CHAINSAW MAN Recap — Episode 9: Battle On!

The aftermath of the battle with “Katana Man” reveals two of the biggest badasses in Public Safety Experimental Division 4 were hiding in plain sight

This week’s cold open gives us a slightly different view of the end of the last episode’s battle as Public Safety Experimental Division 4 or what’s left of them battle “Katana Man” and a young girl wiping the floor with our agents. The big difference this week is after Himeno’s sacrifice we see her “ghost devil” hand go for Denji’s pull cord awakening “Chainsaw Man”. After the credits we are treated to a kinetic, yet slightly underwhelmingly animated battle between “Chainsaw Man” and “Katana Man”. Here we witness a shonen trope where our hero is bested by a foe who is not more powerful, but understands and can control their power better. This has “Katana” making short work of Denji cutting him in two looking to collect Pochita and Power fleeing the scene, after realizing her entire squad had almost no chance.

We then see Makima covered in blood getting off the train in Kyoto having dispatched her attackers(!?), after seemingly getting shot in the head last episode. While I have to say I still don’t trust her (I am reading the manga along with the series), getting to see her finally unleash her power getting revenge for her team was easily one of my favorite moments of the episode. The other was Kobeni. By the way, who keeps letting this girl near knives?!?!?! Coming out of nowhere, Kobeni scares off the nearly unbeatable duo attempting to make off with Denji’s upper torso after Makima remotely exploded their crew. She not only runs on top of the “Snake Devil” that killed Himeno’s devil, but steals a gun and shoots up a now human “Katana Man” and taking an arm with her, finally proving to me why the fandom loves her so much. I mean she’s insane, but she saved Denji, while also using him as a human shield in the process. This being said, with these two big reveals, we still don’t know who her or Makima’s contracted devils are to get these powers, but damn am I impressed.

While this happens just as is in the manga like most of the series, there’s a moment when Makima is getting dressed in the temple at top the hill before unleashing her power. Here we discover Makima has the ability to remotely kill anyone a la Light Aragami with a name, but she also needs a human sacrifice trading a life for a life. She has her sacrifice utter the name of the target, which she dispatches with a hand gesture killing both the target and the sacrifice. The moment in particular I found fascinating was right before walking out we get an unsexualized moment of her taking off her blood stained clothes from the train and putting on a new Public Safety uniform. This montage was not in the manga and is a rather on the nose, but effective metaphor for the character that is much darker than we are led to believe. It says something about this adaptation, that like Aki’s slice of life montage has MAPPA really infusing these characters for more quiet moments of reflection to contrast with the near constant chaos of the manga.

I also have to applaud MAPPA for taking Makima, a character that fandom can’t stop over-sexualizing and putting her in her two sizes too big trench coat, and her uniform that’s not ill fitting. Its something that definitely leans from fan-service and into serving the character and staying true to the source.

We are definitely left with more questions than answers this week in a great episode that definitely keeps the momentum going in our home stretch of 3 remaining episodes.

New Chainsaw Man episodes are released on Tuesdays and can be viewed with English Subtitles on Crunchyroll.

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