Chainsaw Man Episode 8 Review: Gunfire
We relive Denji and Himeno’s almost tryst from the last episode. They become friends and enter a secret pact. But with old enemies ever present, can any pact truly be safe?
The writers do an excellent job this episode with handling dueling tones: one light on many levels and the other dark and heavy. The second tone also gives this viewer the feeling that light will definitely not be the tone moving forward. Perhaps things will become even more bleak because we still haven't put eyes on the big bad.
In dire circumstances, people tend to show more of who they are. It’s the same with characters. The ones in this show are no different.
Denji is loyal and forgiving, even if he is a little too trusting. He seems to have all of the good traits. This viewer can't say he always makes the best decisions. But typically he has his heart in the right place if nothing else.
Himeno seems happy-go-lucky and carefree. But the more this viewer sees her, he comes to understand what a complex character she is. Underneath the jokes and carefree demeanor, which suggests she has a screw loose, is a serious person. She carries a great deal on her shoulders. She has to deal with a lot of loss. And her facade is her way of dealing with grief. It's clear that even through her disguise, Himeno loves Aki. It can be seen in previous episodes. But it’s no more evident than this one. Himeno will literally do anything to prevent Aki from harm and death. With her, it goes much deeper than just not wanting to see another partner die.
Power has come a long way in a short amount of time. There is no doubt that she is willing to fight alongside her newfound friends and comrades. But she won't foolishly throw her life away. She still believes in self-preservation.
Aki has always shown himself to be a worthy leader. He is always ready to sacrifice for friends and allies—members of his team. This time is no different.
The animation is insane for this episode, especially considering that it has to match the two very disparate tones. The first bit of animation is simply beautiful. From the scenes in Himeno’s apartment to Himeno herself—all seem stunning. Later there's a scene on a train that looks extremely cinematic. Then things shift. Even the color schemes change. During the lighter tone scenes, even though it’s at night, the audience sees lots of light blue and white. Later when the tone shifts, the audience sees lots of darker hues: dark blue, brown and black.
The action is superb. It's a mix of otherworldliness and intense, gritty realism. The stakes are high. The artist and animators ensure that the action rises to meet them.
This viewer hasn’t felt this way about an episode since the Red Wedding. This show's character development ensures that viewers have an intense and deep attachment to the characters. So the writers are sure to leave audiences with broken hearts. This episode is a fair warning for the journey ahead.