Follow TV Tropes

Following

Manga / Jujutsu Kaisen

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jujutsu_kaisen_anime.png

" The people I know, I want them to die properly."
Yuji Itadori
Advertisement:

Yuji Itadori is an athletically gifted but easygoing high school student not sure of his path in life when, during a routine visit, his grandfather suddenly perishes, but not before making Yuji swear a promise to him: that he will do kind deeds so that he dies surrounded by loved ones, unlike his grandfather.

The boy isn't left long to grieve however, when he runs into Megumi Fushiguro, a sorcerer on the lookout for a cursed object housing an evil spirit. When Itadori's friends open the cursed object that they found, things go south as the cursed spirits that it spawned come to roam the school. As Megumi and Yuji are pushed against the wall, Yuji swallows the cursed object, incarnating into his body none other than the King of Curses, Ryomen Sukuna. Yuji is forced to become a sorcerer himself to escape execution, and what starts as a mission to find and consume the rest of Sukuna's fingers to end the Vengeful Spirit's threat quickly grows into a conflict that could forever change the balance between humanity and Curses.

Advertisement:

Jujutsu Kaisen (呪術廻戦; lit. Sorcery Fight) is a Urban Fantasy manga written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, which began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Jump on March 5, 2018.

The series is a sequel of a four-chapter monthly series in Jump GIGA called Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School, which was later released under the title Jujutsu Kaisen 0. It takes place about a year or so before the main story and stars Yuta Okkotsu, a first year student at Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School and the possessor of a powerful guardian spirit known as Rika.

An anime adaptation by MAPPA premiered in October 2020. In March 2021, it was announced that Jujutsu Kaisen 0 would receive a movie adaptation that premiered in December 2021. In February 2022, it was announced that a second season will air in 2023.

Advertisement:

Not to be confused with the martial art of Jujitsu, which does not involve sorcery whatsoever.


