Like every other episode of Chainsaw Man, episode 11 had an official title. It’s Mission Start. So at episode 11 of 12, we are finally starting… I know I’m repeating myself here and I’m going to start sounding like a broken record, but where’s the announcement for season 2. At this rate, they’re going to leave us on a cliffhanger! Now that’s evil!
I made another gif of Makima for my header. I wanted to diversify but what can I say, she has a lot of gifeable moments.
The alternate title I was thinking of for my post is: The Future is Strange. As far as demons go, Future and The Angel Devil are the most interesting to me. Keep in mind that Power is a fiend. Also, Power is a great character but purely as a devil, she’s a lot more stereotypical than these two.
So Aki made a contract with the Future devil and it seems like a bum deal. Aki didn’t have to give up anything really, at least as far as we know. The Future just wants to come along for the ride to see how fucking awful Aki’s death is going to be. And well, Aki’s a devil hunter who’s lost everything so yeah, it’s not exactly a shocker that this isn’t going to end well for him. What’s more interesting s that the Future has such a strong sense of humour. Not a very nice sense of humour but still. I also like to laugh, we have a lot in common.
I really like the design of the Future. The eye in his open chest cavity is extremely unsettling while the rest of him seems to dram a bit on native American monsters. It’s quite striking as a whole.
These images are from three separate scenes but I’ve bunched them together. For one, I just have too many screencaps this week. Second, my episode posts have been getting way too long and I’m trying to streamline them a bit.
Honestly, if you only take one thing away from this entire sequence it should be that Kishibe is one brave fool… and possibly suicidal. That’s the only explanation I can find for someone calling Makima a liar to her face like that. He’s still alive at the end of this episode. Mind you, Makima is the sort to bide her time. I wouldn’t relax just yet.
If you want to look at these scenes a little deeper. It seems that Kishibe is stating to like Power and Denji. These two dorks are really difficult not to like after all. Is it just me or is Power starting to really behave herself? She’s been diligently training alongside Denji all this time. I figured she would have Noped out of there and at least have tried to ditch within a day or two. It’s not like she’s that scared of disobeying, she did try to feed Denji to a Devil in exchange for her cat. But these two are buddies now. I have a feeling Power kinda wants to spend time with her little friend Denji. Like when people go to school to see their besties. They might not be too keen on the classes, but it’s cool cause the people are fun.
As for Snake Lady and Katana man. They just dropped in to let us know they have an army of zombies. No big deal.
I have some differing opinions about the guys from Kyoto. Last week I mentioned that I thought they were trying to push Aki away. Not completely but giving him an out. Some readers saw it differently, believing they were just taunting Aki to make him more likely to accept a dangerous contract with the Future devil. Honestly, I can see both readings but I’m standing by mine. I think the Kyoto agents are very aware that most people don’t walk away from the job of devil hunter and they don’t necessarily want to bury more co-workers. At the same time, they also believe they are doing difficult but important work. They wouldn’t want to lose an ally that can help.
The way I see it, they were giving Aki an honest out but didn’t insist on it when he didn’t take it. It takes a certain type of person to become a devil hunter in the first place. I don’t think Aki needed to be told that they’re all crazy. But that also creates a bit of fraternity. at the end of the day, they are brothers in arms, and no matter how much you may not like them, you care on some level about your fellow Devil hunters. Especially as half of them are devils and fiends now as well. The squishy mortals have to stick together.
I saw a post right after this episode aired that said “Now I’m scared of Makima”. Being scared of Makima is a very reasonable way to feel but my question is, how were you not scared of her before? I know a lot of fans find it shocking that she would have collected eyes from “innocent” bystanders associated with the yakuza just to get some leverage.
First of all, we don’t actually know who those eyes belonged to. It’s also difficult to assume all the family and close ones of those criminals are in fact innocent. Crime families are called that in part because they often do run in the family. But most importantly, how is this any different from what we’ve known about Makima from the start.
