After the two chaotic battle episodes, Episode 10 of Chainsaw Man, “Bruised & Battered” picks up in the aftermath.
Directed by Tatsuya Yoshihara, “Bruised & Battered” begins with Aki waking up in the hostpital to see Denji and Power fighting over an apple at his bedside, with Denji refusing to give her one because she skedaddled during their fight with Katana Man.
Aki interrupts this humorous fight with the somber question of how many others in Division 4 are still alive.
Denji tells him that only Kobeni and Madoka are, although Madoka quit.
After telling him this, Denji and Power leave to meet with Makima but Denji decides to leave Aki an apple, in a parallel to an earlier scene where Aki too gave Denji an apple in the hostpital.
Now alone, Aki takes out his nail sword and asked the Curse Devil how long he has left.
In the manga we only see the Curse’s mouth as it tells Aki he has two years left to live.
This was updated in the anime to have the Curse Devil actually appear over Aki’s shoulder, which was a nice and creepy change.
Having recieved this terrible news, Aki decides to have a cigarette, only for this to remind him of Himeno, which finally causes him to break down crying, something which Himeno admired him for and wanted him to do for her.
Denji is outside Aki’s room when this happens, since he planned to go back to get his dropped manga, but feels awkward about entering.
This leads to him realizing that he does not really feel all that sad about Himeno dying, even though they became friends right before it happened.
Realizing he would not feel bad for long even if Makima died, Denji begins to question his own humanity, only to comedically brush it off and go with Power to meet Makima at the Devil Hunter graveyard.
Upon arriving, she introduces them to Kishibe, Himeno’s mentor and the strongest Devil Hunter there is.
Kishibe asks them three questions, what did they feel when their comrades died, do they want revenge, and are they on the side of the humans or the devils?
Denji and Power’s following answers are both comedic and would raise serious questions for other Devil Hunters about their loyalty.
No, instead he sees two trainees with a couple of screws loose, the perfect quality for a Devil Hunter according to him.
And since they are Devils themselves, this means he can go all out on them, which he proceeds to do when he sends Makima away, before breaking both Denji and Power’s necks.
He then revives them using blood and explains how their training will work.
Since they are mostly immortal, and he is the best Devil Hunter there is, he will continue to hunt both of them down until they can defeat him, eventually turning them into “serious badasses.”
Well, it will probably take a long time for that last step to happen because Denji and Power get absolutley destroyed by Kishibe in their first fight, in a bloody and well-animated fashion.
Since this was a smaller fight in the manga, I did not expect it to be so great to look at in the anime.
Yet, it was.
I think I just need to expect everything in the Chainsaw Man adaptation is going to have amazing animation at this rate.
Mappa just seem to be that dedicated to getting it right.
While Denji and Power’s brutal tortu-I mean training is happening, Aki is recieving coaching from Kurose and Tendo, who reveal to him that the Fox Devil will no longer work with him because he angered it by trying to feed it Katana Man.
They give him two options.
Either quit and enjoy the time he has left or stay and sacrifice more of his life with Devil contracts.
Aki decides to stay, still determined to avenge his family and now Himeno as well.
Speaking of Himeno, Aki is then visited by her little sister.
Thankfully, this meeting goes much better than Himeno’s with the families of her dead partners.
Himeno’s sister simply gives Aki a letter which gives both him and us as the audience insight into her life.
It also reveals to Aki that she was hoping to convince him to quit so he would live.
Unfortunately, Himeno’s death has only pushed Aki further down the path he is on.
Later that night, Kishibe calls an end to the days training with Denji and Power, leaving the two to recover.
And by recover, I mean Power bashing Denji’s head in until he comes back to himself.
Once restored, the two begin to walk home, dismayed over how much worse Kishibe’s extreme training will make their lives.
Suddenly, Power comes up with a genius plan to defeat Kishibe.
They will just use their brains!
Yep, with all two of their shared brain cells.
We see this plan come to fruition the next day, as Denji and Power put on glasses to become smart and then initiate their attack on Kishibe when he arrives at their apartment.
It goes as well as you would expect.
First, Kishibe dodges and destroys Power’s blood spears with no effort, making her anemic from using too much blood.
Second, he kicks Denji to the ground after he sees his shadow when he leaps down to strike him a hatchet.
Regardless, Kishibe is impressed by their effort so he gives them the day off training.
Or that is what he tells them at least because, after Denji joyfully tells Power they have the day off, Kishibe throws a knife into his skull declaring, “Beasts shouldn’t trust anything a hunter says.”
All of Kishibe’s scenes in this episode were great, being perfectly animated.
And, I will say it again, Kenjiro Tsudya is just fantastic as Kishibe.
I honestly don’t think anyone better could have been cast.
After Kishibe’s final scene, the episode then ends on one of Aki’s as Kurose and Tendo take him to make a contract with the Future Devil.
Two other people have contracts with it.
One gave up half of their lifespan, the other his eyes, sense of smell and taste.
So things are not looking good for Aki with this contract.
The dread deepens as Aki enters the cell with the Future Devil and sees its eye peering out at him from the darkness, ending the episode on another cliffhanger, before transitioning to the tenth ED, “Dogland” by People 1.
“Bruised and Battered” is a solid Chainsaw Man episode.
While not as exciting as the previous two episodes, it is a good set up episode, and does a fantastic job of adapting Kishibe.
The episode ends right before we see the Future Devils form and personality so I am interested to see how many anime only viewers will react to that, along with it prophecising Aki dying in “the worst way imagineable.”
Along with this, I am also curious about where exactly the adaptation will end.
There is only supposed to be twelve episodes after all.
I originally thought it would end with Denji’s nightmare about the door after defeating Katana Man, bookending this part the way it began.
However, there may not be enough content for this, unless some scenes get cut.
No matter what gets adapted and what does not, though, I have full faith in Mappa to adapt the following chapters as excellently as they have the previous ones.
The future rules indeed.