Jujutsu Kaisen provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    A — M 
  • Academy of Adventure: Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School is one of only two Jujutsu schools in all of Japan. It has the facade of a private religious school when it’s actually used to train Jujutsu Sorcerers. Even after graduating, many Jujutsu Sorcerers use the school as a home base for missions and, in general, a location of support for the jujutsu community.
  • An Aesop: Junpei's story arc is very much a heavy-handed anti-bullying message. A meek, anti-social boy is repeatedly harassed and attacked by a turd of a classmate, and he has no one else to confide with. Moreover, his lack of social skills are what allow him to be manipulated by Mahito. While he does find friendship and common ground with Yuji, Mahito has already gotten his grips onto Junpei and makes use of his self-loathing by getting his mother killed, tricking him into fighting Yuji, and eventually killing him in a twisted way. In the aftermath, it is reported that Junpei "moved away". Plus, it's implied that everyone in the school was in some way aware of what the bully was doing but was too afraid to do anything or didn't want to do anything that would ruin the school's reputation because the bully came from a wealthy and influential family, and now everyone has to deal with not doing anything to help Junpei when they had the chance.
  • All the Other Reindeer:
    • Junpei Yoshino, the teen who Yuji befriended, was constantly getting harassed and bullied, especially by the three people who died a Cruel and Unusual Death in Chapter 18.
    • The mother of one of the students from Kyoto Prefectural Jujutsu High School, Noritoshi Kamo, is treated horribly by other people because of Noritoshi's status as an illegitimate child and her being a concubine of the head of the Kamo clan.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Domain Expansion traps the target in a space made of the user's own Cursed Energy. Every attack issued by the user within the Domain is guaranteed to hit. That said, the attack can still be blocked or at least mitigated by the target.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Curses, unsurprisingly given that they are given form, power and will from humanity's darkest emotions.
  • Anatomy of the Soul: Discussed throughout the series. Mahito sees the soul as a physical object inside everyone, and his technique allows him to contort the body through simply playing with the soul. Kenjaku finds out the original Geto still has some control of his body despite his death, and so he concludes that the soul and body are exactly the same. This is proven further when Toji is resurrected in his entirety through Ogami just bringing back his body.
  • And I Must Scream: Not only does the humanoid curse Mahito have an ability to transform human bodies, but he also uses them as attack dogs while keeping their consciousness intact.
  • Antagonist Title: The anime's first episode is titled Ryomen Sukuna, after one of the story's central villains.
  • Anyone Can Die: Zigzagged all around. While it's clear some of the major characters seem to have Plot Armor, somehow that armor seems to have a time limit and, as the series progresses, more and more important characters receive no special treatment regarding death and Yuji himself is fated to die horribly.
  • Armed Females, Unarmed Males: All four of the main heroes have some training in weapon use. However, Nobara, the sole female character among them, is the only one specifically needs weapons to use her Cursed Techniques.
  • Armour-Piercing Question:
    • Before Itadori is accepted into the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School, the principal of the school, Masamichi Yaga, asks him many questions to find out why he wants to attend the school and why he wants to collect the king of curses, Ryomen Sukuna's, remains. When Yuji fails to answer, the principal asks him sensitive questions about his grandfather and his true intentions.
    • Mahito also uses this trick as a part of his Hannibal Lecture by questioning sensitive topics, such as the meaning of life or the value of the human soul, so that he can corrupt other people easily.
  • As Long as There is Evil: As long as humans vent their negative emotions such as pain or envy, there will always be cursed spirits. Or rather, non-sorcerer humans, who can't control their cursed energy and prevent it from leaking out, spawning Curses. Suguru Geto learned of this, and resolved to kill off every non-sorcerer to prevent cursed spirits from spawning ever again.
  • Battle Royale Game: Kenjaku begins a Japan-wide battle royale between curse users called the "Culling Game".
  • Beat Still, My Heart: In Chapter 8, Sukuna kills Yuji by tearing his heart out while controlling his body, as payback for using him carelessly.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Eso initially misinterprets Kugisaki's Resonance as 'a technique to turn the curse on the user', which he and she both like to a game of chicken. He realizes his mistake later in the battle, right before she and Yuji kill him.
    • One of the few ways to thwart an enemy's Domain Expansion once you're inside is to overpower it with your own Domain Expansion. When Jogo traps Gojo and Yuji within his Coffin of the Iron Mountain, Gojo responds by deploying Unlimited Void.
  • Big Damn Reunion: Invoked, but subverted. By the time of the Goodwill event, Nobara and Megumi have been led to believe their classmate Itadori has been dead for two months. When the time comes to reveal to them that he has actually survived, Yuji is counting on a "touching reunion" happening between the three of them; Gojo hijacks it to make it more grandiose. After Itadori jumps out of the suitcase Gojo brought, however, Megumi and Nobara reactions are eye-twitching Color Failure instead of the emotion Itadori was expecting, to his dismay. It is made clear later, however, that they are happy he's back.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Downplayed. The English translation is mostly faithful to the original, but some of the explanations of Jujutsu's inner workings have been misinterpreted. For instance, the Reverse Cursed Technique is described as creating "Reverse Cursed energy", Despite the Japanese dialogue specifying that it generates positive energy.
  • Birds of a Feather: One of the students from Kyoto Prefectural Jujutsu High School, Aoi Todo, ends up becoming a friend of Itadori after he answers Todo's question (about the type of the girl that he likes) with "tall girls with big butts", which happens to be Todo's type as well.
  • Bishōnen Line: Zigzagged. Normal Curses are generally more monstrous-looking the stronger they get, but eventually, they cross a line and the most powerful special-grade Cursed Spirits tend to be Humanoid Abominations. However, even then, these intelligent and human-like curses will usually have a One-Winged Angel form that turns them more monstrous like their lower-leveled brethren, such as Mahito.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Played for laughs in episode 23's Juju Stroll, where Gojo poses as an exaggeratedly handsome and sparkly violin instructor to mess with Fushiguro.
  • Blessed with Suck: Being a sorcerer means having a great deal of Cursed energy... which is made of negative emotions, so everyone with the potential to be one is a psychological mess by necessity.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: In the anime, the Tokyo freshmen trio: Nobara (blond), Megumi (brunet), and Yuji (redhead).
  • Bullying a Dragon: Jogo quickly realizes that Satoru Gojo is on a far greater level of power than he initially believed, and regrets not having paid heed to Geto's warnings by the end of their extremely one-sided duel.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: In Chapter 2, Gojo spares Yuji, who was supposed to be executed after he ate one of Sukuna's fingers, by asking Jujutsu Sorcerers at the decision-making level to delay Itadori's execution. It is established that Gojo and the higher-ups will eventually execute Itadori after he consumes all of Sukuna.
  • Captain Obvious: "Gorrila mode pounds through cursed energy like a gorilla!"
