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|“||I will believe in myself.||„|
|~ Maki in her consent with Shuichi in the final Class Trial|
Maki Harukawa is a character featured in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony and a participant of the Killing School Semester.
Maki has the title Ultimate Child Caregiver (Super High School Level Nursery School Teacher/Super High School Level Caregiver). She was raised in an orphanage, where she learned to take care of children. Later is it revealed that her true title was the Ultimate Assassin.
She is voiced by Maaya Sakamoto in the Japanese version of the game, and by Erica Mendez in the English version of the game.
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After successfully participated in the 53rd Killing Game, Maki's memories and past were fabricated by Team Danganronpa as follows:
Maki's parents were gone before she could even remember. As a result, she was raised in an orphanage. She was made to help take care of the younger children at the orphanage because the older kids had to help take care of the younger ones. Even though children liked her, she did not like them back nearly as much and wasn't even particularly fond of taking care of them. Nevertheless, the children at the orphanage still adored Maki.
Maki was close friends with a one girl of her age. As children, they had lots of fun together, wearing matching outfits, baking sweets and exchanging them. They talked so late into the night that they would get in trouble. They often played House with the other kids, her playing as the mom while Maki was the dad. Maki considered the time with her the happiest part of her life and like a dream.
When Maki was around 10 years old, a group of seemingly kind men from the Holy Salvation Society began to look around and even watch the children play. In reality, they were scouting for potential candidates to train as assassins. The Holy Salvation Society was actually a cult that trained assassins believing it was an act of god, though Maki believed none of them truly believed in the said god. They threatened Maki's orphanage that they would lose their funding if they did not do what they said. They had their eyes on Maki's friend, because she was more talented than Maki. However, her personality was very sensitive and kind, crying and feeling lonely easily. Maki believed the assassin life would destroy her, and volunteered to take her place despite not knowing what was in store for her.
Maki was moved into a training facility and begun her training to become an assassin, which she herself described as "the beginning of hell". The training she described as being excruciatingly difficult - vomiting every day and crying every night. She was physically beat to help her withstand torture, and taught how to die quickly in case a mission failed and she was caught. She learned to wield a huge amount of different weapons. There were several assassins besides her, but none of them got along nor were truly devoted to the cult's cause, a fact they couldn't mention to each other or else they would be cut and disposed of. Maki was repeatedly broken both physically and mentally, to make her feel empty, but she endured the horribly harsh conditions and was desperate to do her best, knowing that her friend from the orphanage would die if she was put in Maki's place.
During one of her first missions, she had to gather personal information and then assassinate a target, a "nerdy" man who was into cosplay. Maki eventually decided to follow the target, carrying a real katana in a prop carrying case. However, it turned out the target went to a cosplay event held in a hall. People around Maki assumed she was cosplaying a popular katana-wielding character, and she was quickly surrounded by excited people with cameras. Maki had to leave and was unable to carry out her mission. After the incident, she decided she would never use swords.
After everything she went through, Maki's heart gradually became empty, and she adapted to the lifestyle of killing people. She stopped asking questions in her head and killed anyone on her orders list, including those who could be considered good and innocent people. She even had to kill friends from her school, including a daughter of a yakuza leader and a mistress with no ties to the gang, greatly loved by her father. The other members believed the rival gangs could use her against their leader and thus she was assassinated. Maki came to believe that killing was simply her job, and she did what she had to in order to live. She did not want to blame anyone else, but she still did feel repressed guilt for the yakuza daughter's death. And while she eventually became numb to it all, she still couldn't help but wonder what her life could've been if she never became an assassin.
After Maki's training was finished, she went to see her friend from the orphanage right away, only to find out that she had died. She died in a car accident while saving a child, and, after the initial shock, Maki figured that she must have died happy, knowing she had saved someone. Maki's memories of her and the rest of the orphanage continued to motivate her and she continued to be an assassin for the sake of keeping her orphanage up and running.
However, it is unclear how much, if any of Maki's past life before the 53rd killing game is genuine, and which was fabricated by Team Danganronpa.
Maki has red eyes and very long, dark brown hair that she ties into twintails held by two big, red scrunchies. She has straight bangs that hide her eyebrows, as well as two small strands of hair that fall at the sides of her head, the one falling at her right side being a bit longer. She also has a beauty mark under her left eye. Despite having a slender physique, she does possess some muscle and strength.
She dons a red sailor-uniform accompanied by matching colored thigh-high socks, a short, pleated black plaid skirt, and brown ankle boots. The scarf on her uniform is a pale pink with a very slight visible star design on it. A pin of her previous high school is on her breast pocket, and an emblem at the bottom right of her shirt. Her accessories include a dark grey wristband that looks similar to magnetic bracelets athletes wear, small, silver stud earrings, a white hairpin at the side of her head, and a flower brooch on her right shoulder.
In the prologue, Maki lacks her red scrunchies or looped hairpin in her hair. Instead, her hair is tied back into twintails with two simple hairbands, and two straight, white pins on the side of her hair. She wears a double-breasted blue school blazer, with white stripes on her lapels, two sets of two white buttons on her jacket, and a blue-and-white striped tie around her neck. She wears a short, dark, plaid pleated skirt that has a teal overlay. She dons dark blue knee-high socks and dark grey inside shoes.
Maki appears to be a very serious girl, as she doesn't really seem to smile much if at all. The only notable exception is the poster which shows her with a mysterious smile, having a finger over her lips, which is a sign of secrecy.
Despite her cute appearance, Maki is described as a hostile misanthrope of few words. She is very aware that she comes across as unfriendly and prefers to be alone. In general, she dislikes people and thus she is not very cooperative and can be stubborn. She talks very little, so when she does, she states things clearly and she appears to be very confident about her arguments. She is cynical and negative with a sharp tongue and sometimes talks in a cold sarcastic manner. While not the type to assertively act on her own, she is stated to have guts and willing to take action when it suits her. She has no problem blaming Kaede Akamatsu coldly and rudely multiple times.
Despite her distant and unfriendly personality, Maki is good at taking care of others. She is very popular among children, even though she dislikes them. According to Kaede, Maki is actually capable of deep love, something that children might be able to see, explaining their attachment to her. She also shows a more caring side when she accepts gifts and is invited by Kaede to spend time together.
Maki doesn't want to alert people around her about her true talent as the Ultimate Assassin, to the point that she always stayed in her Research Lab after the room became accessible in Chapter 2. She does this for the sake of preventing unnecessary shock and panic in the group. She also appears to have trouble trusting others and making friends. At first, the only people she trusted were Kaito Momota and Shuichi Saihara, and she begins to open up and develop with their support.
As the Ultimate Assassin, Maki becomes much more a violent, intimidating and unafraid girl to threaten others, demonstrating her confidence in her abilities. She carries a knife around with her (as seen in her sprites), and is shown attempting to strangle Kokichi Oma a few times. At times, she seems downright ruthless and cold.
Despite her extreme personality, Maki actually holds deep insecurities due to her past as an assassin. As part of her training, Maki was forced to undergo torture, and stated that she "vomited every day" and "cried every night." According to Maki, she did at one point feel anger and pain for being forced to kill others, until she reached the point where she felt "empty", telling Shuichi that she no longer considers herself human. As a result, Maki's experiences caused her to feel hate for herself, believing she was not worthy of having friends and therefore deciding to distance herself from the other students. However, after befriending Kaito and Shuichi, Maki decides to try and change her perspective, eventually learning to accept herself like Kaito encouraged her to.