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Most of the prominent cast members in the wonderful Jujutsu Kaisen manga and anime series come from the two primary high schools. The leading high school of the two, Tokyo Jujutsu High, only has a few students spread out across the three grades. One of the core students in the school is the second-year student, Maki, who is the star of this Maki Zenin guide.
Maki Zenin is one of the most intriguing characters in Jujutsu Kaisen, showing off the renowned part of the series, which is its groundbreaking characters. Instead of the cutesy, lovable girls that are often seen in manga and anime, that isn’t the case for characters in the series like Maki.
She is far from the stereotypical upperclassmen and senpai characters you might be used to, and you’ll find out why in this Maki Zenin guide.
Bottom Line Up Front
Maki Zenin is one of the side characters in Jujutsu Kaisen and its prequel. She is currently a second-year student at Tokyo Jujutsu High, the same school that the core trio of main characters attends.
Maki is one of the few sorcerers in the entire series who cannot see the cursed spirits naturally and has no powers of her own. This forces her to rely solely on her martial arts ability to exorcise the spirits. She is part of the immensely powerful Zenin Clan, a family with a long history of being the strongest sorcerers in the world.
Maki Zenin Overview
When you boot up a new manga or anime series, chances are that you’ll find a couple of tropes that are present in most series. There’s the protagonist, who likely has spiky dark hair, the cutesy love interest, or the tsundere girl who is playing hard to get for the main character.
Even in action-centric series like Naruto and Dragon Ball, this is the case. However, Jujutsu Kaisen attempts to break some trends with its story and characters, upending some of the stereotypes that are associated with manga and anime. This is especially true for its female characters.
This is seen in Maki Zenin, one of the core girls who attend Tokyo Jujutsu High, where the main characters go to school. Maki is far from your average anime girl, being a rough and tough person who is far from the tsundere trope, too. She feels more realistic and tomboyish in a natural sense rather than a strange, forced nature.
For this reason, the realistic Maki Zenin is a fan favorite among the many Jujutsu Kaisen characters. Many fans of the ongoing manga and anime series appreciate how she is in her attitude, powers, and even looks. She is even quite different from the other cast members in the series, as you’ll see in this guide.
The first area where Maki Zenin immediately breaks tropes is in her appearance. What you might notice about tough characters like her or tsundere chicks in anime is that they generally still have this beautiful, kawaii, or attractive appearance going on.
That isn’t the case with Maki Zenin, which is arguably quite refreshing. She has a more natural, realistic approach to her looks. In this way, she isn’t super attractive or notable in her appearance, as she looks like a regular Japanese girl who happens to be animated.
The only element of her appearance to note is her signature long ponytail that emphasizes her dark hair color. She wears glasses most of the time, which is pretty basic and not that interesting. Her facial features are rather plain and boring, which is the character’s whole point.
As for her outfit, she wears a dress version of the Tokyo Jujutsu High school uniform. In all honesty, there isn’t much to see here. If anything, the most notable part about her character is the long-bladed staff she wields in combat that she uses as her primary weapon, and that’s it.
Key Moments in Jujutsu Kaisen
For someone who isn’t one of the main characters in the series, Maki Zenin has a lot more to do with the history of Jujutsu Kaisen than most of the other side characters. This is because she’s one of the few characters present in a significant role in both the core manga and the prequel series, Jujutsu Kaisen 0.
Since she is present throughout both of these series, she has a few more key moments than some of the other characters. With this in mind, I should note that there will be some heavy spoilers below, going over the main events that happen with Maki.
If you don’t want to know anything at all about what happens to her and some of the other characters she’s close to, be sure to turn away now or suffer the consequences. This warning is especially notable for anime-only fans since some of the events below haven’t happened yet in the adaptation and won’t for quite some time. You’ve been warned.
Helping Yuta in Jujutsu Kaisen
It all begins before the start of the core Jujutsu Kaisen series with the prequel manga Jujutsu Kaisen 0. This was initially the starting point for the series before the manga creator, Gege Akutami, headed in a different direction with the protagonist.
In the prequel manga series and the animated film adaptation that are both available right now, Maki Zenin plays a massive role. You could even argue that she plays a more prominent role here in the prequel than she does in the core series, outside of a few significant sequences and events.