  • Central Theme: The "value" of one's own life, and the cruelty of believing humans have quantifiable worth.
    • The series constantly examines the worth of human beings based on their potential. Natural born geniuses like Gojo and talented-but-hardworking figures like Megumi and Nobara stand opposite to Yuji, who is otherwise completely average. As the story develops, each of these characters grapples with the expectations put upon them by their potential in different ways, such as Gojo choosing to completely rebel against the order that set him up for greatness while Megumi doubles down on his training to take advantage of his raw talent. Yuji, meanwhile, must grapple with his own self worth as a walking timebomb with no potential for developing a unique cursed technique, which eventually erodes his self-confidence so much that he believes himself to be nothing more than a machine built to kill curses.
    • On the opposite end of this, Jujutsu sorcery is built on hierarchies of worth that continually oppress the main characters. The Jujutsu elders are manipulative and selfish, often acting in the best interests of themselves rather than Jujutsu society as a whole. For instance, Gojo was nothing but helpful in the Shibuya Incident before being shut in the Prison Realm, but the elders take advantage of his involuntary imprisonment to keep him locked up for good, as he's made it very clear that his goal is to completely reform the Jujutsu society. The top Jujutsu families war with each other instead of pooling their resources to fight curses, and the Zen'in family in particular makes Mai, Maki and Megumi's lives hell for the sake of cultivating their reputation. These hierarchies are so obsessed with power based on what they personally value that they fail to see an Outside-Context Problem coming from a mile away- for instance, the elders get blindsided by Kamo's plan, because to them, a Jujutsu sorcerer would never plan to spread sorcery to basic human beings. The Zen'in family similarly get wiped out by Maki, who absolutely decimates them with her Heavenly Restriction despite their supposed power as sorcerers. All in all, these hierarchies are consistently painted as manipulative or restrictive, and it is the goal of certain characters (such as Gojo) to reform Jujutsu society in some way.
  • Cerebus Syndrome:
    • The humor noticeably tones down during the VS Mahito arc, as Mahito makes himself fully known to the narrative and quickly establishes himself to be a very real threat against the Jujutsu sorcerers.
    • The Shibuya Incident arc doubles down on the tone shift, ramping up the death and tragedy significantly as the curses gain more ground against the Jujutsu sorcerers. Keep in mind, this arc takes place over one Halloween night.
  • Club Stub: In earlier chapters, Itadori joins the Occult Research Club, which desperately needed more members and were being threatened with shut down by the student council.
  • Corrupt the Cutie:
    • What Mahito does to Junpei. Initially passive as he tries to mold Junpei to his mindset, he eventually has Junpei's mother killed and frames one of the students at his school for it. And when that doesn't work, he outright kills him for his own amusement.
      • Indirectly doing this to Yuji mainly through Shibuya Arc ends poorly for him, as Yuji agrees that maybe there really is no difference between them and so no reason not to hunt him like a rabid beast.
  • Counting Bullets: Exploited by Mai. She fights using a revolver, knowing that her opponents will count her shots. Her cursed technique, Construction, allows her to create an extra bullet out of energy and catch her opponent off-guard. Doesn't work against her sister Maki, who simply catches the extra bullet after counting the first six.
  • Creepy Doll: The principal of Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School has a childish interest in creating creepy/cute dolls, called Cursed Corpses, animated through cursed energy.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • In Chapter 6, some of the students from Eishuu Reformatory School are brutally murdered and parts of their bodies are crushed.
    • In Chapter 18, three high school students are found dead in a cinema, with their bodies deformed by a cursed spirit named Mahito. Mahito claims many victims through the story this way.
    • In Chapter 27, Yuji's friend, Junpei, is turned into a deformed creature by a Mahito, to Yuji's despair.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Yuji's occult club hypothesizes that the rugby team fell ill because of the ghost of a dead architect buried beneath the rugby field. The student council president immediately shuts down that theory in favor of ticks; however, when Megumi arrives on campus he notices a curse attached to the rugby field and wonders if someone is buried underneath it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Anyone unfortunate or naïve enough to face Satoru Gojo head on will regret it very quickly, because of the latter's overwhelming power.
    • Sukuna delivers a couple of these in the unfortunate instances where he is given control, notably with a curse bearing one of his fingers at the beginning of the series and Megumi right after, despite only having a fraction of his power.
    • During the Kyoto exchange event, Kasumi Miwa was not only out-fought by Maki Zen'in, but also had her sword stolen, for an extra serving of Humble Pie.
    • Toji Fushiguro easily defeats a young Satoru and Suguru in their first fight.
    • After seeing Ijichi and other assistant managers assaulted in Shibuya, Kento Nanami quickly and soundly defeats Haruta Shigemo.
    • Takuma Ino, regardless of his power, didn't stand a chance against Toji Fushiguro, who was summoned by Ogami and her grandson.
    • After being unleashed in Shibuya, Sukuna absolutely bodies Jogo during their fight, with the cursed spirit being unable to land even a single hit on him.
    • Uraume defeats Yuji, Panda, Momo, Noritoshi, Choso, and Kusakabe all at once. They saved death by Tsukumo at the last second.
    • Maki suffers one at the hands of her father, Ogi Zen'in. After Mai sacrifices herself to grant her sister a power boost, Maki returns the favor and lops the top of Ogi's head off.
    • Right after the above, Maki proceeds to singlehandedly slaughter the whole Zen'in clan on her own. The clan's strongest sorcerers (barring Naoya) only last for about a minute against her.
    • Megumi and Yuji defeat their first enemies in the Culling Game within seconds, until they finally face opponents more than capable of handling themselves.
    • Kinji Hakari's first act upon entering the Culling Game is to utterly defeat Charles Benard, a Mangaka with the ability to see the future but no fighting experience. Nothing Charles does makes Hakari break a sweat, and the single attack he lands was only because Hakari purposefully let him deal it so he can end their fight with a single kick afterwards.
    • Kashimo Hajime utterly defeats Panda in a single chapter, leaving him reduced to just his face. He would have been killed for real had Hakari not arrived in time.
  • Custom Uniform: At Jujutsu High, school uniforms can be customized on request. Gojo himself asks for Yuji’s customization, which gives his uniform a red hoodie.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • Chapter 27 is one of the darkest chapters in the manga. As Yuji tries to persuade Junpei to join Jujutsu High, Mahito appears and gruesomely transforms Junpei. When Itadori pleads with Sukuna to save Junpei, Sukuna simply refuses and mocks him, laughing hysterically with Mahito, as Yuji realizes that curses fundamentally don't respect human life.
    • The Shibuya Incident is basically a whole arc of this, with the sealing of Gojo in the Prison Realm allowing for the Disaster Curses and Geto to plunge the country into chaos. One result of their actions is Sukuna gaining control of Yuji's body temporarily, which leads to him obliterating an entire section of the city- civilians and all. The fallout that results ramps up the insanity, as Gojo is permanently exiled by the higher-ups, Yaga is branded as a traitor, Yuji is set to be executed by Yuta, and Kenjaku awakens the potential of 1000 sorcerers from the Heian era.
