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Jujutsu Kaisen is an astonishing newer series that nails the actual deconstruction of what makes a shonen series what it is. Much of the intrigue and fascination that I have surrounding the series comes from its characters. The cast that is in the series breaks so many tropes and design choices. A case in point is the star of this Toge Inumaki guide, a unique character who is not lacking when it comes to quirks about him.
This Toge Inumaki guide is going to dive deep into the very different type of person that this character is. One of the members of Tokyo Jujutsu High School, he is someone who rarely speaks, and when he does, it might sound like bizarre incoherence to others.
I will be upfront here that I am not a massive fan of Inumaki. However, there is no doubting that he is one of the unique characters I’ve seen before. Here’s everything you need to know about why that is the case.
Bottom Line Up Front
Toge Inumaki is a second-year at Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School. As such, he is one of the supporting characters in the cast alongside the trio of protagonists in the first-year class.
He not only appears in the main series, but he plays a pretty prominent role in the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 manga and anime film. His cursed speech is a fascinating ability that prevents him from speaking typically, or else he will decimate everyone around him.
Therefore, he has to communicate using ingredients found in onigiri (rice balls) in everyday life. He is a prime example of the unique and eclectic group of characters in this phenomenal series.
Toge Inumaki Overview and Description
One of the second years at Tokyo Jujutsu High, Toge Inumaki is a supporting and regularly recurring character in the Jujutsu Kaisen manga and anime series. The series has a varied cast of characters, and Inumaki is one example of this, having a couple of different quirks that make him so intriguing.
First off is the fact that he speaks with a verbal tic where he only lists off the ingredients that are found commonly inside of onigiri. This could mean naming off items like salmon, seaweed, sesame seeds, and so on. This might be bizarre to someone else, but this is simply a part of his character.
It all comes down to the unique cursed energy power that he has known as cursed speech. The immense power that he has comes at a high cost, forcing him to live under these restrictions. That said, in exchange, he is one of the most potent Jujutsu sorcerers of his time and a prodigy in the making.
Toge Inumaki has his fair share of fans, and not just because of what he has done so far in the main series for Jujutsu Kaisen. He also plays a significant role in the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 prequel manga and anime film, which has earned him a higher ranking in the community.
The design for Toge Inumaki is relatively simple and reserved compared to other characters in other shonen series. This is nothing unusual here, though, as it seems to be the status quo for manga creator Gege Akutami. It appears that he likes to keep his human characters simple and, honestly, realistic-looking while getting quite dramatic with the monsters.
In the case of Toge Inumaki, he wears the same general school uniform most of the time that everyone else wears. It is a dark purple-ish black color, covering him from head to toe. He wears baggy pants on the bottom of his school uniform that is free form and allows him to be somewhat flexible on the battlefield.
His shoes are white and surprisingly stylish, showing that, perhaps, Inumaki has a bit of a trendy shopping side to him. They appear like slip-on loafers, but they have a couple of stripes, a brown bottom, and a thick ankle area that give them a nice touch.
The shirt that Inumaki wears is the standard long-sleeve vest shirt that matches the pants on the bottom. A single gold button keeps the shirt buttoned up, and he keeps it intact this way. That said, we can see around his wrists that there is apparently a white undershirt that he wears underneath.
The unique part about his otherwise traditional design is the fact that he has a massive collar that goes all the way up to his nose, covering up his mouth in the process. This is intentional as it helps with the cursed speech that he has. He will occasionally pull down the collar and reveal his mouth.
When he does this, you can see the signature family markings around his mouth that indicate the cursed speech power that he has. He has severe but minor eyes that stare daggers into my soul. His hair is a simple messy cut that is not too long but has bangs that cover his forehead.
His hair is an ashen gray color, giving him a slightly older look to his appearance. Overall, I would say that his design is nothing special, but it certainly falls in line with the rest of Akutami’s reserved characters.
Inumaki’s character is one of the most complicated points to nail down, even after enjoying both the manga and anime. Part of this is due to the fact that he says so tiny, and so we get to see so few of his interactions with the other characters in the cast.
But, at the same time, words are not always necessary, and Inumaki does little to show his personality even without words, leading me to believe he would be a pretty introverted character even if he could speak normally. He mostly keeps to himself, which is likely intentional, and he may even be a shy person.
With that said, it is almost like he is an eccentric genius in a way. He is brilliant and a brilliant strategist, knowing when to hold back and when to go all in. I think that he is likely quite dedicated to his sorcerer work, and I believe that much of his passion and emotion is centered on that rather than on making friends.
