High school student Yuji Itadori is just a regular kid, if you don’t count his amazing strength, supernatural speed, the fact that he ate a cursed finger… Alright, scratch that. Of course he’s nowhere near normal – he’s the hero of Jujutsu Kaisen (呪術廻戦, Jujutsu Kaisen), a dark fantasy manga by Gege Akutami (芥見下々, Akutami Gege) with a 24-episode anime series by MAPPA.
Set in a world where sorcerers must fight deadly curses born of negative emotions, Jujutsu Kaisen combines its dark premise with a refreshing modern setting, relatable characters and of course, plenty of action. Read on to learn more about the world of Jujutsu Kaisen, along with its characters, keywords and more!
Despite being blessed with extraordinary athleticism, fifteen-year-old Yuji Itadori refuses to have anything to do with his high school’s track team. His choice? The Occult Research Club. However, his world is thrown into chaos when a cursed talisman in the form of a rotting finger is unsealed at school. To protect his friends, Yuji swallows the finger, which is actually a fragment of legendary “King of Curses” Ryomen Sukuna, and becomes possessed himself. Although this effectively signs his death warrant, the intervention of powerful sorcerer Satoru Gojo sets him on a different path: to consume the rest of Sukuna’s fingers so he can destroy the curse – and himself – forever.
To be human is to experience not only positive feelings, but also negative emotions like sadness, regret and shame. In Jujutsu Kaisen, such emotions produce cursed energy, which transforms into curses that can bring misfortune to the world. While normal humans cannot control this, Jujutsu Sorcerers are able to harness their own cursed energy to use certain techniques. With their supernatural powers, these sorcerers secretly protect humans from curses and the threats they pose to society.
– Jujutsu High students
Yuji Itadori (虎杖 悠仁, Itadori Yūji)
A fifteen-year-old with extraordinary athleticism. Good-natured and always willing to help those around him, Yuji particularly values the importance of life and having a “fair death”, which was instilled in him by his dead grandfather. As a result, he eats Sukuna’s finger to save his friends and thus becomes the present-day vessel of the “King of Curses.” He then enrolls in Jujutsu High to become a sorcerer himself under the tutelage of Satoru Gojo. Through lessons and missions, he learns more about cursed energy and how to control it, boosting his already impressive physical abilities. He is voiced by Junya Enoki (Japanese) and Adam McArthur (English).
Megumi Fushiguro (伏黒恵, Fushiguro Megumi)
A first-year student. Megumi’s search for a cursed object leads him to meet Yuji and witness his self-sacrifice first-hand, despite them being strangers. Secretive and calculating, he nevertheless believes in helping those who are good and kind, as seen when he vouches for Yuji in the face of the latter’s impending execution. The two are later reunited as fellow students under the tutelage of Satoru Gojo. Megumi’s sorcery talents include summoning Shikigami (spirits) for offense and exorcisms. He is voiced by Yuma Uchida (Japanese) and Robbie Daymond (English).
Nobara Kugisaki (釘崎野薔薇, Kugisaki Nobara)
A first-year student hailing from the country. As one of Satoru’s students, she teams up with Yuji and Megumi for various missions. Self-confident and quick to speak her mind, she takes pride in her own identity, abilities and appearance. Nobara’s distinctive battle style includes the use of hammers and nails infused with cursed energy. She is voiced by Asami Seto (Japanese) and Anne Yatco (English).
Maki Zen’in (禪院真希, Zen’in Maki)
A second-year student who participates in the event with their sister school in Kyoto. Despite being born to a clan of elite Jujutsu Sorcerers, Maki doesn’t have the ability to control cursed energy or even see curses. However, she compensates for this with amazing physical strength and talent with all sorts of cursed tools. She is voiced by Mikako Komatsu (Japanese) and Allegra Clark (English).
Toge Inumaki (狗巻棘, Inumaki Toge)
A second-year student who participates in the sister school event. His power is channeled through cursed speech – words imbued with his cursed energy. To ensure that his abilities don’t affect people in everyday situations, he only uses words that can be fillings for rice balls. He is voiced by Koki Uchiyama (Japanese) and Xander Mobus (English).
A second-year student who participates in the sister school event with Maki and Toge. Despite his appearance as a full-sized panda, he can speak like a human and is also an exceptionally powerful sorcerer. He is voiced by Tomokazu Seki (Japanese) and Matthew David Rudd (English).
– Jujutsu High faculty
Satoru Gojo (五条悟, Gojō Satoru)
A powerful sorcerer and teacher who mentors Yuji, Megumi and Nobara. After Yuji is sentenced to death for being possessed by Sukuna, Satoru proposes that they wait until all of the fingers are consumed, which would give them the chance to destroy Sukuna once and for all. He is renowned for his immense power and battle prowess to the point that his self-proclamation of being the world’s strongest Jujutsu Sorcerer goes unchallenged. He is voiced by Yuichi Nakamura (Japanese) and Kaiji Tang (English).
