Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is premiering in Japan today, December 24, 2021, and one of the characters people are most excited to see is Getou Suguru. Getou has been a major antagonist in the Jujutsu Kaisen anime, who conspires with cursed spirits to bring about the Golden Age of Curses once more.
He is also the mastermind behind incidents like Mahito's experimentation with Junpei, Hanami's attack on Tokyo Jujutsu High, and the two "Death Painting" brothers attempting to retrieve Sukuna's finger from the special grade curse. Getou Suguru also plays a significant role in the manga and the prequel movie is bound to raise several questions about his character.
Disclaimer: MAJOR spoilers for the Jujutsu Kaisen anime, movie and manga.
A deep dive into the story behind the beloved character of Getou Suguru in Jujutsu Kaisen
Who is Getou Suguru?
Getou Suguru is an extremely powerful curse-user who had once been a jujutsu sorcerer but had later defected. A former classmate and friend of Gojo Satoru and Ieri Shoko, Getou and Gojo had been the only special-grade sorcerers of their year.
Even during their time as students, both were capable of single-handedly defeating powerful cursed spirits which easily overwhelmed most full-fledged sorcerers.
Getou's Cursed Technique
Getou Suguru has a very interesting Innate Cursed technique, making him a powerful ally and a dangerous opponent. While most sorcerers exorcize curses by eliminating them, Getou's technique allows him to ingest curses he has defeated in a fight. The ingested curses become his subordinates, with Getou being able to expel and manipulate them at will.
In some ways, this almost resembles the Zenin clan's Ten Shadows technique, where the user can similarly dominate and control the cursed spirit, Shikigami.
Getou's defection from the Jujutsu society
Contrary to popular opinion, Getou Suguru had initially been idealistic and righteous to the extreme. He had an extremely steady moral compass, compared to the ambiguity of the just as powerful, but much more arrogant, Gojo.
The Gojo's Past arc of the Jujutsu Kaisen manga chronicled the circumstances of Getou's changing mindset in more detail, as fans saw his beliefs and values slowly crumble along with his mental health.
The failed mission where Gojo and Getou were assigned as bodyguards to Amanai, a vessel for the Tengen, kick-started his downfall. Amanai was killed and this took a toll on both teens, although they coped with it differently.
Gojo became obsessed with becoming stronger. As he started going on more and more solo missions, Getou got left behind, brooding as his resentment slowly festered.
Another blow came with the death of Nanami's friend and partner, Haibara. Getou started wondering how many jujutsu sorcerers would have had to be killed to save the completely ignorant common people.
The psychological toll that his cursed technique took on him didn't help his case either. The manga revealed that swallowing a curse was highly unpleasant to Getou, enough to make his skin crawl and question his humanity.
The final nail on the coffin came with a solo mission that Getou was assigned to in a non-descript village haunted by curses. Even after the curses had been eliminated, Getou found that the villagers had imprisoned two young girls who were able to see cursed spirits.
They tortured and verbally abused the girls, and accused them of being the curses that had plagued the village. Their refusal to listen and obvious disgust towards the traumatized twins was what made him finally snap, and he left with the two girls after massacring the entire village.
Getou's transformation into a curse-user
Getou started referring to non-jujutsu people as "damn monkeys," refusing to even consider them as human beings. He defected, started an organization, and recruited like-minded curse-users under him. He exploited people for money and other resources, and mercilessly killed them once they lost their value.
His final goal became to create a world for only jujutsu sorcerers and curse-users, a world where normal people would not exist.
The Getou that the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 manga depicted is the one who loathed to kill promising young sorcerers, but had no respect or compassion towards regular people.
He realized that the people they protected would never stop hating and fearing them. And yet, the very same jujutsu sorcerers would keep dying for them, facing terrifying and destructive spirits every day at the risk of their own lives.
Getou in the Jujutsu Kaisen anime
Getou Suguru in the anime is very different from the Getou Suguru of the prequel manga and Gojo's Past arc.
With the prequel manga, manga readers who had begun reading the series chronologically were flabbergasted with Getou's appearance. Despite seeing Getou killed by none other than his best friend, Gojo Satoru, the Jujutsu Kaisen anime and manga saw Getou walking around, very much alive.
Many surmised that Getou had somehow survived or that Gojo had intentionally let him escape in a moment of weakness. But that did not explain him working with cursed spirits, where previously, Getou would use them as mere tools.
When revealed during the Shibuya arc, the truth was exponentially worse. However, as bad as one felt for Getou, they felt much worse for Gojo.
Readers were shocked with the revelation that the "Getou Suguru" in the main story hadn't been the real Getou at all, rather the cursed spirit Kenjaku possessing his corpse. But the sudden change in Getou's motives started making a lot more sense after that.