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Jujutsu Kaisen is an outstanding manga series that took the world by storm after its release in 2018. Not overlooking the fact the anime and the movie undoubtedly boosted its rankings. With the success of the anime, i.e., winning Anime of the Year at the 2022 Tokyo Anime Festival, we can assess the love fans have for Jujutsu Kaisen.
In a world full of shounen, Jujutsu Kaisen stands out because of its powerful and charismatic characters. Obviously, the hero has to be excellent (and Yuji Itadori doesn’t disappoint!) However, manga is different from the others because of its antagonist – Ryomen Sukuna.
The writer of this manga, ‘Gege Akutami,’ crafted Sukuna as an incredibly sassy, powerful, and dominating villain whom the fans hate but love at the same time. Getting to know the villain on a personable level isn’t really a bad idea for manga and anime series. Understanding the antagonist allows you to comprehend the story from a unique perspective.
And when the bad guy is as attractive as Sukuna – come on now, you can’t help but go through a detailed guide, right? So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
Bottom Line Up Front
Sukuna is the primary villain of the famous manga Jujutsu Kaisen who makes quite a memorable appearance in the first chapter. He possesses Yuji Itadori’s body, a young high schooler, and the series’s hero. Ryomen Sukuna’s ultimate goal is to consume his twenty fingers, regain his powers and make a spectacular comeback.
Who is Ryomen Sukuna?
Ryomen Sukuna, aka the King of Curses, is a sorcerer feared by even the greatest sorcerers. He is the main antagonist with a charming personality, with a lot of sadism and a dash of wit. A true villain who knows how to make an entrance and leave the audience impressed – that’s for sure!
It came as a surprise to most fans when Gojo Saturo regarded Sukuna as a human sorcerer – a long, long time ago. So, while he is a cursed spirit, Ryomen Sukuna was once a human and is said to have memories from his past as well.
Just like Voldemort distributed his soul into seven Horcruxes, Sukuna divided his into twenty fingers referred to as “special grade curses” throughout the manga. They are mighty and indestructible by even the strongest sorcerers in the JJK universe. However, they are sealed in talismans – but ever growing in power – and spread across Japan.
Technically, Sukuna isn’t dead and has continued to survive in the form of his 20 indestructible fingers to date. However, Jujutsu Kaisen kicks off when Yuji Itadori, a 15-year-old high schooler, consumes one of these fingers to help Megumi Fushigoro fight cursed spirits.
Such a turn of events makes Itadori a vessel for Sukuna. He makes quite a strong and somewhat wonky first impression. Obviously, after thousands of years of living in the form of fingers, he feels ecstatic to live again, only to discover that Yuji Itadori isn’t a regular human being.
Gradually, Sukuna realizes that he cannot fully control Itadori’s body and has to work in harmony with him to succeed with his plan. And Ryomen’s plan is quite simple – eat all twenty fingers and regain his throne as the most powerful and feared sorcerer of the Jujutsu Kaisen Universe.
Nobody knows how Sukuna looks precisely, and I’ll tell you why. In the golden age of Jujutsu, when Ryomen Sukuna was at his peak, he was said to have two faces and four arms. Even though he was a human at first, with time, he evolved and was referred to as the imaginative demon with the odd appearance.
As of now, Sukuna is Itadori with a few additional black lines (or tattoos) on his face. However, they are not just limited to the face; these distinctive markings are also present on his torso. While we’re on this topic, ignoring the multiple eyes and mouths that appear on Itadori’s face would be unfair. They appear without harming or disfiguring Yuji’s appearance, which shows his control over the host’s body.
Also, let’s not forget the sly smirk and that look of “I know I am the best, and I rule.”
He wears a white Kimono with an edge of black heels and a black scarf.
Apart from being the King of Curses, Ryomen Sukuna is also the King of Savagery and Badassery. Akutami did an outstanding job writing Sukuna’s dialogues – because boy, are they sassy!
Here are a few of his best:
- “You Dare Attempt to Touch My Soul? We Shared a Laugh At The Brat’s Expense, So I’ll Forgive You Just This One Time. Know Your Place Fool.”
Mahito didn’t see this insult coming.
In chapter 28, Sukuna and Mahito teamed up to mock Yuji, leading Mahito to believe that he and Sukuna were friends. Little did he know that Sukuna wasn’t really a team player.
So, when Mahito tried touching Sukuna’s soul in his domain expansion, he was put in his place by the King of Curses.
- “A Hierarchy Not Based Purely on Strength Is Boring If You Ask Me. When I Make This Kid’s Body Mine … You’ll Be the First One I Kill!”
