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The Cursed Child ( (のろ) いの () Noroi no Ko?) is the first chapter of Gege Akutami's Jujutsu Kaisen 0: Jujutsu High.

Summary

Yuta Okkotsu is a special grade cursed human haunted by his childhood friend, Rika Orimoto, who has become a special grade vengeful cursed spirit. After a bloody incident at his school in Tokyo, Yuta is confined at Tokyo Jujutsu High and looked after by jujutsu sorcerer, Satoru Gojo.

Gojo convinces Yuta to join his class of first-year jujutsu students and sends them out to rescue two elementary school children who disappeared. Yuta is paired with Maki Zenin, a strong willed woman who doesn't like Yuta very much. Together, they encounter a giant curse that takes them both into its massive stomach. They find the two kids inside and Yuta harnesses Rika's power to save everyone. Afterward, Yuta resolves to lift the curse from Rika's spirit.

Plot Details

Yuta agrees to remain in total isolation.

In November 2016, Yuta Okkotsu is at school in Tokyo when bullies attempt to intimidate him. The ringleader believes that Yuta is begging for them to stop, but Yuta's actually trying to stop them so his curse doesn't attacks. The curse haunting him his deceased best friend, Rika Orimoto. In her cursed spirit form Rika suddenly appears and stuffs all four of the bullies into a locker, severely injuring them.

Satoru Gojo and the jujutsu sorcerers of Tokyo Jujutsu High learn of the incident and hold Yuta at the school in a room sealed with many talismans. In order to avoid hurting anyone else, Yuta agrees to stay in the room forever, to be executed in total isolation. He even tried killing himself, but Rika wouldn't allow it and destroyed the knife he attempted to stab himself with.

Gojo wants to give Yuta the chance to become a student of the school and learn to use his curse to exorcise other curses. Yuta initially refuses, but Gojo points out how lonely Yuta would end up being if he continues to isolate himself. Gojo tells Yuta it's not too late to use the curse he's been afflicted with to help others and asks if throwing it all away is worth it.

The first-years are introduced to Yuta and his curse: Rika.

Gojo's three first-year students; Maki Zenin, Toge Inumaki, and Panda hear rumors about the new transfer student and what he did at his old school. When the time comes for Gojo to introduce him, he asks his students to get excited and welcome their new classmates. Maki refuses to be nice because she feels like Yuta is sulky kind of punk.

Yuta enters the room, and the three students are shocked to see a powerful curse following him. As soon as Yuta introduces himself, Maki stabs her spear into the blackboard next to Yuta's face, threatening the cursed boy. Maki points out that Jujutsu High is place to study and learn how to defeat curses, not somewhere for someone who's cursed.

How Yuta gets greeted by his classmates on his first day.

Gojo explains that in Japan, over 10,000 people have gone mysteriously missing every year. This is due to curses born from cursed energy, the manifestation of a large collection of raw negative emotions. At Jujutsu High, they teach students how to use curses to defeat other curses. Apparently Yuta had no idea since Gojo didn't explain this beforehand.

Gojo apologizes and tells his other three students to step away from Yuta quickly. Two arms appear from the blackboard. Rika perceives this as a threat to Yuta. One of her hands grabs onto the blade of Maki's spear and the other grows and outstretches to attack the three first years.

Rika's untimely death resulted in her spirit cursing Yuta.

Yuta was childhood friends with his beloved Rika when they were children. In 2011, Rika gave Yuta an engagement ring and they promised to get married when they got older. However, Rika died in a horrific traffic accident and her spirit has cursed him ever since. Gojo explains all of this to his three first-years after they're attacked by Rika. Gojo tells Yuta that his students can be a bit rough around the edges so just to be quick with introductions. Yuta feels that Gojo is the troublemaker out of everyone.

Maki Zenin is a cursed tool user who uses weapons infused with curses to exorcise curses. Cursed speech user, Toge Inumaki, who can only speak in rice ball ingredients and Panda, who gets no explanation whatsoever. Including Yuta, Gojo's class of first-years now has four students.

Gojo announces their practical jujutsu class is going to be conducted in pairs, with Yuta pairing with Maki. Maki is less than pleased to be paired with Yuta and she points out that it's easy to tell he was bullied a lot growing up. She adds that Yuta tries to act like a good person but it feels fake, so he should stop playing victim since the curse haunting him is actually protecting him. Additionally, she assumes Yuta has gone his entire life without a real goal and states becoming a sorcerer through Jujutsu High is impossible with a mindset like that.

Gojo's class of four first-years.

