Chainsaw Man Episode 6 review: A time-loop creates too much tension

Chainsaw ManCrunchyroll

Chainsaw Man Episode 6 has a fun enough concept, though the tension is often taken too far with frustrating characters.

Chainsaw Man has been one of the most hyped-up anime in recent years, and it’s finally arrived on Crunchyroll, with Episode 6 now here.

The plot is described as Crunchyroll as: “Denji is a teenage boy living with a Chainsaw Devil named Pochita. Due to the debt his father left behind, he has been living a rock-bottom life while repaying his debt by harvesting devil corpses with Pochita. One day, Denji is betrayed and killed. As his consciousness fades, he makes a contract with Pochita and gets revived as ‘Chainsaw Man’– a man with a devil’s heart.”

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This episode has an interesting dilemma, but any potential tension is made somewhat frustrating due to a certain character. But first, spoiler warning for Chainsaw Man ahead…

Chainsaw Man has plenty of time on its hands

Episode 6 begins where we left off, with our Devil Hunters trapped in a time loop by devils. This means they’re stuck on the same floor of a hotel, left to potentially starve to death. However, the devil that did this says that they can all leave, under one condition: it can eat Denji, the Chainsaw Man himself.

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This sense of being stuck in time is successfully put across, considering the episode only has 20 minutes to explore the scope of it – during which we see the characters sleep, eat, and smoke, as they consider the fact that they could very well die.

During this time, we get to learn more about our new characters, and there even seems to be the potential relationship between Aki and Himeno. Surprisingly, this works, mainly because you’re not sure how the relationship will go. Often you see male and female characters lumped together in shonen anime unnecessarily, but not here. Not only do these two clearly have a history, but it’s also uncertain if anything will actually come of their relationship, or if they will just keep it professional. Either way, it’s interesting to watch.

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Episode 6’s tension is taken too far

Now, while this episode creates a tense situation that leads to some genuinely great character moments – particular for Aki, who sticks up for Denji, even taking a knife for him – it also brings out the worst in another characetr, Kobeni.

If you thought she was annoying last episode, you’ll hate her here. Not only does she freak out with every minor thing that happens, but her paranoia drives her and other characters into a sabotage-level frenzy. If you’ve seen the Doctor Who episode ‘Midnight’, you’ll know what we’re talking about. And while Midnight’s frustrating characters were there to show the message of the episode, in Chainsaw Man it just feels annoying.

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True, there probably are people like this who would react as such in this situation. But it makes for a very unpleasant viewing experience, and this type of character has become an unfortunately common trope in this genre of dark shonen.

It’s not just annoying, it doesn’t make sense. We’re told that she makes up for her cowardice in her skills, but we’ve not seen those skills yet, all she’s done is shake and freeze up while holding a knife, all while stating that it’s not her fault and that she doesn’t want to be here. Why would anyone want to bring her on a mission? Himeno literally has to knock her out at one point. You half expect them to just throw her to the Devil as bait, at least then she’d be useful.

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But alas, this annoyance gets no comeuppance, as Denji chooses to be the bigger man, deciding to jump into the belly of the beast.

However, he’s not going quiet into that goodnight, instead starting up the Chainsaw Man, setting up a fight and cliffhanger that will likely be just as frustrating to fans. Though we mean this as a compliment, as clearly people are still left wanting more.

Chainsaw Man Episode 7 premieres on Crunchyroll on November 22.

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Want more Chainsaw Man reviews? Check out our other episodic reviews below

Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12