If you were to ask Chainsaw Man readers, including me, as to what their initial thoughts on Makima summed up to, most of them would teeter on the edge of ‘formidable’. That was partly down to her demeanor, sure, but mostly due of the array of mysterious powers that she possessed.
It seemed nigh impossible for a normal devil hunter to be soo powerful, and naturally an air of mistrust spread due to all the inconsistencies surrounding her.
Not dying even after being shot? C’mon, that’s way too suspicious!
However, some of these burning inconsistencies were put into perspective down the line when it was revealed that Makima is the control devil. But even after her identity was exposed, numerous questions remained unanswered.
Not only was she impossible to kill, but there seemed to be no basis for the kind of powers she wielded. Crushing people, the trademark bang, and the infamous finger pointing game with the Darkness Devil; all of them served as a testament to her inexplicable abilities.
So, what exactly are Makima’s powers? And how did she become so strong?
The shorter version of answer is this – Makima ended up being so strong in Chainsaw Man thanks to the contracts she had with numerous devils, devil hunters and fiends, who were under her control.
If that was not satisfying enough for you; then read on to understand the complete mechanism behind her absurd abilities. Buckle up; this is gonna be a long read!
- What are Makima’s powers?
What are Makima’s powers?
Makima being the control devil, her powers were derived from the concept she represented. This is the norm in the Chainsaw Man universe that Fujimoto created, and Makima’s case was no different.
So basically, Makima’s power allowed her to control anyone she viewed as inferior to her, including humans, devils, fiends and even animals.
Now this could happen in two ways; either Makima could defeat her opponent in battle, thus establishing that she was superior to them, or she automatically felt convinced that she was superior to someone, and in such cases an outright fight was not needed.
For instance, Makima did not believe herself to be superior to the Chainsaw Devil, and hence she resorted to coming up with an elaborate plan to not just resurrect him, but also to defeat him.
Also Read: Why did Makima want the Chainsaw Devil?
The extent of Makima’s control:
This ability to control others is what forms the crux of Makima’s powers, as all of her other abilities were someway or the other dependent on this.
When an individual was under her control, she could exploit them however she wanted.
Makima can force the people under her control to make a contract with her and, by extension, utilize the powers of the Devil that they had a contract with.
This explains how she had all of those crazy abilities under her belt, as most of them were obtained via the contracts of the people who were her puppets (they were even connected to her via a chain).
The best part? She could utilize the powers of the devils even though the people who had a contract with them were no longer alive.
For instance, in the battle against the Gun Devil, Makima uses the powers of the devils that were contracted to Akane Sawatari, Aki Hayakawa, Yutaro Kurose and Michiko Tendo, even though they had died.
However, since all of these people were once under Makima’s control, she was still able to borrow the powers of the devils they had a contract with; i.e. the Snake Devil, Future Devil and the Punishment Devil.
Also Read: Was Akane Sawatari under Makima’s control?
Talking of forming contracts, allow me to clear up a misconception that people have regarding the Gun Devil and Makima.
Did Makima have a contract with the Gun Devil?
Thanks to her finger bang ability, a lot of people speculated that she had a contract with the Gun Devil. However that’s not true.
First of all, the bang is more like an invisible force thrusting its way through the target. There is no bullet that is fired and neither is a casing left behind in the aftermath of the attack; both of which should ideally be present if she was using the Gun Devil’s powers.
Also, there is nothing in the manga which suggests that she had a contract with the Gun Devil.
True, the horsemen and the weapons devil did gang up on Chainsaw Man in the past, and the Gun Devil is believed to be a part of that brawl. However, Makima was not the one who defeated it the first time around.
Also Read: Who defeated the Gun Devil the first time?
And it has been established in the Chainsaw Man manga that Japan did not have enough part of the Gun Devil’s body for it to be sentient enough; which eliminates the possibility of Makima having formed a contract with it after its defeat.
On the other hand, she was hellbent on defeating the bullet firing beast, and if it were under her control, she wouldn’t have worried so much about it.
So, to answer in short, Makima did not have a contract with the Gun Devil.
If that’s indeed the case, what’s the reasoning behind her finger bang attack?
Makima’s finger bang explained: Possible Telekinesis?
Well, the obvious answer is that she had a contract with a devil who possessed the bang. However, I have cooked up another theory of sorts to explain this.
What’s life without a daily dose of heavy and absurd tinfoil theories?
There’s a couple of reasons why I was not entirely sold on the bang being an ability she acquired via a contract with someone else.
Think about it; whenever she was using the ability she borrowed from some other devil, there has been some sort of imagery that proves so.
