The Power of Comedy! Chainsaw Man Episode 4 [Review]

This episode covers chapter 9, 10 & 11 in the manga.

Connecting Power to the Viewer

At the beginning of the episode, we are shown Power’s memories of the past with her and Meowy. Like in the previous episode review, this is the humanizing tale for Power. Running further from her Blood Devil qualities, she finds her human instincts in love and compassion for another animal; her pet Meowy.

She’s not an incredibly deep character, but it provides some semblance of substance.

This beautifully transitions to Power opening up her eyes to see Meowy. Once she closes her eyes and opens it again, she sees Denji holding her in his arms. As they have a nice little heart-to-heart that could be taken in as a brewing romance, Power tells Denji how she will be giving Denji his dream wish. To Denji’s titillating delight, he jumps in the air ecstatic, only to see his arm be blasted away in painful slowmo.

Room for Comedic Improvement

There are a couple spots in this opening scene that the comedic elements that I constantly harp on, could have been delivered a bit funnier. When Denji explains to Power in their heart-to-heart moment of why he saved Power, he motioned for the “squeeze.” If you look at the manga panels on chapter 9, at top of page 10, there’s just a comedic art-style to the interpretation of this scene.

There are a few ways the creators could have portrayed this in a more comedic light. Rather than just keep this gloomy and somber vibe throughout, they could have made this moment more “cinematic” or dramatic; by slowing down the point to Power’s chest with an emphasizing sound effect. As it frames back to Denji holding his hand up to show “the squeeze,” there could have been some sound effects to go along with that frame as well. You can literally see in the manga panel that it says “squeeze.” So, it make perfect sense to add that little comedic effect to this part of the scene.

However, the anime hasn’t actually delivered any of those kind of scenes with that kind of emphatic comedic delivery style. At this point, this is just how we can expect how the creators interpret the source material. It’s still just missing a little bit of that Chainsaw Man manga humor.

Another Example of Better Comedic Delivery

In another example within the same scene, after Denji gets overly excited about Power allowing Denji to get his reward; he gets his arm blasted off in an epicly dramatic fashion. In this case, Denji’s reaction to Power and getting his arm blown off is not where I take issue. Where I take issue with is his reaction to getting his arm blown off. My interpretation of this moment is the hilarious realization of Denji’s moment being literally blown away. His scream of pain should have came off more light-hearted like in a sarcastic sense. The anime keeps Denji’s reaction way too literally like it really just hurts and nothing else.

Based off the manga, Denji’s reaction is very similar EXCEPT how its interpreted. Because Denji just jumped for joy bringing his emotions to the very top of happy relief, his pain and agony of getting his arm completely blown off comes off like a “gosh darn it, this hurts” type of moment. It’s the sarcasm and dark humor that doesn’t get completely relayed. The cries of Denji’s pain is that sarcastic and humorous turn of events for him. The creators need the delivery of these kind of moments to show the audience how funny it is that his arm gets blown away because he needs his hand to “touch Power.”

There’s just so many funny things Denji can say in this moment like “at least I have another hand to get my reward.”

This is one of my favorite examples to show to people how the anime contrasts so much from how comedic the manga is.

Incredible Fight Scene

As I will keep reiterating about the lack of comedic delivery, that would be my only downside to this scene as Denji fends off the Leech Devil. When Denji delivers the “I won’t die until I cop a feel” line, this is one of the few times I buy into the dark and serious tone for Denji’s delivery. Because of the lack of comical Chainsaw Man manga flavor, many scenes that could have been delivered as more funny & light-hearted, the dark and dramatic theme still works well with the incredible animation. Having this scene be intense, dramatic and visually pleasing works very well. It might be the part about Chainsaw Man anime thus far.

This battle against the Bat turned out to be the appetizer for the main course against the Leech Devil. You can tell in this episode how the animation sequences brought forward incredible visuals that the manga would never be able to deliver. For now, this is THE highlighted animated fight scene for me; even more so than the previous episode.

Issue w/ Delivery of Denji’s Loss to the Leech Devil

Once Denji got impaled, this is where I have another slight issue with this scene. Denji getting stabbed through the body is another substantial moment that should have came across in a more dramatic fashion. In the same way that the creators showed Denji having his arm flying away in slow motion at the beginning of the episode, this scene has an awkward transition to the possible end of Denji. It was a mistake to show Denji be impaled off screen and panning the shot up to show the audience what just happened to him. With the music already playing the dramatic “I don’t know what’s going to happen” music, before the audience gets to see Denji’s dire situation was a slightly confusing moment.

Aki to the Rescue!

