We meet Itadori Yuji as a bubbly and lovable ball of sunshine, albeit with his own problems. He is incredibly thoughtful and kind to the point that he let an eons-old curse take shelter in his body. No biggie! While he was a normal high school kid, this particular tenant flipped his entire life upside down. Well, if you could consider him normal without Sukuna, that is.
Before Yuji turned into the brand ambassador of KFC (y’know, finger-lickin’ good), he was still special. He possesses admirable superhuman strength and lightning-fast reflexes. You know you’re amazing when Todo, with his 53000 IQ, compliments you himself.
But is Yuji really special? It seems so, right? If you don’t trust our common judgment, let’s take Gojo’s. He said that someone like Yuji is born only once in 1000 years when Sukuna reincarnated. That makes him undeniably special.
Then, where does all this superpower-but-not-really-a-superpower come from? Kokkuri-san, kokkuri-san, tell us why Itadori Yuji is strong? Kokkuri-san might not answer us, but this article can attempt to. Let’s guess the answer behind this question that plagues the entire fandom, shall we?
Yuji’s superhuman strength
We’re all eager for the answer but, where does this big question even stem from? Let’s first have a quick rundown of how Jujutsu Kaisen has put across Yuji’s strength until now. From his introductory scene itself, we are told that Yuji is really strong and agile.
Yuji is so strong that the school’s sports club desperately wants him, and he is a sprinter as well. He quite easily beat not only his teacher but also a goddamned world record. The poor sports teacher, though. You did well, ossan. Even Megumi, who didn’t know Yuji at all noted that he is super fast. Following this, we see Yuji engage in a battle with a curse to save his friends along with Megumi.
Yuji’s parkour abilities truly rival that of Michael Scott’s. Just kidding. Without Sukuna’s finger, too, Yuji could hold his own against a gigantic curse and even deal it some damage. This degree of strength and agility is certainly not normal. Consuming Sukuna’s finger only boosted his already higher-than-average stats to demonic levels. Not my words; they are Choso’s after Shibuya.
Yuji’s own strength is lost in the wake of all big-shots in the series like Sukuna and Gojo. Once you begin noticing just how strong Yuji is, it becomes uncanny too. When Okkotsu fought Yuji for the first time post the Shibuya incident, he also stated that Yuji is like Maki in terms of physical prowess. Gojo and Todo being proud mentors of Yuji are proof that his strength is exceptional.
Yuji certainly relies on Sukuna’s strength now, growing as the fearful curse grows. But even without that, he was surely extraordinary. What exactly is the root of this strength? We begin with the obvious possibility:
Does a generic manga trope lie behind Yuji’s strength?
There is no lie in the fact that Jujutsu Kaisen employs several generic manga tropes. Sure, Akutami gives them an unexpected twist to make them intriguing, but they aren’t absolutely unique in the end. One of these much-used and equally loved tropes is an anti-hero sharing bodies with the protagonist. Following another common trope, we also didn’t know anything about Yuji’s parents.
We could list a lot of such instances, but you get the gist. The point to address here is whether Yuji’s strength is just a shounen trope at play again. In this genre of stories, a natural occurrence is that a hero with abnormal abilities is to the rescue. So, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if that indeed is the case. Yuji just happened to be the knight in shining armor for the story, and it entailed him to be this strong. I mean, it all began with fighting a curse, after all.
You might argue that Akutami would not simply use a trope like that. At one thought it may sound improbable (which is why we shall discuss more possibilities) but we can’t cross it off just yet. Akutami quite happily discarded the theory of Yuji’s technique being memory manipulation and he just might pull off something like that again. Using this trope isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if Yuji’s strength is merely a setting and not a cause, there are some doubts.
Remember how Grandapadori emphasized Yuji’s strength before he passed away? Yuji himself said that his grandfather left a curse with him that since he is a strong kid, he must help others. That was truly the beginning of it all, wasn’t it? But what an odd thing to say to your grandchild on your deathbed!
From Yuji’s memory, we also know that Grandpadori had his suspicions against Kaori or Kenjaku. If we are not reading too much into this, it would explain why Grandpadori knew Yuji’s strength is exceptional enough to lend a hand to others. So, even if going by the pattern of twists to tropes, is Yuji as special as Maki? Or should I say as ordinary as her?