In chapter 3, when Sukuna is face to face with Gojo Saturo, this is what he says to him. According to Sukuna, power is everything, and Gojo, not being the head of the Jujutsu Academy, is quite the opposite.
Not only does he insult Gojo, but he also threatens him while doing so. To this, Gojo replies that it will be an honor for him to be Sukuna’s target. Now, this is an exemplary exchange between two exceptionally powerful Jujutsu sorcerers.
- “More, More, More! Put More Curse Behind It When You Strike Me!”
After the juvenile detention center incident, Sukuna goes after Megum Fushigoro. They both engage in a heated fight.
Megumi struggles to hold his ground against Sukuna, whereas the King of Curses enjoys wholeheartedly. He chuckles with his eyes shining bright red when he asks Fushigoro to strike with more power.
This clearly depicts how easy he finds it to put up against jujutsu sorcerers.
- “Did You Know? You And I Are Categorized as Special Grade. Me, And This Insect?”
Again, a compelling dialogue from the cursed womb arc. It shows how highly Sukuna thinks of himself. He says this to the special grade curse, which really did give a tough time to Megumi and Yuji.
But Sukuna eliminates him in no time.
So, let me ask you – how dare anyone compare Sukuna to other special grade curses!?
- “Humans. Jujutsu sorcerers. Cursed Spirits. You’re not bad compared to those I fought over the last thousand years. Stand Proud. You’re strong.”
If Sukuna is complimenting you, – better accept it with open arms because he means it.
Ryomen Sukuna doesn’t appreciate others because, to him, there’s no one like him. However, here we can find him appreciating Jogo. This is a rare moment for Sukuna where he is acknowledging other jujutsu sorcerers and cursed spirits.
In the schonen universe, there’s no shortage of impressive villains. But Ryomen Sukuna’s abilities are on an entirely new level. The subtle yet evident switch from Itadori to Sukuna screams how different the two characters are – with the latter being a cocky, witty, and sadistic individual.
Now that you’re all caught up with Sukuna’s history and dashing look, let’s talk about his mind-blowing abilities, shall we?
Killer Hand-to-Hand Combat
From a fantastic domain expansion (which is a peak, great sorcery) to excellent prowess in hand-to-hand combat, Sukuna’s skills never disappoint. The best depiction of his killer combat skills is his fight with Fushigoro in the early chapters.
Not only does he effortlessly dodge his attacks, but Sukuna also taunts Megumi to “put more curse behind it when he attacks him.” All the while enjoying this little face-off a little too much than usual. Since Ryomen Sukuna can easily combine his cursed energy and combat expertise, it’s not simple to defeat him in a battle.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Ryomen Sukuna defines agility. From the moment he appears in the story, his movements are incredibly swift and precise. This can be first seen in his friendly battle with Megumi Fushigoro when he moves so quickly that even Fushigoro deliberately acknowledges it.
It would be worthy to note that at this point, Sukuna has only eaten 3 out of 20 fingers and hasn’t even regained his full powers. So, what will be his level when he has eaten all of his fingers? Insane!
It would be totally unfair to not talk about Sukuna’s immense and unimaginable strength in this section. At the very beginning of the manga, we witness how strong Sukuna is when he comes face to face with Gojo Saturo. He destroys the building, shattering it to crumbs with just one punch.
Although Gojo defeats him, he is still pretty impressed with Ryomen Sukuna’s power display after consuming only one finger.
Resurrection literally means coming back to life exactly the way you were. However, Sukuna’s resurrection is quite different and modified. Apparently, he has come back to life in Yuji Itadori’s body. Still, it is speculated that he can take his original form after consuming all 20 of his fingers.
Out of this World Speed and Reflexes
Sukuna establishes his powerful personality with particular skills; for example, his speed and reflexes coupled with a sly smirk – obviously. He outperforms many great sorcerers in these particular fields, which lays the foundation of his dominance.
Being a part of the JJK universe means having jujutsu abilities. Moreover, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Sukuna doesn’t fall short in this department. And we all know how impressive he is. So, when it comes to authentic Jujutsu and having a good command over it – Sukuna definitely fits the bill.
Let’s take a look at his various jujutsu abilities so that you can assess them for yourself. Then, be prepared to have your socks knocked off!
Barrie techniques stand for jujutsu abilities that create a territory. Sukuna possesses two different kinds of such techniques:
Domain Expansion – Malevolent Shrine
A very Jujutsu Kaisen-centric ability possessed by the sorcerers is domain expansion. This technique allows the sorcerer to create a distinction between the real world and the environment conjured by him. It’s incredibly cool how sorcerers with different abilities are able to create domain expansions. And, obviously, Ryomen Sukuna doesn’t disappoint either.
