Sorry about putting this here guys. There’s this new site that has been stealing all my content (and content from a lot of other great bloggers) called Anime Sensai. They really suck. But I figure I might as well use the opportunity for some advertising. So if you actually came across this post on Anime Sensai, please know that 1 – they did not write it and 2 – although their bots are doing a pretty good job at stealing posts from all over as soon as they are published, they don’t seem to do to great at lifting al the awesome screencaps I collected or all the extra material bloggers put into their content. So make sure to go visit the source link you see on top of posts and as for this one, just come visit my blog: I Drink and Watch Anime. I post daily and actually have awesome readers to interact with. I’m going t be posting this paragraph on top of my posts for a little while. I hope it doesn’t annoy you guys too much.
I forgot this was the last episode of Chainsaw Man. But not in the usual way I forget such things. I was really aware that this was the last episode of Chainsaw Man. In fact, when I started it, I thought to myself, hey, I’ll watch the last episode of Chainsaw Man and get another anime off my watching list. Clean that thing up a little. That was the point.
Somehow, somewhere along the way, I forgot that. I was just watching and I got really into it and I thought it went by extra quickly. At the end, I thought once again, as I do almost every episode, that it’s super cool that they have a different ED every time. Then I thought this one got extra points for being integrated into the episode proper. I went through my screencaps and created my gif for the header and then I named it: “Chainsaw Man header ep12”. And that’s when I remembered, oh man, this is the last episode. It feels nothing like a last episode. And as far as I know, the second season still hasn’t been announced. I’m pretty much entirely certain it will be but still. We can’t leave things off here now, can we?
One thing the Chainsaw Man anime has helped me realized is that I hadn’t been fair to Himeno. Don’t get me wrong, I have always liked Himeno. I like when characters are allowed to be a mess and still be considered worthy of praise and looked up to. It’s actually pretty tough to do, possibly even more so with female characters. But Himeno is a good example. she was a mess and pitiful at times but also kind of awesome and inspiring and her memory moves a lot of pieces of this story.
In fact, I considered naming my post for this week: Ghosts. Both referring to the actual Gohst devil as well as how Himeno’s ghost hangs over everyone right now. I hadn’t noticed how delicate the balance of her character is. I’m glad I got the chance to do so.
As for the actual Ghost, it’s a pretty great devil, isn’t it? I mean it’s one of the best designs in the show. The flower carpet neck just adds something ineffably creepy to the whole thing. I really love it. And the idea that as long as you’re not afraid it can’t see you. It worked out here. Mostly because Aki is deeply jaded at this point. But can you imagine it against a normal person? You see this monstrosity in front of you and you know that as long as you’re not afraid it can’t see you. But what good does that do? How are you supposed to not be afraid? It’s such a cruel Catch-22.
Right at the end of the scene, we got another great line from Kobeni. You can easily miss it but Kobeni has a lot of the best one-liners in the show. This one was more obvious though. When asked in the middle of a tense scene why she hasn’t quit yet, she mumbles well the bonuses are coming up. Brilliant, exactly what the opening act needed to lighten the mood!
Speaking of lightening the mood. You really just need to cut to Denji and POwer together and that does the trick. Even Power alone can cut through most of the tension but the two together and you’re sure to crack a smile. And I did.
What I actually like about Deni and Power is that they act mostly like siblings. Denji has never had any normal or healthy relationships at all growing up. With the possible exception of Pochita. So this ordinary life he’s so adamant about protecting is a paradise from his point of view. Not only can he meet all his needs for the first time but h also has a semblance of a support system. Peers, even possibly something like friends. Ad the closest thing he has to family, is Power. Let that sink in! But ‘cmon, you saw them in that elevator. You can’t tell me that’s not a brother and sister annoying each other for fun.
With the return of Katana man we also got the return of the heartless theme. Once again, the script openly questions whether Denji is still human, this time by having Katana man ask the question out loud. It’s not subtle. And here’s the thing. If you ask me, it both does and doesn’t matter.
