Chainsaw Man Episode Five, Gun Devil Review: Manipulative Makima.

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.

Manga Spoilers:
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.

To Your Eternity Review: A Bleak, Beautiful Masterpiece.

I had heard how emotional of a ride To Your Eternity was before watching it, but I only became aware of what I was getting into when I heard that the manga which the anime is based off was written by Yoshitoki Ōima, the writer of A Silent Voice.
I still find myself rewatching the anime adaptation of A Silent Voice from time to time and I always cry at certain points, whether its tears of joy or happiness.
So, I knew coming into To Your Eternity that I was probably going to end up crying… I was still not prepared.
Directed by Masahiko Murata, To Your Eternity begins with a seemingly cosmic being (Kenjiro Tsuda) releasing an orb which can take the forms of those it encounters to earth.
At first, the orb takes the form of a mere rock, until a dying wolf stumbles across it, and the orb takes the wolf’s form, then coming across the young man who the wolf belonged to.
And so begins the orb’s journey to learning what being human means in all of its beauty and suffering. 

The meeting between the orb and the boy begins this emotional, tragic adventure.

Eventually being given the name Fushi (Reji Kawashima), the orb encounters many different people over the years, from the young March (Rei Hikisaka) and her sister-figure Parona (Aya Uchida), to the masked Gugu (Ryoko Shiraishi), to the elderly Pioran (Rikako Aikawa).
Each of these characters leave an impact on Fushi’s immortal life, leading to many tear inducing moments when some of these characters meet tragic fates.
What makes it hurt all the more is how excellent these characters are.
Even the ones I was sure I was going to hate, like Pioran and Tonari (Eri Ingawa), I came to love.
Except for Hayase (Mitsuki Saiga), that crazy witch can burn in the pits of hell and you will certainly agree with me on that when you see the horrific things she does.
Although, we are supposed to despise her so she makes for a great villain.
The characters whose stories affected me the most emotionally would definitely be Gugu and Pioran.
Their stories are beautiful and tragic, resonating greatly with me.

Gugu’s story made me tear up multiple times. His was by far the most hard hitting story for me.

In fact, every storyline resonated with me, that is how great To Your Eternity is.
I already consider it to be a masterpiece because of that and how it gave me so many feelings.
The only criticism I even have is that the OP, “Pink Blood” by Hiraki Utada, does spoil some big events that happen, especially later on.
This does nothing to affect the show’s quality, though, and the OP itself is great.

Although the OP does have spoilers, it also has many fantastic subtle hints at what will happen, creating a much bigger gut punch when you realise the context.

Along with this, the score and animation are also quite good and there was never a moment where I was brought out of a scene.
No, I was gripped from beginning to end through all twenty emotional, gut punching episodes.
I cannot recommend To Your Eternity enough.
Just be prepared to cry until you’re all out of tissues when you watch this masterpiece of an anime. 
Season Two cannot come soon enough.

ID: Invaded Review: Diving into the Criminal Mind… Literally.

4 stars
When I heard of the premise for the original anime
ID: Invaded, I was immediately intrigued.
A world where detectives can find fragments of a serial killer’s drive to kill at their crime scenes and use this to create an ID Well, a simulated world where “brilliant detectives” dive in to literally explore the criminal mind, all in order to catch them?
It sounded right up my alley and, boy, was it.
Directed by Ei Aoki and written by Ōtarō Maijō, the story follows Akihito Narihisago (Kenjiro Tsuda), an investigator traumatised by a disturbing family tragedy, which gave him his own drive to kill.
This drive allows him to become the brilliant detective Sakaido, when he dives into the ID Wells of serial killers, as he always finds himself investigating the death of the mysterious Kaeru, with the mystery behind her death always leading to the identity of the real life murderer the force are hunting.

The ID Wells are always interesting to see, with each killer’s inner psyche manifesting in different ways.

Once this killer’s identity is discovered, it is up to the team in the real world to catch them, with one new detective, Koharu Hondomachi (M.A.O), having a particular interest in using the ID Well.
ID: Invaded does a great job with its exploration of the ID Wells and the investigation that is taking place in the real world at the same time.
It creates interesting episodes, with each one initially focusing on a single killer as the story progresses, before it branches out to focus solely on the one behind the scenes pulling the strings: John Walker.
These episodes do a good job of getting you into the heads of the killers, although, it should be noted that quite a few of these serial killers are comically over the top.
The anime also makes you feel for the victims as well.
One particular episode has such a masterful bait and switch that it hit me like a train when the rug was pulled out from under us.

