The Chainsaw Man anime continues to slay with episode 9, “From Kyoto.” Tokyo’s devil hunters are left in disarray (or dead) after a highly coordinated ambush by the Gun Devil’s gang, with Denji left standing to face his own hybrid devil-human counterpart in “Katana Man.” The Devil Hunters were able to prove their mettle in the midst of death as the surviving members gathered to face their enemies. During this counterattack, Makima proves why she is the one in charge of this Devil Hunter division!
Yes, it turns out that Makima wasn’t shot on the train to Kyoto – or WAS, and was somehow resurrected. Either way, we’re finally getting a glimpse of Makima’s diabolical contract powers—and while there are SO many questions about how these powers work (or even what they are), there’s no debating that they’re shockingly gory!
Makima uses a form of clairvoyance and almost veodoo-style remote manipulation to literally twist the Gun Devil gang member’s bodies until they burst like yogurt tubes. This technique is made even darker when we see Makima use a group of inmates on death row as totems for a ritual: he forces each inmate to say the name of a gang member, and once he does his “squeeze,” the inmate who said the name. he’s dying too!
As you can see above, fans of the Chainsaw Man manga have been waiting a while for Makima’s “Temple Scene” to make it to anime form. As always, manga is a stunning form of visual art – but what anime (when done right) enhances is unmatched. So while Makima’s power definitely stood out in the manga, it’s downright traumatic in the anime. The moving image of bodies twisted beyond all physical limits is disturbing on a Cronenberg level; the bloody mess he left behind and/or splattered on the surrounding spectators makes him something out of a horror movie.
More than anything else, this temple sequence moved Maki from a puzzling question to the real nature of the intrigue. How she survived being shot (while still looking dead) and why her diabolical contracts are so secret are now the questions that will keep us invested—far beyond Denji’s horny intentions. The episode also ends with the dark revelation that Makima could very well have foreseen that the weapon devil ambush was coming – raising new questions and speculation as to why she let it go.