It seems that the tears for Jujutsu Kaisen fans don’t stop at all. We have been crying since the Hidden Inventory arc, and JJK chapter 152 just piled more anguish on us. And that too for multiple reasons. Trust me; I would rather put the OST on loop and re-read the manga right now. But, let’s have a word on this incredible chapter Akutami left us for a while (more on that later too).
The adrenaline rush of the last couple of chapters finally came to a grim end in JJK chapter 152. When I tell you this chapter was nothing I expected it to be, I really mean it. The chapter also made a fear I had come to a realization, and well, I am still processing it. Here we go, though:
Two short (but fated) reunions
I never thought I would see Maki meeting her mother after a gruesome battle. But, on second thought, it makes sense. Mai’s wish to destroy everything most definitely encompassed not just the extended “family,” but also their parents. It seemed like Ougi had slandered and cornered the girls throughout their lives and also blamed them for his failure to become the clan head. But, their mother had quite possibly failed (or did not try) to protect them.
Was she embarrassed of giving birth to them? Probably. But the jiffy of flashback showed us that she was happy to have Maki and Mai. Then, what really happened? Did the Zen’in clan force her to abandon them? Or maybe it was Ougi? Honestly, this is something they could actually do.
Maki’s mother’s actions before she entered the warehouse of cursed tools were pretty weird, though! Did she want to stop Maki so that she could protect her? But, that was too feeble of a reaction to be called love or care, even if we assume she was applying reverse psychology or something. Also, the last line she said about Maki not making her proud was a direct contradiction of her saying she was happy to have the twins in JJK chapter 152.
Well, at any rate, it was a very out-of-the-blue interaction. The way Maki addressed her was weird too, did she know her mother loved Maki and Mai? And if that indeed is the case, what really went down between them? We directly cut to the next scene with a bloody Maki’s mother approaching a nearly-dead Naoya.
Maki handing over Mai’s body to Nishimiya actually moved me. She had defended Mai’s actions in the school event arc and cared about her a lot. It was also heartbreaking that Maki knew she couldn’t grieve, let alone hold onto Mai’s corpse. Nishimiya understood Mai more than anyone else, I think. Even though Mai pretended like she did not need care or affection, but she was a scared child too. It is just miserable that Nishimiya had to reunite with a long-gone Mai and dead-on-the-inside Maki. *wipes tears*
Coming back to Maki and Mai’s mother, we saw a different “fight” in JJK chapter 152:
Okaa-san no chikara vs. Naoya
JJK chapter 152 was just so?? full of?? surprises?? I never thought an antagonist like Naoya would die (is he dead, though?) at the hands of MAKI’S MOTHER of all the people in the story. I had said in the review for JJK chapter 151 that a punch would definitely not have taken Naoya out. And I was actually excited to see his reappearance later in the Culling Game.
But I was disappointed. I would be lying if I said he didn’t deserve to die but not in this way. What exactly pushed Maki’s mother to stab him? And that too in such an injured state? Until now, there was no preface or basis for this action, and it was so sudden.
Really, I don’t see any clue that hinted at this action by Maki’s mother. It will be a different story if Akutami somehow manages to justify this action and provide an adequate backstory. We have seen it happen with Geto Suguru’s actions in Jujutsu Kaisen 0, so I am not throwing the possibility out of the window yet.
Another possibility I am not throwing out the window just yet is that Naoya is alive. He took ONE punch from Maki, who was already crumbling under fatigue, and he became unable to protect himself from a stab? And that too an ordinary weapon? I smell something suspicious. The way things informing the death of the Zen’ins were phrased at the end of the chapter were fishy too. It seemed like trying to hide something. But, anyway.
Mai’s death really did wreck the entire Zen’in clan! I feel bad for Megumi; he must be the clan head for the shortest time in history. Heh. But the Gojo and Kamo clan were pretty quick to ask for doing away with the Zen’ins. This downfall is surely bound to have a deep impact on jujutsu society.
The time is especially critical because Japan needs all the shaman manpower it can muster right now. We will have to see how and where the story goes now that the Gojo clan has made some movement. Are they against Satoru or with him? Who knows!
JJK after chapter 152 & the hiatus
EVERYTHING IS MOVING TOO FAST! There, I said it! We have barely breathed since the latter half of the Hidden Inventory arc in the manga. Jujutsu Kaisen is moving too fast.
When Akutami began with the politics of the Zen’in family (and even hinted at possible internal conflicts), I was very happy. We know next to nothing of the big 3 families of jujutsu. The way they are revered and represented intrigued me to no extent. Naoya was the poster boy of conflict and while I hate him as a person, he is (was?) a GREAT character. He is a variable who admires Toji and Gojo, but hates Maki and Megumi. The sheer possibilities and potential to this character made me excited.
But just as I was hoping to write an article on politics, poof! The entire clan is DUST. Just like that! See, I am not saying that Maki did the wrong thing. I loved how she gave the perfect retribution to the Zen’ins who deserved it. But, we hopped from power struggles to massacre to a bleak murder too quick. Jujutsu Kaisen has always been quick, but lately, the story seems to be flying.
If you think I am a JJK anti, you’re wrong. I definitely adore the story and characters. But there has been some impact lacking in the recent chapters, story-wise. And this is coming from someone who trusts Akutami to deliver a lot. JJK chapter 152 left me utterly confused. Sure, it was only 9 pages (cries) but it was truly confusing. What just happened? While writing this review, I was wondering what opinion do I even have on this.
That aside, I also really hope Naoya is not dead yet. But if he is, this will perhaps be the first time we will be extremely disappointed with a character’s death, no? Masamichi Yaga’s death also seemed a little rushed to a certain part of the fandom, but the way the entire Zen’in clan arc just zoomed past doesn’t sit right with me.
I hate to say it, but I think Akutami actually needed this hiatus as a break, if not recuperation. Chapter 150 already had the fandom talking of the rough art. But, this chapter actually made me think that weekly manga is indeed a challenging task to keep up with. I sincerely hope Akutami gets better and returns with an even fresher mind to work on the story. Until then, fellow Jujutsu Kaisen enthusiasts, let’s re-read the manga and cry ourselves to sleep.
Well, these were my thoughts on JJK chapter 152. What are yours? Do you think Naoya is dead? Comment below, and see you in a month (hopefully)!
JJK Chapter 163: Deception, Confrontation, And Rejection
JJK Chapter 162: Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!
JJK Chapter 161: Slow Burn Start Of The Culling Game
JJK Chapter 160: Kenjaku’s Stint Before The Culling Game!
JJK Chapter 159: Higuruma’s Past & A JoJo Reference!
JJK Chapter 158 Brings New Updates To The Game!