Episode Eleven of Chainsaw Man, “Mission Start” picks up from the cliffhanger of Aki going in to make a contract with the Future Devil.
The cliffhanger made the Future Devil out to be an incredibly scary devil so there is a lot of comedic catharsis to see it is a hip Devil who constantly screams “The future rules!”
Directed by Masato Nakazono and Takeshi Satō the episode opening follows this comedic reveal, and then continues to detail Aki’s coversation with the Future Devil, who demands Aki say “The future rules” as well.
Instead, Aki tells the Future Devil he has come to make a contract, deflating the Future Devil’s excitement.
In all honesty, though, it was probably not a smart idea for Aki to refuse to play along with the Future Devil after learning it has such a hefty price for its contracts.
If it were me, I would have been screaming “The future rules!” right along with the Devil.
Aki’s lucky that the Future Devil decided the terms of his contract by reading his future, and his terms are quite generous at that.
The Future Devil will allow Aki to see a few seconds into the future when fighting, and, in return, Aki will allow it to live inside his right eye.
Aki is understandablly suspicious of the generous contract but the Future Devil explains that it saw Aki’s death will be the “f***ing worst,” and it wants a front row seat.
There was originally a mistranslation of this line, as the Future Devil said Aki’s death would “f***ing rule” so it is good that they changed it to be closer to the original meaning.
As for Aki himself, he is not bothered by the Future Devil’s prophecy, instead demanding it get in his eye to complete the contract.
Meanwhile, Kishibe has finished killing Denji and Power for what is probably the hundreth times by now.
Only, this time, they appear to have landed a blow on him, as Kishibe wipes away the blood from a cut on his cheek.
Impressed with their efforts, he decides to only train them once a week, before telling them that tomorrow they are going after Sawatari and Katana Man.
However, he does warn Denji and Power that if the mission goes bad then he will have to kill the both of them.
Unperturbed by this, Denji explains that if he fights Kishibe then he will spare him because his training increased his chances of hooking up with Makima.
Speak of the devil, the next scene is between Makima and Kishibe, who meet up for drinks.
Makima thanks Kishibe for training Denji and Power but Kishibe says he is sick of them already because he has come to care about them, and every time someone he trains and then cares about dies he ends up drinking more.
Kishibe then accuses Makima of knowing the attack against the Special Divisions would happen and not doing anything to stop it.
However, he says he will let such actions slide as long as her actions benefit humanity.
Makima then goes on a speech about how her actions will achieve just that, only for Kishibe to call her a liar, to which Makima’s small smile returns.
This is one of my favourite Kishibe scenes because it tells us plenty about his character.
His incessant drinking is caused by the guilt he feels for lost pupils, yet, despite this guilt, he is willing to let them die so long as it benefits humanity as a whole.
He is also one of the few to actually call Makima out on her manipulative actions.
The next morning, we see what the Yakuza is up to, with Katana Man and Sawatari preparing for Division Four’s attack.
The boss of the Yakuza has been moved but Katana Man and Sawatari plan to stay, and use their zombie army left over from Katana Man’s grandfather’s contract with the Zombie Devil to deal with Division Four.
At the same time, Aki is returning with Tendo and Kurose, the later of whom berates him for his unrealistic mission to kill the Gun Devil.
Aki counters this by stating that he knows it is unrealistic but he could not go on without that mission, telling Kurose he is free to laugh at him if he loses and dies against the Gun Devil.
This seems to earn Kurose’s respect, as he tells Aki he is routing for him, delivering the same advice he was given, “Everyone who works in the Special Division is crazy, so watch yourself.”
He and Tendo then leave, presumably for Kyoto.
As for Makima, she is meeting with the yakuza boss that was spoken of earlier, along with his men.
The boss explains that it was Sawatari who roped Katana Man and the others into dealing with the Gun Devil and is cooperative until Makima requests the names of those contracted with the Gun Devil in other crime families.
This causes the boss to go on a familiar rant about “necessary evils,” which Katana Man spoke of in his introduction in refrence to his grandfather.
The boss compares himself to a Devil Hunter, protecting Japan from other Mafia families, like how the Devil Hunters protect people from the Devils.
Makima, however, rightly points out that this is just to justify the boss’ own evil actions.
She goes on to state her belief that the only true necessary evil is one where “the nation itself is holding the lesh and maintaining control.”
This is why she is so horrifying calm when she presents the yakuza boss and his underlings with the eyes of their loved ones, using their return as blackmail to get what she wants.
While this exchange is happening, Division Four finally begins their raid on Katana Man and Sawatari’s base of operations.
Outside, Kishibe debriefs the police, explaining they need to be on the lookout, not for escaping yakuza but escaping fiends and Devils who work for Division Four, just in case they get loose.
We then get a showcase of these creatures in an action sequence, meeting the Shark Fiend (Natsuki Hanae), the Violence Fiend (Yuya Uchida) , the Spider Devil (Saori Goto) and the Angel Devil (Maaya Uchida), all of whom take on the zombies in well directed and bloody action.
Denji, Aki and Power fight alongside them, resulting in Aki and the Angel Devil interacting, where Aki is brave enough to get closer to the Angel Devil, despite the fact that physical contact will drain his already short life span, and the Angel Devil then saves Aki’s life from gunfire.
Aki decides to leave the zombies to the fiends, while he, Denji and Power split up to search for Sawatari and Katana Man.
While searching, Aki is able to incapcitate one yakuza member, probably thanks to his new future sight power, but quickly finds himself overwhelmed, only for Makima’s help to come in key again, as the men all slump to the floor dead with bloody noses, just as the yakuza who threatened Makima earlier did.
Makima emerges from the yakuza boss’ base, the fate of the boss and his underlings unknown.
We then get the final scene of the episode, as Aki locates Sawatari, only for her to have the Snake Devil spit out the Ghost Devil, which Aki is forced to fight using his future sight in more extremely well animated action.
There are too many limbs for Aki to keep track of, however, and he eventually ends up getting caught, with Sawatari ordering the Ghost Devil to strangle him to death.
The episode then ends with things looking pretty grim for Aki, closing off with the ED “Violence” by Queen Bee.
All in all, “Mission Start” is another great Chainsaw Man episode.
Going into it, I was actually wondering if it would adapt enough content so the next episode could end with finishing the Katana Man Arc.
This concern was unfounded since the next episode did end with the conclusion of that arc, along with some hints for future arcs, which I am excited for.
While I was glad to see that the mistranslation of Aki’s death got cleared up, I still think the manga translation of Aki dying “in the worst possible way” is better.
It later ties in with the Future Devil saying Aki died “in the worst possible way… for the chainsaw boy.”
Although this line could still be made to work.
Maybe the Future Devil will say, “Your death was the f***ing worst… for the chainsaw boy.”
Speaking of allusions to the future, though, the scene where the yakuza boss says that the Gun Devil required money for a contract is interesting, considering that it is later revealed that the Gun Devil has already been defeated and parts of its are held by different countries.
So, rather than the Gun Devil requring money for the contract, its whatever shady government organization which required money to sell the guns through Sawatari.
The last spoiler detail I would like to talk about is Aki’s character development, or rather the setup for it.
He tells Kurose in this episode that without his unrealisitic desire for revenge against the Gun Devil, he would have nothing.
This makes Aki’s character arc one of the best in the story, given where he ends up as, by his conclusion, he is willing to throw away his mission to kill the Gun Devil entirely so he can keep Denji and Power safe.