Chainsaw Man has been growing every week. It’s been growing in emotion, in its relationships, and of course, its action. Last week, we left the Special Division 4 team as they hunted a devil in a hotel. After Makima promised to grant Denji any wish he wanted if he killed the Gun Devil, the most deadly devil in history, Denji and his team follow a lead to get closer to him. Now in Chainsaw Man Episode 6, “Kill Denji,” out best boi finds himself on the chopping block.
Tracking a devil connected to the Gun Devil, the six devil hunters have found themselves trapped on the hotel’s eighth floor in a maze of hallways, windows, stairwells, and doorways that lead them all back to the same place. Disoriented, their chance for safety and success begins to decrease quickly as different members begin to break. Whether fear or anxiety, the team quickly becomes four instead of six. As their desperation increases and the devil reveals itself, a wager is made: “If you let me eat Denji, I will let all of the other devil hunters leave in one piece.”
Like other episodes, we get small insights into characters and the relationships between them. In Episode 5, we got to see Aki and Himeno meet. Having lost all of her other partners quickly, Himeno is closed off at first but as the flashbacks show in Chainsaw Man Episode 6, that standoffishness quickly changed to mutual respect and care for each other. It’s a little glimpse into who Aki is under his tsundere demeanor. While other characters are loud and direct with their personalities, Aki is more subdued, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care as much or even more than others.
Additionally, Chainsaw Man Episode 6 once again ups the bar on the grotesque, with the devil in the hotel becoming a mangled mess of faces, body parts, and mouths. Gross and deadly, the animators managed to bring depth to the design by using shadows. While shadowing as an effect is an easy way to show the darkness of a character, here it makes every skin fold and weird melting element all the more ugly. This is especially true for the devil’s teeth and mouths, opening with menace. A wall of flesh blocking the hallway, Division 4 has to make an informed decision. Food is running out, water is scarce, and the only way out seems to be turning Denji over. As the team fights itself, the devil in the hotel grows more powerful. As the devil shifts and changes, so does the hotel and the way MAPPA has taken on the task is both fascinating and beautiful.
But studio MAPPA doesn’t rely on the devil in this episode, instead, it pushes the narrative by exploring each character breaking and how they relate to each other and through that Denji. MAPPA once again has proven that not only are they great animators, but they understand how to pace a story for animation. Chainsaw Man Episode 6 ends with a cliffhanger and it absolutely works to make the audience even more invested in the next episode. Adapting manga chapters and story that has particular pacing built for volume distribution, is a difficult task and MAPPA meets it with ease.
Overall, Chainsaw Man Episode 6 continues the streak of amazing animation, adaptation, visual fidelity, and character growth and I don’t think MAPPA will lose pace any time soon.
Chainsaw Man Episode 6 — "Kill Denji"
Chainsaw Man Episode 6 continues the streak of amazing animation, adaptation, visual fidelity, and character growth and I don’t think MAPPA will lose pace any time soon.