  • Designated Girl Fight: During the Goodwill Event, every major student confrontation is always between the same gender. It's made more apparent by every girl fight happening consecutively in the span of three chapters, and emphasized in the anime with said three fitting neatly into Episode 17. This girl's episode also serves as A Day in the Limelight for the Zen'in twins, showcasing their abilities and detailing their story.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Black Flash is this for all jujutsu sorcerers. It requires you to apply energy directly after a physical strike (no more than 0.000001 seconds), but the control needed is so fine that it ends up being akin to a Critical Hit. Itadori manages to grasp it easier than others however.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Most of the cursed spirits are depicted as grotesque and terrifying monsters. Although some of them approach Humanoid Abomination territory (e.g. Mahito), they largely originate from the human subconscious, since cursed spirits are formed from negative human emotions such as pain or envy.
  • Eldritch Location: When either sorcerers or cursed spirits accumulate magical power, it can be used to construct a Domain, a location that can be used to boost their own powers. When a Domain is expanded, a more polished sorcery will control the space itself. An example of a Domain Expansion is Gojo's Immeasurable Void, which is an endless void that Mind Rapes those inside.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Because Cursed Energy is formed from negative emotion, it increases in volume if exposed to feelings of stress and risk. Many sorcerers exploit this phenomenon by intentionally placing a flaws in their Jujutsu to enhance it's overall effectiveness:
    • Curtains, magical barriers usually used to hide sorcerer activity, can be fine-tuned to allow certain kinds of people in and out and, in exchange, block another kind of people's movement. For instance, during the Goodwill Event arc, a curtain is erected that allows anyone access, except for Satoru Gojo.
    • A kind of magical contract, called a Binding Vow, can be agreed upon between two people in order to guarantee exchanges. Binding Vows can also be imposed on oneself; in exchange for more power, one can deliberately handicap themselves.
      • Divulging your own abilities is a common contract to increase power.
      • Nanami has a contract known as "Overtime". Normally while working on the clock, he limits his energy. When he starts working overtime though, his energy increases dramatically.
    • Another kind of contract is known as the Heavenly Restriction. Having limited access to cursed energy, or even having no cursed energy whatsoever, gives one drastically increased physical prowess, and the lack of cursed energy to fight curses can easily be circumvented by the use of cursed tools. Conversely, those with extremely frail bodies gain access to an extreme amount of cursed energy.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Geto's former subordinates find this out the hard way when they summon Sukuna. They ask him to kill the entity possessing Geto and are killed for their trouble.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Cursed spirits can only be harmed by cursed energy, so in a sense this is the premise of the entire series. More concretely, any time Sukuna is pitted against another Curse, such as the first Finger Bearer or Mahito.
  • Evolving Credits: The anime's first opening, "Kaikai Kitan", changes in different ways over the course of the first 13 episodes:
    • At one point, a brief scene of Gojo lifting his black eye band appears. He never reveals his eyes though. After his domain has been revealed, however, he lifts it completely, revealing one of his eyes fully.
    • The end has a picnic scene in which more characters are added to when they are introduced throughout the show, (barring villains and less noteworthy characters). The scene eventually comes to resemble Claude Monet's Luncheon on the Grass.
      • The scene initially starts with Yuji, Gojo, Megumi, and curiously enough, Junpei, who doesn't get introduced until much later.
      • Episode 3 adds Yaga and Nobara.
      • The second years Maki, Inumaki and Panda are added in Episode 6 along with Ijichi and Ieri. Nobara's position is also moved, with a slightly different pose.
      • Filling out the rest of the painting in Episode 9 are Nanami and Todo. It's also worth mentioning here that a different scene earlier, with Gojo slowly removing his blindfold before cutting out, has him finally revealing his eye in full.
      • A final change occurs in Episode 13, the last time "Kaikai Kitan" is used; Yuji is shown with tears in the end, after Junpei's death at Mahito's hands.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Invoking this trope has special benefits in the Jujutsu Kaisen universe. Every jujutsu sorcerer can call upon a contract which boosts the effectiveness of their abilities, at the cost of giving away the nature of their technique. An opponent managing to figure out before you can explain it negates the contract however.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The 50+ chapters long Shibuya Incident Arc (discounting the initial mini-arc at its very beginning) takes place over a single night on Halloween.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Mahito's transfigured humans are still conscious post-transformation.
  • Females Are More Innocent: Implied. We have yet to meet an actual villainess in the series, almost all female characters are performing on the side of good. On the side of evil, the Hasaba twins are merely Geto's wards who only act evil because Geto is their surrogate father; Rika Orimoto is a vengeful Curse but is non-malicious to Yuta and actually a manifestation of his powers; and later on Remi is only a minion to Reggie Star because he promised to protect her. There has yet to be a female antagonist who acts evil because of her own volition and goals.
  • Fighting Panda: Panda is a large bipedal panda-looking creature (he insists several times he isn't really a panda) who is just as capable of kicking ass as the human jujutsu sorcerers, and unlike most of them, his size and bulk lends itself to a close-combat fighting stye. He's actually a sentient Cursed Corpse, meaning Principal Yaga deliberately chose to make his prize fighter in the shape of a panda.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Geto makes his first appearance in the main story, he has stitches along his head. While it could initially be chalked up to him making a recovery after Gojo confronts him in Volume 0, it actually serves the reveal later that the dead Geto had his brain swapped with that of someone else.
    • Early on, Megumi expresses an interest in using Cursed Tools to compliment his fighting style when talking to the second-years, and is briefly shown using his technique to put his fingers in his own shadow. When fighting Hanami over 30 chapters later, he reveals Cursed Tools he's stored within his shadows for him and Maki to use.
    • Itadori displays an abnormal, unexplained resistance to poison when fighting Junpei early on. It can very easily be dismissed as Junpei simply being too weak to affect him, or Itadori using Heroic Willpower. Later in his fight with Eso and Kechizu it's explained that Sukuna, as the King of Curses, is immune to all poisons, making Itadori immune by extension.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Deconstructed. When faced with a Cursed Spirit they can't hope to beat, Yuji decides to release Sukuna, tells Megumi to take Nobara and run as far as possible, staying behind to hold it off until Megumi gives him the signal release to switch. It almost backfires when Sukuna decides to cooperate with the Curse and lead it back to Megumi instead, only to be attacked the Curse anyway. Then it gets deconstructed again after Sukuna kills it when he finds out that Yuji can't switch back because he didn't have Sukuna's consent. As a result, he rips out Yuji's heart to ensure that he dies if he switches back and nearly kills Megumi.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Curses allied with Geto had a simple goal - unleash Sukuna using the fingers and seal Gojo. By the end of the Shibuya Arc, the Group clearly succeeded in their goal, but unleashing Sukuna directly results in him killing Jogo and devastating Shibuya, whereas Hanami, Mahito and Dagon all die or are incapacitated as the result of their actions, and the only person who could restrain Sukuna has just been sealed by the Curses, as Geto promptly betrays them.
