Sukuna – the king of curses. He has taken not only the jujutsu world but also the fandom by a storm. He is the incarnation of pure evil and is sinister enough to kill for fun. The slaughter at Shibuya was a mere sliver of Sukuna’s true power.
When Itadori became a vessel for this fearsome entity, it was bound to bring trouble. And so it did, with the jujutsu authorities hunting him via Okkotsu Yuta. In fact, any shaman (like Naoya) coming across him would want to kill him.
Even though Yuji had resolved to live, he couldn’t overpower Yuta’s attacks. But since Sukuna can’t let Yuji die, it seemed he wanted to switch places with Yuji after Yuta stabbed him. Surprisingly, the panel after his agitated look shows him smiling. It is safe to say that the fandom erupted, guessing why Sukuna did so.
Why was Sukuna smiling?
According to the mangaka, Sukuna was “a disaster” even when he was alive. The plot hasn’t revealed what Sukuna’s true intentions are, and he also has a mysterious binding vow with Yuji. Not to mention he has the power of 15 fingers now. He even went berserk in Shibuya and has some nefarious motives concerning Megumi.
Thus, this smile was extremely suspicious. We had speculated that he smiled because he sensed Megumi’s presence, but that was not the case. Chapter 143 revealed the true reason behind Sukuna smiling! Let’s see what it was.
Sukuna smiled because Yuta did not actually intend on killing Yuji.
It looked like Yuta was seriously engaging in a brawl with Yuji. Well, he had threatened he would kill the person who cut off Inumaki’s arm at the beginning itself. And we know how serious Yuta is about protecting his friends. It seemed like a difficult fight for Yuji.
We already know since Yuji is Sukuna’s host, the King of Curses can’t let him die. If Yuji dies, Sukuna dies too. So, as soon as Yuta stabbed him, Sukuna was close to switching bodies with Yuji not to let him die. We even saw him getting off his throne (probably thinking this brat can’t do anything).
We already had an inkling from a few pieces of evidence that there was something fishy about Yuta. More precisely, his attitude about the whole “I will kill Yuji” thing seemed a little off. But, after the stabbing, we could see Yuta dragging only an unconscious Yuji in chapter 142.
We were very confused why Sukuna had let Yuji’s death happen. Some people even speculated that the smile was after a skip of the fight between Sukuna and Yuta. Or even a possibility that Megumi showed up and saved Yuji before he was truly dead. But none of it was the case.
It seems like Sukuna also realized that something was wrong with Yuta’s attack. And so, he did not switch with Yuji. This realization was true, indeed. As soon as Yuji woke up, Yuta revealed his entire plan to him.
He took careful steps right from taking up the Yuji-hunting job because he wanted to save him. Yuta was on Yuji’s side.
Yuta explained that he had taken up this hunt so he could protect him as Gojo said. Since the higher-ups did not trust him, they had placed a Binding Vow on him to kill Yuji. Thus, he HAD to “kill” Yuji once. Yuta also says that not many people know he can take positive energy as is and output it.
The jujutsu superiors did not know Yuta could heal Yuji too. Yuta used reversed cursed energy to revive Yuji as soon as his heart stopped. In this manner, he could fulfill both the Binding Vow and Gojo’s wish. Sukuna must have sensed Yuta’s reversed cursed energy technique healing Yuji’s heart.
Thus, it made sense why Sukuna was smiling in that panel! He knew Yuta was reviving Yuji using reversed cursed energy as soon as he “killed” him. Sukuna had no reason to switch bodies with Yuji and fight Yuta to save himself. Megumi was not the reason for Sukuna’s smile because, as we saw in Chapter 143, he arrived at the scene pretty late. So, Sukuna could not have sensed his presence after all.
Did you expect Yuta to heal Yuji too? Let us know in the comments!