I will try to avoid as many significant spoilers as possible since Jujutsu Kaisen is deep in the middle of its serialization right now but bear in mind that these critical moments for Toge Inumaki will involve some spoilers for some of the events that he is involved in so far in the series.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0
At the start of Jujutsu Kaisen 0, Toge Inumaki is a first-year at Tokyo Jujutsu High School. Yuta Okkotsu, the main character of 0, joins his class, and the two get off to a rough start, instantly fighting one another. Later on, after months of training together, they go on their first mission as a team.
Toge Inumaki plays a significant role in the mission and the later parts of this prequel storyline, dealing with Yuta Okkotsu and his complicated situation with his best friend, Rika Orimoto.
In the main series, Toge Inumaki is introduced early on as he trains Megumi Fushigoro and Nobara Kugisaki in getting ready for the Kyoto exchange event. He has a significant battle against Hanami when the cursed spirits attack in the middle of the exchange event.
He holds his own against the powerful and more experienced foe, dealing the most damage and being the most effective in the fight. Megumi and Noritoshi Kamo later join him, but he continues to be a nuisance and shows just how powerful his cursed speech really is.
It is a hard-fought battle, and it takes all of Toge’s strength in the fight literally, resulting in his incapacitation and leaving the rest of the fight to his friends.
There is little that Toge does in the main series from here on out. His final significant role so far comes during the Shibuya arc of the series, where he helps out but does not play too large of a function.
Spoilers for his character, but his left arm is chopped off in the midst of Sukuna’s attack on the innocent people in Shibuya. This will likely heavily affect his attack abilities in the future parts of the series that he participates in.
The special abilities that Toge Inumaki has to start with the general physical qualities that he has from his time as a sorcerer. He is exceptionally smart and one of the most intelligent students in the Tokyo Jujutsu High School. This intelligence paves the way for the strategy that he has in battle.
He is excellent at responding to fights on the fly and making quick decisions that are going to be the best ones for that moment. He is also reasonably fast in battle, naturally able to go toe-to-toe with even some of the fastest cursed spirits. His physical traits are impressive enough on their own, but then there is his unique cursed power as well.
Toge Inumaki inherited the cursed speech ability from his family. It is a long-running ability in the Inumaki family that is unbelievably powerful. How it works is that the very words that Toge speaks can deal devastating damage and techniques to the enemies that he comes across.
The way it works is that his words are almost like brainwashing in a way, forcing the person to conform to whatever he tells them to do. He is literally able to exorcise a spirit by simply telling it to. However, this ability has some drawbacks that make it one of the more complicated cursed powers.
For one, the power of his words is not absolute, and it can vary in strength. He can choose to make them stronger or weaker depending on the foe he is facing. If it is a weak spirit, for instance, he may not need the full strength of his words, unlike more powerfully ranked spirits.
However, the stronger the spirit and the more draining the command that he uses, the more of an impact that it has on Toge himself. This is one of the main issues with his power is that he suffers in the process of trying to defeat the enemy. This effectively limits his powers, which is why he tries not to rely on them too much.
Then there is the other drawback of his cursed speech, which is the fact that it prevents him from speaking most of the time typically. Since his words are devastatingly powerful, the only way that he can generally communicate with everyone else is by using a unique code.
The code involves naming off the ingredients in onigiri. It is uncertain why this is the only way that he can speak without using his powers inadvertently, but I think it is most likely because it is his favorite food, and it helps to restrain him in some way.
Toge Inumaki is a second-year at Tokyo Jujutsu High School, so two of his closest friendships are with his fellow classmates in Maki and Panda. Maki is like that older sister character to Inumaki. They likely bicker and have their rivalries with one another, but there is a level of trust and caring there.
On the other hand, Panda is like that significant brother type of character. He is the lovable bear guy (literally) and an excellent friend to Inumaki. Their solid relationship with one another means that Panda understands the complicated (or simple?) communication methods that Inumaki uses in battles to convey his feelings.
While he is not shown in the main series that much until the most recent parts of the manga, there is one other second-year that Inumaki is close to. Yuta Okkotsu is the star of the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 manga and anime film. Their relationship is very complicated. It starts out a little bit hostile in a way but grows some over time to be a friendship.
However, there is always a level of hostility, and Toge is often on the defense around Yuta due to his rather unique circumstances as a sorcerer. Overall, I think they are friends, though. Lastly, there is the relationship that Toge Inumaki has with the first years, the three leads of the series. He treats them as his underclassmen and guides them in battle as the older and more experienced fighters.
We have not gotten to see much of his relationship with the first years, but it appears that he at least cares somewhat about them.