Another case of Heavenly Restriction?
Does Yuji also possess the power of Heavenly Restriction?
There are way too many similarities to ignore the question lingering at the back of our minds. Yuji did not have cursed energy before consuming Sukuna’s fingers. He also couldn’t see curses before the incident at the school with his senpais. But, he had immense physical strength and senses since the beginning. Not only that, his physical prowess rivaled (pre-awakening) Maki already from Okkotsu’s remark.
The concept of Heavenly Restriction is in the dark for the most part. We don’t know how one receives it or with what or whom the tradeoff takes place. True, we know the basics of it, but is there a pattern to it? Are these blessings (or curses) bestowed since birth, or is there a ritual behind it? Also, for something that sounds so rare, we sure saw a lot of characters with Heavenly Restriction in the story already – Toji, Maki, and Kokichi.
Is there a chance that Yuji also has this ability? It would surely make sense. But if that is the case, what about cursed energy? We know from Maki’s case that as long as Mai’s cursed energy existed in the world, she could never have perfect Heavenly Restriction. So, even the littlest of cursed energy interferes with this condition. Then, how could Yuji use Sukuna’s cursed energy as his own and still retain that prowess?
At any rate, we can’t ascertain the presence or absence of Heavenly Restriction in Yuji’s case just yet. However, we do know something of his birth, leading to another theory.
Yuji, a perfect Cursed Womb: Death Painting experiment?
In chapter 143, we came to know that Yuji’s mother was actually possessed by Kenjaku. Noritoshi Kamo was also a victim of Kenjaku, who used the shaman’s body for vile deeds.
As the reputable shaman, Kenjaku engaged in creating the Cursed Womb: Death Paintings. He forced impregnation and abortion onto a woman nine times in the Meiji era. Going by his current ambitions, it is certain that he was looking for evolution. In the pursuit of all possibilities of humanity, he must have carried out this series of cruel experiments. But, it seems like he either messed up or couldn’t achieve the perfect result.
This line of thought leads us to a question. Is Yuji the culmination of the Cursed Womb: Death Paintings experiment? Believe it or not, Choso did not write this section. However, his reasons to arrive at this conclusion are perfectly valid. More than someone with stitches being involved in both their cases, Choso also felt when Yuji was in danger. This power of his only worked with his siblings. And then there is that memory of the brothers on a picnic too.
So, is Yuji what Kenjaku wanted achieve? There is also the fact that he is the perfect vessel for Sukuna, which is a rare among rare event. We also don’t know what, in particular, did Kenjaku want to achieve by creating the death paintings. Was it only superhuman strength like Yuji has? Or there is more to Yuji that we still have to discover? It is highly suspicious that Kenjaku would infiltrate the Itadori family for simply being a mother, isn’t it?
Does the Itadori family have a hand in Yuji’s strength?
Why did Kenjaku possess Kaori? There is surely some secret Grandpadori wanted Yuji to know before his death. But, being the shounen MC he is, he didn’t want to know about his parents. Only if we had more information on them to give answers to our doubts. Did either of Yuji’s parents possess some genetic traits akin to Choso’s mother? Was that the reason Kenjaku possessed Kaori? Or was Kaori herself someone influential?
Certainly, the Itadori family has more to it than meets the eye. However, there can be another possibility than just the above. We already know that there are a lot of non-shaman families whose kids turn out to be shamans. In some of these cases, there is some distant connection to jujutsu. For example, Okkotsu Yuta – his family are not shamans, but he is a descendant of Sugawara no Michizane. So, what is to say that the Itadori family is also not a simple non-shaman family?
Perhaps Yuji is also an anomaly with his family being related to an ancient figure we are yet to find out about. We must also remember that there are a lot of people who are shamans in non-shaman families randomly too. This fact would also explain how Yuji could see curses from the get-go and how quick he is in learning the use of cursed energy. And some sort of ancestry would also give meaning to Grandpadori’s curse to Yuji.
Now that we went over all the possibilities we could think of; we have another question. Yuji is the perfect vessel for Sukuna because he could control him off the bat. It raised doubts in our minds:
Can Yuji control or suppress Sukuna?
As I mentioned before, Yuji is the perfect vessel for Sukuna. So in short, Yuji will be able to control Sukuna even after eating all 20 fingers. He mentions this to Okkotsu after the Shibuya arc.
