The following contains spoilers for the Chainsaw Man manga.
Chainsaw Man by Tatsuki Fujimoto began serialization in 2018 through Weekly Shonen Jump. The series has already been compiled into 13 volumes, with more on the way as it continues. An anime adaptation is currently in the works, with the first season already completed. The story follows Denji, a teenager who fuses with the Chainsaw Devil and gains the ability to transform parts of himself into chainsaws. He soon begins working for the Public Safety Devil Hunters, using his powers to help get rid of dangerous devils in the world.
Denji meets many vital characters through the Public Safety Devil Hunters, including fan-favorites Aki Hayakawa and the Angel Devil. Aki and the Angel Devil develop an interesting relationship that has led many fans of the series to ship them. While they are work colleagues and friends, there are plenty of things within the series that support the possibility that they could be something more.
How It All Started for AkiAngel
Aki Hayakawa is introduced in Chapter 3 of the manga series and Episode 2 of the anime. He works for the Public Safety Devil Hunters and takes on the role of a mentor and caretaker for Denji and Power, the Blood Fiend. He is determined to keep others safe no matter what it takes. Aki’s stoic demeanor combined with his love for those around him has made him one of the most popular characters in the series. The Angel Devil makes his first appearance in Chapter 36 of the manga and Episode 11 of the anime. Unlike most devils, Angel isn’t hostile toward humans but believes that human lives must end in suffering. He is quite lazy when it comes to combat and is willing to take orders if it means he doesn’t have to fight. However, he works with the Public Safety Devil Hunters despite his devil status.
The two first meet while working together to fight a group of terrorists. The Angel Devil gets covered in blood and borrows a handkerchief from Aki. This first interaction created the spark for the popular ship, with the Angel Devil explaining that no one gets close to him because he takes away life spans when touched in order to gain strength. Aki tells Angel that he is aware that the thin cloth between their fingertips is enough to protect him, showing that he isn’t frightened of Angel the way that most are. Their immediate connection leads to Angel protecting Aki and listening to Aki’s requests, and they continue to work together in other instances after this.
Do Aki and the Angel Devil Work Well Together?
After Aki and the Angel Devil display a certain level of comradery and teamwork, Makima, a high-ranking Public Safety Devil Hunter, orders Aki to work with Angel so that the Angel Devil will follow commands no matter how lazy he may feel. The truth of how the Angel Devil came to work for the Devil Hunters is revealed to Aki by Makima, yet Aki doesn’t hold disdain toward Angel. In the past, Aki has been able to keep the purpose of his missions secret from others, but he is unable to do this with Angel and admits why they are partnered up. The two men develop a strong bond, discussing many different things like the Angel Devil’s dream to live in the countryside. Aki and Angel start making large sacrifices for each other, not caring if they die as a result.
As the world continues to become more chaotic, Aki and the Angel Devil do what they can to stay by each other’s side. They both seem to have a death wish but encourage the other to live as long as possible. Even when the two go through Hell and back, they stick together. The Angel Devil’s proclamation of hating humans is combated by his care for Aki. Aki’s hatred toward devils wavers as his love for Angel becomes undeniable. Whether his feelings are platonic or something more, it’s impossible to deny that Aki loves the Angel Devil. Aki’s loyalty to Makima gets in the way when he agrees to make a contract with her and be a weapon for her. While Makima was responsible for the death of the villagers in his village, Angel puts his grudge to the side to be a weapon for her as well so that he doesn’t abandon Aki.
What Is the Impact of AkiAngel?
Ever since Aki and the Angel Devil met in the "Katana Man" arc, fans of the series have celebrated their connection, referring to the pair as "AkiAngel." AkiAngel is the number one Chainsaw Manship, with fanfiction written about it on the popular fanwork site Archive of Our Own (AO3). Over 800 stories have been posted on AO3 since the start of 2020. The 1984 song "Out of Touch" by legendary duo Daryl Hall and John Oates is considered an anthem for the pair by many, even showing up on Spotify playlists that fans have dedicated to AkiAngel. Shippers adore that Aki and Angel have impacted the way they view the world. Aki, who once hated Devils, is seen risking it all for Angel. Angel, who claims to hate humans and would rather they suffer a painful death than a quick one, does whatever he can to keep Aki alive. While Aki and the Angel Devil have suffered terrible fates, the two of them ended up with the other there.
Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man is recognized for its incredible writing. Without all that Fujimoto put into creating Aki and the Angel Devil, fans of the AkiAngel ship would be rare. Despite not having a confirmed relationship, shippers have plenty of the source material to support the most popular Chainsaw Man ship. Things aren’t exactly what fans hoped, as shippers' hearts have been broken by the fate of Aki Hayakawa and the Angel Devil. However, as most audiences know, not everything is what it may seem to be in Chainsaw Man.