Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 197 shows Maki unlocking her true potential as Naoya gives chase

Gojo, Toji, Naoya and Maki in Jujutsu Kaisen (Image via Sportskeeda)
Gojo, Toji, Naoya and Maki in Jujutsu Kaisen (Image via Sportskeeda)

Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 196 proved to be a mini-training montage for Maki as she accepted Miyo Rukojushi’s invitation to fight him in a sumo match and willingly entered his Simple Domain. As they grappled, he explained how Daidou was able to sense Naoya despite being unable to see cursed spirits and inflict that much damage with one blow.

Maki was able to achieve a sort of sensory freedom and finally broke out of Miyo’s domain. The leaked spoilers for chapter 197 confirm readers’ hopes of seeing Maki face off against Naoya again. With the official English translations released, this article breaks down and highlights the major events from Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 197.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for the Jujutsu Kaisen manga. All external media in this article are the property of their respective owners.

Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 197 summary and highlights

Maki breaks out of Miyo’s domain

Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 197, titled Sakurajima Colony, Part 7, shows Maki on the title page, with Miyo sprawled out on the ground behind him. Noritoshi, Daidou, and even Naoya immediately sense that Maki is not the same compared to when she entered the domain. They are astonished at how much she's changed within such a short time, wondering whether something happened to her while she was in Miyo's domain.

Chapter 197 goes on to explain that due to the effects of the Binding Vow, time moves much faster within the Simple Domain. In the time required for them to engage in over a thousand bouts of sumo within the domain, less than a minute passes in the real world.

Time passes faster inside Miyo's domain (Image via Gege Akutami/Shueisha)
Time passes faster inside Miyo's domain (Image via Gege Akutami/Shueisha)

Naoya simply scoffs, believing that Maki’s sudden boost in confidence proves nothing and blasts off into the air. Noritoshi suspects he’s trying to repeat the high-speed move from earlier, which he used to severely injure Maki.

Daidou and Miyo decide to join the fight

Noritoshi questions Daidou and Miyo (Image via Gege Akutami/Shueisha)
Noritoshi questions Daidou and Miyo (Image via Gege Akutami/Shueisha)

Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 197 then shows Daidou and Miyo gearing up for battle, remarking that they haven’t fought nearly enough. A shocked Noritoshi wonders why they are helping Maki and him despite being reincarnated players and asks them exactly who they are. But neither of them seems to care, stating that it doesn’t matter.

Daidou says that he has a sword in his hand and wants to use it more, while Miyo declares that he wishes to wrestle Maki again and asks Daidou if he would like to wrestle as well, who declines. They blame Noritoshi for asking them useless questions and delaying them, complaining that Maki has already gone ahead.

Naoya chases Maki

Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 197 moves on to Naoya, voicing his frustration at being unable to catch Maki despite his overwhelming high speed. The girl keeps up with him easily, already realizing his next move when he flies straight ahead over her with the intention of intercepting her.

Maki lets herself fall freely, analyzing the new freedom that her heightened senses have given her. This time she repeats Daidou’s words, knowing that everything around her will help her predict Naoya’s movements and attacks.

Maki thinks of the past, remembering Mai, who sacrificed herself and gave her this body that no longer needs glasses to see cursed spirits. She realizes that she has become content with her current strength because she is no longer an outcast.

Maki thinks of Toji, knowing that he would not have hesitated like her. He would've kept up with Naoya’s speed effortlessly and swung his katana without giving it a second thought. She concludes that being the same as everyone else is not enough, especially since there are things that only people like Toji and she can see due to their Heavenly Restriction.

Maki dodges and counters

Maki dodges Naoya mid-air (Image via Gege Akutami/Shueisha)
Maki dodges Naoya mid-air (Image via Gege Akutami/Shueisha)

Naoya goes straight through a building and tries to catch Maki as she’s still falling, confident that she can no longer escape. But she easily dodges Naoya mid-air, leaving him shocked and frustrated. Maki muses over the sensations she experienced while fighting Miyo in Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 196, observing that the atmosphere around them isn't as empty as it appears to be.

Maki's heightened senses allow her to feel the differences in temperature and density of air, and she uses them as scattered surfaces to control her movements at will. She turns mid-air and punches Naoya, sending him crashing towards the ground. Naoya still taunts her, saying that punches fortified with no cursed energy can’t hurt cursed spirits.

Miyo and Daidou attack

Miyo approaches Naoya as he’s taunting Maki, hitting him with a powerful headbutt, which he calls “Kappa Rokujushi.” Daidou corners Naoya from the other side, slicing him in half with Maki's sword before he has a chance to recover. Maki lands the final bow, kicking half of Naoya’s body away.

He still refuses to acknowledge Maki’s strength, despite clearly seeing Toji in Maki's movements. Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 197 ends with an enraged Naoya climbing out of his shell in a humanoid form and using Domain Expansion, declaring that it is he who deserves to be at Toji’s level.

Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 197 ends on a terrifying note, as Naoya’s transformation seems to have come a full cycle. He is fixated on proving that Maki cannot be like Toji and will probably try to trap her alone within his domain.

Chapter 198 will likely mark the beginning of the final showdown between Naoya and Maki. But with the series going on break next week, fans will have to wait until September 25, 2022, to find out what Akutami has planned for Maki in the Jujutsu Kaisen manga.