Gojo clearly said that someone like Yuji is born only once in thousand years. What makes him so unique? His strength, yes. But is Yuji’s body just different? We already saw that he is abnormal in many ways. And it makes a lot of sense that Kenjaku had a hand in this.
Was he meant to be something like the Star Plasma Vessel? Before the end of the Shibuya Incident, we had only seen these two ‘vessels’ in Jujutsu Kaisen. Did Yuji have some kind of Idle Transfiguration cast upon him to turn him into the perfect vessel? Of course, we don’t know. Sukuna was equally surprised that Yuji could control him.
The only time Sukuna could control Yuji’s body was at Shibuya. Yuji couldn’t take the overwhelming power of being force-fed a huge number of fingers at once. Then too, Sukuna could control Yuji’s body only for a small length of time.
There is also the fact that the story revolves around soul and body a lot. The Star Plasma Vessel merges with Tengen – essentially resulting in an erasure. But Yuji has two souls; surely, being able to house two conscious souls at once is also a special feat. In fact, Sukuna had to establish a binding vow with Yuji to take control of his body.
In short, Yuji is just built different. We don’t know how or why. Our obliviousness to the answer frustrates us as much as Yuji’s ability frustrates Sukuna. But the above-listed possibilities might be the reason why Yuji can control Sukuna. Can this ability hint to the usual trope of the antagonist and hero becoming friends though?
Will Yuji become even stronger?
To put it in one word, yes.
When Gojo was training Yuji, he said that Yuji did not have a cursed technique yet. But over time, Sukuna’s techniques will imbue in him. Meaning, Yuji would be able to use them in the future. If that is the case, it would be pretty insane. Sukuna has one of the most fearsome abilities and Yuji’s ability to use it would be beneficial.
Even post-Shibuya, we get another affirmation of Yuji’s growth. After Yuji said that he is fine even after getting hit with Mahito’s Black Flash, Choso’s reaction is of relief. But, he also notes that he can feel Sukuna’s strength growing. When Yuji fights the curses in Tokyo, our nii-chan says that Yuji is “a demon god” now.
That MIGHT be a biased opinion though, Choso just loves his brothers too much. But it is no lie that Yuji is becoming more and more adept at using cursed energy. Not only that, but he is also using his physical prowess to complement using cursed energy. It is but expected from Gojo’s pupil, no? He said that Yuji is one of those people who can surpass Gojo himself someday! Naturally, Yuji will continue to grow every moment like he did until now.
Some interesting speculations
Before writing this article, I wanted to know what the fandom thinks about why Itadori is so strong. Thus, I delved into the Jujutsu Kaisen Reddit, and well. I came across some interesting thoughts people have. Take a look at this one, for example:
Damn. Gods and all, huh? Someone is truly reading a lot of Nihonshoki it seems. And then there is this theory too:
Yuji is a CURSED spirit of KINDNESS. To be honest, even I have had a thought that positive emotions must also play some role in Jujutsu Kaisen. But making Yuji into a spirit..hmm. Quite intriguing. If that was far-reaching for you, we also have some hyper-realists.
Can’t say no to this; Todo is Todo. If it is about Todo, it must be right. Randomly strong for the win!
Yuji’s strength is not just amazing for a human; it is beyond normal human levels. Jujutsu Kaisen had made it a point to show us Yuji’s skills early. That and his grandfather’s parting words to Yuji make us wonder about Yuji’s strength. Not to mention that Kenjaku was Yuji’s mother too. All this lies behind speculating why Itadori is so strong. The fandom has its own theories, of course. And so, these are our takes on the possibilities that may lie behind Yuji’s strength:
- It is a generic shounen manga trope.
- Yuji is the perfect Cursed Womb: Death Painting experiment by Kenjaku.
- Our protagonist also possesses Heavenly Restriction like Toji and Maki.
- The Itadori family has some relation to jujutsu.
Yuji’s superhuman strength surely had something behind it. At least we are hoping it does. xD His extraordinary body might also be why he can control Sukuna. He is the perfect vessel for the fearsome curse, indeed. Moreover, according to Gojo and Choso’s testimony, Yuji will keep growing in the future.
Well, what do you think of these theories? Did you also think about some of these? Or do you disagree with some? Let us know in the comments!