Hidden Inventory is a very significant arc of Jujutsu Kaisen. Not only it gives substantial characterization to Geto Suguru, but it also proves how the butterfly effect works. Perhaps every element from this arc turned into a crucial plot point later (Chekhov is happily smiling in his grave). And one such event with a major impact is Amanai Riko’s death.
If you are here, you probably already know that this article contains major manga spoilers. Proceed with caution.
Despite being a minor character, Riko Amanai’s death severely affected the strongest duo, Geto and Gojo. And thus began a chain of events that would change the entire jujutsu world. Just thinking of that makes it imperative for us to know more about Riko, her death, and more. We begin with the fundamental question:
Who was Riko Amanai?
Riko Amanai was the Star Plasma Vessel in the Hidden Inventory arc. She was an ordinary schoolgirl, but still quite un-ordinary. As the Star Plasma Vessel, she was supposed to merge with Master Tengen in 2006. Every 500 years, Tengen needed to change bodies with a compatible vessel. A merger with Tengen would erase Riko’s existence.
Riko had lost her parents in a car crash when she was 4. Misato Kuroi, whose family looked over Star Plasma Vessels through the ages, took care of Riko until her merger. To Geto and Gojo’s surprise, Riko didn’t mind merging with Tengen. However, her mindset changed right before the merger. She wanted to live with her friends and not die. That did not work out, though.
Is Riko dead?
Yes, unfortunately, Riko is dead. Toji Fushiguro – the poster boy of destruction – killed her. It was heartbreaking for both Geto and us to witness Riko dying right after she picked freedom.
Ever since the time for the merger came around, Q and Star Religious Group were hunting her. Both of these organizations didn’t want Tengen to merge with Riko. Q was easily defeated by Geto and Gojo as soon as they reached Riko. However, the Star Religious Group had a trump card on their hand: Toji Fushiguro.
Toji came up with the most thorough plan to kill not just Riko but also everyone with her. He set up for Geto and Gojo to be on guard 24×7, effectively draining them. And he struck his attack as soon as they thought they were safe in Jujutsu High. Ironically, someone (A MONKEY!) with no cursed energy nearly killed the two strongest shamans. But, this cold-blooded kill of a schoolgirl had a considerable impact.
Riko Amanai’s death is a pivotal moment for Jujutsu Kaisen
Riko Amanai’s death was a crucial checkpoint for her escorts – Geto and Gojo. The way they reacted was utterly different, as suited to their personalities depicted early on. Gojo shoved aside the emotional aspect and focused on Reverse Cursed Technique even while dying all to defeat Toji. Gojo became the perfect version of himself and THE strongest shaman in existence.
On the other hand, Geto’s mindset took a huge setback and became an essential factor in his spiral into madness. Leaving shamanism. he became a curse user and decided to eradicate all “monkeys.” And, eventually, he died with the mad vision only he could see at the hands of Gojo. Well, more on Geto further.
Contrary to Yuki’s information that Tengen found another Star Plasma Vessel, no merger happened that day. Tengen failed to merge with a compatible body, and he ‘ascended’ to a higher state. He became one with the world. More shockingly, he became the target of Geto’s Cursed Spirit Manipulation.
When we talk of that, Geto’s death allowed Kenjaku (Brain-kun) to take over Geto’s body. This event was the worst effect of Riko’s death. Kenjaku single-handedly managed to outdo all other antagonists of Jujutsu Kaisen.
As Geto, he directed the cursed spirits to do his bidding while pretending to be on their side. His plans led to Gojo getting sealed in the Prison Realm and the loss of many people – both shamans and humans. But, more importantly, Kenjaku could also kick off his cruel Culling Games.
It seems like Riko’s death was a massive blessing to Kenjaku. A single death began a game of dominoes, taking one thing after another down. It also changed the face of the jujutsu world by rendering Gojo useless at an urgent hour of need. The very existence of Gojo changed the scales of power – and so his absence had a huge backfire as well. Essentially, most of what we see in the story right now can be traced back to some element or the other from Riko’s death.
I wonder if even Toji knew the consequences of his actions. Or was he just too drunk on the idea of defeating Gojo to see anything else? That brings us to another question:
What if Riko Amanai had not died?
If you are wondering if Riko had not died, Geto wouldn’t have gone rogue. And ONLY if Geto hadn’t gone rogue, right? I hate to break it to you but Geto’s madness was an amalgamation of more things than just Riko’s death. So, her death or not, Geto would have gone insane at some point in his life as a shaman.
In a similar fashion, nearly all the things that happened due to Riko’s death would HAVE happened regardless. Perhaps they would have just been postponed. Gojo was destined to become the strongest shaman (hell, he already was) and he would awaken without Riko’s death too. What a tragic pair of best friends, ouch.
It seems that Kenjaku had also planned his steps for a long time. So, Riko’s survival would have probably delayed them too in line with Geto’s downfall. Although it is suspicious that Kenjaku found just the perfect host to carry out his plans. And just at the perfect time when Mahito was alive. AND when the curses were all gathered to achieve their goals.
Another suspicious thing is that there was practically no repercussion from the higher-ups when Gojo and Geto failed their mission. If Tengen plays such a huge role in jujutsu, there should’ve been more to the aftermath for Geto and Gojo personally. But, nope.
So, if Riko had not died, it would’ve simply meant someone else’s death. Riko just happened to be the unfortunate one. Along with Geto and Gojo. *seethes* However, an important part that might have been avoided is Tengen becoming like a curse. He is in a perilous situation right now, because Kenjaku can absorb him anytime.
In my opinion, Riko’s survival would not have affected anything significantly. There would have been another Riko but I also believe there were a lot of factors that played into why all this happened. If Riko had not died, all we could have as Jujutsu Kaisen fans was a little more emotional stability, I guess. She was merely a very unfortunate child who died for absolutely nothing – and some morons stood clapping upon seeing her dead body.
OK, time to cry again.
These were just my thoughts. Do you have a different opinion about Riko’s death? Trust me, I am very interested in knowing it. So, spill the tea in the comment box!