Denji becomes a devil hunter alongside Aki Hayakawa and Powers. Taking advice from Aki, Denji finds a new dream and purpose, to touch oppais. This episode covers manga chapters 2, 3, 4 and part of 5.
Denji, the Dog
The episode opens up with Makima telling Denji to “act as her dog.” In Denji’s great disappointment of her attitude, he feels let down. Soon after this subtle scene, Makima mentions that they’ll “get some breakfast” as Denji’s stomach constantly growls. She goes on to give Denji a jacket because walking around half-naked with a string poking out of your chest would catch quite the attention. Denji couldn’t help but start falling for Makima as she treats him nicely for the first time ever.
Denji’s Frustration with Makima
One slight difference I noticed from the manga and this scene is that Denji’s frustration of Makima treating him like a dog actually comes a little bit later, but they ended up cutting that whole “Muscle Devil” part of the story out. Either way, Denji’s switch to an infatuation with Makima is a key theme here.
Denji and Makima’s Relatability
One other low-key relatability part of this scene is Denji’s sudden change in liking a girl because she just treats him nicely.
From a girl’s perspective, you treat a guy nicely and suddenly they fall for you when it wasn’t your intention.
From a guy’s perspective, when you are universally not an attractive guy(not just looks) and a really attractive girl treats you a certain way, it can biologically sucker you into a girl’s frame.
Especially early on, this is what makes Denji’s character so easy to understand and relate to. He’s just a regular guy that wants basic amenities for his life that aspires to be with attractive women.
How does Denji not represent the ordinary man?
Denji Turns into a Simp
All of the sudden, Denji falls over into Makima’s arm, expressing that “losing too much blood earlier made him dizzy.” He goes on to tell Makima about how Pochita died for him and is literally his heart. Makima corrects him in that Pochita is indeed alive and that’s why he has the smell of a human and a devil.
Denji gets hyped for the soggy udon and Makima ends up feeding him like a pet dog. Afterwards, Denji asks Makima “what kind of guy do you like?” To Makima’s response, she says “a guy a like Denji.”
“Wait! I’M Denji!”
Where the Heck is the Muscle Devil?!
In the manga, Denji ends up fighting a muscle devil where this randomly injured dad comes running into the restaurant requesting help to save his daughter. This is where Denji’s frustration with Makima stemmed from that the creators used in the opening scene.
What Happened in the Manga
Makima sends Denji off to kill the devil to his disapproval because of the the udon already being ready to consume. He runs off to go find the girl, speaking out loud how much he actually doesn’t like Makima treating him like a pet.
Eventually, Denji comes across this little girl and she says that “the devil is actually a good guy.” Her dad was actually abusing her. Looking within himself because of Pochita, he tries to get the kid and the devil to run away with him because of how Makima is treating him like a dog.
In the end, it was a setup as the “Muscle Devil” appears. Then, it starts its “menacing” speech, taking the girl and using its powers to control Denji’s muscles. As the devil tries taking control of Denji, the chainsaw comes out of Denji and he slaughters it. Running back with the little girl on his back, he makes his way back to Makima, falling into her arms.
When Denji falls over onto Makima, that whole sequence in the anime proceeds after the fight with the Muscle Devil.
Does this part in the manga actually matter?
The creators seemed to go with just a few sentences of dialogue in the opener to get this point across of how Makima treats Denji and Denji’s early disapproval of that.
Denji Becomes a Devil Hunter
From this point on, Denji has fallen head-over-chainsaws for Makima—thinking to himself that they might actually end up together.
Both of them arrive at the Devil Hunters Tokyo HQ, where Makima gives Denji his uniform and brings in Aki Hayakawa. It is now Denji’s duty to shadow Aki with Denji in complete disgust of this idea. Makima uses her seduction by telling Denji that he has a chance to work for her.
While Denji is nagging Aki about Makima, Aki takes Denji to an alley to “rough him up.” With a sudden fist to the face, Aki lectures Denji about not taking this job seriously because many before him died. In Aki’s perspective, he is “doing Denji a favor.” Aki gives Denji a chance to quit and runaway, but that isn’t exactly what Denji had in mind.
Denji gets up after getting a surprised bro fist to the face and he opts for the “no-no knees” to Aki’s birthing jewels. Denji goes on to say that doing it for Makima is reason enough and that Aki seems like he likes her too. They continue fighting out their differences with Denji finishing Aki off with one too many kicks to the “off limits area” part of the body.
The Scene That Displays Chainsaw Man’s Best Qualities
It’s the “knees and kicks to the sack of testosterone” scene that finally gets Chainsaw Man out of this dark, depressing and putrid feeling.
It sets the stage for the beginning of a great relationship duo that quickly becomes a trio later like in most popular shonen animes. These two duking it out creates a tone shift for a lighter mood.
The Adventures of Denji & Aki
After their bout, they both end up back in Makima’s office. Denji makes up a lie that Aki got attacked by a “Testicle Devil” and Aki vehemently denies the legitimacy of that statement.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Denji ends up fighting a testicle devil at some point.
