As the first season of Chainsaw Man comes to a close, Aki Hayakawa is in a world of pain. After losing his parents as a child, he joins the Public Safety Unit and leads Division 4 in an effort to rid Japan of Devils. Over the years, he's taken on numerous Devil contracts, such as one with the Fox, which he used to eat powerful villains in battle.
He takes the responsibility of his position very seriously, so he didn't appreciate Denji's immaturity being thrust upon him as a partner. Even though he hates him, Aki is still mentoring him to help him in his quest to kill the Gun Devil. The plot of Aki Hayakawa's journey, which was inspired by John Constantine but with a much darker twist, only became more intriguing after Episode 10.
Depression in Aki is Caused by Chainsaw Man's Smoking
Aki is recovering in the hospital, lucky to have escaped the ambush by the enigmatic foes who were aiming for Denji in earlier episodes. While many others, including Himeno, perished, Makima, Denji, Power, and Kobeni made it out alive. The latter makes Aki depressed because he was close to her and now realizes she had fallen in love with him. He continues to smoke more because Himeno taught him to do so as a way to unwind.
Surprisingly, when the Curse Devil appears, he confirms Aki has two years left on their contract. He sobs, viewing the cigarettes as a death sentence, a nod to how Constantine kept the habit in DC lore, movies, and television. Despite his cancer, he continued to smoke, and when he avoided it, the mage continued to do so as a way of coping with all the stress in his mystical world. It appears that these geniuses require nicotine, with Hayakawa's story becoming even more sympathetic as the cigarettes serve as a reminder of his extended mission, acting as survivor's guilt rather than pleasure.
Aki Brokers a New, Sinister Deal
Aki doesn't have much time to mourn, though, as Makima is putting together a new unit. She dispatches a few agents to force him back into his official duties. This time, like Constantine, he has added Samurai Sword and Sawatari to his hit list and is engaged in a vendetta. They deliver him to a facility where he is given the opportunity to make a deal with another devil.
They acknowledge that this contract will shorten his life expectancy even further, but maintain that the benefits outweigh the risks. It makes reference to the agreements Constantine made in the past, whether they were to protect his beloved Zatanna or defeat bad guys like Trigon and the Upside Down Man. Aki enters the shadowy space where a supernatural eye stares back at him without any hesitation in this instance. With Hayakawa more devoted to retaliation than ever, the story comes to a terrifying conclusion. In the end, it's very much what Constantine would do, which gives fans hope. This sacrifice is not in vain because Hayakawa is still analytical and wise in his later years.