  • Go Out with a Smile:
    • Realizing he has no way to escape from Mahito's Domain, he reminisces on the moment that made him decide to become a sorcerer again, and calmly and warmly expresses acceptance of his fate to Mahito.
      Mahito: Right now, I'm just... thankful to you.
      Nanami: There's no need for that. I've already received gratitude from many people. I have no regrets.
    • There's a Call-Back to that scene when Mahito actually kills him. He smiles at Itadori with no regrets, telling him to take it from there.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Both the protagonists and antagonists aim to gather all twenty of Sukuna's fingers and feed them to Itadori, but they have different plans for what comes after: the former want to exorcise the King of Curses by executing Yuji, while the latter want to recruit him to their cause.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: After the incident with Junpei, Yuji begins to question what a "proper death" is. Nanami suggests that a proper death is a fair one, where good people pass peacefully and evil people die horribly. However, he concedes that this is hard to enforce, as the world itself is morally gray, and there are no purely good or evil people; no two people will die the same death and giving proper guidance to all souls is most likely a path of misery.
  • Hand Seals: Performing a Domain Expansion involves a hand seal. Megumi makes shadow puppets to summon his shikigami.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Mahito gives these to Junpei, to push him into misanthropy. He disparages the human soul in general, the meaning of life and pushes the idea that "indifference" is a virtue.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest: Reversed Cursed Techniques are special techniques that enable healing using positive cursed energy. Although the theory behind it is simple, the actual process is so complex that even Gojo was unable to comprehend it until his second year in school. A testament to just how rare it is, only five characters so far have shown the ability to perform Reverse Curses Techniques.
  • The Heartless: Cursed Spirits are this trope played almost entirely Straight; they're inherently evil monsters with supernatural abilities that are born from negative human emotions. The only real distinction from the traditional trope is that curses created from only one person's negative emotions are usually so weak and small that they're only minor annoyances at worst; it takes multiple people pouring their negative emotions and thoughts towards one thing for an exceptionally powerful Curse to form.
  • Home Field Advantage: Domain Expansion is a technique that manifests an environment constructed with cursed energy. Constructing a domain uses a lot of cursed energy at the benefit of getting environmental "stat upgrades" and making cursed techniques used in the domain always hit. Gojo even compares it to a buff in video games. The best counter to a Domain Expansion is another one, with the more polished one winning.
  • Horrifying the Horror: By the end of their second fight, Yuji manages to reduce Mahito, the unflappable embodiment of human's fear/hate of each other, who has killed skilled Jujutsu sorcerers, into scurrying away like a frightened rabbit as Yuji now casually jogs to kill him. Even Choso refers to Yuji's power as if he was a demon god.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Several curses, such as Ryomen Sukuna or Mahito, have the body of a human rather than grotesque and terrifying monsters, and they generally behave like normal, if malevolent humans.
  • Invisible to Normals: The body of a cursed spirit consists entirely of cursed energy, and so they can't be directly perceived by ordinary humans under typical circumstances. However, as cursed energy is generated by negative emotions, a curse may become visible to a non-sorcerer in a moment of extreme duress - such as when said curse is about to kill them.
    • This extends to technology as well - cameras can't capture the image of a cursed spirit. In Chapter 20, this is what first tips off Nanami that something's off about the 'cursed spirits' he and Itadori just fought - they're visible through his phone camera. Turns out, they aren't curses at all, but rather humans altered by Mahito's Idle Transfiguration.
  • In Medias Res: The first episode of the anime starts out with Yuji trapped in a mystical cell, with Gojo explaining that the higher-ups want to execute him. The rest of the episode explains How We Got Here.
  • It Can Think: Some Curses, even at Grade 3 or 4, possess higher intelligence. As first demonstrated in Chapter 5, where one such Curse holds a child hostage against Nobara, knowing that it couldn't beat her head on.
  • I'll Kill You!: An enraged Yuji utters this at Mahito after he kills Junpei, complete with a Death Glare.
  • Irony: After exorcising the curse under the suicide bridge, Megumi realizes that the reason the curse began to start killing people years after they were first cursed by it was because Yuji had eaten the first Sukuna finger, an action that activated the rest. He tells Nobara to keep this information from Yuji so he doesn't feel guilty about the people who died. Cut to Sukuna straight up telling Yuji that those deaths were his fault due to him eating Sukuna's finger. Yuji tells Sukuna not to tell Megumi about this information so he doesn't feel bad about it.
  • Kick the Dog: When Yuji asks Sukuna to revive Junpei (who had been transformed by Mahito), Sukuna refuses. He then mocks him for his inability to save anyone, laughing at him hysterically along with Mahito, sending Itadori into a Heroic BSoD.
  • Killed Offscreen: Junpei's mother is killed offscreen by a curse (implied to be one of Geto's), triggering Junpei's Start of Darkness.
  • Made of Evil: Cursed spirits originate from human emotions such as pain or envy. Schools and hospitals are potential spawn points for cursed spirits because many people have bad memories and emotions tied to these places.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Gakuganji tells his students to do this to Itadori during the school exchange event.
  • Men Act, Women Are: Notably averted. There is an almost even helping of female characters in the series as there are male characters. Also, almost all of them, especially Nobara, Maki and Mei Mei, are given agency to act upon the story, be it by helping actively in battle or by influencing the events in one way or another, which is quite rare for the Shōnen genre.
  • Million-to-One Chance: Fushiguro notes that there's a one in a million chance for Yuji to survive eating Sukuna’s finger, a special-grade cursed object that's essentially a lethal poison, to gain cursed energy. Naturally, it works, kicking off the plot.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Despite hailing from the Zenin, one of the Big Three Sorcerer Families, Maki was born with a baseline level of cursed energy typical of ordinary humans, far below what is needed to become a sorcerer. It's so low that she can't even see cursed spirits unaided - she relies on a special pair of glasses.
    • Toji Fushiguro (né Zenin) exhibits the same phenomenon to an even greater degree: he was born with absolutely no cursed energy at all. This makes him imperceptible via supernatural means, which he uses to his advantage, gaining the moniker Sorcerer Killer.
  • Musical Assassin: Yoshinobu Gakuganji, Principal of Kyoto's Jujutsu College. He uses his body as an amp and Shreds out his melodies in waves of cursed energy.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Sukuna's original body had four arms, and thus twenty fingers.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Yuji has this reaction after Sukuna's massacre in downtown Shibuya, feeling personally responsible for the atrocity.

