Makishima as a first-year joined Sohoku's bicycle club with hopes of riding with friends instead of alone. However, his upperclassmen were quick to judge his slowness on flats, calling him a "turtle", and mocked his unusual means of climbing. He was also scolded for writing with a distinct slant during class and his inability to stand perfectly straight. Frustrated, Makishima almost gave up riding with others. Wanting to prove everyone wrong, he asked a young Kinjou Shingo for advice on how to train privately more consistently. Kinjou kept records of his training regime and recommended that Makishima do the same. Following that advice, Makishima began secretly writing on the club room's wall beneath a poster to record his progress as he trained at night. The thrill of this excited him. Due to his training in secret, Makishima easily surpassed his upperclassmen with his Spider Climb and won their respect. However, he heard a "scary upperclassman" found his marks on the wall but didn't know who it was, so Makishima carved out a hole in the wall and pretended the vandalism never happened. (In reality, it was Kanzaki Tooji, the captain at the time, who found the marks and recognized Makishima's distinct sloping handwriting.) The hole remained in the club room, hidden beneath a poster.
Building Sohoku's Cycling Team
Makishima rides in the van that follows along behind the competitors in the First-Year Welcome Race, and is surprised by Onoda's abilities once he is supplied with a road racer. However, when Kanzaki Miki expresses her belief that Onoda will catch up to Imaizumi and Naruko, he speaks out against that idea. He believes that Onoda will not be able to catch up because of the 8 minute distance between him and the competitors in front. He says that Onoda will need to increase his cadence to 100 to have any hope of catching up. Tadokoro ends up blocking Makishima's view because of his constant complaining. Despite Makishima's many arguments that Onoda catching up is impossible, he ends up cheering for Onoda pretty passionately near the end of the race. Afterwards, he approaches Onoda as a fellow climber. He sees that Onoda has been inspired by Imaizumi and Naruko's fierce race, so he tells Onoda that he needs to make up for his lack of experience if he wants to improve.
Makishima is paired with Onoda for practice, as they are both climbers. Though he is awkward about it, he tries to help Onoda calm down about the whole thing. He warns Onoda in advance not to try learning his climbing technique. Onoda is very nervous at first, as he finds Makishima intimidating and creepy. However, the creepy smiles and odd conversations are just a result of Makishima trying to be nice. He admits to being bad at talking to people, and says that Tadokoro tried to help him with it in the past. Makishima says that he is best at communicating through his cycling before launching into his strange dancing technique. When Onoda manages to keep up with him, Makishima appears impressed by his natural talent. At first Makishima is frustrated when Onoda tries to copy his dancing style despite his warning, but when Onoda reveals that his motivation is that Makishima's style is "cool," Makishima appears more flustered than angry. He is used to people calling him "disgusting" or "scary" and mocking him, so having someone openly admire him like that probably makes him a little happy. He encourages Onoda to find and perfect his own style.
During team Sohoku's training camp, Kinjou modified Imaizumi, Naruko, and Onoda's bikes. However, he did not inform Onoda about the change made to his bike. Makishima asks Kinjou about this, and Kinjou reveals that he replaced the tires on Onoda's bike with old ones. He also asks Makishima not to tell Onoda about this. However, when Makishima passes by a discouraged Onoda, he tells him anyway. Makishima also uses this opportunity to encourage Onoda, talking about how he faced obstacles in the past and overcame them with hard work, so Onoda should do the same. His final piece of advice for Onoda is to lower his gear by two. When Kinjou notices the change in Onoda's cycling, he figures Makishima told him about the wheels, and tells Makishima not to give Onoda any unnecessary help. Makishima responds that Onoda seems like the type who does better with support, and thinks to himself that Kinjou knew he would tell Onoda.
After the Inter High
After explaining to Onoda's mother what the Inter High was, the first-years arrive to meet Sohoku's third-years on the road. Because he won the Inter High, Onoda leads the next practice, and takes the team to Akihabara. The third-years, including Makishima, feel extremely out of place. Onoda gives each third-year a gift. For Makishima, Onoda gives a Kumotaro keyring, a spider character from an anime called Mogu-Mogurinko. Onoda admits that they're all graduation as well as gratitude presents for the third-years for bringing him to the Inter High. Onoda thanks them all for their help in realizing his potential. Although previously confused at being in a strange place, the third-years accept the gifts. Makishima asks why he received ten keyrings of the same character; Onoda gleefully says it's because Makishima helped the most as a fellow climber, and the amount is equal to his gratitude.
While the team is distracted as Onoda explains things about Akihabara to Tadokoro, who mistook greeters for foreigners, and Onoda's questioning if the third-years will continue to attend practice, Imaizumi notices Makishima lagging behind. Makishima's phone begins to ring and vibrate but he silences it. The team is unaware of Makishima's thoughts that despite his gratitude towards them, which can't be measured like Onoda's by the amount of gifts to one person, this is really farewell.
In the anime, Makishima's inner monologue is cut, and the team rides happily from Akihabara together.
In the movie that follows anime canon, Makishima is invited to Toudou's family inn along with Onoda. There, Onoda reflects on the Inter High and witnesses the two rivals compete at ping pong, which Makishima wins. He also witnesses them test who can stay in a hot spring the longest. That competition remains undecided, as Onoda, praising them for their amazing energy, ends up passing out in the hot spring and nearly drowns if not for Toudou and Makishima rescuing him. Onoda is carried to his room by one of the inn's workers, where he rests unconscious as Toudou sits nearby and talks to Makishima about their rivalry. Toudou says he wishes that they will continue to compete with each other in the future. Makishima, silent for a moment, begins to tell Toudou something, but Onoda waking up promptly distracts Toudou.
The next morning, the three are yet again enjoying soaking in a hot spring. Suddenly, Izumida can be heard talking to Andy and Frank, and then bursts from inside a sauna, shouting "Abs!", much like an anime ending omake, with Shinkai seen behind him. The three surprised climbers turn to him, questioning "Abs?", and the movie ends.
Makishima resigns from the cycling club early in order to fly out to England to join his brother, a fashion designer. Because new school year starts in September of the same year in London, he has to finish all his credits ahead of time. Before leaving, he enjoyed a last ride up Minegayama with Onoda and entrusted Sohoku's future to him, while giving his final tip on dealing with a lighter bike by sliding his feet. In The Movie, Makishima returns to race in the Kumamoto Fire Country Mountain Range Race, beginning in last place on Day 2 as a late entry, and winning the race for Sohoku. He is still cycling in England, where he continues to shock others with his strange style and speed. He receives letters from Onoda but doesn't seem to respond much - if at all - due to his awkwardness, which he apologizes for out loud to himself.
Later, Makishima returns to Japan in order to see the second Inter High after beating two English riders in his university cycling team in London. His flight was delayed, so he ended up arriving late. He is greeted by Kinjou in the airport, though at first he thinks he is simply mistaking another glasses-wearing man for Kinjou. Makishima and Kinjou meet up with Tadokoro, who plans to drive them to the Inter High in his family's truck.