Chainsaw Man: Every movie reference in the opening credits
Chainsaw Man, the newest hit anime on the block, has an opening credits which is filled to the brim with film references.
Chainsaw Man is the newest big kid on the block in terms of animes, and for good reason. The action is gory, the characters likeable, and the premise intriguing. You can read our review of the first episode here.
But what also makes the show so great is its opening credits. The credits are a blast of action, with fun visuals and stellar animation, all accompanied by the beat-heavy song KICK BACK by Kenshi Yonezu. However, if you look closely, you can see that a lot of the visuals are actually references to a lot of popular films.
The opening pays tribute to all of these films, even having a clip of all the characters sitting down at the cinema to watch them. So without further ado, here are all the film references we could find in the credits!
Keanu Reeves has so many iconic films, that Constantine is often cast to the wayside. But not by Chainsaw Man. It seems fitting, as both properties deal with battling demons in epic and dangerous ways. The rooftop scene in the opening clearly depict a scene between Reeve’s and Rachel Weisz’s characters, which is a significant bond of the film.
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
While being a relatively new film, Thor’s newest outing is still given some love in this opening sequence, as the credits partake in some rather obvious fan service, while stating “Power” underneath. As you’ll notice, the font is in the same format at Thor’s two most recent films, under the direction of Taika Waititi.
Don’t Look Up (1996)
No, not the Netflix film starring Jennifer Lawrence. This is a Japanese horror film starring everyone’s favourite type of ghost: Dark-haired pale girl in a white dress. She terrorises a film set as a crew attempt to uncover the mystery of an old haunted flick. There aren’t any direct clips of the scene that Chainsaw Man is referencing, but you can actually watch the whole film on YouTube here.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
This classic has become one of the most idolised comedies of the past few decades. Nearly every scene has become iconic, especially all of the bowling scenes, so it’s no wonder that Chainsaw Man pays tribute to it, along with the scene of Da Jesus polishing his bowling ball, which has been giffed to all eternity.
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978)
Another comedy that Chainsaw Man references is the absurdist parody Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, which has become somewhat of a meme in recent years. It makes sense that the show would pastiche this, as both deal with otherworldly threats while also having an odd sense of humor throughout the danger.
Sadako vs. Kayako (2016)
Consider this Japan’s version of Freddy Vs. Jason. Sadako vs. Kayako is a supernatural horror film, which is a crossover of the Ju-on and Ringu series. Originally teased as an April Fools’ joke in 2015, the film perfectly matches the absurd style of Chainsaw Man, and it also has some pretty cool fight scenes, which the opening credits reference.
Fight Club (1999)
While the rule may be to not talk about Fight Club, Chainsaw Man clearly wasn’t afraid to reference it. One of the awesome action visuals in the title sequence features a golden ball, which is referencing the Latte Thunder scene in the film, during the rampage that the club wreaks on Los Angeles, similar to how the anime characters are devastating the city around them during their battle.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
The classic horror film is just as gory as Chainsaw Man, so it seems inevitable that it’s opening scene would be referenced in the title sequence. Especially as the lead of the anime begins his origins in a graveyard, and also has as much of a bloody start to his killing sprees, which will define him as the series continues.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Pulp Fiction is one of the most well-known films in all of cinema, so of course it was going to be referenced. Here, Chainsaw Man is drawing on the film’s final scene, which see’s Samuel L. Jackson becoming embroiled in a shootout in a diner. It’s a great ending for a great movie, and we can only hope for similarly as iconic action to happen in the anime.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
This film is a masterclass in suspense, so you may be surprised to see it referenced in a show that is as bombastic as Chainsaw Man is. But rest assured, there’s just as much suspense to be had over the course of the series. Not to mention there is plenty of action, hence why the film scene they reference is the motel shootout.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Another of Tarantino’s films gets referenced by Chainsaw Man, and this time it’s the fantastic heist movie Reservoir Dogs. While the show also features some morally ambiguous protagonists, the title sequence is mainly referencing the iconic suits of the film, which the anime pastiches at the very beginning of its opening credits.
Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
Jacob’s Ladder is a psychological thriller which also (kind of) delves into the supernatural, so of course Chainsaw Man, which deals with demons – both real and metaphorical – would include a reference to it. The opening sequence is mainly referencing the final scene of the film, where Jacob sees his dead son.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
Behold, another Tarantino flick! This time Chainsaw Man is referencing his newest film, which is a fictional tale of Hollywood in the 1960s, during the Manson murders. The opening credits of Chainsaw Man is actually referencing another opening credits scene, depicting Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio’s characters as they drive around town.
Did you spot all of these Chainsaw Man film references?
Now, while we think we got all the references, there could be any number of them that we’ve missed. So watch the full opening here, and see if there’s any more that you can spot!
Chainsaw Man episode 1 is currently available to stream on Crunchyroll.