forces agents. Makima can use her mind to break opponents physically, nodding to Ermac’s telepathy, Kobeni is as swift as the Flash, and Hayakawa is a swordsman akin to MK‘s Kenshi.
These mortal agents can also summon devils the same way MK fighters summon animals (for example, Liu Kang and his dragon) and ghouls (like Smoke and Noob Saibot) in battle or for Fatalities. For example, Hayakawa has the Fox Devil that devours opponents, Himeno has the Ghost Devil who can rip folks apart with its multiple limbs, and Sawatari has the Snake Devil. This ensures the entire cast is dynamic, powerful, and badass, which can build to gruesome finishes and Fatalities since these characters are literally talking weapons of mass destruction. Ultimately, Chainsaw Man mixes tech, mysticism, and humanity the same way and has a combat style that would truly make a breakneck-paced video game, offering massive potential as this generation’s MK.