Ryomen Sukuna ( (りょう) (めん) 宿 (すく) () Ryōmen Sukuna?), more often called just Sukuna (宿 (すく) () Sukuna?), is a mighty cursed spirit known as the undisputed King of Curses ( (のろ) いの (おう) Noroi no Ō?). He serves as one of the primary antagonists of the Jujutsu Kaisen series.

According to a legend, during the golden age of jujutsu over 1,000 years ago, Sukuna was an Imaginary Demon (仮想 (かそう) 鬼神 (きじん) Kasō no Kijin?), though in truth was a human sorcerer, and other sorcerers gave their all to defeat him. After his death, he became a cursed spirit, and his curse was too strong for his body to be fully destroyed. Henceforth, his remains of 20 indestructible fingers, preserved in grave wax, traversed the ages as cursed objects, ever growing in power.[1] In the present, Sukuna has been incarnated into Yuji Itadori due to the latter eating one of his cursed fingers, which contain his fragmented power.

Appearance

His past appearance is described as a demon with four arms and two faces.[2] Currently, he appears similar to the host he is in, but with spiked hair and with unique markings on his forehead, nose, cheeks, and torso. He also has a second pair of eyes under his normal eyes, which are usually closed.[3] Sukuna also has two lines on both his wrists, upper arms, circles on both his shoulders with a dot in each, two-segmented curve lines on his chest, and two lines on his stomach while possessing Yuji.

Sukuna wears a light-colored kimono with a black edge, a black scarf, and black shoes.

Personality

Sukuna is selfish, cold-hearted, immoral, and exceptionally sadistic. When he was reincarnated shortly after Yuji ingested his finger, he commented, implying the slaughter of women and children and likening them to maggots crawling around. Due to his immense power, he rarely cares about the consequences of his actions, even if these affect his host, Yuji Itadori. In fact, he frequently taunts and insults Yuji, calling him a brat and even laughing at or enjoying Yuji's despair on multiple occasions.

Sukuna is aware of his immense power and is quite arrogant about it, brutalizing a finger bearer while being patronizing and proclaiming his superiority over it. For this reason, he is highly dismissive of his opponents and rarely takes them seriously, even explicitly stating he would kill Satoru Gojo to his face. However, these brutish traits are not to be confused for stupidity. Sukuna is highly intelligent and manipulative, taking Yuji's body hostage by tearing out his heart to force him into a Binding Vow. He has also displayed the ability to acknowledge and praise his opponents, as shown by how before killing Jogo he acknowledged he was strong despite having completely overpowered him and that he should be proud.

Abilities and Powers

Overall Skill Level: Sukuna is a special grade cursed spirit. As the most powerful cursed spirit in the entire series, Sukuna possesses vast amounts of cursed energy. Sukuna's presence was felt throughout Shibuya once he was awakened. His cursed energy is similar to Gojo Satoru in it's immensity, but different in it's overwhelmingly evil nature. He soon went on to overwhelm and defeat Jogo, the most powerful cursed spirit in Mahito's group. Even Gojo Satoru acknowledged Sukuna's strength, stating that fighting him would be tough. In every single appearance, Sukuna has proved that he is by far the strongest cursed spirit ever. He seriously injured Mahito when angered, defeated Jogo without much struggling, defeated Mahoraga, something no user of the Ten Shadows Technique and even a member of the Gojo Family with the Six Eyes had done. His strength is so great that Mahito and Jogo were convinced that Sukuna's revival could ensure their success. Sukuna's strength is only rivaled by other special grades like Yuta Okkotsu and Satoru Gojo.

Incarnation (受肉 (じゅにく) Juniku?):[4] There is a slim chance that Sukuna will incarnate into whoever eats his fingers, gaining a physical, human body in the process. Upon Yuji consuming the first of his fingers, Sukuna immediately came to possess his body.

Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Sukuna is an extremely skilled and powerful close-quarters fighter. He is shown overwhelming Megumi with powerful physical strikes alone. Sukuna can unite his cursed technique and his hand-to-hand prowess, making him an extremely difficult opponent to overwhelm in battle.

Sukuna's overwhelming strength

Immense Strength: In Yuji's body, Sukuna possesses tremendous physical strength and managed to fling a person through several building floors without effort. Even in an incomplete state, he easily overpowered the likes of a finger bearer, a special-grade curse. In that same state, he easily overpowered and destroyed Megumi's shikigami. He even punched Megumi so hard, the raindrops in that area dispersed. With fifteen of his fingers, Sukuna punched Jogo through buildings and even destroyed the latter's jaw. His blows had considerable effect on Mahoraga.

Sukuna's overwhelming speed

Immense Speed: Sukuna has shown to move at incredible speed, which his opponent didn't even notice that Sukuna has moved until it is too late. He was constantly able to dodge Jogo's attacks and kept up with Mahoraga in their fight. With three fingers, he caught a finger bearer off-guard and beat him into the ground. Sukuna was even able to appear in the middle of Atsuya Kusakabe and Panda, both capable sorcerers, with the former even being a Grade 1 sorcerer.

