Toji from Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 fighting Gojo Satoru

Toji’s Motivation in ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’s Hidden Inventory Arc Went Deeper Than Just Money

Whatever the reason, though, the consequences were disastrous.

In my personal ranking of most hated Jujutsu Kaisen characters, Fushiguro “Father of the Year” Toji definitely ranks pretty high, and his motivation to kill Riko isn’t helping any.

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Sure, the jujutsu world was pretty messed up on its own and there could have been a million and one other reasons that could have caused Geto Suguru—my one and only, too, not just Gojo’s—to descend into a terrible spiral of death and destruction and become a curse user hellbent on eliminating all non-sorcerers. And yet, what we got was the whole terrible business with Amanai Riko, where Toji plays a pretty significant part.

As we all know from reading some of the most heart-wrenching chapters of Gege Akutami’s manga—or from watching the anime adaptation produced by MAPPA—the beginning of the end for Geto and Gojo happened when they were tasked with protecting teenager Amanai Riko. She was the next designated Star Plasma Vessel, destined to be absorbed by Master Tengen and help keep them alive and, with them, the barriers around both jujutsu schools.

Geto and Gojo from their high school days in Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2.
I choose to remember them like this, happy and together. (MAPPA)

While Geto and Gojo, then-second-year students, manage to easily deal with some of the people who are after Riko to try and stop her merging with Tengen, Toji proves himself to be a completely different beast. Gifted with superhuman physical abilities by the Heavenly Restriction that also caused him to have no cursed energy whatsoever, Toji manages to catch Gojo and Geto by surprise as they are bringing Riko onto Jujutsu High’s Tokyo campus—and defeat Gojo so spectacularly that he leaves him for dead.

After that, he follows Geto and Riko down into Master Tengen’s chambers and shoots Riko clear in the head. And let’s just say that the consequences of her death and of their respective fights with Toji will have pretty devastating effects on both Gojo’s and Geto’s lives—and on my mental state, but that’s not the point.

So why did Toji take up the job of killing Riko?

Toji went after Riko because he was contacted by the Time Vessel Association, a very wealthy religious group that worshipped Master Tengen as a deity and wanted to stop them from sullying their body by merging with a new Star Plasma Vessel. The Association put a pretty hefty bounty on Riko’s head, and Toji, never one to shy away from money, took up the job and also made sure to indirectly use other curse users to tire out his opponents before he had to face them himself.

But money was not the only motivation for Toji’s actions. Riko was of no interest to him, and neither was her supposed merging with Master Tengen—she simply found herself in the unlucky position of being between Toji and the strongest jujutsu sorcerer alive, one white-haired, blue-eyed Gojo Satoru. Toji wanted to square up against Gojo to test his own skill and to feel the satisfaction of knowing that he had beaten the famed possessor of the Six Eyes and the Limitless, even without cursed energy of his own. 

Toji Fushiguro fighting Dagon from 'Jujutsu Kaisen' Season 2/
If Toji has one hater, then that’s me. (MAPPA)

Then there’s also Toji’s overall resentment towards the jujutsu world at large, which comes from the horrible treatment the Zenin clan reserved him for being born without cursed energy. So while the money and the chance to fight and beat Gojo were probably his two biggest motivators, the idea of wreaking havoc through the jujutsu world certainly helped him make the decision to eliminate Riko.

(featured image: MAPPA)


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Author
Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.