Jujutsu Kaisen: 8 times author Gege Akutami was too cruel to fans
Jujutsu Kaisen author Gege Akutami has quite the reputation when it comes to being cruel to fans through his storytelling. There have been several instances in the series where the mangaka hasn't hesitated in creating some heart-wrenching moments that are etched in the minds of the fandom even to this very day.
Whether it's with beloved characters such as Nanami Kento or subverting expectations with others such as Junpei Yoshino, Akutami has held back no punches when it comes to this series. Here are eight moments where Gege Akutami was too cruel to fans in Jujutsu Kaisen.
Disclaimer: This article is subjective, ranked in no particular order, and contains massive spoilers for the Jujutsu Kaisen series.
Junpei Yoshino's fate and seven other cruel moments in Jujutsu Kaisen by Gege Akutami
1. Nanami’s death
The moment Nanami Kento was introduced in the early arcs of Jujutsu Kaisen, he became a fan favorite. His cold, serious demeanor, his character design, the way he battled, and his overall personality endeared him to the fandom... which made his death in the Shibuya Incident arc all the more painful.
Nanami didn't have much time in the series and was killed off in his second major arc at the hands of Mahito, much to protagonist Yuji Itadori's suffering. The worst part of this situation was that Gege Akutami said that the original plan was for Nanami only to lose a limb but his death "wrote itself," which made it even worse for the audience.
2. Everything regarding Junpei Yoshino
For people who saw Junpei's fate originally in the manga, it was a painful moment. For people who saw Junpei's fate originally in the anime, it was a painful moment aided by MAPPA Studios, who added the character in the opening to deceive newcomers who weren't familiar with the source material.
While Akutami didn't have the luxury of the opening when writing the manga, Junpei's character arc was still very tragic. He was constantly tortured by different situations and Mahito's manipulation only made things worse for him and Yuji, who tried to save him and failed miserably while being laughed at by Sukuna and the aforementioned Mahito.
3. Yorozu taking over Tsumiki Fushiguro's body
Jujutsu Kaisen fans saw Megumi Fushiguro fight for his sister's wellbeing during most of the series, only to find out that she wasn't really in a coma because of a Cursed Technique. It turns out that her body had become the vessel for a sorcerer from the Heian era, Yorozu.
The realization that Megumi's struggles were for nothing was bad enough. However, Yorozu made things worse by mocking Megumi. Later, Sukuna, now in full control of Megumi's body, killed his sister's corpse with his own hands, adding to the young Fushiguro's mental breakdown.
4. Sukuna taking over Megumi's body
When it comes to online reactions, Jujutsu Kaisen has had a lot of different moments that have broken the internet. However, very few can compare to the heart-wrenching twist of seeing Ryomen Sukuna finding a loophole in his deal with Yuji Itadori and taking over Megumi Fushiguro's body.
This connects directly with the previous points because Sukuna proceeds to break Megumi's spirit and make sure that his body is a vessel and not a cage as he felt with Itadori. After so many chapters connecting with Fushiguro's character, the way things ended for him feels very cruel and tragic, adding to Gege Akutami's ability to subvert and surprise his readers.
5. Riko Amanai's death
The implications that Riko Amanai died at the hands of Toji Fushiguro cannot be understated. It is through Toji's influence that Satoru Gojo reached his peak as a sorcerer, that Suguru Geto went insane, and the Plasma Star Vessel deal never took place, with all of these events defining the current plot in the Jujutsu Kaisen manga.
Above all else, it is the way that Riko died that felt cruel to the fans. Akutami is a master at taking a lot of anime tropes and subverting them, which is shown here as Amanai is murdered right at the moment she decides to fight for her freedom, going against all the classic shonen directions in these situations.
Plus, Riko is a character that became very dear to readers in the short time she was on, and her death marked Gojo and Geto for the rest of their lives.
6. Nobara Kugisaki's "death"
When Nobara was first introduced in Jujutsu Kaisen, she was heralded as a potential shonen great regarding female characters. She was strong, she was proactive, she didn't have to rely on men to act, she was charismatic, and she had her own agency, which fans all over the world found endearing and refreshing in the anime industry.
However, Akutami had other plans for her in Jujutsu Kaisen. As Yuji and her are fighting Mahito in the Shibuya Incident arc, she is touched by the latter, which results in one of her eyes and part of her head blowing up. While certain claims in the manga suggest she could still survive, Nobara was already removed from the most important part of the story, making her role feel somewhat disappointing.
7. Geto severing bonds with Gojo
Gege Akutami pushed the envelope with Suguru Geto. He went from a man who was more than willing to protect the weak to a man who thought normal humans had to be eradicated, which is something that made him leave Jujutsu society and become a cult leader.
As Geto went deeper and deeper into the dark side, Satoru Gojo, his best friend, tried to reason with him, but to no avail. Gojo is not a character that shows a lot of emotion and this is one of the few moments in the series where he looks broken and hurt, thus permanently imprinting itself in the minds of Jujutsu Kaisen fans all over the world.
8. Breaking Yuji Itadori
If there is any character that has gone through a lot in Jujutsu Kaisen, it has to be Yuji Itadori. While most newcomers could have initially viewed him as the typical happy-go-lucky shonen protagonist, Gege Akutami has been making sure to put him through the wringer so he can go in a lot of different directions.
Yuji has tried to protect a lot of people and has failed time and time again. Several of this list's moments, such as the deaths of Nanami, Nobara, and Junpei have happened right in front of Yuji, fully cementing his mental breakdown, to the point where he has even wanted to die at some points in the story.
Gege Akutami has proven that he can make his readers suffer with some unexpected twists. There have been several moments in Jujutsu Kaisen where fan-favorites have died and suffered greatly, which goes to show that the author has no problem taking risks when it matters.