Even though we’re almost halfway through the season (boy this season is just flying by, isn’t it?), in many ways it feels like Chainsaw Man is just starting. This is the first episode where it doesn’t seem like something new is going to start next week. It feels like the roots of a plotline that’s likely here to stay. After all, we finally have an actual antagonist: The Gun Demon.
I still think Makima is the scariest thing in this entire story and really, I don’t see how any demon is going to change my mind at this point. But she’s a fun scary, a scary I want more of. Forget about this Gn Demon fellow, let’s just stick with the spicy redhead!
I’ve mentioned it before, but I think it’s worth repeating. The framing ad cinematography in Chainsaw Man is really fantastic. I feel like people really pay attention to art style and maybe animation so sometimes the other visual elements can go unnoticed and that’s a real shame. don’t see that much praise for the composition of Chainsaw Man, yet it’s outstanding. I have decided to group my screencaps by sequence hoping that you’ll see what I mean.
For instance, isn’t it great how they repetitively use that big paned window in Makima’s office to create a canvas and add boundaries to the image? Also, have you noticed how often they use diagonal lines in the setting to center your line of vision? That’s Makima pretty basic image composition and most anime do it to some degree but Chainsaw Man does it so often that it becomes striking in itself. Here are just a handful of examples from this episode:
Am I getting too nerdy? Sometimes, I resort to talking about the technical aspects when I don’t have much to say about the story. This isn’t the case here. I have a lot to say. I’m going to try to make this post reasonable…
So Power is a horrible actress. At least we know she’s probably unlikely to lie about anything. It’s going to be obvious. And so Deji got his first wish and as many of us have experienced before, his takeaway was: that’s it? That’s a common thing isn’t it, when we build up something in our heads, reality has a tough time living up to it. They say don’t meet your heroes and all that.
Do you know what else they say? If at first, you don’t succeed…
We all knew Makima was not a woman to be taken likely. Chainsaw Man has made that clear since the very first moment she got on screen. on some level, she has been controlling everything that has happened so far and also the audience’s attention. Yet, this is the episode that really sent chills down my spine. This is when it was really solidified for me that Makima knows exactly what she’s doing and she’ll do anything to get what she wants. A dangerous combination.
And on another note, this was a truly sensual scene in an anime, which I find is a rarity. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Denji did. Evenschcked him into a bit of maturity for a few minutes…
And of course, what better time than in the middle of this sensual scene to bring up the potential antagonist of the series. The Gun Demon. From the very little we know, this one is leagues beyond anything we’ve seen so far. Heck, maybe even leagues beyond everything we’ve seen so far combined!
The anime is diverging from the manga a bt now. Not in the material but in the order of presentation. And I think it really works better this way. At least for the anime. It smoothly gave us the basics on the Gun Demon, truly instilling just how powerful an enemy he is, and managed to give us Aki’s backstory and motivation all at the same time. In under a minute at that. Chainsaw Man does this a lot. It’s really wonderful at handling exposition. That’s how we kind of know all the characters pretty well even though we never got an actual episode on any of them.
Not many images in this bunch. It was a transition. I kept these ones because they are narratively important. It also struck me how grey the show can be. Despite the high energy and generally jovial tone, the colour palette is rather bleak.
My favourite moment in this episode was seeing Aki control Denji and Power with two pieces of gum. I actually laughed out loud at this moment. It was both cute and funny. It’s also a great representation of the characters and their relationship. At the end of the day, Denji and Power are really similar in a lot of ways. They talk some smack and act though but they’re big babies and big softies and they both really want to be spoiled by someone. As for Aki, well he’s likely just doing what he has to to make his life easier. I don’t blame the poor guy!
This was also our first real introduction to Himeno senpai. We’ve seen her before but she didn’t get much screen time. Now we’re getting to know her. She seems lighthearted and optimistic. Someone who can smile despite the difficult circumstances of her “job”. She’s been around longer than anyone else in the group and ye she seems generally unaffected… seems…
This is also the first tie we hear the sentence that I ended up chanting as a mantra while I was reading Chainsaw Man. A simple request, a command maybe or a desperate plea depending on how you hear it: Don’t die. Just don’t die…please don’t die…
Those of you who have been with me for some time may know that I have a real soft spot for time travel stories. Not just time travel, any form of time distortion really. I find them fascinating. Well, space distortion is pretty much the same thing as far as I’m concerned.
It seems our merry group of intrepid demon hunters have wandered into a house of mirrors. Where the hallways loop back onto themselves and the stairs seemed designed by Escher. What does that mean? Is it a power, an illusion or is the hotel itself a demon? How does one escape such a place? Things are getting very interesting indeed!
- Chainsaw Man ep1 – A Normal Life
- Chainsaw Man ep2 – The Power
- Chainsaw Man ep3 – Motivations
- Chainsaw Man ep4 – Little Dreams
4 thoughts on “Chainsaw Man ep5 – House of Mirrors”
I’m currently wondering why the gun demon’s so hard to find. Been inactive a lot? Holding himself back? Why? Needs to be loaded, maybe?
Since demons get stronger from fear it might be a tactic to heighten that. Never know when they might reappear?
The gum bribe killed me too. Classic parent trump card! And then a cheerful Denji exclaims “man, Aki’s so easy!” — without any hint of self-awareness 😅
That Makima scene… So sensual, yet seeping with menace. “Denji, ever had your finger bitten?” Nom nom. Denji’s beige, finger-sized hanko rolls on the floor, spilling red ink all over. Chop chop.
I really like how the camera showed a pair of scissors, next to the hanko gushing blood. Those scissors were in open position, which the anime connects with the diagonal crosses formed by the shadows of Makima’s window frames. These scissor-shaped shadows covered Denji’s body & shadow all throughout that scene… Yikes.
Through its window panels, Makima’s office is framed as a prison, and as a violent threat more generally. But Denji’s not the only who’s affected. Those diagonal crosses also covered Makima, even if the show didn’t linger on them too much. And I still can’t shake off that scene from the second episode, also in Makima’s office. That’s the one where Aki learns about Denji’s nature, and where Makima tells Denji to become an obedient devil hunter if he doesn’t want to die. The composition purposely lumped Denji & Makima together. Interested to see where this goes.
I’m looking forward to what comes next as well. Kinda