    N — Z 
  • Night Parade of One Hundred Demons: The "Night Parade of One Hundred Demons" was a terrorist attack organized by the sorcerer Suguru Geto, in pursuit of Rika Orimoto and Yuta Okkotsu. He had a multitude of demons swarm the cities of Shinjuku and Kyoto while students, faculty, and alumni of Jujutsu High were on hand to fight back.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Japanese models Peco and Ryuchell are depicted in chapter 4.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Ino suffers one of the series' most savage Curb Stomp Battles at the hands of Toji Fushiguro once he is summoned by Ogami and her grandson. While a poweful sorcerer in his own right, he stood absolutely no chance against a man that posed a serious challenge for Gojo.
  • Not My Type: Toji Fushiguro delivers this once trapped in the domain of an imaginary vengeful spirit controlled by Geto. The spirit asks him if it is pretty, and when he realizes you can only escape the domain by answering its question, he responds this way, opening himself up to its onslaught.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • In Chapter 8, Sukuna supposedly kills Itadori by tearing out his heart, it is revealed that he didn't truly die. Instead, Sukuna transported him to his Innate Domain, a sort of dimension within themselves.
    • In chapters 14 and 15, Jougo deals multiple should-be fatal blows to Gojo, including blasting his head with magma and setting it on fire for a prolonged period of time. Gojo reveals that he survived with his technique, which allows him to avoid actually being touched by infinitely slowing down attacks as they approach him.
  • Opponent Instruction: During their fight in the midst of the Sister School Goodwill Event, Todo coaches Itadori on how to synchronize his Cursed Energy with his physical blows.
  • Pants-Pulling Prank: Yuji's response towards the teacher who acts condescending towards him while Yuji is trying to talk to Junpei. Itadori pulls his pants off and runs off before coming right back to where Junpei is.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!: In Chapter 3, it is revealed that Megumi had asked Gojo to spare Yuji from his impending execution. Fortunately, Gojo complies. It is ruled that Yuji will ultimately be killed after he finds and eats all of Sukuna's body parts.
  • Power Levels: There are different grades for curses based on the effectiveness of traditional weapons:
    • Special Grade: Carpeting explosives like a cluster bomb could work.
    • Grade 1: A tank might be useless.
    • Grade 2: A shotgun would cut it close.
    • Grade 3: A pistol would be fine.
    • Grade 4: With a wooden bat it'd be easy work.
    • These grade levels are also applied to Jujutsu sorcerers, but in their case it's a sign that they're stronger than Cursed spirits in the same grade as they are.
    • Jogo has his power measured in Sukuna's fingers at the start of the series, but this metric isn't really used after that.
  • Power Of Hate: The basis of cursed energy is negative emotions like anger, fear, and hatred. Jujutsu Sorcerers are trained to control their emotions to channel cursed energy.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Everyone. One of the things that separates Jujutsu Sorcerers from many of its predecessors is that they're fully willing to press every advantage they can get their hands on and never hesitate to gang up against their opponents. It's not uncommon for fights to turn into vicious two-on-one beatdowns where the heroes are overwhelming the bad guy du jour to such an extent that they're forced to use an extremely powerful technique to even break out of it.
  • The Promise: Yuji promises his grandfather to be kind to everyone around him, and to die surrounded by his loved ones.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The Shibuya Incident is this for the Disaster Curses, as they manage to succeed in all of their goals (empowering Sukuna and sealing Gojo), but are all killed by the retaliating sorcerers or absorbed by Geto.
  • Reality-Breaking Paradox: Gojo's Hollow Purple manifests the concepts of infinite convergence and infinite divergence simultaneously. Everything within the affected space is simply deleted from existence.
  • Rescue Arc: Once Gojo is sealed by Prison Realm, the Shibuya Incident Arc focuses on the sorcerers attempting to rescue him.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • After Junpei's mother dies, he uses the powers bestowed by Mahito to knock several students out and kill the suspected murderer.
    • Junpei's Cruel and Unusual Death (being turned into a monster at the hands of Mahito and Sukuna's refusal to fix him) becomes a raison d'etre of Yuji on trying to find and kill Mahito. It happens again when Mahito kills Nanami.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: A lot of cursed objects and spirits are sealed by sorcerers' talismans. When the talisman is unsealed, the cursed spirit can activate its power and free itself. These spirits can roam freely and start wreaking havoc.
  • Shapeshifting: Mahito's Innate Technique, Idle Transfiguration, allows him to alter the shape of living souls, and therefore bodies - his own and others.
  • Shirtless Scene: Yuji has one in the second chapter after Sukuna rips off his shirt, to which we get a very glorious sight of his abs. This also happens again when Sukuna takes over his body and rips his heart out. These are suitably played for drama and horror rather than fanservice.
  • Shock Collar: Gojo trains Yuji by letting him watch movies together with one of the principal's cursed dolls. It attacks Yuji if he doesn't emit a constant flow of cursed energy.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of Yuji's classmates says that it's rumored that Itadori completed all four stages of Ninja Warrior.
    • Yuji's type of girl is Jennifer Lawrence.
    • During Nobara's first appearance, she names Stardust Promotion (one of big talent agencies in Japan who have produced actors and groups such as Momoiro Clover Z) as one of the talent agencies she hopes would scout her.
    • In Episode 6 of the anime adaptation, Gojo holds a DVD of The Lure while he explains Yuji's task of watching movies with a curse corpse. The movie Gojo was spoiling, however, is Deep Blue Sea.
    • Yuji watches a film that is suspiciously similar to a Lordofthe Rings film, with characters that look just like Frodo and Sam having a very Frodo-and-Sam-like conversation.
    • The Vs. Mahito arc begins with Junpei watching Human Earthworm 3 in theatres, an obvious send-up to The Human Centipede film series. In an interview, Gege Akutami stated that Junpei's opinion of the Human Earthworm movies are their actual opinions on The Human Centipede movies.
