Jujutsu Kaisen’s protagonist Yuji is a very unique Shonen hero, and his first fight in the Shibuya Incident Arc proves why this is the case.
Warning! Contains spoilers for Jujutsu Kaisen season 2 episode #8!Yuji Itadori from Jujutsu Kaisen may seem like he is a typical Shonen hero, but he is incredibly refreshing in one key aspect. This quality was hinted at in the final arc of Jujutsu Kaisen season 1, which is what allowed it to shine through at the beginning of the Shibuya Incident. As the arc goes on, Yuji is likely to have even more opportunities to show this particular quality.
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In Jujutsu Kaisen season 2 episode #8, Yuji battles a giant grasshopper curse and pretty easily defeats it. This grasshopper devil was completely abhorrent, having eaten a human in front of Yuji as well as being annoyingly obsessed with cleverness. Yet, despite how terrible this Curse was, after killing it, Yuji is still shown in a short following scene praying over the creature’s corpse, repentant for his actions. This shows that even if his enemy is utterly reprehensible and nonhuman, Yuji will still feel pity and sorrow for having to destroy it. This sets him apart from many other Shonen protagonists.
Yuji Mourns for His Enemies in Jujutsu Kaisen
Many Shonen protagonists won’t kill their enemies at all, at least intentionally. Luffy from One Piece is a great example of this, as according to mangaka Eiichiro Oda, it is more devastating for the villains of One Piece‘s world to have their dreams crushed instead of merely dying. Some Shonen protagonists do kill enemies, but they are rarely remorseful about this. Denji from Chainsaw Man is a good example, as he kills countless demons without a second thought. This is made easier to stomach by the fact that these devils aren’t human and thus aren’t very sympathetic or relatable for the most part.
Curses are also not very sympathetic as they generally want to cause human suffering and so many Jujutsu Kaisen fans don’t feel bad when they die. This is good as Yuji is forced to kill these enemies regularly to keep Japan safe. However, Yuji himself doesn’t share this apathy towards Curses and is usually sorry when he must destroy one. This was previously shown in season 1 when he and Nobara killed a pair of brothers exploiting their familial connection. However, with the grasshopper curse, there wasn’t any sort of redeeming human quality, and yet Itadori still prayed for it.
Yuji Continues To Prove Why Jujutsu Kaisen‘s Hero Is Unique
This act shows Yuji’s deep empathy and compassion for those around him, even if that includes inhuman monsters. With the utter atrocities that many of the series’ villains have been performing, such as indiscriminate slaughter and torture, Yuji’s perspective prevents the anime from becoming too bleak. It remains to be seen if Yuji will retain this noble and compassionate attitude as Jujutsu Kaisen continues to explore the Shibuya Incident or if his enemies’ cruelty will force him to change his mind.
Jujutsu Kaisen season 2 is available to stream on Crunchyroll.