Jujutsu Kaisen Life Lessons
Warning: Jujutsu Kaisen spoilers ahead.
Eating fingers and fighting cursed spirits? When I first heard of Jujutsu Kaisen, I wondered if anything could get weirder than the giant naked humanoids in Attack On Titan. It seems that Jujutsu Kaisen’s protagonist Itadori Yuji is here to prove that point right, after I watched him swallow a preserved finger of a demon named Sukuna right from the very first episode.
The anime follows Yuji’s story, who unexpectedly becomes a vessel to contain Sukuna after consuming his finger. Yuji then embarks on his journey to become a Jujutsu sorcerer and meets many more evil curses along the way. FYI, Jujutsu sorcerers are trained individuals who exorcise cursed spirits and protect humanity from them. Sounds like a dangerous AF job if you ask me.
Jujutsu Kaisen’s perfect blend of intense action and lighthearted comedy scenes is what makes this anime so enjoyable to watch. Every episode ends with a fun sketch called Juju Scroll that gives us behind-the-scenes of the characters’ daily lives. While there’s no need for us to battle cursed spirits on a daily basis, Jujutsu Kaisen has taught us many life lessons that we can apply to our personal life. Let’s take a look back at season 1’s highlights while we eagerly wait for the next season to drop.
1. Use your strength to help others whenever you can
Yuji visiting his grandfather at the hospital
From the first episode, we’re introduced to Yuji’s hard-headed grandfather who appeared to be hospitalised for quite some time. Though he yells at Yuji a lot, Yuji knows that he cares deeply about him as his only family member. Just before passing away, Yuji’s grandfather tells him “you’re a strong kid, so help others. As far as you can go, if you can, try to save them.”
When a cursed spirit attacked Yuji’s school seniors, these words rang in his head. Wanting to honour his grandfather’s last request, he ran back to school to save them. His bravery taught us that we should always help those in need whenever we can. Yuji didn’t know anything about cursed spirits back then, but he lent his strength without expecting anything in return.
2. Know your purpose before embarking on a new journey
Principal Yaga questioning Yuji’s intentions
Entering Tokyo Jujutsu High School for the first time, Yuji met the principal, Masamichi Yaga. Principal Yaga questioned why Yuji wanted to be a Jujutsu sorcerer, to which Yuji simply replied “it’s someone’s last request, who cares about the details?”
However, Principal Yaga was unsatisfied with his answer and told him that he failed the entrance test to the school. He made use of his curse dolls to attack Yuji until he could figure out his purpose of coming to Jujutsu High.
Yuji making up his mind after being attacked by the cursed dolls
Yuji was beaten up badly by the cursed dolls and forced to reflect on his actions. He eventually realised that he wanted to save people because he possessed the power to contain Sukuna. If there were more deaths caused by Sukuna in the future because he decided to walk away, he would feel responsible for them.
After this realisation, Yuji declared, “I don’t know what happens when I die, but I don’t want to regret the way I lived!” This experience taught Yuji that it’s important to know your goal and purpose before starting on something new. We should do things for ourselves rather than for someone else, as only then we can grow during the process.
3. Be confident in yourself and your skills
Nobara completing a mission with Yuji
Alongside Yuji and Megumi, Nobara Kugisaki completes the Jujutsu High freshmen trio with her bold and confident personality. As an experienced Jujutsu sorcerer, Nobara isn’t afraid to be herself, even putting Yuji in his place when he doubted her abilities while on their first mission together.
When Yuji questioned why she came to Jujutsu High, Nobara revealed that she’s here because she lives for herself and wants to be true to her goals. Even when battling a special grade curse towards the end of season 1, Nobara didn’t hesitate to stab herself with her nails to activate her cursed technique. Her unwavering self-confidence in her skills is what makes her so admirably strong.
4. Everybody deserves to be treated with respect
Yuji and Megumi arguing over Tadashi’s body
During a mission at a juvenile detention centre, the freshmen trio discovered a dead man with the name tag “Tadashi” on his shirt. Yuji recalled seeing a lady crying outside of the building, loudly begging for someone to save her son named Tadashi. Thus, Yuji was insistent on bringing her son’s body back for her.