    • Characters regularly name drop manga, anime, and other Shonen Jump properties, like when Yuji compared Cursed Techniques to using a Kamehameha or a Rasengan.
    • Nobara being a hammer-wielding Action Girl owes to the Hammer Girl from The Raid 2: Berandal, and just like her influence Nobara is also blinded on one eye.
    • The cover for Chapter 147 is a reference to the poster for Logan. Additionally, some panels are direct references to Christopher Robin.
  • Spit Take: Junpei does one when he bursts out laughing at Yuji's impression of Tom Hanks in Cast Away.
  • Status Quo Is God: Notably subverted. One of the defining themes of the series is that consequences of one's actions are permanent and, while it might be possible to fix certain things sometimes, other things just can't. One instance is that the animus between the Zen'in twins is never fully resolved, even after Mai's apparent death. Other example is Junpei's hapless association with Mahito which causes Junpei's demise at Itadori's hands. Also, the fact that Sukuna's association with Itadori can only induce the latter dying horribly is another example.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Deconstructed Trope. Satoru Gojo and Ryomen Sukuna, two of the strongest characters in the entire series, are both this as they are just so overwhelmingly strong that having them would tip the scales heavily to the favor of whoever side they are on. It's pretty much acknowledged by both the heroes and the villains that those two can only be really opposed by one another. Unfortunately, in this series, having such overwhelming power doesn't mean much and just paints a massive target on your back to either get you on one side or find some clever way to remove you from the picture: For Satoru, the enemies tend to come up with ways to nullify this and allow them to engage him in more favorable settings, while Sukuna's antagonist status doesn't benefit the villains either as he doesn't care for either side and when he is released, his cleverness means he comes up with ways to use his power to ensure he doesn't solve the situation for either of them, instead worsening the situation for the heroes while also giving the villains some set-backs rather than really giving them any actual help.
  • The Stinger: From Episode 3-onwards of the anime, a mini-anime named "Juju Sanpo" (lit. Juju Stroll) airs, focusing on the daily lives of the characters and more comedic bits based on storyboards that Akutami provided.
  • Supernatural Sealing: The Prison Realm is a cube-shaped special-grade cursed object with a barrier able to absolutely seal anything inside a Pocket Dimension within it. Geto seals Gojo in the Prison Realm at the beginning of the Shibuya Incident, with him unable to be freed unless a cursed tool/technique that nullifies other cursed techniques is used.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Unlike most other series with the set-up of a school of supernatural warriors unknown to the general public, the point of how rare Jujutsu sorcerers are is driven further by displaying how little students such a school would actually have, with the main characters comprising the only three first years in the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School.
    • This lack of numbers also extends to the actual fighting of Curses; while it would be preferable to just have someone as powerful as Gojo deal with Curses as deadly as Special Grade, he's not as widely available due to how they, or something as threatening, can pop up in multiple places, and the numbers of Jujutsu practitioners are generally so little, that three first-year students, one of which is a complete novice, are considered the next best thing for dealing with one. Though this may be downplayed somewhat by Gojo's theory that the whole operation being conducted by first years was actually intended by higher-ups, in an attempt to get rid of Itadori.
    • The standard Superpowered Evil Side trope that's common in most shonen anime/manga is played exactly as horrifying as it could be. Trying to use Sukuna's power for anything positive is a terrible idea, he's completely untrustworthy, and any time he does get free of his prison he only makes things worse.
    • After witnessing Kugisaki take a possibly fatal wound fighting Mahito, Yuji's resolve, already shaken by the horrifying events of Shibuya, shatters. Cue Mahito subjecting him to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Taking You with Me: Part of what makes Yuji's "partnership" with Sukuna so tumultuous (besides Sukuna being, well, himself) is that he's made no secret that he aims to consume all of the curse's fingers and then die to end the threat the artifacts pose towards humanity once and for all. Conversely, when Yuji tries to force Sukuna's aid when facing a special-grade curse on his first mission, under the grounds that if the curse kills him, Sukuna's essence will die too, Sukuna bluntly refuses to aid Yuji regardless, pointing out that there are still 18 of his fingers out in the wild, thus even if the part of him trapped in Yuji dies, he'll still survive overall, and he's perfectly willing to die if it would inconvenience Yuji more than himself.
    • When Sukuna seizes control of Yuji's body at the end of the Cursed Womb arc, he tears his/their heart out as a tactical gambit: Sukuna himself is strong enough to survive in a body without a heart, but Yuji isn't, meaning that if the latter takes back control, he'll die. Yuji does it anyway, thwarting Sukuna and saving Megumi.
  • A Taste of Power: In the middle of a fight with Jogo, Gojo decides to bring Yuji to the battle as a training lesson, under the (correct) assumption that his opponent would use Domain Expansion, the pinnacle of Jujutsu Sorcery. After showing him the technique and how to counter it, he states he'll be training Yuji to fight against threats like Jogo in the future.
  • Tournament Arc: In Chapter 33 onwards, both Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School and Kyoto Prefectural Jujutsu High School hold a tournament called the "Kyoto Sister-School Goodwill Event", which is a tournament between the sorcerer students of the respective schools. The intent of this festival is so that the sorcerers will be able to know their companions and themselves. Though it's slightly subverted — although the first event features fighting, Gojo hijacks the second event, turning it from the typical one-on-one tournament into a nearly completely normal baseball game instead.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Played for drama. When Yuji is presumed dead after Sukuna has torn his heart out, Nobara says that she isn't the kind of person to get sad over losing someone she barely knows, but upon closer inspection, Megumi sees that her lips are trembling, and that she's holding back tears.