Set one year before the start of the main series, Maki Zenin is a first-year student at Tokyo Jujutsu High alongside her friends Panda and Toge, who are both in the core series. A new student arrives in the class, Yuta, who is a powerful user who is cursed with the presence of a spirit always following him around.
Initially, Maki Zenin is hostile towards Yuta Okkotsu since his presence is problematic and dangerous, especially for someone like her who cannot naturally detect cursed spirits. However, over the course of the adventure and spending time together on missions, they grow to become quite close.
In the process, Maki Zenin becomes a close friend and even mentor to Yuta. She trains him how to fight with martial arts and weapons like she does since they have a couple of things in common with one another. She is there when Suguru Geto makes his move on the school and helps to stop him from running rampant, preventing disaster in the process.
Troubles With Her Family
What is revealed in Jujutsu Kaisen 0 and expanded upon in the main series is the fact that Maki Zenin is part of the famous Zenin Clan. This family of cursed sorcerers is considered among the most powerful in all of Japan and the rest of the world.
They breed and create the most potent users every generation, and Maki happens to be part of the core family. However, there are staunch disagreements between her and the rest of the family since she has no natural cursed energy abilities and isn’t gifted like everyone else.
Ostracized by her family, she resents them but continues her duties now as a second year at the high school. A new student arrives at the school as a freshman, Yuji Itadori, the main character of the series. While somewhat apprehensive towards Yuji, she accepts him a little bit easier now that she has learned from her friendship with Yuta.
During the high school exchange event, her rivalry with her sister, Mai, who is far more gifted, comes to fruition. They fight against one another as Mai, and the rest of the Kyoto Jujutsu High School try to kill Yuji due to his wild powers and the cursed spirit living inside of him.
She defeats her sister, despite her lack of powers, and helps in stopping the cursed spirits who intervene in the event. From there, she plays a significant role in the Shibuya incident, in which the cursed spirits make their move upon the citizens in the middle of Tokyo.
She fights and succeeds, but it comes at a cost, with her losing one of her eyes along with other injuries that she sustains.
Taking Revenge Against Her Enemies
Maki Zenin survives her encounters in Shibuya, but it comes with some other sacrifices beyond just her ability to see in one eye. During one of the significant fights later in the manga (spoilers if you haven’t caught up at this point), her sister Mai sets aside her differences and sacrifices herself for Maki.
Losing her sister changes Maki in more ways than one, allowing her to take some of the powers that her sister had and use them to gain the ability to see cursed spirits naturally. This enhances her powers greatly, especially since she no longer needs the glasses that she previously relied on.
At this point, she takes her newfound strength and changes and uses them to exact revenge against her entire family, who did her wrong. She kills almost everyone in the entire Zenin Clan, including her own father, and renders the entire family almost obsolete.
Despite this, she doesn’t take over as the clan leader but leaves that to her nephew, Megumi Fushiguro, instead. Her story isn’t over, though, as the manga is still ongoing at the time of writing this.
Special Abilities Explained
There are a couple of core abilities that are at the heart of how Maki Zenin fights. Unlike most of her classmates and fellow sorcerers, she has no cursed energy powers at the beginning of the series.
She makes up for this with the mastery of cursed tools that she wields in combat, allowing her to keep up with supernatural enemies that she can’t even usually see. But there is a second part to her powers that is seen later in the manga and is considered to be heavy spoilers.
Cursed Weapons Master
From birth, Maki Zenin had to deal with the fact that she wasn’t graced with the same cursed energy as her sister. For some reason, all of the cursed energy and powers were only given to Mai. As such, Maki had to make do with the hand that left dealt her.
To make up for her inability to even see the cursed spirits in the world, she had to rely on cursed tools to help her out. She is a master of using tools and weapons to help her be on par with the other sorcerers out there. This starts with the glasses that let her see the cursed spirits and take them on.
Maki also has a mastery of all types of weapons, ranging from staves to polearms to swords, daggers, and so much more. She emphasizes melee weapons, but she can use pretty much anything at her disposal to take out foes.
Perhaps the most impressive part about all of this is the fact that she can go toe-to-toe with other sorcerers and cursed spirits, despite being at a severe disadvantage compared to them. She may be the only one of her kind at Tokyo Jujutsu High, but this doesn’t stop her from rivaling her classmates.
