The first half of Episode 2 in Chainsaw Man should have gone to the Muscle Devil. However, it didn’t detract from the anime, and there’s a chance we’ll see it outside Ending 3.
But it showed that Denji didn’t turn a blind eye to Makima casually saying she’ll kill him. And it touched on two forms of abuse.
If you’ve watched Chainsaw Man, you know it doesn’t shy from violence, gore, or adult material. But the Muscle Devil arc took things in a darker direction.
What did we miss?
Not much. The Muscle Devil was only in Chapters 2-3, and he didn’t give Denji much trouble. MAPPA did an excellent job of using dialogue to convey Makima’s intentions.
Denji still eats soggy udon and quickly resorts to barking when he’s with Makima. But I do wish Muscle Devil was given his turn in the anime.
Makima’s food is almost ready when a man comes running into the restaurant begging for help. His head is bleeding, and he says a Devil kidnaped his daughter.
Makima tells Denji to kill the Devil because she doesn’t want her food to get soggy. Denji heads into the woods, but he’s angry at how Makima treats him.
He eventually finds the girl, but the Devil has a flower crown on his head, and the girl begs Denji not to kill him. She claims her father would beat her and the Devil saved her.
There’s no sign of abuse on her, but there are hints that something is off. Denji doesn’t notice and thinks about how Pochita was a good Devil.
He can’t be the only one, and he asks them if they want to run away with him. The Muscle Devil attaches to Denji’s arms and reveals it was all a trap.
And now that he has Denji, he’ll kill him and “have fun with the female brat.” The Muscle Devil can control the muscles of any creature it touches and wrecks one of Denji’s arms.
But it couldn’t stop him from pulling Pochita’s cord and transforming! Denji carries the girl back to the restaurant and reveals that transforming makes him lose blood, and he passes out.
Why was this cut?
There are two theories about this. First, with only 12 episodes guaranteed at the time, it makes sense that MAPPA wanted to introduce us to Aki and Power quickly.
If the Muscle Devil had been adapted, it would have taken up the first half of the episode. And we wouldn’t have met Power until Episode 3.
Secondly, as graphic and dark as the Chainsaw Man anime is, child abuse shouldn’t be treated lightly. There’s no evidence that the father was abusing her.
But there’s no mistaking that the Muscle Devil wouldn’t let her die painlessly. There’s a panel that shows Makima and two Devil Hunters saying useless dogs are put down.
And Denji understood why he was being told this. Makima will give him anything and everything in return for his obedience.
He’s only allowed to say yes or woof. She does not need dogs who say no.