Okkotsu Yuuta is clearly a different person from others in Jujutsu Kaisen. Whether he is cursed or blessed due to his unique trait is up to each one of us to decide. But, everyone can agree that he has a significant role in the story.
The stellar character disappeared after Jujutsu Kaisen vol. 0 but re-emerged out of nowhere in Chapter 137. However, it was not in the way we wanted. And him calling out to Rika after the events of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 was even more surprising. Who is Rika? What happened to her? Let’s take a look!
Who is Rika Orimoto?
Rika is a special grade cursed spirit who accompanies Okkotsu Yuuta. She initially goes against anyone threatening Yuuta. Eventually, Yuuta learns to control her powers and make her fight at his will.
But Rika was not a cursed spirit earlier, nor was she supposed to be alive in the current arc. Then what happened?
Okkotsu Yuuta cherished his childhood friend, Rika Orimoto. They shared a special connection and believed they loved each other. Rika gifts Yuuta a ring on his birthday and on a childhood whim, they promise to get married when they grow up.
Unfortunately, shortly after this promise to stay together, Rika meets with a car accident and succumbs to her death.
She turns into an extremely powerful special-grade curse that haunts Okkotsu Yuuta. She attacks anyone who threatens Yuuta and stuffed four bullies into the school locker.
Due to Rika’s presence, Yuuta thinks he deserves to die and agrees to his execution by Jujutsu authorities. He even tries to kill himself in isolation.
But with no ties to sorcery in her family, how did she turn into such a strong curse?
What happened to Rika?
It turns out that the one who cursed Yuuta was not Rika; it was the other way around. Yuuta did not want Rika to die and inadvertently cursed her to turn into a cursed spirit. By doing so he formed a contract with her, which bound her to him.
During his death match against Geto; Yuuta promises to be with Rika forever in exchange for drawing more cursed energy to kill Geto. In this process, Yuuta unknowingly severs the contract that tied Rika to him and finally frees her.
Before disappearing to the other side. Rika comforts Yuuta, who was blaming himself for cursing her and nearly killing many people. She says the six years she spent next to Yuuta were her happiest, giving Yuuta some hope. Her body disintegrates slowly, telling us she was dispelled.
If all this happened, who is the Rika in Chapter 137?
Did Rika come back?
All of us were equally surprised when Okkotsu called Rika in the latest chapter. With the entire fandom began speculating about her, here are a few theories we have.
Rika came back of her free will
After Rika was set free, maybe she decided to return to Okkotsu’s side of her free will to support him in battles. After all, she knows Okkotsu the best from all the years she spent by his side.
However, a flaw with this line of thought is that only vengeful spirits turn into cursed spirits. Rika was a fairly good spirit who had fulfilled her role even over her death. She was not vengeful, neither did she have cursed energy to voluntarily turn into a cursed spirit. Could she have somehow been corrupted? It is highly unlikely.
Okkotsu Yuuta has another cursed spirit
The next theory speculates that Yuuta mastered his odd ability to have cursed spirits at his side. Using this skill, he decided to keep a cursed spirit and named it “Rika” either for convenience or intentionally. Yuuta already learned to use the katana to channel a cursed spirit’s energy. So he probably thought it would be useful to have a cursed spirit.
He could direct this curse to carry out major tasks while he focuses on other things. This is also in line with what we saw in Chapter 137 (see panel above). It seems like Okkotsu did not directly exorcise the spirit, but something or someone else he called Rika did.
But then chapter 141 of Jujutsu Kaisen raises new doubts in our minds.
Did Yuta create a copy of Rika?
In chapter 141, the prequel’s star made another startling appearance. Indeed the new ‘Rika’ also grabbed Yuji to protect Yuta like the old one. The new Rika looks very similar to the Rika of earlier. We can even be confused if this is the same Rika, but there is another possibility.
We already saw that Okkotsu can ‘copy’ cursed techniques and make them his own. He did so in the prequel with Inumaki’s cursed speech which is very difficult to learn.
So, did he create a new Rika based on his memory? After all, the earlier manifestation of Rika was nothing but Yuta’s own cursed energy! Is it possible that he copied Rika’s powers and made a new cursed spirit? It also makes sense why he calls her Rika.
This possibility can also explain why the new Rika behaves like the old one. The scene with Yuji is quite a contrast to Yuta’s first meeting with Maki, Inumaki, and Panda. Rika appeared to protect Yuta, and he was as scared as Yuji is in this chapter.
He has also learned some other abilities; it seems so. He can store weapons in Rika now. This way, it is very convenient for him in fights against powerful curses or shamans like Yuji.
Another interesting fact is Yuji’s reaction to Rika’s appearance. Despite all his training and acute senses, the first thing he calls Rika is a shikigami. Now, Gojo gave Yuji training against shikigami users, and Megumi is also one of them.
So, it is natural that he must know how to differentiate between curses and shikigami.
However, what if Yuta has also learned the shikigami technique? We also saw Megumi discuss how he can store weapons using his ability, and Yuta does so too. In fact, one of Megumi’s shikigami is a cursed spirit, Mahogara. Rika’s sudden appearance and his reaction can fit into place here.
What do you think happened to Okkotsu and Rika over time? Has Okkotsu acquired an ability that would help him surpass Gojo? Let us know in the comments!