In the very first episode, Makima finds Denji after he has just slaughtered a small army of men. As far as we know, all she knows is that a new devil has surfaced and killed a whole bunch of folks. Her immediate instinct is to use him for her own ends. Regardless of how outwardly kind she can be, there is a very clear feeling that she’s just catching flies with honey. If honey stops working she’ll dish out the vinegar and probably the fly swatter as well. It was a great scene, but as far as I’m concerned, it was just another instance of Makima being herself.
What was more interesting to me was the insinuation that she can give people nosebleeds and make them collapse seemingly without doing anything at all. That’s also not the power we saw her have last time. How many does she have?
I loved Kishibe’s speech. The one about how if things go awry, the authorities should be way more worried about Division 4 than about the terrorists. This is a guy who knows his team! Division 4 has essentially become Suicide Squad at this point.
We also got introduced very quickly to a bevy of new devils. The Spider devil looks great. The shark devil seems fun and quite powerful. Sticking a mask on the violence devil is a great way to generate interest in the character and not have to fret over the design too much. But the “Angel devil” is the one that sticks out. Talk about one of these things is not like the other.
First of all, why were enough people scared of angels to create a devil? And a very powerful one at that. He just has to touch you and half your life is gone. That’s amazing and makes him way scarier than the rest of them when you think about it. At first, when I heard that he wasn’t aggressive towards humans I thought that might be due to his angelic nature. That he’s actually kind and caring but accidentally halves people’s lives all the time. However, that’s not it at all. Although he isn’t aggressive towards humans, he isn’t particularly kind either. He just seems generally indifferent. And I wonder if the author is trying to say something here.
So did the gunmen who intercepted Aki collapse from Makima’s power? It looked the same but was it. Why would she interfere now and for this? Hmmmm…..
Aki has got to be one of the most tortured anime characters I’ve seen in recent years. This poor guy cannot catch any breaks at all. I don,t believe for a second that Ghost is going to kill him here. Although it would be depressingly ironic to have the devil contracted by his former partner, one that protected him so many times, end up killing him before he could accomplish a single thing.
But it also seems a little too mundane and too easy a death to get the Future devil so excited to see it, right? I didn’t mention it before but the Future devil, who is clearly a troll, lived in Aki’s right eye now. So he gets to taunt him basically all the time. Ak may be looking forward to that awful death soon.
- Chainsaw Man ep1 – A Normal Life
- Chainsaw Man ep2 – The Power
- Chainsaw Man ep3 – Motivations
- Chainsaw Man ep4 – Little Dreams
- Chainsaw Man ep5 – House of Mirrors
- Chainsaw Man ep6 – Power for President
- Chainsaw Man ep7 – The Sane Die Young
- Chainsaw Man ep8 – The Pact
- Chainsaw Man ep9 – The Dining in Tokyo is To Die For
- Chainsaw Man ep10 – Heartless
4 thoughts on “Chainsaw Man ep11 – Necessary Evil”
The eye bag didn’t really change anything about how I view Makima either; I was a tad surprised though that she seemed to take some sort of statist hierarchical stance in that scene. Up to now, I don’t remember her taking any stance whatsoever. I have no idea how to parse this. Anyway, she’s been scary the moment she walked into the zombie carnage shed in episode one. Nothing new here.
And Kishibe’s probably been through too much to be scared of even Makima at this point. I mean he trained her, so he probably knows her best (however much that is), and he seems to be a pragmatic. He might have ways to deal even with her. Or he might just be going on until he can’t. One of the more intriguing characters in this show.
I keep forgetting the show is almost over. I guess we wont know what Kishibe’s deal is anytime soon
I see where you’re coming from, on the Kyoto pair. Now, I’d like to think I’m not being too cynical, it’s an ugly habit I tried to shake off while younger.
However, I do think a good deal of cynicism is warranted about their appearance last episode. The way they were introduced (especially the guy) ticked me a little. Entering Aki’s room with a smile, knowing his friends & colleagues were just massacred. Remarking on Aki’s crying, with his nonchalant tone. Trying to help himself to Aki’s apple, of all things. The casual indifference got on my nerves a bit. But this doesn’t mean much by itself.
Then, there’s the fact the claim Makima sent them, which tends to raise my eyebrows. There’s also the duo’s fear of permanently joining the Tokyo team after the massacre, which suggests it is in their self-interest for a senior human hunter like Aki to remain in the organization, given how few are left. It reduces any chances of them being transferred to Tokyo against their will. But that’s mostly inference.
