I would say to avoid the episode preview for this week due to spoilers but by the time you see this that it would be too late. Though admittedly avoiding spoilers for this series has proven to be just as hard as expected. I knew that manga readers would have a hard time shutting up and efforts have been made (Like making a subreddit just for anime only fans) however It’s still egregious. I would say if you want to experience this blind I would say to go on complete social media and internet blackout. Well besides from your weekly post from yours truly of course. I ain’t joking by the way, don’t even touch youtube comments as I have seen bots posting ending spoilers in replies to every comment on an innocent Chainsaw Man video. We have people so committed to annoying people that they have created bots for it. Popularity can be a curse and while I understand they would be those attempting to deflate the level of hype surrounding Chainsaw Man, as even I think it’s gotten a bit out of hand, it’s still a dick move to ruin the experience for others. No matter what you always got the small few who ruin everything, before this was Attack on titan and even way before that was Death Note. I remember being spoiled on a certain twist and being gutted then. So for those who do it unintentionally I say maybe think twice before trying to refer to future events. For those spoiling for the laugh well…that says more about the value of your character than any insult ever could.
We have an action focused episode this week which is my favorite. By which I mean that for the tenth, no for the hundredth time I need to proclaim how hard this makes my job. We essentially have three things happening this episode, a Denji fight, a Makima “fight” and a Kobeni fight. Though before that we did get a quick recap of Himeno’s sacrifice which I can kind of understand but is still a strange inclusion. If it was for animation saving then I could see why but these scenes are fully reanimated. I guess it’s that the episode director either wanted to give his take on the scene or that a stopping point was decided in the story and they needed to fill out a minute or two. An interesting point could be that it showed just how fast the entire scene played out in real time as Aki barely had time to process it before it was all over. It did also highlight Akane’s contract with the snake devil by showing one of her fingernails disappearing as she summoned it. Though I do feel it kind of lessens the impact when you show the same scene again but abridged. On this matter I really think that the ending for this episode should have been swapped with last episode’s ending as it is far more in line with the tone of that episode than this one. Yes it does have Makima doing her thing visually in the ending but some slight alteration could have made it work. Oh got to say that while I like Aimer, I’m a little disappointed in the song. That’s a pretty personal nitpick though, just isn’t my tone. Though for Denji’s fight it is amusing how when considering the positions Denji doesn’t come across as the hero of the situation. Certainly he does heroically declare how much he loves killing bad guys and nobly takes one hostage when he’s outgunned. It’s just amusing to have a hero who doesn’t have the usual moral compilations in these situations. Denji will do whatever it takes to win, ethics be damned.
So the bitch is back with Makima rising like a slasher villain and taking out people in a manner quite familiar to that of a certain Junji Ito story. Points to anyone who can guess what devil she’s contracted with cause I had no idea at this point. If there was a theme for this episode I would say that it’s simply “Makima is scary” and when we had zombie monsters, bat devils and horrifying abominations it’s quite striking that the most intimidating thing is a woman in a business suit. I don’t highlight music a lot in these posts as I feel it speaks for itself but the music for her scene at the top of the shrine was truly unnerving. You could put that in a Silent Hill game and it wouldn’t be out of place. The piano just discordantly rings like someone bashing the keys and if I am not mistaken there may be a degree of Shepard tone at work with how it seems to rise. If I had criticism for the scene I would say I wish the squash had more immediacy as I always saw it as something that happened instantly. I guess showing the twisting along with Makima’s hands was a nice effect and it got the point across regardless. That said I expected it to be more like squashing a bug. That would be my only complaint as everything else was perfect. Even having the prisoners having their last meal with confusion and how when blindfolds were off we see them in lines bowed down dead to Makima.
So has Kobeni been redeemed in the eyes of anime fans? We got her to apologize to Denji and take down villains like she’s Neo from the Matrix. It’s funny that I truly forgot that she does this in the manga which is not such a rare occurance for Chainsaw Man readers. The pacing of the manga is breakneck that you can be forgiven for forgetting a few pages where the nervious wreck does something cool. Course thanks to translator-kun once again we may have people making wild assumptions about her contract as for some reason he translated “I am getting hysterical” to “I got too high”. I can hear Kobeni say “hai” but fairly certain she ain’t talking about drugs. I understand there may be a degree of pride in not taking an existing translation and instead retranslating it from scratch. But surely if you are strapped for time along with underpaid then maybe take the manga translation as a reference? Though on that it’s interesting to see Kobeni pulling a John Wick and at the end break down and remark that this job will drive her insane. Indeed pulling out now looks to be a wise move as some other devil hunters are smelling the roses with one handing in his resignation after declaring that Makima is now getting a full squad she has complete control over. Indeed, despite the tragedy things look to have worked out well for Makima. Not so much for the other devil hunters as most of them are dead, though I have to give Arai credit. In his last seconds of life he covered for Kobeni which considering he was likely dying himself was some pretty fast instincts. Also yes, he’s dead. Not coming back. As a final note I can say I truly have no idea what devil Kobeni is contracted with but I can say for certain that it’s not the sloppy BJ devil. I swear you kids with your memes can be just kind. However it is extremely amusing to see that Kobeni is not only bullied in universe but even bullied by the fandom as well.
The dub this week is at the glorious puke kiss and the end of eternity.(I swear that’s a JRPG name.) I am being a broken record but once again I say they did very well. Performances across the board did good aside from one weak line from one of the background devil hunters. There was a interesting change to Denji’s joke about the Nobel prize in that while he still says the nobel prize is his, he does not mention a perpetual motion machine. This change is a strange one in that by not mentioning it, it makes the joke a bit weaker. However to begin with it never really made sense that Denji, a person who in the very same episode can barely read a menu, would know what a perpetual motion machine even is. So in story context it makes more sense albit at the cost of a joke. But theres a little extra joke in how Himeno brings up the idea of the welcome party to Aki and Aki remarks that she just wants to get smashed to which she responds with a smile. This is in the Japanese but there its barely even a joke while in English it’s a lot snapper and raises a smile. The trainers expression about hunters having a screws loose has been oddly extended to “Have screws loose and no screwdriver.” I don’t know if this was to match lip flaps or just making it a more unique catchphase(Sort of like Himeno’s “Don’t you die on me Aki”) but I don’ know how to feel about it. I mean it still works but it’s rather extraneous detail for a small saying. That said I am having a debate over which of the voices I prefer. The Japanese is fine as it always is, I don’t think I could tell if it wasn’t unless it was utterly terrible. But I have heard about how the director pushed the cast to avoid sounding too exaggerated as they wanted more muted and cinematic.(And he got fierce flack for that) The English dub is being far more lax than that and you can tell everyones having fun with it. With Fujimoto’s story I think having the voice acting be so relaxed benfits as this is a story about a boy that turns into chainsaws after all. Being a bit goofy is fine. Well anyway we have three episodes left and I think this shows got everyones attention. It’s going to be hard to go without Chainsaw Tuesdays after that so I pray the wait till a second season is not a long one. I feel it’s success has earned one but we can’t say for sure with these things.