His domain expansion is known as the Malevolent Shrine, which looks like the temple of the Buddha. However, it’s not exactly that, and in place of a buddha/monk, there’s a demon, aka Ryomen Sukuna.
If looked at closely, the shrine consists of skulls and bones as Sukuna sits on top of them. From the roof, horns are hanging with skulls at the sides that have mouths of their own. It’s pretty scary but unbelievably cool at the same time.
However, it’d be worthy to note that Sukuna’s domain expansion isn’t exactly similar to the others. He doesn’t have to create a barrier to conjure his domain expansion. The Malevolent Shrine effortlessly blends into the surrounding area, and Ryomen Sukuna claims it all as his realm.
Another awesome thing about his domain expansion is the binding vow. If someone is trapped in his domain expansion, the only way to get out is via the binding vow. The pact is incredibly effective in the 200-meter radius, but he can also narrow the area down if he wishes so.
While we’re on the topic of domains and realms, let’s also talk about Sukuna’s innate domain technique. He lives within Yuji’s body as a separate entity while thriving with him. But that doesn’t mean that killing Itadori would kill Sukuna, which is the beauty of his innate domain.
Ryomen Sukuna, the King of Curses – just imagine the techniques he has up his sleeves! Akutami gradually introduces each of them, with the fans loving each method more than the last one. He is someone who has complete control over his cursed energy and can use the Reversed Cursed Techniques and Domain Expansion quite comfortably. Gojo Saturo is the only other sorcerer who possesses such jujutsu abilities.
Reversed Cursed Technique
When Yuji Itadori lost his limbs at the juvenile detention center, it looked like game over for him. However, Sukuna regenerates his limbs using the reversed cursed technique.
Dismantle & Cleave Technique
Ryomen’s primary attack move is – to dismantle and cleave.
“Dismantle or (解カイ Kai?)” is the cut attack. It slashes the enemy, usually inanimate objects, and can be performed at short and long distances.
Whereas “Cleave or (捌ハチ Hachi?)” slices up the opponent depending upon their level of cursed energy. It’s one swift attack, and the enemy ends up in numerous pieces.
The second cursed technique that Sukuna owns is the fire technique. You might be familiar with Jogo’s ability to manipulate fire. In Sukuna’s case, the magnitude is ten times greater in comparison. Not only Sukuna but the finger bearers, aka the cursed spirits who consumed Sukuna’s fingers, also display this ability.
The cursed energy manifests as arrows and, in the fight with Jogo, secures a win for Sukuna. He defeated Jogo’s fireball attack and beat Mahoraga with just a single strike.
Sukuna and Itadori – A Complicated Relationship
No couple has a more complicated relationship than Itadori and Sukuna – I tell you that. In the first chapter, we witness Yuji Itadori eating one of the twenty fingers of Sukuna. The sudden yet distinctive switch from an innocent and bubbly character, i.e., Yuji, to a bold and malicious personality, i.e., Sukuna, shows Akutami’s creativity.
It’s indeed quite a difficult task to give a single body two completely opposite looks and characters that anyone can notice. After Yuji consumes the finger, Sukuna takes over his consciousness and body as he comes to life after a thousand years.
“Ah! I knew it! Light is best appreciated in the flesh! A cursed spirit’s flesh is no fun! Where are the people?! The women?! What a wonderful age it has become! Women and Children … Spawning everywhere like maggots! Marvelous! It’ll be a massacre!”
These are his first words that confirm that, indeed, Ryomen Sukuna has come to life. But before the chapter ends, it is shown that Itadori takes back control over his body and also enquires about Sukuna for possessing his body.
This is the start of this remarkable manga series because both Megumi (the eyewitness of Sukuna possessing Itadori) and Sukuna are bewildered over this unusual arrangement. And at this very moment, it’s decided that Itadori is a vessel for Sukuna.
Ryomen Sukuna considers this a fantastic opportunity to look for his remaining fingers and finally take his tangible form. Whereas Yuji Itadori has different plans for him. To learn more about Yuji, here’s a complete Yuji Itador Guide to help you better understand his intentions.
Ryomen Sukuna: A Myth or Reality?
I’m sure the heading must have taken you by surprise – because I was shocked like anything!
Why is this even a question? What is the significance? Well, you’d be surprised to know that Ryomen Sukuna isn’t really your average fictional villain. Apparently, he is a real-life character that once walked these very grounds – sounds scary, right?
