A/N: I obviously don't own Chainsaw man, Tatsuki Fujimoto does.
Warning: Spoilers ahead up to chapter 97 of the manga.
I want to explore the relationship between Denji and Power, by far my favorite dynamic/relationship in the show. I believe Denji x Power have a healthy mix between a familiar, domestic, best friend, and slightly sibling type relationship. So far, it's strictly platonic which is good because if it evolves to something romantic, then they have the moments for it. And for people who really think they are like siblings(which isn't even completely the case), can't hook up and is something that Fujimoto absolutely won't do, I would refer to Fire Punch.
Here's my analysis on their relationship:
Denji and Power are both individuals who contrast each other at a different spectrum. Denji is a person who yearns for affection and only a little would make him very loyal to someone(refer to Reze and Makima). Meanwhile Power is someone who rarely asks for affection or give it. I find it interesting how their pets are a dog(Pochita) for Denji and cat(Meowy) for Power. It's almost as if their pets are a representation of their personality as dogs are loyal to a fault quickly and cats are more distant and need time to build loyalty. They both found the most comfort through their pets before meeting each other. It's quite an interesting balance between the pair.
I personally think Power(with Aki coming close) has the closest/strongest relationship with Denji, dare I say next to his relationship with Pochita.
Furthermore, I think the idea of DenPower becoming the endgame ship will most likely result from the fact that in chapter 52, the store owner tells Denji that he will find the girl who's perfect for him and surprise surprise, Power makes her entrance right afterwards. So here's how I think Denji's journey of finding real love will go down:
Denji has already stated his goal for wanting to be Chainsaw man in chapter 93 is because he 1. Wants to eat steak for breakfast every morning 2. Make many girlfriends 3. Have tons of sex. So my prediction is that he will eventually come to realize how unfulfilling and shallow these goals are in the end. He will get to have more experiences with women, maybe Reze if she reverts from her brainwash, maybe Kobeni, and or other new characters, then come to see they are not to his liking. He might get to have sex too and find it unfulfilling. This would be another repeat of chapter 12 after the breasts incident with Power. He will then find the Blood Devil and bring back Power. They'll build up their relationship to something romantic or even beyond that and the story will go from there. If Fujimoto does plan on making the ship endgame, it will definitely be a slowburn one where both people will converge at the end, built through MANY hardships in the Chainsaw man universe.
Denji and Power also share the most intimate scenes together in my opinion which helped them greatly develop their relationship and characters:
In chapter 71, Power is suffering greatly from the ordeal with Darkness Devil. Denji could've left Power to the Public Safety Facility and Aki, and go with Makima(someone who he is madly in love with) on a trip, but he stayed behind(an act that he told Aki that he doesn't even know why he did it). But I think that the answer is clear, he's beginning to mature/develop as character and he doesn't even know it. Old Denji would've left with Makima without blinking an eye, but Denji has grown to care for Power. He's put his personal wants/happiness aside for her sake and help Power recover from her PTSD. It made me shed tears seeing Power, who is often so energetic and full of life and energy, suffering greatly. She is in pain and seeing her seek affection and help from Denji was heartwarming, who now has to play the role of her main caretaker. Him allowing her to sleep next him, feeding her, and dressing her was very domestic-like. It's a great push of boundaries and only connects them even further.
Then you have the infamous bath scene. Power asks Denji to bathe with her and instead of jumping in joy and getting horny as hell, he's only curious. He proceeds to help her out and they wash each other. He then lays with her in the bathtub. They then have that super intimate moment with them looking at each other. Denji once again wonders about what was going on with him, why he didn't go with Makima and now why he doesn't feel naughty being naked next to another naked woman. People will most likely say it's because he loves her as only a sibling but take in the situation those two are in. Power is traumatized and vulnerable so I believe that for Denji subconsciously, it feels wrong to take advantage of a person, especially Power, in that state which is why he isn't turned on even in the very lewd situation they are in, also why he doesn't feel "hot" when drinking her blood.
They both don't possess the emotional maturity/understanding for doing something naughty nor do they want to in that situation, Power is scared of naughty things and doesn't understand humans or the concept of deep human intimacy well enough(in chapter 12 she just storms off and treats him feeling her breasts as just a favor and nothing more) well enough for it, Denji is young and is naïve about love and still holds his infatuation with Makima at that point. So it'll take a while for them to mature so I'm interested to see how Fujimoto will handle that.
I also think it's interesting when comparing the relationship between Makima/Denji and Power/Denji. Makima would've been the perfect and ideal girlfriend(if it wasn't for her vile and manipulative nature) who you would only seem to share the good times with. Power seems like the real life girlfriend, someone who you care for greatly, love, banter, and share your struggles with together, someone who you want to push everything you wanted to do aside to take care of her. That's the vibe I felt during chapter 71 when seeing Denji caring for her, I'm glad he didn't have dirty thoughts or felt horny taking care of Power or else I wouldn't even be shipping them. After all, you wouldn't want to go to clown town with your girlfriend while she's emotionally damaged/vulnerable and suffering trauma. Good on Denji for being so mature during that chapter, great character development.
