Chainsaw Man episode 4 is a couple of things, firstly its tidying up the battle from the last episode that had Denji squaring off against the “Bat Devil” on, to save Power’s beloved cat Meowy for a chance to grab her chest. Here the show hammers home Denji’s simple goals that definitely pale in comparison to lets say a Naruto, a Luffy or a Tanjiro, but are no less important to our protagonist and that’s kinda refreshing. Also do we really need another shonen show where we witness our honorable holier than thou protagonist fight to achieve his dream? That is probably not what most teenagers would do if dealt the same cards. I think this piece, other than supplying humor, really works to humanize Denji and hammer in the fact that he’s still an adolescent boy fighting these battles for the shadowy adult run government organization.
When the “Leech Devil” shows up after Denji dispatches the “Bat Devil” to get vengeance for her fallen lover (!?!), Denji runs out of gas, or blood here, and is bailed out by the katana-wielding Aki. Here we discover he also has a pack with a demon. In a moment of pure spectacle, Aki uses the giant fox devil to quickly dispatch the “Leech Devil” and save Denji, Power and Meowy who had broken too many rules to end up where they were. It’s something Aki is faced with cleaning up as he decides to save both his demonic coworkers, because while they did cause a huge mess, they dispatched two well known devils with no human casualties. This moment of mercy Aki displays when not throwing his coworkers under the bus is not lost on Makima, who mentions the once rigid agent has shown an uncharacteristic bit of flexibility.
The show then kind of follows Aki after the revelation that he too has his own pact with a devil and we get a bit of a slice of life look at the young agent as he gets ready in the morning and his daily routine. It’s a much needed moment of peace and reflection as we get a glimpse into Hayakawa’s once peaceful home life as a rapturous knock comes to his door interrupting the peaceful montage. Pulling a page from Neon Genesis Evangelion, we now have Aki as Misato, with Denji as Shinji and his new house guest thanks to Makima, Power as Asuka in a very similar dynamic since Shinji was, if not hornier than Denji. Its just Denji is up front about it as he finally is offered his reward for saving Power. He gets three feels, and the episode goes to black….
This is where I usually end up checking out the comments section below and which offers its own hilarious commentary, which I look forward to every week after my viewing. If you’ve never delved into the comment section of Crunchyroll after an episode I highly recommend it. Not only will you get a good laugh, sometimes the perspective is quite dead on. This week however they simply lamented at the cliffhangering of the series, which can be annoying, especially when there’s no previews.
This week’s episode had some great action set pieces that felt more coherent than last week and I really enjoyed some of the quieter moments this time. Like watching Aki make coffee or chop vegetables, it’s these little moments where we get some time to enjoy the characters and let them develop a bit and show some inflection before their next mission. This episode offers up just that as well as the kind of action we’ve come to expect from the series. For me this was a near perfect episode with that balance of quiet and humor, we got some story, we got some character development and now Power, Denji and Hayakawa all now living in the same apartment. Let the the anime hijinks ensue.
Until next week!