This is where the spoilers come into play some, so beware if you’re not caught up on the manga or only watch the anime. As you likely already know, Mai’s sacrifice results in a vast change in powers for Maki as she now has much of the cursed energy that her sister wholly possessed before.
With these new powers under her belt, she no longer requires the glasses that she previously wore because she can see the cursed spirits naturally now. In addition, she received a massive boost to her powers, which helped her in her revenge tour of her family members.
That said, the strange part about this situation is that we still don’t know the full extent of the cursed energy powers that Maki has now. She still prefers to use weapons in combat, so there is no telling what this will mean for her in the future. We will just have to wait and see for now.
Anime Voice Actor
For my Jujutsu Kaisen anime fans out there, such as myself, you have two main options when it comes to the series: the English dub or the original Japanese dub with subtitles. This comes down purely to preference and accessibility, but I genuinely think the English dub isn’t too bad from what I heard.
It isn’t my first choice, but characters like Maki Zenin sound pretty darn good in the English dub. This is due to some solid casting choices like Allegra Clark, who voices Maki in the dub.
You might know Clark from some recent fantastic roles in anime and video games, such as Dorothea in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the Boss in the two AI: The Somnium Files games (underrated), and even the amazing Kasumi Miwa in the same show as Maki, Jujutsu Kaisen.
On the other hand, if you prefer the Japanese dub, you’ll hear the equally excellent Mikako Komaru. She is another rising star in the voice acting scene with a few roles I recommend you check out, including Momoko in the criminally underrated Magia Record Madoka Magica spin-off series, Rebecca in Edens Zero, and Nemesia in the masterpiece video game Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology.
Maki Zenin is one of the central members of Tokyo Jujutsu High School, so she has quite a few close friends and classmates. Her primary friends are her three fellow second-years: Panda, Toge, and Yuta Okkotsu. They all look out for one another and stick together as a tight-knit team.
For Panda, they seem to have a friendly relationship where they are comfortable enough with one another to joke around and poke fun at one another. They seem to care about each other almost in a brother and sister-sort of way, so they work pretty well as a team.
For Toge, it is a similar situation, but the unique part here is his way of speaking. Most people can’t understand his speech quirk where he only talks about onigiri (rice ball) ingredients. However, Maki has taken the time to be one of the few people to know what he’s always talking about.
When it comes to Yuta, this was a strained relationship at first that has grown into an almost teacher-and-student friendship between the two. Maki cares about Yuta and has taught him how to become a strong sorcerer and overcome his shortcomings.
Then there are three freshmen in Yuji, Megumi, and Nobara. Maki doesn’t seem to be a massive fan of the protagonist trio, but she still has some camaraderie with the three enough to protect and help them out.
Last but not least, there is her family. She seems to care about her sister, Mai, genuinely, but she often fights with her and treats her more like a nuisance or rival than anything else. However, when it comes to the rest of her family, as you can see above, they are nothing but the purest forms of evil to Maki Zenin.
Question: Who is Maki Zenin in love with?
Answer: At this point in time in the manga and anime, it is unknown who Maki Zenin is in love with. There are very strong hints about possible feelings she has for Yuta Okkotsu, but this is unconfirmed for now. Plus, he’s not exactly in the right place to like her back.
Question: What is Maki Zenin’s gender?
Answer: Maki Zenin is a female character in Jujutsu Kaisen.
Question: Did Maki lose an eye?
Answer: Spoiler alert is now in effect. Yes, Maki Zenin did lose an eye in the manga. This moment has yet to happen in the anime.
Who to Check Out Next in Jujutsu Kaisen
Maki Zenin is one of the best female characters in Jujutsu Kaisen and certainly one of the most unique women in anime history. She more than makes up for her weaknesses by being one of the strongest fighters in the entire show without any of the supernatural benefits that others have. But she is far from the only character like this.
Yuta Okkotsu is in a similar position. Though he has a cursed spirit who helps him, he is on his own when it comes to his own strength and powers. That is why he is so close to Maki shortly after transferring to her school. If you want to find out more about Maki’s classmate and the star of the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 manga and movie, be sure to head here.