Panda and Toge stops her from berating Yuta and apologizes, but Yuta doesn't believe she's wrong either. Shortly after homeroom concludes, practical training class begins. Gojo escorts Yuta and Maki to an elementary school where kids have been mysteriously disappearing, surprising Yuta. Gojo explains that schools are hotspots for curses so one more than likely spawned naturally. Yuta realizes that this means kids were attacked by this curse and Gojo confirms that at least two are missing. Maki adds that crowded places with a lot of memories and emotions tied to those memories end up being paranormal hot spots that generate curses. Schools and hospitals are good examples for places where people feed negative emotion into, which results in a curse like the one they're currently hunting.

Gojo begins Yuta and Maki's practical jujutsu training class.

Gojo casts a curtain, a barrier technique that turns the sky dark. Yuta is surprised to see day turn to night. Gojo explains the technique hides anyone inside from the outside world and will reveal the curse. The will automatically dispel once the curse has been exorcised. Gojo exits before the barrier completely forms and tells his students not to die, scaring Yuta.

Maki exorcises three curses with a single stroke of her spear.

Terrified, Yuta watches Gojo disappear and asks what he meant by dying. Maki tells Yuta to focus and pay attention to three cursed spirits that have been revealed. The curses show their teeth and charge toward them. Yuta asks what they should do and Maki tells him to quiet down. She gives him a lesson, claiming mindless curses who need to work together are weaklings. She exorcises all three curses with a single swift swing of her spear.

Next, Maki says they're going inside the school, further terrifying Yuta. He asks "Zenin" if she's scared and she tells him not to address her by her last name. He apologizes and says this is an appropriate setting for curses. Maki ignores Yuta as he shakes in fear and walks behind her. She notices there aren't many curses around despite the curtain and the one's that are aren't attacking because of Yuta. She asks to see his school ID, assuming he'd be grade 4 but he's actually registered as a special grade jujutsu sorcerer, higher than grade 1, shocking Maki.

Maki and Yuta end up trapped in the belly of a curse.

While she's occupied, Yuta tells her that they're being stalked by a giant curse at the end of the hallway. The curse breaks through the school and launches both students into the air. It opens its mouth to swallow both students whole as they fall into it. Maki attempts to counterattack but her spear gets deflected by the curse's teeth. The cursed tool lands outside and Yuta awakens from a short unconscious stint to realize he and Maki are trapped on the inside of the giant curse.

"I want to believe that it's okay to keep living."

Maki is angry, but she's confident Gojo will eventually save them once the curtain deactivates on its own. They're both surprised when they find the two missing boys trapped inside the curse's stomach with them. However their bodies are cursed and infected by its energy. Maki reveals not everyone has resistance to curses like Yuta and she passes out. Yuta finds a cut on her leg from the curses tooth has been infected by the curse. One of the boys is conscious but half his face has been cursed. He begs for Yuta to save them.

Maki grabs Yuta's collar and demands to know why Yuta enrolled at Jujutsu High. He replies that he didn't want to hurt anyone so he wanted to run and disappear. Gojo said it would be lonely and Yuta couldn't disagree. He wants to be with people and he wants to be relied on by others. More than anything, Yuta wants to believe that it's okay for him to continue living.

Yuta calls upon Rika's full power to rescue everyone.

Maki tells Yuta that by exorcising curses over and over, connections with other people will come because that's the kind of place Jujutsu High is. Inspired by Maki's words, Yuta opens his uniform jacket and pulls out Rika's ring from their childhood. Yuta puts on the ring and calls on Rika's strength. Rika's cursed spirit form fully manifests and bursts out of the giant curse with even more mass of its own. While Rika crushes the spirit's face with her bare hands, Gojo detects her cursed energy and realizes the true identity of the Special Grade Vengeful cursed spirit, Rika Orimoto.

Yuta resolves to unravel Rika's curse at Jujutsu High.

While Rika is exorcising the curse, Yuta carries Maki and the boys toward safety. He's having trouble carrying them and tells himself not to fall, begging himself to change. He hears Rika's voice encouraging him and uses the inspiration to carry everyone outside the barrier. The curtain immediately dispels and Gojo congratulates his student on the success.

Afterward, at the hospital, Gojo tells Yuta that everyone involved in the incident at the elementary school will be okay. Yuta reveals that this was the first time he ever summoned Rika willingly and reveals that it helped trigger memories about her. In their childhood, Yuta told Rika they would be together forever, cementing his side of their promise to get married when they grow up. Yuta feels as if he's cursing Rika rather than the other way around. Gojo acknowledges Yuta's theory and claims he's always believed that love results in the most distorted curses.

Imparted with a new goal in mind and fueled with resolve, Yuta tells Gojo sensei that he's going to find a way to unravel Rika's curse at Jujutsu High.

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