The question does matter. One of the themes of Chainsaw Man is exploring what it means to be human. What is the impact of all those devils born of human fears? How much of our suffering is self-imposed and how much do we impose on each other for no real reason. The question of what does it mean to be human is asked not in some existential or boring biological sense but what responsibilities do we have when we claim the title of humanity. It’s a question that resonates throughout the story.
But whether Denji himself is human in some strict definition of the term is meaningless in my opinion. It doesn’t matter whether “Denji” is human. He is in many instances the most humane character and that’s what matters.
Also, the fight in the actual wagon was really cool. Mapa did a great job using perspective to make the visuals even more interesting. And you see how much more impactful that red blood is compared to Ghost’s blue blood in the opening scene? Colour makes a huge difference.
One of the things Chainsaw Man does very well is managing the atmosphere. In a single episode, there were a lot of honestly sad moments. A lot of people were lost in the show and although all of them are personified through Himeno at the moment, there is an honest sense of grief that simply didn’t exist in earlier episode.
There’s also a lot of tension and actual fear. I’ve said it a few times before, I would classify the manga as straight horror and that has been softened in the anime but that doesn’t mean the tension and dread that permeate this story have completely been washed away. Rather, that mood gets balances out a bit better.
For instance with yawns. Both Denji and Power (of course) yawn during this episode. The action-packed season finale. They yawn at different times but in times that normally you wouldn’t be yawning. You wouldn’t be relaxed at all. And it looks so weird to have a character yawn so openly at these moments. Denji’s yawn is in the manga. It’s a calculated image to break the tension and remind you how atypical Denji is as a shonen hero. It also makes you do mental gymnastics as you desperately try to figure out whether you’re the one overestimating the stakes or Denji is just not taking things seriously enough.
But Power’s yawn is an anime original. And I think that is what actually makes it work. The yawns bookend the big fight scene in the episode. It’s also the most important fight scene we’ve had so far. And the characters jus casually breeze through it as if they can’t be bothered to really pay attention. That’s amazing right? I’m not the only one who thinks that, right? Of course, it is also a great way to illustrate that Power and Denji are very similar.
Maybe if the episodes right at the credits, I wouldn’t have so utterly forgotten that it was the last episode. Maybe… But so much happened in those last few minutes. We saw Makima return and give her report without hesitation and with her usual air of mystery. Who is she reporting to? Why was there only one person with her in that room? It seems that their only lead got taken out and the Gun devil is on the move. That can’t be good. Where is he/she/they heading to?
Denji, Power and Aki got to celebrate a job well done together. It was a great scene. But what was Denji’s dream about? For those of you that remember, the scene in Denji’s dream, that dark alleyway with the door full of papers and a mail slot. That CG scene was the exact same scene that opened the series. It’s a perfect bookend between the first and last episode and yet, I forgot it was the last episode. However, we never heard Pochita’s voice beyond the door before. And we definitely never heard his cryptic warning. Why can’t Denji open the door? It’s his dream. Surely Denji isn’t deep enough to have buried something in his subconscious?
I didn’t get any screencaps of it but there are also a few final little frames. A sunny day and what appears to be a lady going through some streets and into a store? I’m assuming a lot of things, We saw the scene of the sunny stair at the beginning of the episode but without any context. I’m assuming it’s a lady because we do see legs and shoes and they seemed feminine to me but it’s not much to go on. The very last sound of the episode, and therefore the season, is a door closing with some belles. Like you might have at old timey shops to alert people when a customer is coming in. I absolutely love that last sound. It’s really fantastic sound design. I have no clue what it means. It’s certainly not a sound to end on, I can tell you that!
Man, this season went by in a flash. Maybe I’ll review it eventuallyé For the moment, my brain is still fully invested in the idea that a second season will not only be announced but start very soon o why review an unfinished product. Spoilers, if I do review the season, I liked it. It was better than I thought it would be.
- 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
- Chainsaw Man ep11 – Necessary Evil