Kenjaku in Jujutsu Kaisen.

Jujutsu Kaisen’s Culling Game Arc Is ‘The Hunger Games’ for Sorcerers

The Culling Game of Jujutsu Kaisen has a lot of rules, but simply put, it’s The Hunger Games with curses, cursed energy, and terribly difficult-to-kill sorcerers from centuries ago. It’s a lot worse than the Shibuya Incident Arc, to the point where it’s called “jujutsu terrorism.”

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One of the worst things about the Culling Game is that many sorcerers from different eras have been revived. While none of them so far have been as resilient as Kenjaku or as strong as Sukuna, they’re definitely threats to other lower-grade sorcerers or people who’ve been forcefully turned into sorcerers. Wait, people turned into sorcerers during the Culling Game? How?

The arc begins in chapter 159 of the manga, which has yet to be adapted to anime, but it’s not far off now.

Kenjaku’s Binding Vow

In case you forgot about how Binding Vows work, here’s a refresher. Essentially, Kenjaku entered various Binding Vows with other sorcerers from previous eras, which would revive them should the Culling Game be enacted. Now, these sorcerers can participate in the game and kill other sorcerers in a battle royale, which clearly took Kenjaku centuries to plan.

The next question is: But why?! There are many others who wanted to be revived, and they have their own reasons for wanting to participate in the Culling Game, but Kenjaku just wanted humans to take the next step in evolution by forcing them to kill each other with jujutsu. That’s a pretty wild idea, and Kenjaku isn’t above these atrocities. With Mahito’s idle transfiguration technique, Kenjaku modified people’s brains to be compatible with jujutsu. This means that even non-sorcerers are now forced to fight for their lives.

Imagine being a normal person one day and then awakening as a sorcerer to fight somebody like Gojo Satoru. Horrific, but I guess that’s Hiromi Higuruma’s story, at least when it comes to his level of talent.

What are the rules of The Culling Game?

There are at least seven official rules for the culling game, but fifteen in total because of player additions. These seven rules practically make the game inescapable, but I’ll sum them all up. Once you’ve awakened as a “player,” you’ll have nineteen days to choose a colony within 19 days. Think of The Hunger Games, but instead of having one arena to fight in, you can go to a district of your choice and fight it out against other newly awakened sorcerers there. Those who’ve already chosen a colony are immediately considered players.

So if you’ve woken up next to a Gojo Satoru wannabe, I’m sorry for your loss, but you’ll have to fight. Those who choose not to participate in The Culling Game will be subject to “cursed technique removal.” Despite what it sounds like, you’re not just losing your cursed technique. It also involves inflicting a level of brain damage to remove one’s cursed technique. In short, if you won’t fight, you’ll die.

For those who haven’t awakened as sorcerers and are still civilians within the barrier of the Culling Game, they’ll be given a one-day chance to exit safely, so no brain-frying for those people.

Now that exit is clearly not an option for sorcerers, the next best question is: How do you survive these games? By gaining points, which is done by killing others. Sorcerers and cursed spirits are worth five points each, and non-sorcerers are worth one point only. The rules can’t be removed, but players can bargain 100 points with the game master to add a new rule. It’s not like the game master will refuse, so long as the new rule isn’t permanently imposed on the game.

But can I really not just hide like Peeta and survive through camouflage? Not really, and Kenjaku probably watched enough battle royales to avoid this scenario. If your score remains the same for the next 19 days, you’ll be subject to cursed technique removal.

The major takeaway is: Your faves will probably be fried when Jujutsu Kaisen’s Culling Game Arc comes out.

(featured image: MAPPA)


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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.