Just like Narihisago, we are hit hard with the relization of the big twist of that particular episode.

The show even managed to surprise me by making one of my favourite characters one of the killers, the Perforator (Yoshimasa Hosoya, and I won’t give his character’s actual name, so not to spoil the first few episodes), as I quite liked the progression of his bond with Honomachi.
It’s not all great, though, because I did find the story’s big twist to be entirely predictable, since I pretty much called it right from episode one.
That said, the events surrounding this predictable twist are pretty mind boggling, in a good way.
ID: Invaded honestly reminded me of Inception here with its weird ID Well inside ID Well settings.
The explanation to how all of this was even possible and how it ties in with who Kaeru is was also quite creative and an explanation I really enjoyed.

Along with being creative, the last four or so episodes also bring the feels, with one scene being so emotional that it is difficult not to tear up at it.

Pairing this with the great character growth of Narihisago, Hondomachi and the Perforator, and we have an enagaging show that I would definitley recommend.
Sure, it’s big twist is predictable and it does get a bit formulaic at times, before the last stretch of episodes, but ID: Invaded is still a good time with some very creative story choices in the final half.

My Hero Academia Season Four, Episode Two, Overhaul Review: Bloody Beginning, Hilarious Ending.

4 and a half stars
Well, it’s fair to say that season four of My Hero Academia has officially begun with its second episode, “Overhaul.”
The first episode of the season, “The Scoop on U.A Class 1-A”, was little more than filler designed to catch viewers up on the story so far.
“Overhaul” continues that story, delivering a great episode that has an intense beginning and a gut-bustingly funny ending.
After reading the events of the beginning in the manga, I could not wait to see it animated and it did not disappoint.
The new villain Overhaul’s meeting with the League of Villains sets him up magnificently as the big bad of this arc, with his charismatic personality, intelligence, and threat level.
Both the sub and dub voice actors, Kenjirô Tsuda and Kellen Goff, do an amazing job at voicing the character.
Instead of joining the League like Shigaraki expects, Overhaul instead criticizes him, pointing out all the mistakes he has made, and suggests he becomes their new leader because he has an actual plan.
However, this does not go over well for the rest of the League with Magne (or Big Sis Mag) attacking him.
This ends poorly for her, with Overhaul revealing his quirk by blowing her upper torso to bloody pieces.
Overhaul then obliterates Mr Compress’ arm as well, after he attempts to compress him only to be stopped by some kind of quirk removing bullet.
Following this, Shigaraki makes a move to kill Overhaul who is shielded by one of his men.
With a death on both sides, Overhaul leaves with his men to let the League cool off, stating he owes them an arm, something that will pay off spectacularly later.
This scene is over in a few minutes but really sets up how big of a threat Overhaul is with his destructive quirk and troops at his disposal.
Probably the worst thing about him, though, is his cruelty which will be expanded on in the next few episodes.
I also liked what this scene did for Shigarakai as well.
You can see the slow progression he has from the beginning of his meeting with Overhaul to the end.
Overhaul’s criticisms get to him and it will be interesting to see how he continues to grow in his villainy.
After this dark beginning, the episode then compensates for some stellar humor as Deku attempts to get an internship with All Might’s former sidekick Sir Nighteye.
There are numerous great gags in these scenes, from Bakugo’s gloating, to All Might’s reluctance to talk to Sir Nighteye, to Miro’s bad jokes.
By far the best joke, though, comes at the ending with Deku’s first meeting with Nighteye.
Deku walking in on him tickling Bubble Girl for not making him laugh is pretty hilarious but what follows is even better.
Realizing he has to make Sir Nighteye laugh to be accepted, Deku imitates All Might in a comical moment that is definitely a bad idea, proven by Mirio’s hilarious reaction and Nighteye believing him to be ridiculing All Might.
This ending to the episode, left me in stitches.
It honestly made me laugh harder than it did in the manga.
“Overhaul” is a great episode of My Hero Academia. 
The one criticism I have is that Magne’s story with her friend before her death felt a little oddly paced.
I think it would have been better for her to reveal this before she tried to attack Overhaul as opposed to during because there it disrupts the pacing a little.
Otherwise, “Overhaul” is the episode where the story of the fourth season really picks up, delivering both a bloody and hilarious episode.