The show hits the make it or break it moment
This week’s episode picks up pretty much right where the last one left off with Denji, Aki, Power, Kobeni, Hirokazu and Aki’s mentor Himeno all stuck on the 8th floor of a hotel. The 6 Public Safety Experimental Division 4 agents were sent to investigate possible “Gun Devil” activity and are now all held hostage by the “Infinity Devil” on a never ending floor of a hotel, that they can’t escape from. We see the two younger human agents Kobeni and Hirokazu essentially lose their minds (only feeding the devil) and when the devil they thought they killed in the last episode shows up offering a contract — their freedom for Denji’s life, what happens is we get a master class in character development and the show offers up it’s make it or break it moment. It’s something that takes an episode that could superficially be considered more of a bridge episode and turns it into the turning point for the series with only a few lines of dialog and a surprised glance.
Aki is the first to notice that if the devil wants Denji dead, that means it’s probably more beneficial to humans to keep him alive. It’s when Kobeni (Who keeps letting that girl near knives?!?) attempts to stab Denji and Aki throws himself in front of the blade, sacrificing himself we get the culmination of 5 episodes of character development. Aki protects his adopted devil brother Denji and the fiend Power then steps in to help stop the bleeding, since she is a blood fiend and doesn’t want to lose her favorite cook. This isn’t lost on Himeno who gives a look of shock as the two come to his aid. This then has Denji sacrificing himself to turn into the “Chainsaw Devil” and wreak as much havoc as he can in the hopes of getting them free and to pay Aki back.
It’s the make it or break it moment for the show and where the show finally earns its heart. I was in 100%, and will forever add Kobeni to my list of fan favorites I will never forgive for their transgressions, right up there with Star Lord for screwing up the Thanos operation in Infinity War. But its only after we got Aki’s back story are we able to fully appreciate him teaming up with those he inadvertantly blames for the death of his family and how they all come to the aid of one another without a thought. Its that moment that I think fans of the manga were wondering if this show would be able to replicate and I think it did. I was totally invested in that moment as Aki said he needed Denji to beat the “Gun Devil”, and the episode then abruptly ended in yet another cliff hanger as Denji jumped into the “Infinity Devils” mouth to sacrifice himself.
One thing I’ve noticed reading the manga along with the show now, (Previously I had only read the first volume, a year or so ago and waited for the anime) is how closely it sticks to the source. After some research I found out a couple of things that explains this: 1. MAPPA (The studio animating the show) is financing the entire anime. Normally shows are funded by production committees, which has a few companies banding together to share both the risk and the reward. 2. The story is MAPPA were such fans of the source they not only approached the publisher with a pitch complete with artwork, but they offered to fund the anime completely out of pocket, which was unheard of. That means the new-ish studio is gambling everything on this project, because they love it. This makes sense given the success of the source that they are being very reverent with this adaptation, because if it ain’t broke.
This Episode Spanned:
-And we Are Currently in Volume 3 of 11
Chainsaw Man is released on Crunchyroll every Tuesday.