The premiere follow up dials back the pacing, setting up sure to be fan-favorite characters.
Chainsaw Man in a different speed
MAPPA followed up the premiere that seemed to throw everything and anything at viewers with an effective slow-burn episode. That’s Chainsaw Man, an anime that can do both. Far from filler, episode two hones in on what Denji’s daily life might look going forward as a Devil Hunter.
Don’t worry if you missed last weeks premiere. You’re only an episode behind and our review of last week’s episode is sure to fill you in!
Meet some of the supporting cast
Characters in any media are bound to fall into certain archetypes. This anime is no different.
You’ve got Denji, the “No-Brains-All-Brawn” hero whose already shown us you don’t’ have to be the smartest to put up a fight. Denji’s supervisor, Aki Hayakawa, leans towards the reserved side with just enough mystery to make you want to peel the layers of his personality back. Denji’s newest partner is Power. She’s a fiend, a former devil, whose got all the humor and ignorance in the world. In the few scenes she appears in it seems she just exists to create chaos.
Check out this handy guide, written by Renz Vitalicio on whatNerd, if you’re interested in learning more about anime specific archetypes.
But even if you can pin them to an archetype, they aren’t’ one dimensional or fall flat. They’ve got more than enough to have a unique identity. Charm and charisma light up these characters. What heightens the characters even more are the interactions that they have with each other.
Makima made it clear that Denji is her “dog” who will be rewarded upon good behavior. And Denji seems to have no objections. Woof. Interestingly, Denji’s relationship to his second supervisor Aki is rebellious. He seems to turn a blind eye to the chain of command here and only live to be Makima’s dog.
What happens when two coworkers with childish attitudes like Denji and Power are in the same team? What then when they are meant to be lead by the mysterious Aki who seems to have his own fondness and respect for Makima?
These character interactions and the situations they’ll create have the potential to be a highlight of the series.
Return of blood and guts
The fighting scenes are not at the forefront of this episode, but there are still a few that manage to pack a punch. Power absolutely jumps the gun and destroys a devil. It seems there’s some sort of legal process and right way to kill a devil. Power’s indifference to the rules add to her bravado.
Denji also has an encounter with a fiend who he swiftly beheads without needing to bust out his chainsaws. This rubs Aki the wrong way. In his interpretation, Denji is not taking things his job or his life seriously. After Aki leaves, Denji confesses he didn’t want to make a gory scene because he wanted to preserve… some porn magazines in the room.
Even in the more violent moments, the anime still manages to make our lovable protagonist a human. With new responsibility and direction in his life, Denji is still just a teenage boy at heart.
This also later leads to a brief skirmish between Aki and Denji. After Aki is convinced he’s put Denji in his place, Denji retaliates with a sucker
punch kick to his groin. Denji continues with a flurry of well placed kicks. Is it the most symbolic scene ever? No, but it’s enough to show you Denji does not care about falling in the norm.
Although Chainsaw Man takes a step back to give characters weight and their relationships meaning, the anime trots on the right path. MAPPA continues to beautifully score the show while creating wonderful scenery that continue feeding into the illusion of immersion.
We can expect new characters in next weeks episode. Hopefully the anime gives them the same caliber of presentation given to our newest friends, Aki and Power.