Chainsaw Man Episode 6 was a fun mix of horror and comedy, achieving an enjoyable balance that other shows struggle to reach. While there were many funny moments, there were also some genuinely scary and surprising scenes, along with a good dose of character development. Maybe there wasn’t a lot of action this week, but it looks like that’s going to pick up next week. Perhaps my only complaint is the cliffhanger, which left me feeling like the episode had ended far too soon, just when things were about to get extra interesting.
While Denji was definitely the MVP again this week, the episode also developed Himeno’s character more and elevated Aki to being my second favorite in the series (after Denji, of course.) And kudos to Kobeni’s voice actor, who really sold her character’s abject terror.
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Horror Slowly Dawns as They Fully Realize Their Predicament
The beginning of the episode was an interesting character study into how each person in the Division 4 group reacts to stress. And I just have to say: Kobeni must have some kind of amazing power or devil contract for her to still be part of the group.
Once they realize that an unknown devil has captured them in the hotel and manipulated it so they can’t leave, the characters have to slowly come to terms with the reality. They can’t break through windows, walls, floors, or escape up and down the stairs. There’s seemingly no way to escape the eighth floor.
There’s a brief moment where they ask Kobeni to make peace signs as they enter different rooms, which might give a slight clue as to what she brings to the group. But they never expand on it in this episode. Instead, Himeno has to knock her out for awhile because she’s so scared.
Arai’s response is full panic mode and just hiding in bed in one of the rooms.
Aki responds by simply getting to work patrolling the hotel and trying to determine a way out. He’s shaken, but he controls his emotions under a peaceful veneer. The animation for Aki was top-notch and they did a fine job of portraying fear just hovering beneath the surface.
Himeno has so much trust in her partner that she’s able to just relax and smoke her last cigarette, keeping an eye on the team while he looks for clues. I really love the dynamic between these two, including the flashback to when Himeno gets Aki to start smoking, and how Aki comes to her defense when she’s slapped by a former partner’s girlfriend. You could say that I’m shipping these two now.
Power, meanwhile, is completely unfazed. I’m guessing that maybe she doesn’t need to eat to survive since she’s a Fiend?
And then there’s Denji. The scene where he decided to just go sleep, coupled by Aki’s reaction to him, had me laughing out loud. It reminded me of when my husband took a nap during a tornado warning and how I reacted to it. I think that exchange might be one of my favorite scenes in the series so far.
In short, the first half of the episode is basically spent revealing how each character reacts to stress, along with unveiling a bit more of Himeno and Aki’s backstory. I think this character development will serve us well in the rest of the series.
The Eternity Devil Wants Denji Dead
The Eternity Devil is creepy, there’s no doubt about that. It’s animated so well, with the many faces and voices. And the more scared they feel of it (thanks Arai and Kobeni) the stronger it grows. Really, this makes me wonder why we have Arai and especially Kobeni on the team at all. If they get scared like this about the Devils they fight, won’t’ that fear just always make their enemies stronger?
The Eternity Devil doesn’t want to kill Denji itself, it wants one of the Devil Hunters to kill Denji so it can eat him. I’m going to guess that eating Denji would grant it some kind of extra power, just as happens when a Devil eats a piece of the Gun Devil’s flesh. Perhaps this is a clue about the Gun Devil: could it be a human-Devil hybrid like Denji?
Whatever the case, as Denji rightly surmises later, the Eternity Devil is terrified of him and won’t attempt to kill him itself. It wants one of the Devil Hunters to do it. I’m guessing that when Denji fights Eternity next week, Eternity’s fear might empower Denji more. Surely Devils’ fear of other Devils also helps a Devil grow more powerful, and not just human fear.
We learn a few more things after the Eternity Devil’s revelation. Arai, Kobeni, and Power immediately fall into team “Kill Denji,” without any thought about strategy. Himeno and Aki rightly surmise that this is a bad move. They shouldn’t do what the Eternity Devil wants, because it will ultimately hurt them more in the end.
Aki also says he doesn’t want Denji killed because he’s going to help him take out the Gun Devil. I can’t help but think that Aki has developed a fondness and friendship for Denji too, and that plays a role.
Instead, he offers to use his sword to help them escape. But Himeno forbids it, because the contract requires Aki to lose years of his life in exchange. So what exactly does the sword do? And which Devil is it connected to? It’s got to be something epic.
Kobeni, unfortunately, has gone completely unhinged. She never wanted to be a Devil Hunter. Her family forced her to choose between being a sex worker or a Devil Hunter in order to pay for her brother to go to college. Unlike some of the others, she doesn’t have any personal dreams that motivate her. (Could this be why Aki was so worried about how Denji’s “smaller dream” would affect his performance?) I’m guessing she’s just on the time because Makima or the Public Safety board demanded it. But why?
In the end, she ends up trying to take matters in her own hands and kill Denji herself, but instead stabs Aki. The look fo horror on Himeno’s face when that happens briefly unveiled just how deeply she cares for him. Even Power got serious and is trying to save Aki’s life with her unique abilities. I can’t believe that Kobeni’s going to be allowed to stay in the group after this, but I don’t foresee her getting kicked out.
After surveying the situation and seeing that they’re out of options, Denji rises up to be the hero of the moment. He’ll reluctantly use his chainsaw powers after guessing that the Eternity Devil fears that he can defeat him. This seems to be the only way out.
The episode went by so fast, and I was disappointed that it ended right before the action started. But despite that small complaint, I have nothing but kudos and high-fives for this episode. The character development was top-notch, the humor was on point, and the horror elements were expertly mixed in. I can’t wait to see what happens next week.
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