As Denji leaps forward with his chainsaw head deep within the Leech’s body, it panels below Denji’s hanging body with a pool of blood accumulating under him as it pans up to a limp body of Denji. In dramatic anticipatory fashion of Denji getting ready to meet his end, Aki saves the day by showcasing what the “Devil Hunter Contract” is by summoning the Fox Devil to gobble up the Leech Devil—leaving Denji flying across the screen with a bloody hole in his chest.

After Aki takes care of the Leech Devil, we are introduced with a few new characters that Aki commands to help take care of the scene. Eventually, this leads us to Aki having a word with Denji in the hospital bed. They show flashes of Aki having conversations with citizens about Chainsaw Man saving him.

Is this the beginning of the lore of our heroic savior, Chainsaw Man?!

This gives Aki a pause and implies Aki’s inner dialogue is conflicting with his “hate all devils” kind of mantra.

Aki knows that something was up between Denji and Power, with Power being the likely culprit that set up Denji. After taking in everything that had happened, Aki covers for Denji and Power, knowing that he could have gotten them executed if he wanted them to. In the end, Aki decides to “use Denji and Power,” getting Denji to agree to listen to him from hereon out so he can “keep his lifestyle.”

Aki Filling in the Vibes

This episode had quite a bit more extra scenes added in compared to the manga. Unlike in episode 2, where they omitted the Muscle Devil fight scene, this episode had some amazing fight sequences and a lot more Aki screen time.

It’s quite clear that Aki is the “hot smart guy” of the show.

The creators even added a scene between Makima and Aki. This just reiterates what the last scene with Denji in the hospital bed implied. Aki sees the good within Denji, evidenced by all the people he helped save as Chainsaw Man. Makima in this scene further implies how Denji’s positive influence is changing his viewpoint.

Right before the abrupt moment Power shows up to ruin Aki and Denji’s “bro peace,” there are some added “ambience” kind of scenes with Aki doing normal people things like doing laundry and making coffee. After a very intense first half of the episode, the downtime and transition to get to the episode’s cliffhanger needed mild natured to get the audience to that moment. These were some decent “anime only” scenes, but nothing particularly special about them as it was just a means to an end to get to the iconic moment.

Power Rescues the Comedy!

Power’s character is so powerful that the creators have no choice but to make this scene as comedic as possible. One thing that this episode does well is build these dramatic moments. As someone comes knocking maliciously at the door, bursting the door handle through, it is none other than the rambunctious Power. With her loud and selfishly overbearing personality, she causes quite the raucous that causes Denji and Aki to forcibly react in the most hilarious ways possible. This all culminates to the scene that we’ve all been waiting for. As Denji is cleaning Power’s excrement out of the toilet and complaining to Power about “poo streaks,” this builds into one of the anticipatory iconic moments in Chainsaw Man.

Power allows Denji to squeeze oppais 3 times!

As much as I dog the quality of the comedy that’s needed for Chainsaw Man, this is one of THE highlights of Chainsaw Man as Power offers to Denji his reward for saving Meowy. This is when the story and the manga panels forces the creators to make this as hilarious as possible. We are done with the dark gloomy haze that most of the first 3 and half episodes have relayed to us. This scene represents Chainsaw Man at its best.

Having this occur while Denji is cleaning up her poo is one of the most hilarious setups for a very “naughty” moment. This is where the writing becomes too good to mess up!

Last Thoughts

Getting the feel for Chainsaw Man for the first 4 episodes has been pretty tricky when it comes with certain expectations from the manga. As an adaptation, it has been an accurate representation of the source material. One BIG concern I had as I watched these first few episodes have been the underutilization of the delivery of the comedic moments. In my utmost opinion, these comedic elements of Chainsaw Man are essential to the telling of the Chainsaw Man story. It has been more about the dark and gloomy moments when the episode guides us through the character development of Denji and Power with Aki playing the role of being the smarter and logical senpai. Denji and Power provides the male and female comedic relief as Aki allows the story to take on a more serious tone after Denji and Power’s backstory & motivations gets fleshed out.

Before, I really was scared that this anime was taking a wrong turn, but this episode had one of the most iconic moments done well. This episode really deserves a high score and has given me new found hope for the perfect balance between the delivery of the comedy and the dark cinematic moments. If it wasn’t for the back half of the episode’s anime filler scenes and the little nitpicks on the delivery of those essential comedic moments, this would be close to a perfect episode. Overall, this anime is far from a bad adaptation. It is already a good one, but to be on the pantheon of the greatest animes, it has to gel in the right blend of comedic delivery that makes you uncontrollably cackle and deliver those epic sequence of events when they matter the most. If there was one scene 4 episodes in that could perfectly explain my love and infatuation for Chainsaw Man, it is the cliffhanger of this episode.


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