Mappa’s adaptation of Chainsaw Man is still going strong with its fifth episode, “Gun Devil.”
Directed by Yōsuke Takada, “Gun Devil” begins by immediately following up the cliffhanger from Episode Four, where Power confronted Denji in the bathroom to follow through on her promise to let him fondle her breasts three times.
From Denji’s thoughts declaring Power “an angel”, you would think that this would satisfy him completley.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for Denji.
First, Power is humourously revealed to be wearing breast pads after the first squeeze and then the other two squeezes produce nothing special for Denji, leaving him to wonder “that’s it?”
Denji’s emotionally stunted reaction continues into the next day, leaving him in the perfect state to be manipulated by Makima.
She all but seduces him, biting his finger and allowing him to touch her own breast.
Denji’s reaction to this is particularly hilarious, as he falls to the ground with a hand over his heart, gasping as he looks up at the hand Makima had allowed him to touch her with.
If you showed this short clip to anyone out of context, they would believe Denji was having a heart attack.
Instead, he is freaking out because he touched Makima’s breast.
Now having gained Denji’s full attention, Makima moves in for the kill, offering him any one wish he wants if he kills the Gun Devil for her.
Makima is pretty devious in her manipulation of Denji, using sexual attraction to manipulate him into taking on a dangerous Devil.
We then see just how dangerous this Devil is in a flashback.
After a terrorist attack in America involving guns (because of course it would be in America), guns became feared, making the Gun Devil incredibly powerful.
It then struck around the world, killing 1.2 million people.
Among these victims were Aki’s family.
We see the flashback from his point of view, as he has a snowball fight with his little brother, before sending him back to get a baseball glove.
Aki’s house is then struck by the Gun Devil, killing his parents and little brother.
This creates immense guilt for Aki, since he sent his little brother into the house, and also creates his drive to kill the Gun Devil, which we see when he and Himeno take down a Devil to retrieve flesh of the Gun Devil.
Makima explains to Denji that these flesh parts make other Devils stronger and can help lead to the Gun Devil.
So, Denji’s goal is to kill the Devils that have consumed pieces of the Gun Devil, which will eventually lead him to it and, upon killing it, will allow him to ask any wish of Makima.
If he survives fighting the Gun Devil, that is.
Still, Denji is determined to win his wish from Makima, completley ignorant to how he is being used by her.
It is not long before Denji gets his first chance to take on a Devil which has consumed flesh of the Gun, as he, Power, Aki, Himeno, Kobeni and Arai are sent to a hotel to take out such a Devil.
Following some comedic beats between Denji, Power and Aki, Himeno starts joking around, offering a kiss to anyone who kills the Devil.
Denji, however, remembers his wish for Makima so refuses, saying he has to kill the Gun Devil for her, drawing Aki’s attention.
Himeno is prodded further by Denji’s refusal, offering to kiss him with tounge,
This promise causes Denji to forget all about his Makima wish, as he runs down the hotel hallway to fight the Devil and earn his kiss, with Arai running behind to stop him.
Aki and Himeno use this time to discuss their new recruits, with Himeno commenting that Arai is not very competant yet is motivated, while Kobeni is timid but talented.
This causes Aki to remember his first meeting with Himeno and we see a very different person from the seemingly upbeat woman Himeno was previously.
The man who trained Aki introduces them at a Devil Hunter graveyard, where Himeno reveals that Aki will be her sixth partner, telling him not to die like the others.
The shot composition for this moment is great, as Himeno’s position and posture in the flashback when she tells Aki not to die is the exact same as in the present.
Going back to that present, the group finally locate the Devil they were hunting, which is just a head with two feet attatched.
It lunges at Kobeni but is stopped in the air by Himeno and then taken out in bloody fashion by Power.
As expected, Power’s narcissism drives her to believe the Devil froze in midair because it was afraid of her, so Himeno explains that it stopped because Himeno used the Ghost Devil’s power.
In exchange for this power, Himeno gave the Ghost Devil her right eye.
Power questions the logic of Himeno telling her all about her power, threatening Kobeni, only for Himeno to reveal this as a non-issue by threatening to strangle Power with the Ghost Devil’s hand.
Due to the dead Devil not creating any reaction from the Gun Devil flesh, the group decide this is not the Devil they were hunting, so they go up the stairs to search the ninth floor… only to emerge onto the eighth floor.
Arai notices this and runs back down the stairs, quickly emerging at the top of the eighth floor stairs, confirming to everyone that they are in a loop, as Kobeni timidly stammers in horror, bringing an end to the episode with the next ED, “In the Back Room” by Syoudo.
Overall, “Gun Devil” is another solid Chainsaw Man episode, with plenty of funny moments and excellent animation throughout.
Some of the shot composition was also great and, as for the story, Chainsaw Man seems to have finally introduced its main big bad of the Gun Devil.
I am looking forward to Episode Six, where we will see the explanation for why our characters are stuck on the eighth floor.
Okay, now that I am in the spoiler section, I can stop acting like the Gun Devil is the big bad.
The story does a great job with the misdirect, however, as it is introduced through Makima, the true antagonist of Chainsaw Man Part One.
It was also nice to get out introduction to Kishibe this episode, though he is not named.
Kishibe is one of my favourites from the manga so I am looking forward to seeing more of him, and Kenjiro Tsuda was definitley a great choice to voice him.
Another interesting detail in the episode is the first instance of the town and country mouse story.
We see Aki’s parents read this story to his brother before their deaths and this story is important because of how it relates to Denji.
Denji was a “country mouse”, living a life in squalor, wishing for bigger things.
So, he became the “town mouse” moving to the city and becoming a Devil Hunter for a better life, despite the extreme danger of the job.
The symbolism of this story will be further explored when we eventually get to the Bomb Girl Arc, which will introduce Reze.
We will probably have to wait for the next season to see this, though, since I think this one is only supposed to have twelve episodes.
If the high quality of animation continues, however, you certainly will not hear me complaining.