The anime adaptation adds a (minimal) voice to Toge Inumaki’s character. The actor who has the daunting task of acting out his whole two lines in the series (I’m joking, of course) is Koki Uchiyama. The 31-year-old voice actor has some very impressive roles in his career. They include some of my favorite characters of all time across anime and video games, so he might just be one of my famous voice actors.
Some of the most notable roles that he has that I am immensely a fan of include Yu Otosaka from the criminally underrated Charlotte, Roxas, and Ventus in the Kingdom Hearts games, Yuri Plisetsky in Yuri On Ice, Banagher Links in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
However, the two outstanding performances that I would like to point out the most are his memorable villain roles. Meruem might be my favorite or second-favorite character in all of Hunter x Hunter. At the same time, he also nails down the role of the main villain in My Hero Academia, Tomura Shigaraki.
Surprisingly enough, it’s worth noting that the English dub voice actor is no slouch, either. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite video game English actors.
His impressively deep voice allowed him to play some iconic video game roles, such as the announcer in the last two Super Smash Bros. games and Dagda in the criminally underappreciated SMT Apocalypse, and Michael Irving in the masterpiece that is Trails of Cold Steel III and later IV.
However, I would like to bring attention to what I think his best role might be and also his most underrated, which is for main character Stocke in Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, the first and only one of two 10/10s I’ve personally given a game in my career so far.
Fun Facts about Toge Inumaki
Here are some fun facts about Toge Inumaki that you may not have known about before:
- Toge Inumaki’s birthday is October 23.
- He is 17 years old at the start of the series, being a second year in the high school (there are only three years in high school in Japan since elementary school goes up to what would be sixth grade in the US).
- However, Inumaki is 16 years old in the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 story due to that being a prequel when he was a first-year student.
- He is one of the highest-ranked Jujutsu sorcerer students in high school in all of Japan, being a semi-grade 1 class after the events of 0.
- As I mentioned above, the voice actor for Toge Inumaki, Xander Mobus, is the same one as the voice for Aoi Todo. However, this is only in the English dubbing.
- That said, it makes a lot of sense since Inumaki and Todo are two of the most vital class members at their respective high schools in Tokyo and Kyoto.
- The most obvious and exciting aspect of Toge Inumaki’s character is his onigiri speech in everyday life due to his cursed speech ability.
- What is interesting is that the cursed speech ability is not entirely his own. It was actually inherited from his family members as it is a famous cursed energy ability in the powerful Inumaki family of sorcerers that he comes from.
- Toge Inumaki is undoubtedly one of the most popular characters in the series. He ranked a whopping fourth in the first official character popularity poll for the Jujutsu Kaisen series. That is quite impressive as the top three spots were likely filled by the more important characters of Gojo-sensei, Yuji Itadori, and Megumi Fushigoro in one order or another.
Question: What is Toge Inumaki Saying?
Answer: Most of the time, as I mentioned above in the leading guide, Toge Inumaki is spouting off ingredients of onigiri.
Examples include items like a mustard leaf, sesame seeds, various fish, and so on that are commonly found in the delicious Japanese rice balls.
Question: Why does Toge Inumaki Talk in Ingredients?
Answer: He speaks in ingredients due to his cursed speech ability. It is the only way that he is able to avoid destroying his friends with every word he says.
As for why it is, precisely, onigiri ingredients, that is unknown. Perhaps it is simply his favorite food in the world so that he can restrain himself easily.
Question: What does Toge Mean when he Says Mustard Leaf?
Answer: There are fans in the community who think they’ve unlocked the secrets of Toge Inumaki’s speech, but, ultimately, it is still unclear at this time.
However, when he says “mustard leaf” in Japanese, he does appear to be visibly distressed. This is likely used when danger is nearby.
Question: What does Inumaki Mean in Japanese?
Answer: Bear in mind that this is coming from my still relatively inexperienced N3 knowledge of Japanese, but inu in Japanese can mean dog. In contrast, the maki kanji character in his name means a branch or a specific yew tree.
So, you could say his name means dog tree. Alternatively, maki can also phonetically mean roll (food, not the action), which could also hilariously mean dog roll.
Toge Inumaki: Conclusion
Toge Inumaki is not one of my favorite characters from Jujutsu Kaisen, but I think this is fine and, arguably, by design. Much of this series breaks tropes by surprising you with how the characters are. In my opinion, they are not meant to be as flashy or even memorable as some of the other shonen characters.
I would argue that Inumaki is far from the only example of this. An even more excellent example of a character who breaks tropes while not necessarily being a fan-favorite of mine, despite my love for this series, is Nobara Kugisaki.
She is a prime example of going against the grain in every way, which I can certainly appreciate at the very least.