Directed by Shōta Goshozono and Takeshi Satō, Episode Eight of Chainsaw Man, “Gunfire” begins with an anime orginal moment that is very reminiscant of the scene where we followed Aki on his morning routine in Episode Four.
Just like that scene, “Gunfire” begins with us seeing Himeno’s nightly routine, before she makes a sexual advance on Denji.
The shots of her preparing a shower for herself and then later grabbing a beer are all just as well animated.
The episode then picks up from the last one, with Himeno propositioning Denji.
Again, the shots are well animated here, although with one exception.
There is a bird’s eye view shot looking down on the both of them which did look quite off to me.
However, this shot only lasts about five seconds or so, so it’s fine.
For a little while, it looks like Denji is actually going to sleep with Himeno, until she finds a chupa chup in his pocket.
This was given to Denji by Makima in the form of an indirect kiss, making Denji realize that he wants his first time to be with Makima, so he refuses to sleep with Himeno, instead taking the floor while Himeno passes out drunk on the bed.
The next morning, she and Denji have breakfast togethor.
Not remembering what happened last night, Himeno asks Denji if they had sex and is relieved to learn that they did not stating, “They toss you in jail for doing that kind of thing with minors.”
Yeah, not gonna lie, the whole Himeno making moves on Denji while she’s drunk is pretty creepy.
At least with Makima it was treated more sinister, since she was clearly manipulating him.
With Himeno its treated more like a joke.
This unintentionally creepy moment is thankfully moved on from quickly, as Himeno now offers to form an alliance with Denji.
He will help her get togethor with Aki, and Himeno, in turn, will help Denji get togethor with Makima.
Well, someone had better tell the assassins planning Makima’s murder to hold off then… oh, wait.
As a manga reader, it was pretty funny to watch the reaction of anime only viewers when Makima gets unexpectedly assassinated on a train to Kyoto.
Now they have a better idea of Chainsaw Man’s crazy pacing.
Often times, scenes will seem like slow build up, only to flip on a dime to absolute insanity.
In other stories this eratic pacing would be a problem but Tatsuki Fujimoto is such a good writer that he makes it work and the adaptation follows through on this.
After Makima is killed, the episode then shows that her assassination was not a one off, as other attempts are made on the lives of Devil Hunters across Tokyo.
Among the potential victims are Kobeni and Arai, who are unexpectedly targeted by an old lady but we do not see if they make it or not.
We do, however, see what happens to Denji, Himeno, Aki and Power, when they meet togethor for food.
They are confronted by a mysterious man, who just randomly inserts himself into their conversation, going on about his murderous yakuza grandpa.
The pieces slowly start coming togethor until the man pulls out a picture of him with his grandfather and we that it was the yakuza boss who had pretty much enslaved Denji in the first episode, until he was turned into a zombie by the Zombie Devil and then finished off by Denji.
Now supposedly working for the Gun Devil and out for revenge, the man takes out a gun and fires at the group, hitting Denji, Himeno and Aki.
Only Power manages to dodge and punch the man back, more than earning her noble prize.
Power’s attack gives Aki enough time to unleash the Fox Devil, which eats the man, only for him to reveal himself to be a hybrid devil like Denji, named Katana Man (Daiko Hamano).
With Denji out of comission and Himeno mortally wounded, Aki is left with no choice but to use the sword which drains some of his life to defeat Katana Man.
What follows is a fantastic fight sequence, as Aki stabs Katana Man with his nail blade three times, resulting in the Curse Devil intervening and supposedly killing him.
As Aki prepares to have Himeno taken to a hostpital, he is shocked to realize Katana Man used a gun, which should be impossible to get.
However, while Aki is talking about this, there is a piece of rubble in the way of his mouth, so we cannot see his lips move.
Rather than a stylistic choice, this came off to me as if they did not have the budget or time to animate his mouth moving after the fight scene so put this in the way until they could fix it later.
I may be wrong about this though but, if I’m not, then I do hope it is changed later because it is a little weird.
This is a minor moment though and it is easily forgotten when an unknown woman (Yō Taichi)shows up to help Katana Man to his feet, since he can revive just like Denji.
The mysterious girl orders Katana Man to kill Aki, which he certainly makes a good attempt at with an attack that causes quite the jump scare with the delayed blood splatter from Aki.
The girl then tells Katana to finish Aki off.
Desperate to save him, and with no other option, Himeno makes a final contract with the Ghost Devil.
She will give the Devil all of herself in exchange for using its full power.
The Ghost Devil’s true form then appears and Himeno directs it to attack Katana Man, all the while thinking about how Aki still cries for Devil Hunters who die.
Himeno’s last words to Aki are that she wants him to live so he can cry for her.
The Ghost Devil is then eaten by the mysterious girl’s Snake Devil and we see that Himeno has completley vanished, only her clothes remaining.
And so “Gunfire” comes to an end with Himeno’s sacrifice.
We then get the ED, “First Death” by TK.
Given TK’s reputation, like with his brilliant Tokyo Ghoul OP, I knew this was going to be a fantastic ED and he did not disappoint.
“Gunfire” was yet another fantastic Chainsaw Man episode.
Katana Man and the yakuza’s ambush was handled excellently and, aside from a few weird animation moments, I would not have had it any other way.
If I was excited for anime only viewers’ reactions to this episode then I am doubly so for the next one.
I cannot wait to see how they will react to Makima’s revival, her supernatural attack on the yakuza and Kobeni rescuing Denji.
Will they think Makima is the Gun Devil because of this, like I did, and will this be the start of them warming up to Kobeni, like it was for me?
Only time will tell.
Either way, the next episode will be another action packed one that I am very excited to see.