Why is Makima still sympathetic after her evil deeds?

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Warning ! The following contains spoilers for Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man manga, as well as Season 1 of the anime, which aired on Crunchyroll.

After numerous instances of Makima taking advantage of Denji, as well as other favorites of Special Division 4 of Public Securityit would be realistic for Chainsaw Man fans to despise her. The leader of the Public Safety Demon Hunters is undoubtedly a top notch villain, so it would be easy to hate her for her crimes and her amoral approach to getting what she wants. Despite this, Makima remains a very likable character in many ways.

After all Makima has done, audiences are often torn that they appreciate his presence in Chainsaw Man. As the most evil character in history, most views of her imply that she shouldn’t be liked, especially after her true intentions were revealed in shock. This goes against the idea that Makima was made to be loved, since the events of the anime are seen through Denji’s eyeswho, despite all that he has been through, holds his mentor in very high esteem.

Denji’s circumstances in Chainsaw Man need to be understood

Makima is a complex and well-written antagonist. To really understand it, it is essential to place the situation of the protagonist in its context. Entirely due to his upbringing, Denji has overly simplistic goals. Not once in his life did he experience true love, especially not parental or maternal, and on top of that Denji was poor, lonely and hungry. He is defined by poverty, and the teenage experiences have so tainted his character that he is relatively amoral. Without the advice ofAki Hayakawa later in the series, it would have remained that way.

Shonen protagonists tend to experience trauma early on, as it serves as a trigger for their next decision. For example, in Jujutsu Kaisen, Yuji Itadori’s grandfather died at the start of the series, allowing his integration into Jujutsu society. Likewise, Denji was destined for a life of nothingness with deep dreams until Makima asked him to show him his dreams.. This is how Denji embarked on a new life, in which he saw Makima as his savior.

Denji needed Makima’s maternal love.

Chainsaw-Man-Denji-and-Makima-2

Chainsaw Man creator Tatsuki Fujimoto said in an interview that despite Denji’s many sexual urges, what he really looked for in Makima was motherly love. The boy is extremely naive and troubled by feelings he has never experienced before; Makima understood this early on and put it to good use. She used the power imbalance between them in exchange for complete obedience from Denji, who complied with her orders because Makima knew she was what he wanted.

From the audience’s perspective, it’s easy to see that Makima is taking advantage of Denji, but he, unfortunately, doesn’t have the same conscience.. She casually mentions that she made the Demon Hunter her dog, she clearly disrespects his authority and constantly presents herself as the mother figure he needs. The red flags are obvious to viewers, but this story is about Denji from his perspective.

Audience sees Makima through Denji’s eyes

Despite everything, Denji looks at Makima with rose-colored glasses, and therefore the public too. The hunter’s manipulation has clouded his mentor’s image, but he continues to idolize her and see her as exceptionally beautiful. That’s why Makima remains so likable: fans are meant to see her through the same distorted lens as Denji. Even until the bitterest end, when she effectively stole everything from Denji for his selfish gain, he still admires her, cares about her, and needs her approval, despite his newfound self-awareness and the let him know how wrong it was to feel that way.

Makima made Denji idolize him, and for reasons he can’t fathom, he idolizes him and will always idolize him. She planned this from the start, so the same confusion Denji feels when he realizes he still loves her translates to fans. Chainsaw Man is written from the perspective of a young boy, which makes audiences feel a deep empathy for him, often feeling the same things as Denji. Makima needed love to take control of the Chainsaw man and orchestrate his entire evil ordeal, so her character’s goal is to be admired.

Makima was kind to Denji while appealing to the part of him that craved admiration, praise, and approval. If she was able to commit such profound atrocities, it was because the demon hunter liked her. Whenever audiences see Makima from Denji’s perspective, she is portrayed as beautiful and unapproachable. She does everything in her power to make sure it stays that way, giving him a reason to need her.

From the start of Chainsaw Man, Makima relies on her sympathy to get everything she’s ever wanted. That’s why suggesting she’s written to be hated is a controversial take, as she’s still supposed to be the only person Denji reveres. Audiences are meant to empathize with Denji and feel the full extent of his betrayal, which is why Makima is admired to the end.