The following contains spoilers for Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man manga, now available in English through Viz Media’s Shonen Jump publisher, as well as Season 1 of the anime, currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
After multiple instances of Makima taking advantage of Denji, as well as other beloved characters in the Public Safety Special Team 4, it’s only natural for Chainsaw Man fans to look down on her. The leader of the Public Safety Demon Hunter is definitely a villain of the highest rank, so it would be easy to dislike her for her crimes and unscrupulous approach to getting what she wants. he wants. Despite this, Makima is still a much-loved character in many ways.
After all that Makima has done, audiences are often torn by how much they enjoy her presence in Chainsaw Man. As the story’s most evil character, most of those who take on her imply that she should be hated, especially after her true intentions are revealed in a shocking revelation. This disproves the idea that Makima was designed to be liked as events in the anime are seen through Denji’s eyes, and that despite everything he has to go through, he always respects him. Respect your advisor.
Denji’s Situation in Chainsaw Man Must Be Understood
Makima is a well-written and complex villain. To really understand her, it’s important to put the protagonist’s situation in full context. Due purely to his upbringing, Denji has overly simplistic goals. Never in his life has he experienced true love, especially parental love as well as maternal love, and above all, Denji is poor, lonely and starving. He was defined by poverty, and the teenage boy’s experiences had tarnished his character to the point that he was relatively immoral. Without Aki Hayakawa’s guidance later in the series, he would have remained the same.
Shonen protagonists tend to experience trauma early on as it acts as a trigger for their next decision. For example, in Jujutsu Kaisen, Yuji Itadori’s grandfather dies at the beginning of the series, which serves as his integration into Jujutsu society. Likewise, Denji is destined for a life of nothingness with only deep dreams until Makima asks him to show her his dreams. This is Denji’s fusion with a new life – a life he considers Makima as his savior.
Denji yearns for motherly love from Makima
Chainsaw Man creator Tatsuki Fujimoto said in an interview that although Denji has a lot of sexual desires, what he’s really looking for in Makima is motherhood. The boy was extremely innocent and confused by emotions he had never had before; Makima soon grasped this and made good use of these traits. She used the imbalance of power between them in exchange for Denji’s complete submission, and he obeyed because Makima knew she was what he wanted.
From the audience’s point of view, it’s easy to see Makima taking advantage of Denji, but unfortunately, he lacks the same awareness. She casually mentions turning the demon hound into her dog, clearly disrespecting his right to self-determination, and always hanging himself over his head as the mother figure he craves. The red flags stand out to the viewer, but this story is about Denji from his point of view.
The audience looks at Makima through Denji’s eyes
Despite everything, Denji looks at Makima through rose-tinted glasses, and so does the audience. The hunter’s view of his mentor is clouded by her manipulation, so he still idolizes her and considers her unusually beautiful. This is why Makima is still so beloved — fans have to see her through the same distorted lens as Denji. Even in the most bitter ending, when she has effectively stolen everything from Denji for his selfish gain, he still admires her, cares for her, and craves approval. her, even though he’s new to himself and knows how wrong it is to feel.
Makima made Denji idolize her, and for reasons he couldn’t get his head around, he did and always will. She planned this from the beginning, so Denji also felt flustered when he realized he still liked her leaving fans confused. Chainsaw Man is written from the perspective of a young boy, so audiences empathize deeply with him, often feeling the same thing as Denji. Makima needs to be loved in order to have control of Chainsaw Man in the first place and stage her entire evil ordeal, so her character’s purpose is to be admired.
Makima treats Denji well while appealing to the part of him he craves admiration, praise, and approval for. The reason she was able to commit such profound crimes was because demon hunters liked her. Every moment the audience looks at Makima from Denji’s eyes, she is portrayed as beautiful and unattainable. She does everything in her power to make sure things stay that way, giving him a reason to need her.
Right from the very beginning of Chainsaw Man, Makima has relied on her adorable ability to get everything she wants. This is why claiming that she was written to be hated is such a controversial act, as she has always been seen as the only person Denji respects. The audience has to empathize with Denji and feel the full extent of her betrayal, which is why Makima is admired to the very end.
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