Choso and Yuji fight in Jujutsu Kaisen
(MAPPA)

‘Jujutsu Kaisen’s Most Anxiety-Inducing Trope Is Losing Its Shock Value

Jujutsu Kaisen has generously dealt with death, but are these frequent fatalities enough to carry the series to its very end?

Recommended Videos

**This article contains spoilers for Jujutsu Kaisen, including events yet to come in the anime.**

Jujutsu Kaisen has no intention of telling a gentle story. Its brutality, violence, and intensity have gifted the anime with outstanding traits that have set it apart from others in the shonen genre. Season 2 barreled towards a thrilling finale that teased an even darker future for the series, and along the way, featured heart-wrenching deaths that are a testament to how merciless mangaka Gege Akutami truly is. The deaths of Nobara Kugisaki, Nanami Kento, and Toji Fushiguro may still be raw for fans of the anime, but for manga readers, Gege has left them little time to grieve.

But a good, impactful death doesn’t need to be rushed, and Akutami’s pattern of killing off characters is starting to lose its bite. Choso was killed off in Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 259, and these “shocking” deaths have become more meaningless. As Akutami continues to spill blood across the pages of his manga, he increases the risk of numbing the emotional punch that these deaths are supposed to pack. That same level of dismay after each isn’t there anymore, and it feels like he is relying on a singular narrative device to keep his manga alive—ironic, right?

There’s nothing wrong with killing off characters. If anything, a character’s death can be crucial to the story when twisting a plot or introducing another level of character development. However, there comes a certain point where an author’s signature habits can feel like overkill—literally. The Jujutsu Kaisen manga can’t always use the same recycled concept on a weekly basis. In Akutami’s case, his need to pick off Jujutsu Sorcerers one-by-one has worn thin, and more recent manga chapters come across as uninspired.

Jujutsu Kaisen’s most successful character deaths have proven that these kills are most effective in quality over quantity. Satoru Gojo’s death (and his highly anticipated, long-awaited return) have left the fandom to revel in their despair. The internet’s overwhelming obsession with Gojo has resulted in his unfortunate fate still being discussed today, despite how long it’s been in the manga since the Special Grade Sorcerer faced his demise. Jujutsu Kaisen fans simply cannot move on. While other deaths in Jujutsu Kaisen may cause mass upset, it’s hard to say that any of them could come close to the uproar following Gojo’s.

Upon its debut, Jujutsu Kaisen rightfully earned praise for its originality and daringness. Now, it’s nestled itself in a self-designated comfort zone, circling around the same predictable and redundant motif of death. Grief can only extend so far. Akutami’s choice to eliminate his characters so frequently has limited where the series can take itself next. How will Jujutsu Kaisen end? With Ryomen Sukuna eliminating Jujutsu Sorcerers completely after they’re set up to be defeated by the King of Curses?

Choso’s death in Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 259 raises a concern that Akutami isn’t quite sure what he wants to do with his characters as each new manga chapter is released. Jujutsu Kaisen is in danger of locking itself into an unbreakable cycle, pivoting around the sameness of weekly storylines without having a sure plan of how to move forward.

The buzzworthiness of Jujutsu Kaisen‘s “kill of the week” threatens to reduce the possibilities of complex storytelling that the series insisted on being known for. Senseless killing leads to the expectation that characters will die for the sake of dying, and these “grand reveals” have started to present themselves as a routine cliché that’s tiring itself out. Jujutsu Kaisen’s next death must be an act of savagery that is completely earth-shattering and so game-changing that it alters the trajectory of the manga forever. Otherwise, Akutami is unintentionally refusing to let his manga grow.

Akutami has made it clear how ruthless he’s willing to be. Now, he’ll need to explore how he can enhance Jujutsu Kaisen and introduce something that’s even more distressing than death on its own. Once Gege taps into the unknown, that’s where Jujutsu Kaisen has the opportunity to invite new and exciting story elements in the series’ future. The most surprising thing that Jujutsu Kaisen can do is to find an alternative to these now-familiar “shocks.”


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article When To Catch New Episodes of ‘Demon Slayer’
Obanai and Sanemi entering the Infinity Castle
Read Article Ciel’s About To Pull Off Another Sapphire Miracle in ‘Black Butler’ Season 4 Episode 7
Ciel poisoning everyone from the Red House after their cricket match.
Read Article Hopefully, Kafka Will Unleash Kaiju No. 8 in Episode 7!
Mina using her attack power in Kaiju No. 8
Read Article ‘DEAD DEAD DEMONS DEDEDEDE DESTRUCTION’ Series Coming to Crunchyroll!
Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction image.
Read Article ‘One Piece’s Egghead Arc Is Picking up Steam
Monkey D. Luffy smiling in One Piece
Related Content
Read Article When To Catch New Episodes of ‘Demon Slayer’
Obanai and Sanemi entering the Infinity Castle
Read Article Ciel’s About To Pull Off Another Sapphire Miracle in ‘Black Butler’ Season 4 Episode 7
Ciel poisoning everyone from the Red House after their cricket match.
Read Article Hopefully, Kafka Will Unleash Kaiju No. 8 in Episode 7!
Mina using her attack power in Kaiju No. 8
Read Article ‘DEAD DEAD DEMONS DEDEDEDE DESTRUCTION’ Series Coming to Crunchyroll!
Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction image.
Read Article ‘One Piece’s Egghead Arc Is Picking up Steam
Monkey D. Luffy smiling in One Piece
Author
Annie Banks
Annie Banks is a professional entertainment journalist from Chicago, Illinois. She holds degrees in journalism and marketing, and has been incredibly fortunate to watch her career path collide with her passions. Throughout her six years of entertainment journalism experience, Annie has fervently written about movies, television shows, anime, manga, K-Pop, comics and video games. To this day, she still proudly retains her title as a Rotten Tomatoes-approved Tomatometer critic.