anime - December 8, 2022

Episode 9 – Chainsaw Man

How would you fee episode 9 of
Chainsaw Man ?

Neighborhood rating: 4.5

Horror is likely one of the genres that struggles probably the most within the medium of animation, Japanese or in any other case, as a result of there’s usually just too massive a gulf between the artificiality of a two-dimensional picture and the intimate, visceral responses wanted to get a viewer’s abdomen to actually tie itself into knots. Concern is maybe the oldest and most animal of all emotional responses; earlier than pleasure, love, hope, or surprise, there needed to have been worry, or else the earliest life varieties would by no means have survived. It is a matter of pure intuition, numerous the time, and for as malleable and flawed because the human mind is, it’s important to work fairly onerous to trick it into activating that fight-or-flight response when all you have to work with are a bunch of paper drawings and a few flickering lights.

What makes “From Kyoto” such a deal with is that it managed to scare me just a little. I am not going to fake that it is some masterclass in bone-rattling, jump-out-of-your-skin horror, however the episode’s vibes nonetheless managed to get beneath my pores and skin in a manner that animation hardly ever does. What’s much more fascinating is that every one that horror has nearly nothing to do with the loopy homicide satan made principally out of bloody swords or the hideous snake factor that his companion Sawatari used to wipe Himeno off the face of the Earth final week. No, as an alternative, Chainsaw Man can evoke dread and horror with little greater than a wry smile, a whispered title, and a deceptively easy twist of the fingers.

Okay, I suppose there’s additionally a metric shit-ton of blood and exploding human carcasses, however you get my level. The our bodies getting crushed, squeezed, and popped like so many gore-filled water balloons usually are not themselves the supply of the horror; they’re simply the visible punchline to the world’s scariest joke, the sort of grim prank that has precisely one individual on this planet laughing whereas everybody else can solely scream in confusion and terror.

Man, who would have thought that Makima would share a lot in frequent with Artwork the Clown?

Earlier than we get to that, although, we most likely have to unfold the kudos round to the remainder of the episode’s drama and motion spectacle, which is—massive shock, right here—supremely and good. Did any of you watching this present actually suppose I might come right here and complain in regards to the Chainsaw Man v. Katana Man battle or Kobeni’s sudden transformation into a surprisingly competent renderer of human-ish flesh? Hell no. Even when the choreography and animation weren’t sufficiently on-point sufficient to make me go “Duuuuude” each 5 seconds, I might nonetheless give this episode high marks merely for the scene the place Katana Man picks up Denji’s vivisected torso by the deal with on his Chainsaw Head. The very first second I laid my eyes on Chainsaw Man, I stated out loud to no person particularly, “We had higher get a scene the place some gnarly trying satan motherfucker grabs Chainsaw Man by that deal with on his head!” My religion was not unfounded. The Fool God of Vrooooooms and Brrrrrrrrrs hath delivered his bounty upon his, his chainless flock. Reward be.

That stated, it’s unimaginable to disclaim that the star of the episode is the not too long ago deceased and much more not too long ago de-deceased Makima, who makes it very clear to actually anybody with eyes to see and ears to pay attention (however not too shut) that she is One-Hundred-% To not Be Fucked With™. Her manipulative and considerably ominously guarded tendencies have been on show for the reason that very first episodes of the collection, however “From Kyoto” pushes Makima far previous the sting of “Decently Shady Nick Fury Sort” and straight into “Pants-Crappingly Scary Demise Wizard” territory.

It is one factor to instantly come again from a deadly case of cranium perforation and wreak horrible vengeance on the fools who even dared to goal a gun in your normal course; who amongst us hasn’t fantasized about John Wick-ing our worst nemeses with such brutal theatricality? It is one other factor altogether, nevertheless, to then casually and calmly recruit two baker’s dozen of oblivious jail inmates to make use of as ritualistic sacrifices to no matter insane Satan you made a contract with to obtain the ability of Remotely Reworking Any Poor Son-of-a-Bitch Whose Identify You Have Into The Human Equal of a Mentos-Crammed Coke Bottle. What Satan would that even be, in any case? Is Makima in league with Giant Marge from Pee-Wee’s Massive Journey?

Regardless of the supply of Makima’s terrifying energy, the result’s clear: These Gun Satan goons have underestimated their foes, and our few surviving Satan Hunters have clearly underestimated their boss. Madoka, at the least, is sensible sufficient to get out whereas the getting is sweet, however not earlier than asking his former superior how a lot of this assault she had predicted upfront, contemplating how she is now conveniently being put answerable for each Particular Division in Tokyo (or what’s left of them, at the least). Makima refuses to reply a civilian, which is terribly telling.

That is not the scary half, although. The scary half, the little element that makes the “horror” portion of this horror-action-comedy hybrid hit so onerous this week, is that little smile of hers. Nothing fazes her, whether or not she’s coated in blood and little bit of her personal brains, or quietly slaughtering dozens of assailants and prisoners. Regardless of all the pieces that is occurred over the past two weeks—or worse but, as a result of of all of it—Makima is simply so damned happy with herself. Himeno is gone, Denji’s been minimize in two, and simply as many Satan Hunters died immediately as anybody else, and Makima simply can not help herself. She smiles, and she or he smiles, and she or he smiles.


Stray Scraps

Energy’s Playlist I liked the animation we received for this week’s ED, seeing as I am a complete sucker for the red-black-white coloration mixture, and I am unable to assist however respect the entire work that went into animating all of these intestines. Aimer‘s “Deep Down” is a reasonably killer monitor, too.

Children Say the Denji-est Issues! As soon as once more, our boy Denji is ever so barely overshadowed by the equally deranged weirdos he retains firm with. The road of the week has to go to poor, traumatized Kobeni’s earnest “I am sorry I attempted to kill you the opposite day.” (In all seriousness, regardless of how a lot well-deserved shit that Kobeni will get for being sort of hilariously pathetic, Karin Takahashi did an unbelievable job capturing the character’s fraught emotional state this week).

Chainsaw Man is at the moment streaming on

James is a author with many ideas and emotions about anime and different pop-culture, which will also be discovered on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.

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