To Makima’s delight that these two guys are becoming so close, she decides to put Denji in Aki’s unit. She expounds further that Denji “isn’t a human or a devil” and that “she will kill him” if anything were to go amiss. Denji asks what all of this means and Makima simply respond with “we’ll be working together until we die.”
After their talk with Makima, Aki takes Denji back to his place. On the way there, Denji asks if “Makima is a bad person?” Aki answers “of course,” and that she “saved his life.” Denji blushes and says out loud that he “hopes to be hugged by Makima again.” To Aki’s jealous response, he shrieks.
This scene just further highlights Aki’s love interest in Makima and muddies the water in what the audience should think of Makima.
Fast forward through a few scenes of Denji and Aki living together like the crappy roommate we assume Denji to be, they get a call to take down a fiend. Fiends are “dead human corpses that get taken over by a devil” with the devil “keeping its personality.” Aki asks Denji to take down the fiend using his abilities, but winds up using his little hatchet instead. He ends up giving Aki the excuse that essentially means that he sympathizes with the devils. Again, Aki lectures him about not getting his feelings all tied up and that he had to “witness his own parents getting killed by one.”
The Simplicity of Our Dreams
In reality, Denji’s excuse for not using his chainsaws was so that he wouldn’t get blood on the naughty magazines. Soon after he picks up the magazine, he ends up reminiscing about Pochita. To this point, Denji feels like he’s achieved his dream already. Almost all of his basic amenities are met: food, shelter, job and being around Makima. Thinking of Aki, Denji has a strong hunch that Aki has his own dreams “to get revenge” or something like that.
Wondering if Makima has her own dreams, he then starts to think about her chest. Before, it was a pipe dream afterthought of ever having the opportunity to lay his bare hands on some nice plump oppais. Now, that dream becomes doable with how his life has turned for the better. Taking into account Aki’s earlier scolding, Denji finds a new resolve in getting to touch oppais.
Think about Denji’s dreams from the first episode. The fulfillment of those dreams start now and the metaphors of those bad guys are playing out in front of our eyes.
I have my eyes intently set on the voice acting, music and delivery of these kind of comedic moments. When Denji finds resolve in the purpose of being able to touch a girl’s chest, it just seems like there should be a more epic delivery or an aloof sarcastic delivery about it. I still like the scene. It just wasn’t as memorable of a moment as I thought it would be.
A Fiend Named Power
Aki and Denji end up back at Makima’s office with Denji having oppais on his mind. Makima introduces another member to the “Experimental Special Division 4.” She is a fiend and her name is “Power.” Waltzing through the door loudly screaming, Denji questions what he ends up seeing. Questioning this loudmouth character with horns sticking out of her head, his logical senses gets washed away when he reminds himself of his dream—the dream of getting ahold of some oppais.
Denji and Power end up patrolling together on the roof of some buildings. If any police officers or security stop them, they would only need to state who they are and their special badge. Power walks around sprite and thirsting for blood. Denji mentions that “he is okay with crazy girls as long as they are hot.” In Power’s case, she’s basically this crazy uncontrollable maniac that tests Denji’s patience. Once she got a scent of a devil nearby, she goes flying off the building.
The end result?
A splattered “Sea Cucumber Devil” and a gooey covered Power maniacally laughing her pants off at the result of the her work.
Power Steals the Show
I hate to this say because I think Power’s character is a bit overrated in regards to future plots, but the introduction of her character is a chef’s kiss moment. In the same way where Anya is a one of kind character to Spy x Family, Power is the same to Chainsaw Man. You’re just not going to get this belligerent and accidently comedic style of a character like Power anywhere else. Showcasing her “wild card” attitude and total disrespect for Denji is going to create one of the most fun dynamics in the story.
Power is going to captivate the female audience and be the crutch for us to laugh at.
The way they animated the scenes with Denji and Power were strikingly better than the manga. Without spoiling too much, the subtle emphasis on the cat and added panels of their patrol together looked really well done.
From beginning to end, this episode was able to get across Denji’s infatuation for Makima while being able to flesh out 2 main charters: Aki Hayakawa and Power. The highlight of the episode was Denji kicking Aki in the crotch. It washed the away the slow depressing feel of the show to literally “kick” us into gear into what kind of show we’re going to be getting with Chainsaw Man. Even though I have a little concern with how they artisically handle moments like Denji stating that his dream now is to touch oppais; that slight disagreement in choice of delivery is quickly overshadowed by the one and only Power.
Not only does Power sound perfect for her characer, she nailed every line and scene that she was in. Aki fighting Denji might have been the most fun & exciting, but Power’s introduction until the very end of the episode is best described as captivating. I can safely say that every anime enthusiast should try to watch this. The main cast is here and it should only get better from here on out.
If I had to give this episode a rating it would be 9.2/10. Makima plays this mysteriously alluring boss. Aki brings the bromance with Denji. Power pops off screen with her wild attiude and untamed actions. The dark elements are starting to blend with its comedic side to form something epic.