Once again, Chainsaw Man Episode 5, “Gun Devil,” hit the mark when it comes to mixing world-building, drama, and comedy. While a good portion of the episode was focused on Denji’s personal dreams, we were also introduced to a storyline that will likely lead to an epic showdown. For anime-only viewers, the intrigue just keeps adding up.
Makima Is Still Manipulating Denji, But What Is Her End Goal?
The episode began right where Episode 4 left off, with Denji finally achieving his dream. The scene was purposefully a little awkward, and perhaps drawn out a bit longer than necessary. He left disappointed, believing that achieving his dreams (in this case, his dream of touching boobs) was a big letdown and it was really just the chase that he enjoyed.
Of course, this caused him to lose all motivation, and Makima was quick to pick up on this in their meeting. In order for Division 4 to be successful, all her Devil Hunters need to be operating at peak efficiency. We’ve seen before (and were reminded again in this episode) that Power continues to stay and work with Division 4 out of her fear of Makima. For Denji, however, Makima is taking a different approach and manipulating him with promises of sex. She did this from the very beginning, when she told him that her type was the “Denji type,” and is continuing that ploy in this episode.
It works, though, and Denji is now motivated to continue fighting.
It makes me wonder how Makima is manipulating the other members of Division 4. We know Aki Hayakawa is part of the group out of a desire for vengeance after his family’s death. How is Makima using this knowledge to manipulate him? And what is her end goal? (I doubt it’s just the death of the Gun Devil. There’s probably more to it than that.)
A New Villain Is Introduced: The Gun Devil
The Gun Devil is fascinating to me, and I can only imagine there will be a huge twist to this creature.
Makima explains to Denji that guns became popular as a countermeasure to devils. But as crime grew, people become increasingly scared of gun violence. “Then a major armed terrorist attack happened in America,” she says, and that was the day the Gun Devil first appeared. It’s a little tough to know if she’s referring to 911 as the terrorist attack, since this is an alternate history timeline. (I’ve heard some say the manga takes place in 1997, which would be prior to September 11, 2001.)
Either way, the Gun Devil’s appearance eclipsed whatever terrorist attack happened. In less than five minutes, 1.2 million people were killed.
What’s interesting about this story, though, is that we don’t know how the Gun Devil operates. We’ve never seen him, only his aftermath. It makes me wonder if there’s something more sinister about this Devil. Is it possible that it’s just a tool to make devils stronger, so Devil Hunters can continue making money? We don’t know what the Devil looks like or what its powers are. Only that when it appeared, it swept away a ton of people in a barrage of tornadic wind.
Makima explains that the Gun Devil was only “seen” that one time, but fear of devils increased exponentially after, making them stronger. News censorship increased as a result, along with gun control, but none of that weakened the Gun Devil. On top of that, if a devil eats a piece of the Gun Devil, they get stronger. Honestly, a lot of this story feels very suspicious.
Aki Hayakawa’s Backstory Is Heartbreaking
Hayakawa’s backstory is quickly introduced in this episode, and it’s heartbreaking. We already knew that devils killed his family and he wanted revenge. But it’s far worse than that.
He had a little brother and two parents. His brother was sick, but really looked up to him and wanted to play with him whenever he felt well enough. The last time he saw his brother, he was waving to him as he entered their home to get ready to play catch.
Hayakawa’s family was killed when the Gun Devil appeared. And it wasn’t even an actual appearance by the Devil or a personal attack that killed them. A torrential wave of wind, almost like a tornado, swept through and destroyed his home and family in just seconds.
We Learn More About the Divison 4 Team Members
In the final scenes, Division 4 gets together for the first time since Denji joined. Six agents are joining forces to hunt a devil that ate a piece of the Gun Devil and is now hiding in a hotel.
There were a lot of funny moments during these scenes that I really appreciated. There’s Denji talking about how he is now “saving himself” to kiss the woman he cares for the most, because he’s learned that the experience is only positive if you really know the person. A lot of in-fighting among the team members, which is amusing.
The woman with an eye patch is Himeno. She was working for Public Safety before Hayakawa joined, and had lost six partners before him. She gave away her eye in exchange for having access to the Ghost Devil’s arm whenever she wants. We were told that Hayakawa oversees the group, but she seems to be more of his equal.
In a quick exchange between Himeno and Hayakawa, we learn about the other members. The guy who looks older is Arai, who’s “not super competent” but is quite motivated. Kobeni is the name of the timid girl, who’s “got the moves” but is too scared most of the time.
The episode ends with a small-time devil killed, and the group quickly realizing that they’re stuck in some kind of supernatural trap. Whether they go up or down the stairs, they end up in the same spot and can’t escape. This seems to be the work of an unknown Devil who ate part of the Gun Devil’s flesh.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable episode. I might not rank it quite as high as some of the previous ones, but those set a really high bar. But all in all, it was still a lot of fun, with a compelling mixture of comedy and worldbuilding. I’m looking forward to next week.
This Chainsaw Man Episode 5 review is for anime-only viewers. For the latest Chainsaw Man news, subscribe to our email list, choosing the “anime” category.