It could be Makima sacrificing someone, or the devil/people in question would be shown connected to her via a chain. Even her contract with the Prime Minister, which fended off all attacks on her, was visually depicted in way we would understand what was happening (more on it in a later section of this article).
Makima used her bang multiple times after she was revealed to be the Control Devil. But, neither was she shown sacrificing anything, nor was she depicted to be borrowing this power from someone else.
All of this is making me wonder if the bang is an innate ability of Makima. And this power seems to be very similar to telekinesis.
Why telekinesis? Why is that related to Makima you wonder.
Well, the bang is an attack which is rooted in ‘force manipulation’ done without a physical medium, which is basically a form of telekinesis.
And it shouldn’t be surprising for Makima to possess this power because telekinesis is a mental ability.
Makima is a control devil. The fear or feeling of being controlled can be attributed as an affliction of the mind, and not of the body. Going by that logic, it shouldn’t be surprising that Makima, a devil who represents the very concept of mental control, is able to use abilities like telekinesis.
This theory is not without its flaws, because Makima’s title also translates to the Devil of Conquest, and not Control (the jury is still out on that). Plus, other than control and telekinesis being related to the mind, there is no direct connection between the two.
However, I wouldn’t throw this assumption out of the window easily, because even her finger pointing matchup with the Darkness Devil was bordering on a face-off of telekinetic abilities. A manipulation of force-fields, if you may say so.
And Makima is shown to use the bang and even the finger pointing ability of hers without any collateral damage. No people connected to her dying, no sacrifices, no devils connected to her via a chain.
On top of that, she can communicate telepathically with at least the devils under her control. I am sure this could extend to other entities too, but we saw her communicating like that with Princi.
When you put all of it together, it isn’t that hard to chuck out the possibility of bang being Makima’s innate ability, which in extension, suggests possible telekinesis.
Now this seems linked to her ability to crush people, which we saw during the Katana Man arc. However, I feel that both of these are independent of each other, on paper.
How was Makima able to crush people?
As I mentioned before, Makima also possessed the power to crush or twist people to death. This ability of hers too seems to be rooted in telekinesis, but once again, there is no explanation provided in the manga whatsoever regarding how she is able to do it.
There is a chance that this too might be an extension of her ability to manipulate force . However, the fact that she had to sacrifice people in order to be able to do so makes me believe that Makima might have obtained this ability via a contract.
The conditions to be met before Makima can crush or squeeze a target of hers are:
- Sacrifice a person’s life.
- The person who is being sacrificed mentions the targets name.
If these two conditions are met, Makima is then able to kill her targets from afar. The target gets flattened based on the movement of her palms, some crushed like bugs, while other twisted to their death.
This could be a possible symbolism affirming that all of those terrorists were literally in Makima’s hands.
There are fans who think that a third condition also needs to be met for Makima to be able to user her powers, and that is to be at a higher altitude (this also led some to believe that she had a contract with the height devil).
But then, this is too variable of a condition to be involved in a contract. According to me, the only reason why Makima decided to choose a shrine at the highest altitude was because it would probably be deserted.
Not a lot of people would take the efforts to climb all the way to the top, that too on a busy day. And so, she wouldn’t have to deal with unwanted intruders on the scene, considering how Makima was super secretive about her ability.
However, it is possible that I am wrong with this assumption of mine, and that height actually is a part of the condition for Makima to be able to use this ability.
Coming to a more important point – the identity of the devil she has a contract with.
While it’s too hard to pinpoint on a certain candidate with the meagre amount of information that we have regarding this ability, I still scoured through the manga and came up with some observations.
The only other devil, who is shown to display a power similar to this is the Darkness Devil. We saw it completely crush Denji and obliterate the Violence Fiend when all of them were transported to Hell.
The more we look into it, the more Makima and Darkness Devil’s powers seem similar. If you remember, in addition to force field manipulation and the crushing, Makima is able to cut people up in the same fashion as Darkness. She demonstrated that against Quanxi and her fiends at the end of the Doll Devil’s fight!
And talking about sacrifices, the Hell Devil is the only one that we have seen in the manga till now who takes sacrifices (bad Santa), and then produces a move that is similar to swatting people and flattening them.
I know, I know, till now we have only seen the Hell Devil act as a transporter.
But then, what if instead of a mysterious force, it was the Hell Devil’s hand that flattened these people? Also, considering how Makima didn’t have to offer the Hell Devil anything for her to be transported to hell, I do believe that there is small chance that she made a contract with the Hell Devil to borrow its hand to crush people.
The other candidate to consider would be the Ghost Devil, who has the ability to stay invisible, however, the only downside with this assumption is that the Ghost Devil is not shown to have that kind of a range. So, there is little to no chance of this assumption being true.
