Spoilers for Chainsaw Man's 9th episode, "FROM KYOTO," which is currently available on Crunchyroll, are in the text below.
Secrets are a potent weapon that, in the hands of the right people, can either be an advantage for the forces of good or a lethal weapon for the forces of evil. In a complex series like Chainsaw Man, such clear-cut logic might not be the most useful, but one thing is certain: not all of Public Safety's Devil Hunters are who they seem. The most recent episode of the series, in particular, reveals that Makima, who was able to avert her brush with death in an unsettling manner, has much more to her than meets the eye. But, as tensions rise in the conflict with the Gun Devil and its allies, her cause, allegiance, and even her true nature are all in doubt.
The attack against the Public Safety's Special Division Devil Hunters continued in Episode 9 ("FROM KYOTO") in the middle of it. Samurai Sword, a human-Devil hybrid, and Sawatari, his partner, were the leaders of the terrorist group that carried out the attack. While Sawatari quickly dispatched the dead Himeno's Ghost Devil by having her summoned Snake Devil to swallow it whole, Samurai Sword took on the revived Denji. However, just as it appeared they would get away with mistaking Denji for the Gun Devil, they were stopped by Makima, who, despite being thought to be dead, easily eliminated the majority of the aggressors from a distance with a terrifyingly concealed power.
The Secret to Makima's Survival
Makima has been the most enigmatic character in Chainsaw Man ever since she first showed up. She appears to have much more power than she initially admits, as evidenced by her cool demeanor and ice-cold gaze. The latest events, however, seem to suggest that she is more than just a cunning leader. She appears to be able to defy death, possibly even being able to return to life on her own, which is perhaps the most unsettling indication of this.
Makima and her escorts are gunned down by a group of terrorists on her train ride to Kyoto. A number of other Devil Hunters were ambushed and killed in a similar fashion as part of their coordinated assault. While every other agent was killed on the spot, Makima managed to survive, turning the tables on her attackers and killing them all.
What Are Makima's Abilities?
One might assume Makima used a Devil she had a contract with to accomplish this. Although the capabilities of Devils are still unknown, based on their diverse set of skills, it is reasonable to assume that some Devils could lend their contractor's such regeneration. The problem is that Makima never appeared to incur any sort of cost to use this ability, aside from the fact that she never explicitly summoned a Devil. By using Sawatari's loss of fingernails and Himeno's sacrifice to highlight the transactional nature of contracts, the episode went to great lengths to make it seem strange that Makima could use such a potent asset without paying for it.
This is relevant to her later ability to destroy the terrorist organization remotely using an enigmatic ritual. Makima eviscerated her targets, crushing them under an invisible force, by using prisoners as a conduit for her targets. Although the criminals who were used to demonstrate the power appeared to either collapse or take their own lives in the process, indicating that they paid a price for the power, the absence of a discernible Devil is, to put it mildly, puzzling.
Even though it might cause even more questions, Makima is not the only person who has been seen surviving what seemed to be an inevitable end. Samurai Sword was killed by Aki's Curse Devil, and Denji was shot in the head, but both Samurai Sword and Denji survived fatal situations. The fact that they are the only other two to be resurrected in the chaos may indicate that Makima is not entirely human, like them. Despite this, Makima did not change in any way during her revival, in contrast to Denji and Samurai Sword, who both did so during their Devil states.
What Is the Secret of Makima?
Although Makima's abilities are mysterious, she takes specific measures to keep them a secret from her allies. Michiko Tendo and Yutaro Kurose, two local Devil Hunters, are met when Makima arrives in Kyoto. Makima tells them a lie, saying that she wasn't shot during the attack on the train. She had the prisoners blindfolded and began her godlike counter-offensive with them, keeping them in the dark. One of the few survivors, Madoka, later confronted Makima about whether she might have known about the attack, but Makima dissuaded her by citing his resignation.
One must ponder if even Makima's superiors are fully aware of her, despite the fact that it is obvious that Makima's subordinates lack the authority to view her true strengths. After the assault, all of the survivors were combined into a single task force and assigned to Makima's direct command. This quick fortification of her authority within the organization is intimidating, especially with Madoka's suspicion of her hanging in the balance. Makima may have intended to usurp this control for herself while smoking out her personal enemies in order to eliminate them in one fell swoop if she was truly involved in the tragedy that occurred.
Makima's abilities, allegiances, and objectives are all still a mystery at this point. Whatever the case, it is clear at this point that she can influence events to her advantage. However, one must question whether she is acting in the public interest or merely for her own advantage. In the worst-case scenario, she might be positioning herself as a threat greater than the Gun Devil itself. If so, Denji might discover that the woman he believed to be his first ally and true love is actually a new and dangerous foe.