A person we least expected to meet after the horrific Shibuya Incident is the heir of the Zen’in clan. Naoya Zen’in seemed likable in appearance, but as soon as he opened his mouth, the fandom threw him out of the window.
He is a power-hungry, misogynistic, and presumptuous person. What is worse is that he nearly became the 27th head of the Zen’in clan.
However, Naoya’s glee was short-lived as the entirety of Naobito’s will gave him a shock. It declared an unknown outsider – Megumi Fushiguro – as the next head! And, of course, it was unacceptable to Naoya.
He immediately decided to hunt down Megumi via Yuji. He reached there before Megumi did and slyly colluded with Yuji’s executioner Okkotsu.
With chapter 141 bringing us the clash between Choso and Naoya, it finally told us what Naoya’s technique is. Well, somewhat. What is it? Let’s find out!
What is Naoya’s cursed technique?
Naoya Zen’in’s cursed technique is the Projection Technique, just like his father Naobito Zen’in’s.
Naoya is a Special Grade 1 sorcerer, just like the other Zen’in family members. As soon as he begins fighting Yuji and Choso, they notice one thing: Naoya is fast. Well, guess what his father’s title was? The fastest jujutsu sorcerer after Gojo Satoru.
However, it was unclear just what gave him this speed until chapter 141. Naoya engages in a fight with Choso as his opponent and warns him too. This battle finally gave us an insight into his cursed technique. As soon as his palm touches Choso, we see a frame generated. And in the next panel, we see Choso crashing into a wall.
The above occurrence is very similar to what we saw in Naobito’s fight against Dagon and Jogo. In chapter 142, Naoya confirms that he has the projection technique, just like his father Naobito Zen’in.
It seems that Naoya’s technique is an inherited one. So, to understand Naoya’s technique, we have to understand Naobito’s technique. Naobito’s fight in the Shibuya Incident is the only insight we have into the Projection Technique. And this technique is a bit complex to comprehend.
What is the Projection Technique?
The Projection Technique gives a shaman the ability to divide each second into ‘frames’ and to trace a pre-determined sequence of movements through it.
What does this essentially mean? For ease of understanding, let’s understand it from Naobito’s point of view. Naobito had a 24-frames per second (fps) Projection Technique in the Shibuya Incident.
So, in Naobito’s mind, 1 second is divided into 24 sets of pre-determined movements which he decides. In this one second, he carries through these pre-determined movements, skipping frames as he wishes.
Hypothetically, let’s say he has to run to a spot 240 meters away. Now, he can divide this entire motion into running 10 meters in every frame. In one second, he will be at his final destination.
But what if he skips directly to the 11th frame? In 1/11th of a second, he will be at 110 meters without his opponent’s comprehension. Thus, an illusion of ‘speed’ is generated in his opponent’s mind.
The sorcerer has to have good sense of movement and strategical positioning in order to visualise a predetermined set of movements accurately. This is also what helps the sorcerer create the illusion of speed.
It is an amazing technique that applies basic rules of videos to fighting. But this technique has another advantage. If Naobito’s palm touches anything in his surroundings, it is also tied to his cursed ability. An inability to keep up with 24 fps movement freezes the opponent.
What does that mean? Let us go to another example: Naobito fighting Dagon.
While fighting Dagon, he activates his technique and makes sure Dagon comes into contact with him. This activation causes Dagon to be dragged into the 24 fps rule as well.
Now, just like Naobito, he also has to think of his movement in the next second as 24 frames, rather than a single fluid one. But, of course, since he doesn’t know the cursed technique, he froze. The absence of knowledge of his technique gives Naobito an upper hand.
Limitations of Projection Technique
Every coin has two sides, so a few limitations bind the Projection Technique too. It is also not an unbeatable technique though it gave Naobito the status of a Special Grade 1 shaman.
The biggest downside of the Projection Technique is painfully obvious. It involves a pre-determined set of movements. This fact dictates that the user cannot change their projectile once they started it.
If Naobito decided to run 240 meters away and started doing it, he cannot stop until all 24 frames are done with. He has to fulfill his movements, even if a bomb appears at his final destination.
Adding to the above fact, the user cannot defy the laws of physics. Even if the user wants to move at lightspeed, they can’t because the human body will not take that speed.
The shaman can also not do impossible things like cross walls or go through their opponent. The movements should be rational and limited to what the user can take.
Another limitation is that the shaman using this technique has to be extremely perceptive and agile. The user has to predict where and how the opponent will appear and use their techniques.
And based on the above prediction, they have to counter with a set of movements in a very short period of time. This technique helps dodge and run, but the shaman should also be powerful enough to land hits using it. Without physical prowess, this technique is no good on the offense.
Once the opponent sees through this technique, it is possible to counter it. In fact, Jogo did so in the Shibuya incident. He used a Disaster Flame attack that fatally wounded Naobito.
Is Naoya’s technique different from Naobito’s?
Well, the bigger question is if Naoya is any different. His inherited technique is likely to be similar to Naobito’s. However, there is a possibility that Naoya is the user of an ‘upgraded’ version of the Projection Technique.
Assuming that is so, let’s see what it entails.
In his first clash against Choso and Yuji, Naoya thinks to himself about increasing his speed. This small thought tells us that the shaman can perhaps decide the frames per second he wants.
Now, we know that the speed is more of an illusion created by skipping frames. So, what if Naoya can actually project his movements into 60 fps rather than 24?
The availability of more frames means Naoya can skip more frames if he wants. But that also means putting himself at the risk of having more pre-determined movements. In fact, Naoya may not even have achieved a 60 fps rate yet.
The previous fact does not mean that Naoya cannot progress towards it, though. He may be developing towards it over time. If that is so, it also ties in with the ‘rant’ Naobito has in chapter 107 of the manga.
If Naoya indeed develops the perception level of Naobito and excellency in the technique, he can be the fastest shaman too. At any rate, currently it looks like Choso will be having a bit of hard time dealing with Naoya.
What do you think of this ability? Let us know in the comments after reading chapter 141 on Viz! We will keep this article updated with new revelations!