MAPPA is caught in a Ufotable-like scenario with Chainsaw Man where they keep outdoing themselves episode after episode. Every Tuesday, I think “Wow! This is a masterclass of an adaptation! The best Chainsaw Episode so far!
And MAPPA from the shadows be like:
Before I get into the review, I want to give my sincere appreciation to the MAPPA animators in charge for the outstanding effort they’ve done to ensuring that Fujimoto’s work is properly represented. Not many mangakas bother to remark on each and every episode of their work’s adaptation. From his words on Twitter, I can confidently say that the author is pleased with how the studio is handling it.
Every episode of Chainsaw Man, including this eighth instalment, manages to surprise me with some new twist or interesting addition that improves upon the original. I was caught off guard by the very first scene of this episode. Nobody could have predicted that MAPPA would add a new scene portraying Himeno’s movements just before she entered her bedroom.
So what made this episode for me? For starters, one cannot ignore how brilliant the camera angles were. Right from the mirror reflection to Himeno blabbering to Denji on bed to the various 1st person POVs.
It’s fantastic how the camera angles change as she walks in. The eye-patch girl’s beer was so realistic, you could practically taste it. It’s almost as if YOU’RE asking the Chainsaw Man for se-
(Hears police car sirens across the street)
Additionally, in contrast to the manga, the animators were aware of where the camera should be kept away from for maximum shock value. It was brilliantly conceived to cut away from the people loading their firearms on the train and instead focus on a guy’s phone. The “WTF moment” was so great that even I (who knows what’s gonna happen next) was startled.
When it comes to the characters, the scene before the opening is essentially the climax of Episode 7 seen through Himeno’s eyes (along with numerous enticing close-ups of, uhm… melons. You know… the fruit). The focus on barf girl right from the beginning is a nice touch that sets the tone and prepares the audience for what’s to come (not in that way).
The second thing that caught my eye about Denji was his maturity and restraint. People on social media have been complaining that he is too horny, to the point where it is uncomfortable. And even the crazy eye-patch wearing Devil Hunter acknowledges the young man’s resilience. He eyes only one girl and he wants to be faithful. He would face similar temptations in the future but somehow or the other (willfully or not), he comes out of the situation.
But what about Fujimoto saying Denji has motherly affection towards Makima?
As I said elsewhere, Denji’s case is a classic example of Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic theory of personality, which states that the type of personality that an individual acquires in adulthood is determined by his or her childhood experiences, and that any disruptions or traumas in childhood may result in negative personality traits in adulthood.
Denji lost his mother probably when he was very little and hence yearns for one. That’s why he was confused while trying to picture Makima when he met her for the first time.
Now, if I had to talk in detail about the perfection that is the 2nd half of the episode, I wouldn’t be doing justice to it. Even as a Manga reader, the amount of shock factors I received on this episode may be on par with the Reiner Bertolt reveal in Attack on Titan.
Shit went from 0 to 1000 within seconds and it all began with Makima, the most mysterious character in the series, being shot in the head.
Just like with Episode 7 worked on by Keiichiro Watanabe, the Animation director for Episode 8 Shota Goshozono went all out not only during the action sequences but also for the slow shots. The smooth movements of Denji picking up and eating his sandwich made me feel I was watching a video in 4K.
Shota Goshozono was also in charge as Episode Director, Storyboard, Animation Director & Key Animation in Ousama Ranking Episode 21, which is deemed as one of the best episodes of 2022 by fans so you can see that Chainsaw Man really is in good hands.
A lot of Anime-only folks are confused on whether if characters like Kobeni, Akai, Makima, Power & Himeno are alive. Episode 9 will answer that question. But to talk about Himeno’s passing…
Normally I don’t feel heavy during a death scene, but that adaptation made me sit and stare at blank space for a while.
The sad thing is, Himeno wouldn’t have died if Aki just agreed to join the Civil Sector along with her. She only remained in Public Services because of him and his obsession to kill the Gun Devil. In the end, she was killed while trying to save the one who dragged her to remain part of this horror show.
Being a Devil Hunter who has seen a lot of bloodshed, she doesn’t usually like people sobbing over the death of others. But for her own, she wanted Aki to cry. That may be contradictory (like, being suddenly emotional at the time of death) but, all this while, she was crying from the inside for all her comrades.
And her repeated “No no no no no no… no!” when realizing that Aki is heading straight for his demise by chasing after the Gun Devil indicated that she snapped.
Himeno’s last words to her beloved was the same instruction she gave to him twice “Don’t die on me Aki”.
Himeno’s simple but striking movements as she prepares to head over to her bed room in the beginning really added the weight for her demise at the end of the episode. Plus, the simple notes of accordion being played while she summoned the Ghost Devil left me with a heavy heart.
These small details in the adaptation really sold me with the idea of it being better than the Manga. However, there were a few nitpicks.
- When Denji said straight to her face that he didn’t want to do it with a pukey chick like her, she actually felt disappointed. Like sad. This is very vivid in the Manga. And the way she said “aaaah that’s a relief” was with such weight that you can feel the coping. But these weights weren’t there in the Anime.
- In the anime, the Ghost Devil did not smile like in the manga when Himeno was willing to sacrifice herself to save Aki. Usually, Devils want to suck the life out of humans and the Manga depicted that. It was kinda off not seeing it in the anime.
- The sequence displaying he Curse Devil’s bones were beautiful but the shot of the Katana Devil being impaired by it felt straight out of a video game.
However, these doesn’t bother me as much, given how much love & dedication the makers put into this work. Chainsaw Man Episode 8 was an emotional ride, filled with horniness, sudden shocks and tear jerkers.
It’s one of those instances where I genuinely feel “Damn. I wish I went in completely blank for Chainsaw Man Episode 8” It truly felt like a love letter to Fujimoto’s chaotic mindset and I cannot wait for the aftermath.
TK’s performance for the ending theme left me thinking Aki’s life mirroring Kaneki’s, especially in future episodes.
I can totally picture Aki saying Kaneki’s famous line after all he’s been through:
If I were to write a book with me as the main character, It would be a tragedy.
Chainsaw Man Episode 8 rating: 10/10
So what do you think of Chainsaw Man Anime Episode 8? Let me know in the comments below!
CHAINSAW MAN © 2018 by Tatsuki Fujimoto/SHUEISHA Inc.