*WARNING! Manga spoilers!*
One of my goals was to catch up with the Jujutsu Kaisen manga after the US release of Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie. As of July 17th, 2022, the latest chapter out is chapter 190. As the “Culling Game Arc” finishes up and new revelations come about, I am sure we will all re-think these characters differently. However, with 190 chapters in, I’m going to rank my favorite characters in Jujutsu Kaisen!
1. Satoru Gojo 「五条悟」
It’s hard to not love the OP guy. Handsome, powerful and sassy. All the chicks want a Satoru and every dude wants to be a Satoru. It’s cool to just admire an all around unbelievable character. Once Satoru gets sealed in the “prison realm,” the whole world order collapses. That’s how important and amazing of a character Gojo is. I concede to the greatness of this character. The day we can all rejoice that Satoru gets released from the “prion realm” will be the day the most epic event will take place, as the #1 character in the series will show the audience what real “epic-ness” really means.
2. Maki Zenin 「禪院真希」/ Toji Fushiguro 「伏黒甚爾」
Is it cheating to put 2 characters at number 2? I don’t think so. Let’s just say it starts with Toji and it ends with Maki.
Both characters possess very similar backstories and it even shows in the manga. Maki has by far, the most badass rise in strength and fight panels of anyone. Not even Gojo had as much gruesome fights as Maki had when she took down her own father and many of her ex-clan members. This is the kind of exorcism you like to see characters face when they are confronted with their own demons and the people that put those demons there. Parents’ negative reinforcement, resentment, coming to peace with your loved ones and crazy old historical Japanese representation of competing powers within a tribe—Maki’s takedown of many Zenin clan members was the most unexpectedly satisfying character arcs and scenes from the whole Jujutsu Kaisen story.
Toji in a similar way, left his clan and became a badass assassin. While his life takes a far more sinister and dark turn, the most relatable characteristics that both Toji and Maki possess is that they are both born “talentless.” They represent what hard work can get you in other areas where people wouldn’t necessarily deem a “talent.” In my own personal projection on these two characters, I 100% relate to these characters the most and that’s why I have them both at number 2.
After it shows Maki surviving the “Shibuya Incident Arc,” I was totally not prepared for what Gege Akutami had in-store for her. It was such a great under the radar development as Maki seemed just like another side character. Once Toji gets introduced and makes way for tons of great backstory and shows many times how “out of this world” his non-cursed abilities are, Maki transitions seamlessly into that role with a new designed look and what I would deem a completed character arc. I am in love with what Maki is right now in the story. It’s not everyday you truly get to see what revenge brutally looks like.
3. Yuta Okottsu 「乙骨憂太」
I’m a sucker for characters that fit that typical “shonen” mold and I believe Yuta fits that bill a little better than Yuji Itadori. He has every shonen characteristic like talent, tragedy, overcoming internal obstacles and recognizes his own weaknesses. He does everything and executes what true heroes do that the main protagonist Itadori can’t do just yet. In a way, Yuta is kind of like Yuji’s final form.
You’d think Yuta’s epic moment would be from the movie, but with the newer chapters of Yuta “killing” Yuji and taking down multiple high level cursed users (Ryu Ishigori, Takako Uro, Dhruv Lakdawalla and Kurourushi), Yuta may be at the top of the totem pole after Satoru Gojo, displaying unbelievable strength, grit, wit and ability to win people over. What we lost in Nanami and Satoru in the “Shibuya Incident Arc,” gets replaced with Yuta Okkotsu and Kinji Hakari.
4. Yuji Itadori 「虎杖悠仁」
I’m not too big of a fan of really dumb protagonists, but he still has many redeeming and likable characteristics. A hero’s path is never perfect and can be an extremely bumpy one. That’s how it’s shaping up to be for the young and energetic Yuji Itadori.