In Japan, there’s a practice known as Sokushinbutsu, which is the practice of mummifying Japanese monks while they are alive. Because of this, the bodies wouldn’t decompose, and when they die, they will reach enlightenment.
Legend has it that Mononobe Tengoku, leader of a heretic religious sect, bought conjoined twins at a freak show and put them with other people in a room who also suffered from different deformities. The twins reminded him of an Asura, a demon/God of Japanese folklore – ring any bells?
Anyways, so Tengoku stabbed everyone in the room and locked it with no food. The only way of survival was if they ate each other. When he finally opened the door, what Tengoku found left him quite happy. The conjoined twins had survived this appalling act.
He followed the practice of Sokushinbutsu and mummified the twins alive, wrapping their bodies and sealing them up in a box. This corpse was known as the cursed Buddha. According to legend, wherever the cult carried this coffin, it only caused a disaster.
After the eighth earthquake, Mononobe Tengoku slashed his throat and wrote in blood, right in front of the statue (or mummified corpse of Ryomen Sukuna) – Japan Shall Perish!
Fast forward to 2005, a wooden coffin was found sealed shut with nails. One of the wrappings around it said, “Ryomen Sukuna Is Sealed Here,.”
Immediately the construction site workers contacted the local priest, informing him about what they had witnessed. The priest asked them not to open the box, no matter what, but unfortunately, it was too late.
Those who opened the box were so shocked they couldn’t speak because they were in the presence of a mummified body inside the coffin. It was a body with 2 heads, 4 arms, and 4 legs (now do you see the connection?)
Finally, the priest exorcized the workers and the site and left with the box, angry at the son who was supposed to take it to the temple in Kyoto but didn’t.
In the upcoming weeks, it was reported that three workers at the site came down with a heavy fever, two students died, the guy who put up the story online stepped on a nail requiring stitches, and one student was transferred to a mental institution.
And remember the priest who exorcized the workers and the site? He was reported missing. Suppose this story is true and everything happened as it is. Then, does it mean that Ryomen Sukuna is not a myth but an actual, cursed individual? Well, that’s something we aren’t really sure of ourselves.
Question: How was Ryomen Sukuna Killed?
Answer: Even though Sukuna was incredibly powerful, he couldn’t hold his ground against fellow Jujutsu sorcerers. So after being killed, Ryomen Sukuna became a cursed spirit and preserved himself in his twenty fingers.
Question: Why can’t Sukuna take Control over Itadori’s Body?
Answer: Itadori is a young man with an incredible commitment to life and control over his consciousness. His will to live and fight for others got him to eat an ugly finger, which shows that he is a guy with solid determination.
So, it’s probably all these factors that don’t allow Sukuna to completely possess his body.
Question: What is the Deal with the Binding Vow?
Answer: After Sukuna’s encounter with Fushigoro, near the end of the fight, Sukuna rips out Itadori’s heart and gives the control back to Itadori. Getting your heart ripped out means you wouldn’t be able to survive, and so, Yuji Itadori dies.
Inside his body, Sukuna has created a temple of his own. He sits on top of bones looking down upon Yuji Itadori, who considers it hell.
This is when Sukuna offers the terms and conditions of the binding vow that upon chanting “Enchain,” Yuji will give complete control to Sukuna for a minute. Sukuna promises not to kill anyone in this minute, but he can do whatever he pleases in those sixty seconds.
Question: Why is Yuji Eating Ryomen Sukuna’s Fingers?
Answer: Because of Gojo Saturo, an incredibly strong and impressive sorcerer of the Jujutsu Kaisen universe. His interest sparks the moment Gojo realizes that there’s an individual who can keep Sukuna contained.
Therefore, he wants Yuji to keep eating the fingers and keep him trapped in his body. If he can do that, there’s no punishment for him. But if not, then Yuji will be executed, killing Sukuna in the process.
Sukuna Guide: Closing Thoughts on Ryomen Sukuna
Ryomen Sukuna is one of the manga’s most well-written and spectacular characters. Akutami’s creativity in putting forward a strong, narcissistic, and sadistic character like Sukuna is commendable. We all are attracted to powerful and cocky characters, and he is definitely everyone’s favorite. Usually, villains are designed to be charismatic, but Sukuna’s charm is quite different from the others.
His determination to survive despite being sealed off in his own fingers, quick wit, and spectacular moves are to die for! My personal favorite would be the incident at the juvenile detention center. The classic switch from Itdaori to Sukuna and how he owned everything in that place really showed us that he is the boss.
If you’re confused about watching Jujutsu Kaisen, I hope this guide on the antagonist was able to convince you otherwise. Because who would want to miss out on such a spectacular villain? You, too, will fall in love!