As Yuta and Yuji settled their fallout post-Shibuya, Jujutsu Kaisen introduced readers to a new concept; “The Culling Game.” It was the next big thing that Brain/Kenjaku had planned in order to achieve his goals. As Megumi rightly describes it, the culling game is jujutsu terrorism on a never seen before scale.
The game revolves around sorcerers facing off each other to earn points and survive. If a player kills their opponent, they earn points. However, this is not a simple tournament where players face each other in a 1 vs. 1 match. Rather, a bunch of players will be confined in a colony and will kill each other. Terrorism indeed.
It seems only the awakened sorcerers are compulsorily required to take part in the Culling Game from its rules. If they don’t, they will lose their Cursed Technique and, in turn, their lives. We have explained this while breaking down the rules of the Culling Game.
Pseudo-Geto hinted at this idea of awakened sorcerers fighting each other in chapter 136 while explaining his plans to Yuki Tsukumo. Meaning, the culling game was not a random thing that Kenjaku came up with. On the contrary, he seems to have put a lot of thought into it, and it is supposed to serve a very specific purpose.
What is the culling game?
There are ten colonies across Japan where the game will take place. Barriers surround these colonies and connect them to each other. Other than Hokkaido, the colonies at various places form a line through the entirety of Japan.
Once someone enters any of these colonies willingly, they are considered a player participating in the culling game. However, civilians will get a chance to get out of the colonies before the game begins.
There are specific points for killing shamans and non-shamans, but all players have to make sure their score increases in 19 days. The game master, which is like the game’s program, oversees the game and the points. This fact means that neither is Kenjaku the game master, nor will killing him stop the game.
The culling game will end only when all the players are dead or all players refuse participation and die.
The culling game gives a death-match sort of vibe. A classic tournament arc from a shounen series! However, it is much more sinister. It also exists to serve a different and a higher purpose rather than just being a slugfest. To understand the purpose of the culling game, one needs to know what Kenjaku’s goals are.
Kenjaku’s goal and the culling game
Brain/Kenjaku has been aiming for human evolution for as long as he can remember. Kenjaku had always thought humans would achieve something unique. He wanted to unearth this real potential. But, despite his efforts, the limitations of the human body held him back.
When Kenjaku announced the culling game, we assumed that he wanted to employ the survival of the fittest methodology. With the special grade curses and curse hosts running rampant in the game, there will be only the options of “do or die.” In order to master the use of cursed energy, humans will have to evolve. This move will create a world where only the strongest and the ones who can evolve could survive. However, that was not the case.
Kenjaku’s plan of evolving humans relied heavily on Tengen, or rather merging with Tengen. Since the merging with the star plasma vessel was stopped, Tengen has ascended to a higher state. It is now possible for him to anyone other than just the Star Plasma Vessel. And whoever merges with him transforms into something greater than just a shaman.
But why merge with Tengen when you can use Idle Transfiguration?
Since Kenjaku had the power of Idle Transfiguration, why did he not use it for tinkering with human brains? It turns out it was not just others’ bodily capacity but his own as well that limits him. As Tengen explained, Kenjaku lacks the cursed energy to evolve the whole of humanity using Idle Transfiguration and Tengen’s barrier. And it is very inefficient to trigger the evolution of a single human at a time with the cursed technique.
That’s how Kenjaku came to his current plan! But it still does not explain how culling game is related to merging the humans with Tengen.
The real intention behind the culling game
The Culling game is essentially a precursor to the merger. The game will use the cursed energy of the players participating in the game and the boundaries binding barriers (which probably means the line connecting the colonies) in a ritual to pass humans over to the other side. The culling game and the ritual of passing humans to the other side are probably two different things.
We can speculate that since Kenjaku lacks cursed energy to evolve humanity, he wants to overcome that weakness. For this, he will use the cursed energy gathered in these colonies (by players fighting each other?) to carry out evolution. Kenjaku has probably made a binding vow with the Culling Game to let him do so. In the process, he became a third party to the game itself.
The rule of players willingly joining the game is quite possibly another one of Kenjaku’s binding vows. Perhaps by showing their willingness, the players consent to Kenjaku using the cursed energy they expend in fights.
This merger might seem a humongous phenomenon, but as Tengen said, a curse fell on everyone in Japan to prepare for the merger. The entire ritual of the culling game will end in two months’ worth of time.
Kenjaku is obssessed with finding out possibilities that could lie in human potential. But, will evolution give him what he seeks? Or are his eyes set on something we can’t see yet?
Is it just evolution Kenjaku really wants?
Evolution and real intentions are one thing, but the culling game just might not be what we see on the surface. Even if Kenjaku does succeed in making humans “cross” over to the other side, there is a huge downside to this move.
Since Tengen’s merger with the Star Plasma Vessel failed, their self became the world itself. Just like Tengen, whose body does not their restrict consciousness, the person merging will become a new being both there and not there. In fact, only because Tengen possesses barrier techniques can they maintain a physical form of the main body.
So, when humans merge with Tengen, there will also be no boundaries between individuals, and evil will spread instantly. As Tengen himself explained, if one person out of all evolved humans rages out of control, the world will end. A repeat of Tokyo’s destruction would happen to the whole world because the impurity of a hundred million people will spread.
Why would Kenjaku want such a situation? If, in the future, after evolution occurs, evil does spread, what will Kenjaku gain? This fragile state of evolution’s result might be what Kenjaku seeks. In chapter 136, he told Yuki Tsumuko that the possibilities beyond his potential lie in chaos. He wants to create chaos even he cannot control it.
But what will Kenjaku gain from it? If the evolved shamans kill each other in chaos, what is the point of such evolution? So, what is his true objective for evolution? This uncertainty makes us question the legitimacy of the culling games.
Kenjaku has a history of devising plans to distract people from his actual objectives, be it Shibuya or Hanami’s attack at the school event. So is the culling game also just another distraction? If it is indeed so, Kenjaku has chosen quite a vile approach of destruction to achieve his goals.
Do you think the culling game is what it seems on the surface or is it more? At any rate, we certainly need more clarity on the culling game. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!