His personality of being kind of slow and happy-go-lucky really helps with comedic relief that the manga & anime kind of needs to counteract the super dark elements of the story. Still, there is so much about his background that is yet to be revealed as Choso revealed Yuji’s inexplicable birth parents. The fact that he doesn’t want to kill people and feels bad when Sukuna takes over can be taken many ways metaphorically. There’s a lot tragic backstory that’s slowly being revealed, but Yuji’s personality is what sets him apart. Like many shonen protagonists with awful(in a good way) backstories, Yuji is a character arc that is slowly getting better and better.
Up this point, the most mysterious Yuji backstory is his relations to his parents and however that relates to Kenjaku. That is what continually makes him interesting because no one knows what to make of that situation. In terms of personality, Yuji’s biggest draw up to this point, has to be his uplifting personality and his coming to terms with his position as a Jujutsu Sorcerer. Oh yeah, there’s that whole Sukuna guy inside of him too.. That’s a whole other metaphor in itself as well.
5. Megumi Fushiguro「伏黒恵」
It’s hard to like a guy born naturally talented. Envy is a Seven Deadly Sin, but it’s relatability projects well in a character like Megumi Fushiguro. Part of the Sasuke (Naruto) and Yuno (Black Clover) mold, he fits the bill as the more intelligent and talented character in this shonen series. So, what makes him different from his shonen counterparts?
There are many battles that Megumi has that make him stand out as a very smart and powerful character. At this point, he hasn’t quite pulled together a complete fight that he comes out of unscathed. The first two episodes of the series really sums up what kind of scenes Megumi puts together. He puts up a good fight, only to eventually lose. Or he puts up a good fight showing very witty and gritty scenes, only to pass out and still needing to be saved later. Like Yuji, Megumi’s character arc is a nice and slow process that gets more and more interesting.
With Megumi getting an important Zenin Clan Cursed Technique, he does have the potential to eventually rival the strength of Okkotsu and Gojo. He displays really cool techniques that summons different kinds of monsters. Also, he has yet to perfect his “Domain” technique. So, he still has a ways to go before rivaling someone like Yuta.
Megumi’s backstory is another really rich one that connects deeply into a web of fulfilling fruitful basket of characters. There’s the whole “his father sold him to the Zenin Clan” fiasco. His step-sister wakes up to participate in “The Culling Game.” He now has to be a leader of a clan where everyone wants him dead except for Maki. From a situational and relatability standpoint, there’s a lot of angles and substance to pull from a character like Megumi. Like Yuji, these two characters rising on their path together has been a fun one to watch and read. Even though there are many parallels to other series that are like Megumi, he is still well written and stands on him own.
6. Mahito (真人)
Since the very beginning of his encounter with Yuji, I think we all knew that this particular antagonist, whether he be a main one or not will be a doozy. Let’s start off with MAHITO CAUGHT BODIES! You can’t really be a good bad guy without toying with the reader’s emotional stakes. Mahito did just that and ripped some of our favorite characters like Nanami and Kugisaki out of commission. There’s hope for Kugisaki, but Nanami is 100% long gone. Let’s not forget what he did to Todo..
His pompous attitude and manipulative ways made it very easy to cheer against him. To me, he represents the highest order of a pawn and those are the kind of characters that heroes struggle against the most. He may not be the top of the totem pole when it comes to being the strongest or most important villain, but he might have been the most actively terrifying one. Most importantly, he terrorizes Yuji and was responsible for many other plot elements that brought forward some of the best scenes.
In the end, Mahito was the last big catalyst for Kenjaku’s grand plan to release and awaken people’s cursed techniques to start “The Culling Game.” He may be only a cog or a pawn in Kenjaku’s plan, but gave the readers probably the most heartbreaking villain the heroes have come across up until this point. The Yuji vs Mahito part 2 fight might be my favorite fight of the entire series. The significance of the lead up to the fight, the demented and excruciating ways Mahito took down our favorite characters and ending with Kenjaku was as perfect as it can get. Mahito will be missed as one of the best villains of the entire series!