What alarmed me most, is that the Kyoto duo are not completely honest with Aki. In the hospital, they off-handedly mention potential deals with stronger devils. At that exact moment, as I wrote in my last comment, the scene visually splits the duo from Aki. It purposely hides their faces, and puts an emphasis on their long, dark shadows. That makes them look untrustworthy, as if they’re hiding something.
Which I’d say is the case. Aki doesn’t know they already have a devil in mind. More critically, they don’t inform him from the beginning, how heavy its price would likely be. They start very gently, by casually mentioning he will need to show “some degree of resolve”. I mean, Kon takes a few bits of flesh, so that’s our reference. Hebi eats a fingernail at a time & she’s deemed very scary… Sounds painful, but you could resolve yourself to do that.
After he shows openness to the idea — and only then — do they start progressively increasing the dose. While he’s already entered the facility, Aki’s told that the contract could be quite demanding, but that they’re not messing with him or anything! No reaction from Aki, just a determined face, so they lead him to the Future Devil’s room. Only at the very last moment, just before opening the door, do they bother sharing exactly how brutal they expect the deal to be. Either half a lifespan, or three out of five senses! It’s egregious that they neglected to mention this heavy toll from the start. But by that point, they already know that Aki’s made up his mind.
I view this as a manipulative tactic. It makes it look like they carefully guided Aki towards that decision. First, by highlighting Aki’s limited usefulness, in order to justify the necessity of the deal. Then, by slowly drip-feeding him the truth about the deal’s brutal consequences, so he may accept it more readily. That’s straight from the abuser playbook! I hope that explains my cynicism a bit better.
Which isn’t to say that the Kyoto duo are vile monsters incapable of human connection, or that there aren’t also good reasons for them to act this way. Considering the nature of the job, each devil hunter must be worth his weight in gold. The organization should do its utmost to retain its experienced human workforce, especially at a time when it’s so low. Hell, it’s so easy to argue it’s in the public interest, even if you have to do it in a cold & calculated manner. Makima might call that a necessary evil.
(Come to think of it, part of the issue may be the translation. For whatever reason, the subtitlers translated “kakugo” into sacrifice. So if our starting point isn’t “you’ll need some degree of resolve”, but instead “you’ll have to make sacrifices”, then the drip-feeding is much less glaring. In which case, my case is weaker.)
Really sorry about that. Moving on to more interesting things… I never know when to take Makima at her word. The thing is, I don’t think she’s ever lied, so far. By omission, sure. But never outright, or at least not to my knowledge. So I think her comments to the yakuza about “necessary evil” are really interesting. “A necessary evil isn’t truly justifiable unless it is collared by the state & falls under its control.” First off, what kind of totalitarian crack is she smoking? Does she view herself as a manifestation of the state’s need to commit necessary evil — not just figuratively, as one of its devil hunters, but literally as her actual devil nature?
Moreover, I find the use of the term “kubiwa” / collar very pointed. After all, she’s the one who keeps using dog & collar analogies about the people around her. And in these analogies, she’s always the one holding the leash! After all, assuming it is true devils are born out of human fears, there are three things we most fear about government: incompetence, corruption, and control. The latter is consistent with Makima’s comments above, with her total subjugation of the devil hunters, with her manipulative behavior, or her self-controlled demeanor. Also, looking at the darker chapters of our collective history, it’s all too easy for states to justify curtailing our freedoms in the name of “public safety” — a term she used twice in the episode, and also the name of the department she works for.
What about the Gun devil? Where does he fall into the equation? Well, in political science, a state is often defined as an entity which maintains a monopoly of violence over a given area. If another entity challenges that monopoly, through either criminal or (especially) terrorist acts, then the legitimacy of the state is called into question. So while it makes sense for Makima to view the Gun devil as an opportunity for yet more overreach, she could also see him as a genuine threat to her raison d’etre. That’s a really interesting tension.
More importantly, Merry Christmas to you Rin-chan. Hope you’ll enjoy a nice hot dinner.