ED5 Sequence

ED5: 「インザバックルーム」 (In the Back Room) by Syudou

「銃の悪魔」 (Juu no Akuma)
“Gun Devil”

One of the most illustrious names in movement culture, Ido Portal, once spoke in an interview about his journey to achieve a single-hand handstand. For years, he dedicated countless hours in order to achieve this single goal. Yet once he was able to hold his body weight upside down with one hand, there was no grand sense of accomplishment or heavenly orchestra playing in the background. He left with only a profound sense of emptiness. Then came a question: will the next skill I achieve feel like this too? And if so, what’s the point? What now?

Brain-fried and glitching Deji found himself in Ido’s dilemma. After all the work, blood, limbs, and sweat he finally copped a feel and all he felt was emptiness.  Is this it? Will every experience of pursuing and achieving a goal leave me unfulfilled? And if so, what’s the point? Through his incredibly compelling and comic storytelling, Fujimoto tackles yet again another major existential question most people struggle with. But while Ido’s answer to this question is to find yourself an unachievable goal—an impossibly deep and wide container so that you’ll always be reaching for something—Fujimoto offers a different one. And it’s not through Makima’s character. While she does give Denji some solid advice [physicality without intimacy and connection doesn’t feel as good and fulfilling], she’s manipulating him through an artificially constructed sense of connection and intimacy. And in the long run, that doesn’t feel great either. Denji isn’t aware that he’s being manipulated, but we as the audience are absolutely in on it. So the first misconception is that he doesn’t understand that what lures him isn’t the act itself, but the sense of connection that she fabricates. Misguidedly Denji just posts new goals (a kiss, having sex), falling into the same trap as touching boobs. 

Since episode 1 Fujimoto has established, through Denji’s subconscious musings, that what he truly wants is to go on a date, play video games and cuddle with a girlfriend. And although they all include physicality in some way, they also go beyond that. What Denji seeks is shared experience, quality time, kinship, and intimacy. But he’s not thinking analytically about any of that; he’s not aware of what it is that he’s seeking because he’s never had it before. 

And I hope Denji will eventually realize that you can’t artificially fabricate connection––you can’t win it, you can’t earn it––it happens organically. Denji’s character construction and evolution is given through the peeling off his layers of naïveté as he climbs up the slope of understanding human connection and intimacy. And I’m curious to see how this will unfold in his possible friendship/camaraderie with Aki.

Sure, Makima’s display is artificial, but it serves the purpose of mentoring Denji through a new perspective. There will be layers and layers of that unfolding as the characters get closer, but I think there will always be a part of Denji that’s just endearingly straightforwardly dumb, like Naruto.

「デンジを殺せ」 (Denji o Korose)
“Kill Denji”

Consider what it’s like to be truly overwhelmed. I can’t think straight. Everyone and everything is against me, closing in, no place to hide, nothing I can do, can’t breathe, no alternatives, only bottomless despair. 

Chainsaw Man’s episode 6 was a case study in panic. Trapped by the Infinite Devil on the eight floor of this hotel, some of our characters’ minds slowly start to deteriorate (a la Shining). They’re stuck in the same space and pattern and they can’t see outside of it. Kobeni-chan was, of course, the star of the episode as the hyperbole of human myopia. A young sweet-natured girl, Kobeni was literally thrown into the Devil’s den by her parents in order to pay for her brother’s university (it was that or becoming a sex worker), and she’s the first one to crack when the Devil makes a bargain: Denji’s life for their freedom. Arai-kun is second, and I’m not counting Power because she’s just in for the ride and sacrificing Denji sounds like fun to her. And while Himeno seems to be in Denji’s corner, we actually come to understand that her attachment is to Aki. And perhaps her calmness might come down to the fact that she was always willing to sacrifice Denji in order to save him. 

What this episode has shown us is that there is a clear trend of selfishness and nearsightedness in every single character except for Denji and Aki. And that’s not to say that they don’t display these traits. They do, and we’ve seen them do. But when push comes to shove, they are the ones willing to let go of that selfishness in order to step up. “If it means long term victory, I will sacrifice years of my life to make this situation work.” We know Aki’s sole goal is to kill the Gun Devil, the one responsible for the annihilation of his family, and he knows that Denji might be the only one who can achieve this goal for him. But there was a subtlety to when he stepped up in order to protect Denji. Maybe it’s my intuition in combination with the previous episode’s flashback that showed Aki’s strained relationship with his younger brother. But I felt like there was an extra sentiment behind Aki’s action. 

In a true quintessential shōnen manner, the only ones willing to take the short end of the stick are the main duo. And in their nearsightedness, the team fails to properly communicate and think. Because we all know their greatest asset is Denji. If there’s someone who can actually defeat this devil, it is Denji himself. But I guess this is the opportunity for them to learn that.

In other news, Power-chan continues to not have any attachment whatsoever to the truth. I wonder if at some point she’ll come to realize that telling the truth can be a strategic advantage for her in the long-run. Even psychopaths have this realization at some point. 


*scratches neck* I’d say quality over quantity, wouldn’t you? To be fair I have been swamped with work, but I’ve also been dealing with an extremely disagreeable strain of my personality when it comes to writing. However, I hope the content of my late review makes it up for the lateness. I haven’t really seen anyone else touching on many of the points I have (I’ve broken my rule not to read other people’s reviews with Chainsaw Man :O), so there’s that, he he.

ED6 Sequence

ED6: 「大脳的なランデブー」 (Dainou-tekina Rendezvous) by Kanaria


  1. I’m trying to like CSM but it’s so hard when all I end up feeling is sadness toward Denji. He’s gotten from straight-up “fight or die” to “i don’t really care bout you unless you’re useful to me in some way” and at this point, Power is the only character whose psychopathy is bearable. I get this secondhand feeling of being utilized and deceived by watching. 😑

    1. Hahahaha based on the story so far I have a feeling Fujimoto would love it if he ever read your comment 👹

      I think that evoking (or provoking) emotions tends to be one of the core motivations of art in general. Seeing as Fujimoto’s been an artist before he was a mangaka, and taking into consideration the tropes and themes he’s been using to build CSM’s narrative… Yep, it all seems to be on the right track 💣💥

      Thanks for joining in though, maybe we’ll see you again?

  2. Man episode 6 was frustrating to watch. Why are they dragging it out so much? It’s called chainsaw man for a reason. I know it’s a trope to save it for the last minute, but I really hate it. At least try sawing through the damn floor or something.

    Anyways based on the ending looks like they’ll make up for it next episode.


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