However, Megumi refused and coldly stated that doing so would slow down their mission. Prior to coming to the detention centre, Megumi found out that Tadashi was a second-time offender of driving without a license and running over a young child. He felt that Tadashi didn’t deserve to be saved because of this, which led to an argument between the 2 boys.
Megumi delivering Tadashi’s name tag to his mother
After Yuji’s death (we know that he doesn’t actually die here), Megumi realised that nobody deserved such a cruel death of being ripped apart by cursed spirits even if they committed crimes. Everyone should be treated with respect, even in death. Megumi regretted scorning Tadashi’s body just by thinking about the possible harm he might have caused if he was still alive.
Though Megumi couldn’t retrieve the body in the end, he ended up keeping Tadashi’s name tag and personally delivering it to his mother.
5. Take responsibility for your choices and live with no regrets
Yuji having flashbacks of his past actions
While fighting a losing battle against a special grade curse, Yuji feared for his life and started having flashbacks of his decision to become a Jujutsu sorcerer. He began to regret this choice, thinking to himself, “if only I hadn’t picked up that finger back then… if I hadn’t eaten it… I want to run away. I don’t want to die.”
Yuji channeling cursed energy into his fist for the first time
In the midst of his self-depreciation, Yuji suddenly remembered his grandfather’s last words again and cried. Drawing strength from his vow to Principal Yaga to live with no regrets, he managed to channel cursed energy into his fist for the first time.
Yuji’s internal battle with himself, and eventually pushing aside his doubts, taught us to take responsibility for our choices. We shouldn’t give up and dwell on the “what-ifs”, but go through each day fighting towards our goal.
6. Stand up for what you believe in even when others push you down
Kyoto Jujutsu High’s principal, Yoshinobu Gakuganji, threatening Gojo
As a carefree and fun sensei, Gojo Satoru strongly believes in the strength of all his students and wants to bring out the best in them. He places a lot of hope in Yuji, who had succeeded in being Sukuna’s vessel.
However, despite being the most powerful Jujutsu sorcerer to exist, the higher-ups of Jujutsu High hate Gojo because of their traditional customs and beliefs. They want Yuji to be killed as they see him as a threat, refusing to listen to Gojo, even if it means something positive can come from the risk of training Yuji.
Gojo arguing with Principal Gakuganji
Despite being silenced and pushed down, Gojo thinks the world of curses is changing and everyone must adapt to it. He isn’t afraid to make it clear to the higher-ups that he will continue to go against them, even if they refuse to acknowledge him.
It’s hard to continue doing what you believe in when you don’t receive any support. But Gojo shows us the importance of having confidence to stand up for ourselves, especially when people try to push you down.
7. Seeking revenge is never the answer to solve pain
Junpei crying because he doesn’t know what to do
In one of Yuji’s missions, he meets Junpei, a young boy who doesn’t go to school often because he suffers from intense bullying. Due to this, he hates his bullies and was manipulated by a cursed spirit named Mahito to seek revenge by killing them. Junpei also believed that his bullies were responsible for his mother’s death.
When confronted by Yuji, Junpei bursts into tears and says he can’t differentiate between what’s right or wrong anymore since he’s filled with hatred.
Flashback of Junpei enjoying dinner with his mother and Yuji
Yuji reminds Junpei that he can never go back to the carefree days he spent with his mother once he starts killing. In his attempt to stop Junpei, he asks, “is it worth throwing away that life you have?”
Junpei began to regret his actions after stabbing Yuji who was trying to save him. Even in pain, Yuji convinced him to let go of his hatred and become a Jujutsu sorcerer. However, it was too late, as Mahito had caught up to them and transfigured Junpei’s soul, revealing that he was using Junpei all along.
No matter how much hatred and pain we feel, revenge should never be the answer because we’ll never be satisfied with ourselves. Junpei managed to realise that and find peace in his last moments before he died.
8. The best decision isn’t always the right one
Sukuna laughing at Yuji for begging him for help
Mahito reshaped Junpei’s soul, turning him into a gruesome cursed spirit to attack Yuji. In his desperation to save Junpei, Yuji ends up begging Sukuna for help, claiming that he’ll let him do anything in exchange for this favour. At that point of time, it seemed like the best option as Yuji was confident that Sukuna could do it. After all, Sukuna previously restored Yuji’s heart and brought him back to life.
