Look, I have a confession to make. I am very partial to well-written female characters in any franchise. Like I was that one kid in the arcade who played King Of Fighters solely because she loved the designs for all the female characters most. And my favorite trope of female characters? It has to be the femme fatale. Like a woman (Makima) that knows she’s hot and uses it to her advantage? Take all my money. And it’s why, when I started Chainsaw Man, I could easily point out who was taking center stage.
Because let’s be honest, Makima was never in love with Denji. She tolerated him, manipulated him, and all of it was to get close enough to the Devil inside of him. There wasn’t a lick of affection in her actions towards Denji, and we all know it. To call what they had love is just a plain old lie. And Makima acknowledges as much. She knew exactly what she was doing by leading Denji on, just so he could be vulnerable enough. He was, at best, a human pet and nothing more
Anime is no stranger to femme fatale characters, even in Shonen. Women that use their assets to manipulate and kill are pretty common throughout the medium and are a fun ploy to the often ‘noble’ protagonist. And it’s especially entertaining when the character falls head over heels for the conniving one because then you get to really explore where that blind trust leads them. Hint: It’s nowhere good, considering what happened to Denji when Makima’s true intentions were revealed.
But what were Makima’s goals here? Did she just seduce Denji and hurt him for kicks? Or was there something more sinister at play here? One thing that did happen, however, is that she didn’t succeed. Let’s discuss that and more in today’s section of Lore Analysis – where we take a closer look at the plot of popular media across anime to discern just where it all might be leading to. Today, it’s the cautionary tale of Makima X Denji!
Makima: She’s Just Not That Into You, Denji!
The first thing you should know about Makima is that she is a Control Devil. She is insidious about this while taking the identity of a Public Safety Devil Hunter, all to get closer to Denji. She is a master of deceiving, and she knows it.
This is why when she entraps Denji into a false sense of security, he doesn’t suspect anything amiss. The type of Devil Makima is, it’s very easy for her to use her cunning to basically gain control over every aspect of Denji’s life. She dangles the one thing he truly wants, a romantic relationship, in his face but never really gives him what he wants. And so, he stays loyal to her, exactly like the human pet she subversively trains him to be.
All of this manipulation is solely to fuel her obsession over the Chainsaw Devil that resides in Denji, who is considered a ‘Hero Of Hell’ for his ability to consume Devils in a way that they can’t reincarnate. Essentially wiping them out from existence. And to control that power, Makima would go to any length, even if it meant hurting everyone around her.
Denji: Played By One Love, Made Stronger By Another.
Denji is a simp. And I say this in the kindest way possible. Clearly, he had a pretty rough life so when a beautiful woman suddenly shows him affection, it’s not hard to see why he would fall.
Like, why would he suspect this supposedly talented and hot official of his new job being suddenly interested in a newbie like him? But that’s the thing about Denji, he didn’t think things through. And so soon, he was completely enthralled by Makima and her actions. So, even when she kills his friends as she did with Power, Denji doesn’t know what to do.
In the end, his love for her proved to be Makima’s downfall. When he realizes Makima never loved him, because she never really took to his scent as she did for people she was interested in? He ends up cannibalizing, feasting on her, and successfully ending her reign of terror. And truly, that was the end she deserved. She destroyed so many lives in her single-minded pursuit of the Chainsaw Devil to, apparently, bring peace to this world.
And in that process, she ‘ate up’ so many futures and traumatized Power too.