The following contains spoilers for Chainsaw Man Chapter 123, “Hors D’oeuvre,” by Tatsuki Fujimoto, Amanda Haley and Sabrina Heep, now available in English via Viz Media, as well as brief discussion of suicide.

Asa Mitaka’s recent string of bad luck in Chainsaw Man has extended even further as she comes face to face with a Primal Fear in Chapter 123. Whether by pure chance or some evil power’s design, Asa finds herself being pursued by none other than the Falling Devil — and is completely helpless after being subjected to its damning attack.

The Falling Devil is the first harbinger of the apocalypse foretold by the Nostradamus Prophecy. If its frightening abilities seen here are anything to go by, Chainsaw Man‘s humanity might not have any hope of defeating its brethren.

Chainsaw Man Reveals the Falling Devil’s Horrifying Abilities

The Falling Devil introducing itself while holding its head aloft with four arms

The Falling Devil is humanity’s collective primal fear of heights and falling from tall places made manifest. When it first appeared, it constructed an avatar from the dead bodies of an apartment building’s inhabitants, whom it had compelled to jump off their balconies. This is one of the most terrifying feats a devil has achieved in Chainsaw Man; never before have they displayed the ability to unconditionally manipulate humans’ behavior to the point of forcing them into suicide. Even Makima, the Control Devil, needed to believe herself superior to a human before she could manipulate them to do her bidding.

After constructing a vessel, the Falling Devil introduced itself and revealed it had come to Earth at the request of the “residents” of hell. With its new avatar, it adopted a chef motif and referred to its ability as a meal that had to be finished. If it wasn’t, the offending diner (meaning a human under its effects) would be given a taste of death. Neither Asa nor Yoru were given the chance to dissect what the Falling Devil meant by this threat. With one clap of its hands, it ensnared Asa in its technique, cutting off her connection to Yoru in the process.

The Falling Devil forces everyone in its grasp to relive the most traumatic incidents from their past while simultaneously reversing gravity’s effects on them, sending its victims careening into the sky. The lower an affected person’s heart sinks as they revel in their past traumas, their higher their body will continue to “fall”. Unless they get their emotions in check, they will keep floating upward until they’ve passed through a mysterious doorway in the sky that transports them to a different location — most likely hell itself. The Falling Devil referred to this technique as “hors d’oeuvre”, a mere starter dish, implying it might have even more frightening abilities up its sleeve.

Why Chainsaw Man’s Falling Devil Is Asa’s Worst Possible Opponent

Asa suspended upside down as she clings to a street railing while pedestrians stare on surprise

The Falling Devil’s ability to make people relive their greatest traumas is especially potent on Asa due to the sheer number of unfortunate incidents in her past. In this instance, she’s forced to re-experience the loss of her childhood pet cat, Crambon. The caretaker of the orphanage she was living at had taken offense at Asa’s attachment to her cat and, under the guise of giving it a better home, cruelly drowned it in a nearby river. When Asa began to suspect foul play and inquired about Crambon’s welfare, the caretaker callously replied that it wasn’t fair for her to be the only child at the orphanage with a family member.

This was an especially harrowing experience for Asa, but it might just be one of many more she is being forced to relive while hanging on to a street railing for dear life. It doesn’t help that many of Asa’s horrible experiences are related to falling itself, and always came at the most inopportune moments. As she continues to panic, the Falling Devil feeds on her fear and its technique is strengthened.

Since Yoru is unable to possess Asa in her current state, this mental battle is the latter’s to fight alone. Her chances of victory look quite slim, especially against a Primal Fear that has never been killed before — but that’s all the more reason a win would be significant for her. Conquering the literal embodiment of a curse that has plagued her since childhood should give Asa a much-needed confidence boost in Chainsaw Man.