Now from Power's side in chapter 91, you can see the result of their relationship, causing her to fight on the losing side and oppose Makima, all because she remembered those moments she and Denji shared. She believed that even if all lives are trivial including her own, she can't let Denji die because he is her first friend, someone who she now cares deeply for outside of Meowy. It's touching and tear-jerking to see Power give her life so Denji can live. He was so broken that he couldn't do anything without her. So now she gave him a contract to find her, essentially a promise that they'll meet again. With that, he's able to move forward with his life and not succumb to death, another indication of how much Power means to him.
Chapter 1 and 91 dumpster scene are direct parallels of each other which is interesting:
1. Ch1: Denji wakes up to see Pochita/ Ch91: Denji wakes up to see Power. Both mark the beginning of a farewell(Pochita turns from dog to heart and Power has go to Hell)
2. Ch1: Pochita makes a contract with Denji to show his dream/ Ch91: Power makes a contract with Denji to find her. Both give him a reason to keep living to move forward with his life(Pochita telling him to live out his dream and Power telling him to find her so they can be together again)
3. Ch1: Denji comes out of the dumpster with a start calling for Pochita/ Ch91: Denji comes out of the dumpster with a start calling for Power
It'll be interesting to see how Fujimoto tackles Denji and Power's eventual reunion. I enjoy their relationship greatly and I think Power makes Denji happy the most and they both help each other be their best selves. Denji helped power grow to care for someone outside herself and Meowy while Power helped Denji to keep living and move forward with his life while inadvertently molding him into a more mature person, especially in chapter 71.
That's my analysis for now so let's get started with the story.
It's just a series of events that takes place right after Aki's death and before Denji meeting up with Makima at her place (and beyond), which the time in between is unknown.
Denji felt sick to his stomach. Aki's death was a hammer that pounded on his ribs, an invisible hand that gripped his heart, squeezing like a vice. He was on both his knees, staring at the sky with the body of his someone he cared about, someone like a brother to him, laying lifeless before him.
He didn't want to but people were dying, so he had to. He killed Aki. He killed Aki with his chainsaws. No... Aki was already dead, the only person he was fighting was the Gun Devil.
An unpleasant feeling rumbled from his core, his head spun and danced. it wasn't long before the contents of his stomach were spilled onto the concrete. Fuck, he felt sick.
He stared at his hands, covered in Aki's blood. He could hear the faint sounds of ambulances getting louder.
"Denji." He felt a hand gently grasping his shoulder. He turned to see Power, her face warped in worry and melancholy, with Meowy in her hands.
"I..." He started but was immediately pulled into a one-armed hug. It was rather uncharacteristic of Power. Sure they had bathed together and cuddled in bed(well she mostly clung onto his arm), but that was different he felt. For her to gift him with a form of intimacy, rather this form, shook him out of his stupor.
"Let it out." Was all she said, "I'm here for you."
His lips quivered as he thought about Aki, the man who took care of him and Power. He had thought to himself that he wouldn't feel much if Aki died. He was wrong.
So he cried, and cried, and cried. Power was silent the entire time, letting him sob into her shoulder.
When his pathetic whimpering came to a stop Denji separated himself from Power, he saw that her face was contained tears as well.
"Topknot's gone. What do we do?" She wiped away her tears.
Denji wiped away his.
"I don't know." He looked down.
"Denji, Power." A voice called to them. The two looked to Makima approaching them, next to her was Kishibe who seemed look at the two with a distant stare.
Power watched as the bodies were being put into bags, she stared blankly as Aki's body was transported away. She turned next to her to see Denji possessing the same expression as her. Her caretaker was now dead, she only had Denji and Meowy left now. Did that mean they would have to be homeless? Casted onto the streets?
"This is for you two." Makima handed Denji a small checkbook. Power looked along with him to see what was inside.
"Aki has left you two a will, half of it has already gone to Himeno's family." Kishibe explained. Power's eyes widened.
"Over 7 million yen." Denji muttered.
"You two will stay together and share his money." Makima ordered.
"You will both start packing first thing tomorrow." Kishibe added. "Come with us. It's time to pick a new home."
When they made it to headquarter, Denji had to look through the computer to pick a home.
He found a small cramped apartment but Power didn't care. As long as they had a roof over their heads was fine by her.
Power just wanted to a place for her, Meowy and Denji to feel safe. Her heart ached after Aki had left them, something she had never really felt before other than when Meowy got kidnapped by the Bat Devil.
She stroked Meowy's fur as she gently put her beloved companion in a cage.
After leaving Meowy in Kishibe's hands, she and Denji began the moving process.
Only Aki's clothes were left behind, packed away in a box and sent to headquarters. It only took less than a day for him and Power, along with a few helping hands, to move all of the things from their friend's home to the new apartment. Denji stood in silence as they stared one last time in their former home, now empty.
"Let's go Denji." Power leaned by the doorway. Denji nodded.
When they made it back to their new home, they started unpacking in silence. Power emptied the plates, plates and utensils from the boxes. He started reassembling the bed.
They worked for hours until it was done, leaving them both sweaty and tired.
Power showered first, followed by him. Afterwards he started making dinner while she watched TV, with Meowy on her lap.
They sat at the table across from each other, eating cup ramen.
It was a dry silence.
It just felt empty without Aki.