Masamichi Yaga (夜蛾正道, Yaga Masamichi)
Jujutsu High’s principal and a passionate educator who once mentored Gojo. He has the ability to bring dolls to life and control them through his cursed corpse technique. He is voiced by Takaya Kuroda (Japanese) and Keith Silverstein (English).
Ryomen Sukuna (両面宿儺, Ryōmen Sukuna)
A legendary curse inhabiting Yuji’s body. Also translated as “Double Faced Specter.” Known as the “King of Curses”, Sukuna resisted all exorcism attempts, driving sorcerers of centuries ago to cut off and hide his 20 fingers in order to seal his power. His character has roots in Japanese legend, with references to a two-faced, 8-armed and 8-legged man with supernatural strength in Nihon Shoki, the second oldest book of Japanese history. He is voiced by Junichi Suwabe (Japanese), and Ray Chase (English).
Suguru Geto (夏油 傑, Getō Suguru)
A Special Grade Jujutsu Sorcerer who wishes to transform the world into a “paradise” that would house sorcerers only. He is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese) and Lex Lang (English).
A powerful curse born of fear of the earth. He believes that his own kind is humanity’s true form because cursed spirits originate from pure emotion, as opposed to humans and their false emotions. He is voiced by Shigeru Chiba (Japanese) and Michael Sorich (English).
A powerful curse born of fear of the forests. They wish to eliminate humans so they stop hurting the environment. They are voiced by Atsuko Tanaka.
– Curses (呪い, noroi) / Cursed Spirits (呪霊, jurei)
Spiritual beings given form by cursed energy (see below). Particularly likely to manifest in places like hospitals and schools, they are the cause of countless mysterious deaths and disappearances in general society, with regular people unable to see them. However, Jujutsu Sorcerers are able to see, fight and exorcise them. Curses vary greatly in appearance and power, and are ranked by strength with Grades 1-4 (4 being the weakest) and Special Grade (the very strongest). They may also be sealed in artifacts as Sukuna was, becoming cursed objects (呪物, jubutsu) that can still emit cursed energy.
– Cursed Energy (呪力, juryoku)
A form of energy that arises from humans’ negative emotions, like hate, regret, and shame, and gives form to curses. While regular people are unable to control it, Jujutsu Sorcerers (see below) and curses are able to harness their own cursed energy for combat.
– Jujutsu Sorcerer (呪術師, jujutsu-shi)
Individuals who have been trained to combat curses using Jujutsu spells and techniques at one of Japan’s two recognized Jujutsu educational institutions. They are tasked with various missions, the difficulty of which should match their grade as a sorcerer, with Grade 4 being the lowest and Special Grade being the highest. These duties may involve exorcising curses, investigating curse-related incidents, and so on.
– Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School (東京都立呪術高等専門学校, Tōkyo Toritsu Jujutsu Senmon Gakkō)
A 4-year institution where aspiring Jujutsu Sorcerers gather to train their craft. It can also be translated as Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical School and abbreviated as Jujutsu High. One of Japan’s only two Jujutsu schools, it is located in the suburbs of Tokyo, with the other (its sister school) located in Kyoto. However, it is disguised as a religious school and is further hidden and protected from outside threats by a protective barrier. It is common for fully-fledged sorcerers to come back to Jujutsu High to teach students, as well as manage and support missions.
Written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, Jujutsu Kaisen first began serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump in March 2018. Before this, however, a 4-chapter series titled Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School ran in Jump GIGA. Featuring a different main character named Yuta, it was published as a single volume titled Jujutsu Kaisen 0.
Still ongoing with 15 volumes as of March 2021, the main series is one of the best-selling manga series of all time. Over 30 million copies are in circulation (including digital releases) as of February 2021.
English translations are currently available online through Shueisha’s Manga Plus app and website. It’s also been released in print for North America through Viz Media. Get a peek at the manga here!
The MAPPA-produced anime series debuted in Japan on October 3, 2020 and is slated to run for 24 episodes over two seasons. Directed by Sunghoo Park and written by Hiroshi Seko, it covers the manga’s story up to roughly Volume 7.
As well as dynamic animation, there are also four theme songs to enjoy: “Kaikai Kitan” by Eve (first opening theme), “Lost in Paradise feat. AKLO” by ALI (first ending theme), “Vivid Vice” by Who-ya Extended (second opening theme), and “Give it Back” by Cö Shu Nie (second ending theme). Get started with “Kaikai Kitan” below!
Feel like a bigger taste of Jujutsu Kaisen? Sit down, maybe get yourself a (hopefully non-finger shaped) snack, and head on your first mission with Yuji!
This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article.