And then there’s the Curse Devil. But the conditions required to activate the Curse Devils powers are very different to what Makima does, so I won’t entertain that thought for long.
Well, we have stayed in a speculative territories for sometime now. So..
Back to Makima’s Control…
Now, coming back to Makima’s control ability, it is shown in the manga that she is also able to tamper with the memories of humans and devils if she is controlling them, as she did with the Angel Devil.
Also, different individuals react in different ways to being under her control. While most of them, including Aki and the hybrids we see towards the end of Part 1, shower her with affection and are hellbent on impressing her, there are also cases (read Power) where people under her control are shown to be scared of her.
However, Makima’s control over her puppets is not absolute.
Thanks to the Angel Devil’s demonstration, we know that it is possible to wriggle free of Makima’s control ability. I can’t say for sure if there is a particular trigger for this, but seems like the person being controlled has to realize that something is off.
From what I have seen, a person who is completely under Makima’s control fails to understand that they are being controlled. And even if they do realize something is off, they fail to realize or comprehend that Makima is pulling their strings.
Spying via control:
We all know that Makima was able to spy on people easily no matter how far away from her they were. She had the knack for extracting information, and many people believed it was a standalone ability of hers.
However, turns out, the ability to spy on others too was an extension of her innate abilities: control and telepathy/telekinesis.
Here’s how she did it.
When it came to controlling animals, at least rodents and birds, Makima was able to borrow their hearing ability. This was a very convenient power for her to possess, as it let Makima eavesdrop on anyone she wanted.
She probably achieved it by first putting there rodents under her control and then sharing senses with them, via telepathy, the same way she communicated with Princi. However, this arrangement the rodents seemed more one way than an equal exchange.
This explains how she was able to know everything that was going on around her. The only way around it was to pass written messages, as Kishibe and Quanxi did during the international assassins arc.
Now it also raises a couple of questions in my mind. Did she only borrow hearing ability? And if she could do it with rodent and birds, could Makima also have borrowed the sensory abilities of humans who were under her control? Since she could do so with Prince, she probably could do it with others too!
Without any concrete data to go on about, the only thing we can do now is speculate.
That said, allow me to explain another major part of her powers, which is often mistaken as immortality.
How does Makima keep reviving?
First things first, Makima is not immortal. The reason why Makima is so hard to kill, or, the reason why she keeps reviving everytime she ‘dies’ is because of a contract she has with the Prime Minister of Japan.
As per this contract, any attack that is made on her would be changed into an appropriate illness of accidents and passed on to random Japanese citizens. Note how it mentions “attacks”, and not deaths, or injuries or any other things.
So, in the Katana Man arc, when Makima was shot by the terrorists, the bullet wounds got transferred to random Japanese people altogether, thus keeping her safe. The same happened when the Gun Devil put a bullet through her head.
Makima was able to survive the gunshots, both in the train and from the Gun Devil, thanks to this contract.
We see this contract in action in chapter 95, as Makima trades blow with Chainsaw Man. Every time she gets cut up, or injured, the injury automatically gets transferred to a random civilian who is shown connected to her via a chain.
How did Makima make people bleed by looking at them?
As I explained in my article on why Makima looks human, the fear of being under someone else’s control is by itself very widespread and counts as something that is close to a primal fear. That alone puts Makima on a pedestal.
Read More: Why does Makima look human?
That, coupled with all the contracts she made with the devils and humans under her control, made her one of the most strongest characters in the Chainsaw Man universe.
This overwhelming powers also equipped her with an overwhelming aura, which she could let loose at will.
When Makima went to meet with the Yakuza boss, she was able to make one of the gang members bleed and collapse just by looking at him. This was probably Makima exercising her aura.
This is once again similar to how the Darkness Devil brought everyone to their knees (especially the fiends and the Angel Devil) just by staring at them. The difference in power was too much for them to take.
The same explanation can be given for Makima too. Also a tinge of telekinesis?
Finally, we come to the last aspect of Makima’s powers, which is, the ability to teleport, and that too in mysterious ways!
Twice in the entirety of Chainsaw Man manga, we have seen Makima use abilities that are very close to teleportation.
The first is when she appears in front of Reze from a bunch of rats. Its as if the rats turned into Makima.
And the second is in the international assassins arc when he transports herself to Hell using Princi as her medium.
In both these cases, there is once again no rhyme or reason as to how she was able to pull it off. And no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t come up with a plausible enough reason for this.
Maybe she just possessed the power to teleport through the things under her control. However, I would still like to hear if you have any theories regarding this. Feel free to mention them in the comments below!
Well, I shall stop rambling about Makima’s powers for now! If I come up more insights or theories about her abilities in the future I’ll update the post. Till then, feel free to check out the other articles on the site!
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