7. Sukuna Ryomen (両面宿儺)
Sukuna isn’t that relatable of a bad guy that you would think as being one of the main antagonists of the story. He gives the story the bad guy Gojo type of scenes. Just do cool s**t and say cool s**t. Other than that, he’s a bad guy that has a ton of tricks up his sleeve that has yet to be revealed. So far, his motives that’s revealed up to this point (chapter 190) to return to full strength seems really basic. I need the revenge, tragedy or some other element to his backstory to really get me emotionally involved with this character. Still, there is the “do cool s**t” aspect that continues to hold the audience’s attention.
There are a lot of mysterious connections and parts of the story the we just don’t know anything about. So, it’s still hard to speculate as a reader to really pinpoint anything that would determine the higher overarching plot at this point. Still, the mysterious nature of many of these characters is what keeps driving me forward to keep reading. Again, whenever Sukuna does show himself in a scene, it’s usually an epic one. What does Sukuna, Suguru and Kenjaku all have in common at this point? A world dominated by Cursed Energy. Sukuna could represent what the world looks like when the strongest sorcerer known to man rules it.
8. Suguru Geto 「夏油傑」
Best friends with the strongest character in the series and represents the good guy gone bad trope. Like most people, it’s an ideology that can change a person to commit good or bad. In this case, Suguru decides that a world ruled by Cursed Energy over the humans without it is the better one.
His Special Grade Cursed Ability to absorb cursed techniques is a very OP one that soon caught the interest of body snatcher, Kenjaku. Suguru Geto is a very interesting character that had so many questions until the “Shibuya Incident Arc” concluded. In the battle against Satoru as Kenjaku, Suguru’s spirit or soul of the body took hold for a moment to combat Kenjaku’s hold, making us think “hey, maybe Suguru could make a come back at some point.” What was said at the end of the Jujutsu Kaisen movie between Satoru and Suguru was never revealed, leaving the audience to speculate about their last words. We did get to see Toji come back from the dead, so that’s even more fuel to speculate about Suguru’s soul making a come back.
Suguru’s motivation for wanting to make a “cursed human world” ends up being very similar to Kenjaku’s motivations. So, Kenjaku taking over Suguru’s body basically keeps that same kind of character motivation intact, similarly to the Maki and Toji character parallels. Characters like Satoru & Nanami soon get replaced by Yuta & Hakari, fulling the same type of epic viewing for the audience.
9. Aoi Todo 「東堂葵」
A true senpai you can look up to indeed. Bringing one of the best comedic elements along with his Todo bravado, Jujutsu Kaisen readers may have lost one of the most enjoyable characters after the “Shibuya Incident Arc.” Making a splash in season 1 as one of the most formidable and developed allies Yuji can have, he rises to the challenge and lifts Yuji up once again in the “Shibuya Incident Arc.”
It’s sad that we may never see Todo in full form using “Boogie Woogie” again, but like Nanami, we cannot forget all the characters that made the story a compelling one. Who knows? With one arm, there can be a new and improved Todo down the line.
It was hard to pinpoint the real mastermind and villain behind everything, but much was revealed by the end of the “Shibuya Incident Arc.” Like Sukuna, the true motive behind both villain’s actions are yet to be fully fleshed out. So far, this character reminds me a lot of Bebi in Dragon Ball GT, in terms of ability. A person hopping from body to body isn’t anything new, but that doesn’t make the mystery of the unfolding story any less captivating. At this point, what we do know is Kenjaku wants to basically make a world dominated by and evolved from cursed energy. I guess you can’t think of this as a metaphor for racism or discrimination. Again, there is a lot yet to be revealed, but is one of the most intriguing plot points that is bringing together characters like Sukuna, Yuji and Kenjaku together.
Jujutsu Kaisen’s way of weaving in the main plot has been a very interesting and lengthy one. Not that I have any qualms with it. It’s just hard to explain to people simplistically what the plot is sometimes.
There are so many other good characters in the series that deserves mentioning, but I deemed these top 10 characters the most interesting. Let me know who is in your top 10! What is your reasoning? What do you guys agree or disagree on?