Chainsaw Man has entered emotional damage territory with Episode 8. Himeno is dead, having sacrificed herself to save Aki and Denji, giving her body to the Ghost devil piece by piece to defeat the Gun Devil’s minions or at least keep them from killing her friends. Now, in Chainsaw Man Episode 9, “FROM KYOTO,” studio MAPPA ramps up the action and tries to heal the gaping hole in your heart it left by Himeno’s death.
The only thing I keep thinking is that if the Gun Devil’s minions are this strong when the devil hunters take on the actual thing, all bets are off. Add in the way that studio MAPPA hammers home the stakes with so many characters dead, it’s nearly impossible not to feel the weight of the series. This isn’t just a carefree shonen, it’s a dark story that uses emotion as much as bloody violence to get its point across. And that is no more clear than with Makima takes the spotlight in this episode.
Makima isn’t just sexy like we’ve seen through Denji’s eyes. She’s absolutely powerful. Alive despite taking a bullet to the brain at point-blank range, Makima leaves her attackers with holes in their bodies and tells her subordinates that she wasn’t shot, all hiding parts of herself for reasons that the audience doesn’t know. As we see Makima move through this episode, her team, and the attack, she is the epitome of quiet yet powerful. She is stoic, and yet, now we know what a single look from her can do. Add in the fact that we get to see Kobeni redeem herself from her fear-based choices in the motel and Chainsaw Man Episode 9 clearly belongs to the women of the series.
The score in Chainsaw Man Episode 9 is absolutely stunning. The rock track that blasts as Denji revs up and into violence, Himeno’s last act, not only sets the atmosphere but accents just how powerful Denji and his chainsaw heart is. Intense music for an intense action sequence continues as the fight scene continues after the opening theme plays. MAPPA isn’t just thinking about Chainsaw Man as one character or even in crisp and fast animation, the studio has pulled out all of the stops to ensure that music, color palette, and story work together to create the perfect adaptation of Tatsuki Fujimoto’s manga masterpiece.
Chainsaw Man Episode 9 is ballistic, and it sets up a power balance across the entire team, finally. Makima moves from love interest to the most powerful person we’ve seen on the series so far. Saving Denji from miles away and doing away with enemies by ruthlessly committing life exchanges. She is cold, she brutal, and she is going to hang over the series from this point forward. The way that MAPPA has animated her devil contract reveal is grander and more intense than anything I could have imagined. The drums beating in the score like a heartbeat racing, pounding until, splat. Chainsaw Man keeps getting better. Just when I think the series is perfect, it finds a way to blow the doors off expectations again. I can’t wait to see what violent delights it gives us next week.
Chainsaw Man Episode 9 is streaming now on Crunchyroll with new episodes airing every Tuesday.
Chainsaw Man Episode 9 — "FROM KYOTO"
Chainsaw Man Episode 9 is ballistic, and it sets up a power balance across the entire team, finally. Makima moves from love interest to the most powerful person we’ve seen on the series so far.