A series of crazy and lossy scenes appeared in the 9th and 10th episodes, closing one of Chainsaw Man’s first twists.
Episode 9 of Chainsaw Man was one of the first episodes that made a turning point for the reasons why I love Tatsuki Fujimoto so much. Loss, loneliness, mystery, and unimaginable power of the Demons in a seemingly unremarkable world. With the passing of almost all of a bunch of Demon Hunter squads from the Tokyo area, we’re left with the only survivors: Denji, Power, Aki, Kobeni, and Madoka.
After Makima’s terrifying display of power, we have more questions than answers. Who is she really? What kind of demon does she have a contract with? And what is she really looking for? The adapted scene that I rate as 11/10 is when Makima sacrifices death row inmates to carry out those long-range murders. That’s what amazed me when I first read the manga two years ago.
But what surprised everyone was our unexpected hero – Kobeni, who displayed physical prowess far beyond what we’ve seen so far. If she was able to do it without a demon now, what kind of demon could she contract with? That question remains unanswered to this day and I’m really curious about it.
When Madoka submits his resignation, we realize that this entire disaster may have been planned by Makima. There is no death and destruction that occurs as a surprise. When I say again that we get to see how much Makima doesn’t care about this incident, this whole ordeal is the first confirmation. No hesitation, no regrets, no reluctance. Makima is ruthless and strangely calm. She continues to play her game and people deal with its consequences.
Coming to episode 10 Chainsaw Man, there are 3 things that really stand out to me. The first is the use of many apples as a metaphor. Aki wakes up in the hospital with Denji and Power completely engrossed in his basket of apples. Power wants all the apples for himself, Denji wants to eat them too. When the characters interact with each other, the director only emphasizes on the fruit basket. They all leave with all the apples, but on the way out, as an afterthought, Denji offers to leave Aki with one of the apples while Aki doesn’t really reciprocate or show any interest. That odd interaction also affects our new members, Kurose and Tendou. After entering Aki’s sad moment, Kurose nonchalantly asked if he could leave the apple next to Aki. Haha.
The point is, I’ve noticed that most of Fujimoto’s metaphors are pretty much on the characters’ faces, but there are times when they’re more ambiguous, going deeper into the realm of poetry than being obvious. And given the author’s background as an artist, it suddenly made sense. My personal feeling is that the apple, in this case, is meant to symbolize compassion, empathy. And what Tatsuki Fujimoto wants to say in these two scenes is that human compassion, condolence, and empathy are superficial and ephemeral. That people only offer such things when it is convenient for them or as a belated thought for their own lives. Not only that, even when you’re grieving, people will try to take that away from you. Just because of their own desires and selfishness. “Sorry for your loss, by the way, you have work to do. Oh, can I have this apple?” – That is exactly what happened here.
Another event involving apples in episode 10 of Chainsaw Man and the hospital made me think my intuition was right with this event recalling when Denji defeated the Bat Demon. Only difference is, the roles have been reversed, Denji wakes up in the hospital and Aki is peeling apple slices. Out of all the characters we’ve been exposed to, Aki seems to be the most sensitive. He feels guilt and shame at the treatment, along with the loss. Aki protected Denji when Kobeni tried to stab him in the hotel. Aki’s initial distaste for Power and Denji seems to be turning into something else. Himeno called him a crying child and actually he broke down after her death.
When Denji was in the hospital, he brought an apple for the boy, not for a colleague. Sure enough, Aki toyed with it at the time, saying that he would only give it to Denji if the boy would obey. Power wanted all the apples for himself, Denji left one after thinking for a while, Tendou didn’t even acknowledge it and Kurose took the last one. Speaking of which, let’s point to Denji, because the only real kindness Aki gets in this volume is when Denji goes back to the manga to forget him and hear Aki’s grieving cry and decide Give him his privacy. I’m not here to say that he intentionally did this thinking, “Aki should have this moment to herself and I respect that.” But it’s a good show of restraint because if it’s Power she’ll jump in and bla bla. So yes, apples are literally a metaphor for compassion and empathy.
And on a note about feelings, inner thoughts, and existential issues, we have Denji’s reflection on the nature of pain, relationships, the weight they carry, and the extent to which they impact. to us. These thoughts led him to an internal conflict, which I found very significant. Denji thinks about Pochita and how he replaced his heart and asks himself, does he still have a heart? Is the indifference he feels toward others a result of what he’s been through or has he always been? “Do I not care? What does that mean about me? Am I just a bad person?” In this scene, Denji is trying to understand what he feels and if something is wrong with him because of the answers he has at the moment. I find this very human of the main character and it is very well built.
Personally, I don’t think there are many stories in the novel that can deal with that as well. They are presented with a vision in mind of thoughts that we would never share with others. That is the quality of great writers. I have to say, the introspective experience of these thoughts interspersed with the dynamics of interpersonal relationships and violence is what I enjoyed about Chainsaw Man.
The last thing that stood out to me in episode 10 of Chainsaw Man happened to be the interesting interactions with a character that I’m sure others like too – Kishibe. The moment he said he was going to ask Denji and Power questions, I knew those two “soulless idiots” wouldn’t understand. After all, this man said so for himself: a good demon hunter is a madman. But Fujimoto’s real comment is not about that. It is depicted when Denji and Power decide, after being killed tons of times, that they will defeat Kishibe in a duel of wits. They failed immediately. But not before they dressed “chic”, all lovely in glasses and even a different hairstyle for Power. “I feel smarter now.” Denji said with amusement as he put on his glasses.
We know these two characters are stupid, it’s part of their nature. But there’s no denying that there is a strange dissonance between someone talking about physical attributes or the ability to complete a physical task. We understand that some things have to evolve over time. You can’t just “do your best” to be fast and then you will be faster. You have to train it, give it your all. The same goes for strength, it takes years to really develop it. With physical attributes, we understand that, but with intellect, everyone seems to have the impression that everyone is of equal worth. And that’s not true.
Of course, it is possible to build intelligence as a trait over a long period of time, at least functional intelligence. But how many times have we not seen this behavior replicated elsewhere? The average person’s view of intelligence, or even some other attribute, is just an expression, an influence, an outer shell. Fujimoto commented on how people, instead of actually developing a trait, just really want to see that part to feel it. Mimic the gestures and hope to figure it out. Sure, let’s see where that ends next week!
Bonus: ED 9
“Deep Down” – Aimer
Bonus: ED 10
“Dogland” – People 1
Anime Chainsaw Man season 1 will have 12 episodes with each episode a different ED performed by different artists. Let’s look forward to ED 11 next week!