Chainsaw Man Episode 9, “From Kyoto,” was the perfect fiery follow-up to last week’s episode. Last week turned everything upside down, and this week’s episode dealt with the aftermath. We had some intense fight scenes, jaw-dropping revelations, and unexpected character development all in one episode. Once again, the anime is unveiling just why the manga is so popular.
The MVP for this week’s episode was definitely Makima. The animation for her scenes, coupled with her voice acting, provided a compelling mystery that deepened her character. But kudos to Kobeni’s unexpected twist at the end. Her voice actor did a phenomenal job of really selling the emotion of those last scenes.
This Chainsaw Man Episode 9 review is for anime-only viewers. There will be spoilers below. For the latest Chainsaw Man news, subscribe to our email list, choosing the “anime” category.
The Episode Picked Up with Himeno & Aki’s Heartbreaking Scene
The episode picked up right where it left off — with Himeno sacrificing herself to try to save Aki’s life. Her sacrifice was cut short by the Snake Devil, who stopped her from killing Katana Man. But she did manage to give Aki the reprieve he needed to at least have a shot at living.
On top of that, there’s an interesting scene where the Ghost Devil’s hand is still “alive” and manages to sneak over to Denji and pull his chainsaw, powering him back up so he can fight.
This raises a lot of questions. Is the Ghost Devil simply carrying out Himeno’s last wishes? Or is a part of Himeno still alive in ghost form? It’s unclear what the Snake Devil full killed the Ghost Devil and Himeno, or perhaps left them merged in some fashion.
In this same scene, we learn that Power disappeared (she was supposed to be tasked with helping Aki live.) It’s unclear what happened to her, as she didn’t show up anywhere in this episode.
Denji & Katana Man’s Battle Was Epic
I thoroughly enjoyed Denji and Katana Man’s battle. This is the first time Denji faced off against someone who is exactly like him. Through most of the battle, they were equally matched and one couldn’t really get the better of the other. That is until Katana Man used his secret weapon: his ability to move so fast that no one can track him or know where he’s going. He was able to slice Denji in half while he moved at this speed (the same way he was able to get the better of Aki and spear him.)
I wonder if Denji has access to this same power? Or does he have other potential powers that he hasn’t learned to use yet? This ability seems a bit “OP” for Katana Man, so I’m assuming there will have to be something down the road that balances it out.
There are some differences between the two… It seems that when Katana Man moves that fast, it drains him of power (kind of like when Denji loses a lot of blood.) But when his power wanes, his Devil side “melts away” from him, it appears. We haven’t seen that happen to Denji, but I can’t recall if we’ve witnessed the moment he changes back to human form.
Most of the Team Is Dead
There’s a huge death count from last week, although not everyone died. One thing I learned is that I wrongly assumed everyone we met at that one dinner a few weeks ago was a member of Division 4. It turns out there were four Special Divisions. Unfortunately, so many have died that they are now all being combined under Division 4.
Arai was killed. Fushi (who had the unnamed Fiend partner who couldn’t be controlled) is now dead, along with his partner whose name we didn’t learn. (Though it’s unclear if Fushi’s Fiend partner is also gone.)
The woman we met at the dinner party, whose name wasn’t shared, is also dead. Makoda somehow lived, but it’s unclear how. We’re shown scenes with four dead Division 4 members, confirming the kill count, along with Himeno’s missing body.
Most of the team is gone and Makoda, one of the only survivors, decides to resign so he has a chance at living a little longer. (This part is unfortunate, as I had hoped we could learn more about his character.)
Makima’s Powers Are Extraordinary
After this episode, I better understand why Power was so terrified of Makima, and just why Makima’s simple presence was enough to cause Power to not want to leave the team. We are shown a scene reminding us that Makima was clearly shot in the head, but then she’s just fine. This power isn’t explained. Is she immortal? Can she create body doubles? There are a lot of unanswered questions from this scene.
We meet two new characters: Tendo and Kurose. They’re going to be helping out Makima as she builds the Division back up. They’re not intending to join the team, but I can’t help but think they ultimately will.
Despite everything that’s gone down, Makima is strangely calm. She knows she can’t get back to Tokyo in time to help, so she’s using her powers from afar. She needed 30 convicts with life sentences or worse, along with the nearest temple at the highest altitude.
I was thrilled with this scene because we finally get to see what the clip in the trailers was all about!
It’s revealed that Makima is able to use the life force of someone to kill another person from a long distance away (although it ultimately costs the first person’s life.) It looks like she might be seeing through crows to pinpoint the person she wants to kill. It’s a devastating power and there is no protection against it.
I wondered why she didn’t aim at Sawatari (the blonde) or Katana Man. It would have been more efficient to kill them, but maybe she can’t take the life of someone who has a contract with a devil?
It will likely be some time before we learn more. As Tendo explains, Makima “reports directly to the Chief Cabinet Secretary. Rank-and-file Devil Hunters don’t have clearance to know about her devil contracts.”
We Finally Learn Why They’ve Kept Kobeni Around
Kobeni is dangerous and almost got everyone killed when they were fighting the Eternity Devil. This week, we learn why they’re keeping her around. Is enough to balance out how dangerous she is when she’s scared? I’m not convinced, but I’m sure more will be revealed over time.
As Himeno said, Kobeni has good moves. She’s just as good as Denji when it comes to fighting, as is demonstrated by the way she’s able to run over that Snake Devil’s body without getting eaten. She’s fast and can even dodge bullets. All of these powers feel supernatural and are likely a product of whatever Devil she has a contract with. She’s a sharpshooter extraordinaire too. Perhaps her abilities with a gun will somehow make her a valuable asset against the Gun Devil?
Kobeni’s so strong that Katana Man in his weakened state and Sawatari don’t want to face her, so they flee and leave Denji behind. Kobeni openly weeps, feeling regret over trying to kill Denji at the hotel and grief over Arai’s death. She doesn’t want to keep doing this job, but her family has left her no other choice. It’s a really sad situation, as Kobeni just seems stuck, unable to have the freedom to make her own choices. She can only try to survive as best she can.
This episode was phenomenal and the perfect follow-up to last week. Makima is more intriguing than ever, and she’s now going to have to rebuild her Division from the ground up.
Follow our Chainsaw Man page on Facebook for more news or subscribe to our emails and choose the “anime” option. Want to chat about all things post-apocalyptic? Join our Discord server here. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Oh, and TikTok, too!