I love when a manga has a good female villain that isn’t one-dimensional and boring. I know, I know, we have plenty of strong female icons to choose from in manga now. But it always feels good to see a character that is fully realized, powerful, and doesn’t need petty motivations to cause chaos. Maybe that’s why Makima from Chainsaw Man is so appealing to me. Because while it may be her good looks that pull you in, it’s the absolutely devastating power she holds that keeps you at the edge of your seat.
Makima is possibly one of the strangest main antagonists I’ve ever encountered in a story. On the surface, she serves the purpose of being a ‘honey pot’ – something that attracts our protagonist and entraps him in her snare. It’s a very cliché femme fatale trope, but one that works well enough in Chainsaw Man. However, the way she acts, and her motivations toward her goals are unlike any villain in this story so far.
One of Makima’s key traits is her being a Control Devil. Because of the type of devil she is, her powers are near megalomania levels absurd. And yet, we still have no idea regarding the full scope of her abilities. She’s always been mysterious and a little aloof, but now we know that cool and calm demeanor was more than just a façade to throw our protagonist Denji aka Chainsaw Man off. And thanks to the Public Safety arc of the manga, we finally have a little more insight into how Makima’s mind works.
But what gives her so much power, more than any other devil from Hell we’ve met so far? Even with Power, another formidable devil, she was able to fully decimate her in one swift movement. Is it the fact that she’s a master of deceit? Or the fact that she’s always hidden her true intentions in plain sight? Let’s dissect the character that is Makima!
Absolute Devotion: The Control Devil Makima Breakdown
The first thing we understand about Makima is that she was already aware of Denji’s connection to the Chainsaw Devil’s powers. When she hugs him and he turns back into a human, you get to understand that she was manipulating him from the very start. As is the nature of a Control Devil type like her.
A Control Devil can influence whoever they think is inferior to them. This includes animals like birds, dogs, cats, etc. But the same controlling powers could also be applied to certain humans and even hybrids to do what she wills. She already has a contract with the Prime Minister of Japan, showcasing that her persuasion skills are near unstoppable.
Thanks to the control this grants her, Makima can even channel other devil’s powers if she has them in the contract. Which they can’t say no to or reject, considering the nature of her powers. It’s exactly how she gets the entire Public Safety Devil Hunter Squadron to be so hopelessly loyal to her, including Denji.
And this isn’t even mentioning her powers of being reincarnated in Hell. This means that as a control devil, Makima is virtually immortal with indescribable strength and manipulation of reality-bending powers.
Makima’s Connection To the Four Horsemen Theory
The sheer amount of terror she reigns over all the devils in existence hints at her being one of the strongest opponents in the entire manga. But this is exactly why a lot of fans are convinced that Makima is, quite possibly, one of the infamous Four Horsemen – 4 of the most powerful devils that will bring ruin to the human world.
While both Makima and the Four Horsemen are still enshrouded in mystery, we do have some hints on why this is a valid theory for her absurd power levels. One of the main factors for this claim is the fact that Makima and the Conquest Horsemen share the same name in Japanese, which is ‘Shihai’ – better known as Dominance. Another instance that implicates her as a Horseman is that she was there when the Weapon Devils fought with the Four Horsemen against Pochita.
Combine this with the sheer amount of abilities she has and you can see why people would be convinced of her being so important.
What Does Makima Want?
Perhaps the scariest thing about Makima is the fact we still don’t know what she’s after.
She is near-emotionless but has a soft side for her pets. She seduces Denji to take control of him. But at the same time, she dreams about a happy life with Pochita, the devil attached to Denji. In the end, she claims that all she wants is to be on equal footing with someone for once, to have a family.
Which makes a weird amount of sense. Can you imagine being able to control everything, never having a healthy dynamic with someone?
In a way, Makima is a tragic character. Scary, but that’s just how multi-faceted she is. Which makes her an extremely enjoyable villain.