However, Sukuna didn’t want to be involved and laughed at Yuji for begging him so pathetically. Yuji undergoes a horrified realisation that Sukuna is ultimately an evil curse who has no reason to help him since he’s caged in Yuji’s body.
Yuji delivering a successful blow against Mahito
While getting Sukuna’s help felt like the only option to Yuji, he eventually managed to find his own strength to fight Mahito instead. Though it was too late for him to save Junpei, he succeeded in striking Mahito.
Yuji’s harsh awakening in this scene taught us that sometimes the best decision isn’t always the right one. While it seemed that he could rely on Sukuna at first, true strength came from within himself, rather than depending on someone else to save him.
9. Create the best version of yourself beyond your social expectations
Maki declaring to come back as the head of the Zenin clan
As a descendant of the Zenin clan, one of the greatest sorcerer families, Maki Zenin was born with no cursed technique and cannot see curses unless she’s wearing special glasses. From birth, her twin sister Mai and her were regarded as a “bad omen” to the family. They were given the role as slaves, destined to serve the eldest son in the house forever.
When she grew up, Maki decided to leave the Zenin clan to hone her skills, declaring to come back as the head of the clan some day. After hearing this, the eldest son laughed in her face. Maki also had to sacrifice her close bond with Mai by leaving her behind, yet she was determined to seek her goal.
When the twins met each other at the Kyoto Goodwill Event, Maki told Mai that if she were to stay as a servant forever, she would “grow to hate herself”. Despite not having any cursed power, Maki is now one of the strongest combat fighters in Jujutsu High.
Panda telling Mechamaru that he is happy with himself
Similarly, Panda is a cursed corpse originally born with no emotions, created by Principal Yaga. From young, he trained hard to be a jujutsu sorcerer and grew to become kind to his friends. While fighting against Mechamaru who mocked him for not being human, Panda says that he has never considered himself to be the same as humans, nor has he been jealous.
Panda understands that Mechamaru is going through the same struggles as him for never being acknowledged as a “proper” human being. He respects humans for possessing qualities that he can never have, but he is satisfied with himself the way he is.
Both Maki and Panda have shown that we may be born into a set of stereotypes and expectations that oppresses us from achieving our dreams. However, as tough as it seems, we can always find the courage to break out of them and live the way we want.
10. Let go of negative emotions that may hinder you from success
Aoi explaining why Yuji was unable to succeed
When Yuji confronted a cursed spirit at the Kyoto Goodwill Event, he felt an overwhelming sense of anger from seeing Megumi badly injured. Yuji also found out that the cursed spirit was in alliance with Mahito, who had killed Junpei. This had resulted in him recklessly attempting to land a new powerful attack known as Black Flash.
However, Yuji failed in his first attempt. Aoi, who was watching the fight, took Yuji aside and slapped him hard, scolding him for letting his emotions overcome him. Aoi reminded Yuji that sometimes Jujutsu sorcerers lose without managing to show their true strength because their own anger disrupts their cursed energy.
Yuji succeeding in doing Black Flash
After listening to Aoi, Yuji attempted Black Flash again through channeling intense concentration and controlling his emotions. He eventually succeeded in doing Black Flash 4 times in a row, the same number of times as Nanami, who holds the record for being the only Jujutsu sorcerer who had done so.
It’s okay to experience anger and sadness sometimes, as we’re human after all. But we should control and let go of these negative emotions if they are holding us back from achieving our goals.
Jujutsu Kaisen Is Full Of Action Scenes & Life Lessons We Can Apply To Daily Life
Whether you’re a full time weeb or a beginner who’s venturing into the world of anime, these Jujutsu Kaisen life lessons can serve as key learning points for anybody to take away. I never thought I would say this, but I’m excited for Yuji to consume more of Sukuna’s fingers so that he can grow as a Jujutsu sorcerer both mentally and physically.
Though Jujutsu Kaisen season 1 ended in March earlier this year, the UNIQLO Jujutsu Kaisen collection and the upcoming movie trailer has us hyped for more action. You can head over to Netflix to watch all 24 episodes of season 1 while waiting for Jujutsu Kaisen 0 to drop.
All images courtesy of 9anime.