  • Voodoo Doll: The Resonance application of Nobara's Straw Doll Technique operates like this: drive a nail through an effigy and a piece of the target, and the damage to the effigy is mirrored on the target's body. Typically, the 'effigy' is a straw doll, but in the fight against Eso and Kechizu, she uses her own body as the effigy, driving nails through her arm in order to inflict pain on the two Death Paintings through the link created by their Rot Technique.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Junpei is a strictly-principled loner who often tries to rein in his carefree, energetic mother. Notably, she encourages him to skip school and smokes and drinks heavily against his wishes.
  • Welcome to the Big City: The premise has Itadori move from a town in the countryside to Tokyo, the location of Tokyo Jujutsu High.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 90. Gojo is stalled for one minute inside his brain, and successfully sealed into Prison Realm. The catch is that what stalls him long enough to be captured is the sight of his old friend Suguru Geto, because he had killed him one year prior to the start of the series. While someone who has read the prequel would be able to deduce this, Gojo then demands to know who Geto really is. What follows is Geto pulling a string to remove the top part of his head, revealing an exposed brain with teeth sticking out.
      False Geto: Yeesh! How'd you know?
    • Chapter 135. Choso the Death Painting reveals that the false Geto's real name is Noritoshi Kamo, known as the most evil sorcerer in history. According to the false Geto, it's only one of his many names. It's implied he's been doing this for a while, as Noritoshi shares the same scars as Geto.
    • Chapter 136. Geto reveals the outline of his plan: to create chaos that allows humanity's control over cursed energy to be optimized. To this end, he has groomed over 1000 dormant potential sorcerers (among them, Tsumiki Fushiguro) to become vessels like Yuji, or curse users like Junpei. He then uses Mahito's Idle Transfiguration to awaken these sorcerers, and announces his intention to have them fight each other to the death, finishing off with the release of a great number of Curses into the world.
    • Chapter 137. The Jujutsu world's elders respond to the Shibuya incident. They decide that: Satoru Gojo was an accomplice in the incident, and is not to be released from the Prison Realm; Principal Yaga is to receive the death penalty due to his connections to Gojo and Geto; and Yuji Itadori's execution is no longer suspended, with a newly returned Yuta Okkotsu appointed as his executioner.
  • Wham Shot: Chapter 143 has a brief flashback to Yuji’s grandfather urging to his son Jin (Yuji’s father) of leaving his wife. Said wife is revealed to have scars on her forehead very similar to Geto and Noritoshi Kamo’s.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Curses, even the intelligent ones, are fought and killed without much thought to their status as people. To be fair, the Special Grades all trying to wipe out humanity. In-Universe, Principal Gakuganji even tells his students that Itadori "isn't even a person" due to being Sukuna's vessel. The moral quandary gets a little attention after Yuji manages to change most of the Kyoto branch students' minds.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The Hidden Inventory arc and the following Premature Death mini-arc all take place about a decade in the past, and follows Gojo's past, with his best friend Geto, and shows the latter's Start of Darkness, as well as the events leading up to Megumi's recruitment by Gojo into Tokyo Jujutsu High.
  • The Worf Effect: Practically, this happens pretty frequently.
    • Sukuna and Gojo AKA the two strongest characters in the series regularly deliver swift and decisive defeats like candies to anyone who crosses their path to display just how overpowered they are. Just as Mahito seems to be gaining an edge against Nanami and Yuji, Sukuna ends the fight with ease just by flicking his fingers. The most particular emphasis is Jogo: Despite being acknowledged by Sukuna as the strongest of the unregistered special-grade curses, the only fight Jogo wins is against Nanami, Maki, and Naobito... in a matter of seconds and he ends up being utterly annahilated when he fights as nothing he tries work and he's entirely unable to land a single hit or do any meaningful opposition, apart from forcing Sukuna to dodge a meteor that Sukuna even stated would only inflict light damage if it hit him. Both of them make it clear they are just toying with him as they easily beat him down with just physical combat and don't even need to use their cursed techniques. While Gojo at least shows off his Red and Unlimited Void because he wants to, Sukuna only makes use of a single technique that manipulates fire, Jogo's speciality, and easily killing him by burning him to crisp. Currently, Sukuna holds the most record by the fact that with 15 fingers, meaning he's back at 75% of his power but not quite at full strength, he defeats Mahoraga, Megumi's strongest shikigami that not even Gojo's ancestors with the Six Eyes can put down without dying himself, pretty handily.
    • The Culling Game is pretty full of this, with sorcerers from the ancient age displaying just how formidable veteran jujutsu warriors during the era of wars are. Shortly after Yuji and Megumi handle the situation in their ends, Yuta Okkotsu takes charge of the story.... But despite being the second greatest sorcerer in the current ages, the opponents he fights in his colony end up giving him a brutal fight, making even Megumi's troublesome fight with Reggie Star look underwhelmed. In particular, Ryu Ishigori is able to defeat Rika and he is also able to even outdo Yuta in terms of destructive output. Kashimo Hajime, the strongest player who is acknowledged by Kenjaku to be well the second strongest sorcerer he ever knew, apart from Sukuna himself, proves to be even more terrifying, as he ends up killing Panda in a brutal curb-stomp battle and fights Hakari with infinite cursed energy to a brutal standstill.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: At the beginning of the flashback arc, Mei Mei and Utahime are both trapped in a mansion, in an unusually long hallway. Gojo being Gojo, rescues them by destroying the whole building, where Shoko reveals that they've actually been stuck there for two days.


 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Top

Hollow Purple

Behold the power of mixing red and blue.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / PurpleIsPowerful

Media sources:

Report