Immense Reflexes: Sukuna can easily counter any opponent and is fast enough for his opponent to not even realize that their limb has been cut off. He consistently dodged Mahoraga's blows and countered during their fight. He was quickly able to put Mahoraga down for good before he had finished regenerating. He was able to dodge Jogo's Maximum: Meteor.

Immense Durability: Even in Itadori's body, Sukuna can use cursed energy to bolster his host's resilience. Sukuna was punched through five buildings and shown to be completely fine.[5]

Great Tactical Intellect: Sukuna is an incredibly intelligent cursed spirit. He has fully grasped the nature of cursed techniques, and cursed and reverse cursed energy as a whole. Due to that, he is able to quickly deduce the inner workings of cursed techniques after only seeing them once or twice and creating suitable foils to such techniques. He did this against Mahoraga in their fight, and was able to defeat the shikigami after gaining an understanding of it's technique.

Metamorphosis: Sukuna can create new eyes and mouths on his host, allowing him to see and speak without controlling the body of the host. For example, he made a single eye and fanged mouth on Yuji's left cheek to belittle and taunt him.

Jujutsu

Cursed Energy Manipulation
Immense Cursed Energy: Sukuna possesses immense levels of cursed energy due to his innate power, cementing his title as the King of Curses. He was able to continuously use his techniques throughout his battles without exhausting himself in the slightest. He has skillful control over his cursed energy, being able to use Domain Expansion and Reverse Cursed Techniques. The only other person who uses both is Satoru Gojo. His amount of cursed energy far surpasses other special grades cursed spirits.
Sukuna regenerates Yuji's hand (Anime).gif Reverse Cursed Technique (反転術式 Hanten Jutsushiki?): Due to his nature as a special grade cursed spirit, Sukuna can easily use reverse cursed technique in order to regenerate lost limbs in an instant. Regained limbs maintain the same integrity as the rest of Sukuna's body. He can go further and even heal others.
Binding Vows
Binding Vow (Anime).png Sukuna has an unnamed Binding Vow with Yuji. The King of Curses agreed to revive the boy after his apparent death in during the events of the Cursed Womb Arc under two conditions: ① Yuji would allow Sukuna to take over his body for one full minute when the cursed spirit would chant "Enchain" and ② he would forget about the agreement. Yuji initially opposed the Binding Vow, making Sukuna promise that he wouldn't kill or hurt anyone during that minute. The boy still disagreed with the terms and instead had a battle against the King of Curses, where he'd allow the agreement to occur if he lost. Sukuna effortlessly defeated Yuji, forcing him into the Binding Vow.
Innate Technique
It is currently unknown what Sukuna's cursed technique is. He was shown to use his cursed energy to slash targets. Sukuna was also shown to use fire-based powers.
Dismantle ( (カイ) Kai?): Sukuna's default slashing attack.It is normally used for inanimate objects, however it can be used for cursed spirits to great effectiveness

Cleave ( (ハチ) Hachi?): A slashing attack that adjusts itself depending on the target's toughness and cursed energy level to cut them down in one fell swoop.

Sukuna cuts the Finger Bearer to ribbons (Anime).gif
Unnamed Fire Ability: Sukuna can create and manipulate flames for long-range attacks. These abilities exceed Jogo's, an unregistered special-grade curse whose defining trait involves extremely destructive pyrokinetic powers. Sukuna activates his flame powers.png
Barrier Techniques
Malevolent Shrine.gif Malevolent Shrine (伏魔御厨子 Fukuma Mizushi?)[6]: Sukuna's Domain Expansion creates a Buddhist shrine decorated with skulls. Malevolent Shrine has a unique trait; it doesn't create a separate space using a barrier. A binding vow is formed by allowing an escape route, which vastly increases the guaranteed hit's effective area with a maximum radius of nearly 200 meters.

Battles & Events

Introduction Arc

Cursed Womb Arc

Vs. Mahito Arc

Shibuya Incident Arc

Trivia

  • Sukuna is based on the same-named figure from Japanese mythology: Ryōmen-sukuna ( (りょう) (めん) 宿 (すく) () ?). He is a demonic/specter-like figure described in the Nihon Shoki, said to have appeared in the Hida Province (today's Gifu Prefecture) in ancient times, during the reign of Emperor Nintoku in the 4th century.
    • He was described as a man of inhuman strength, with a two-faced head plus a total of eight limbs, four arms and legs respectively, that served each face. Wielding a multitude of weapons in his many hands (incl. a bow, arrow, and sword), he terrorized village after village in ancient Hida, plundering and leaving chaos in his wake. That is, until a brave military commander dispatched by the Imperial Court, named Takefurukuma no Mikoto, stepped forth and put an end to the monster's tyranny, expelling him from Hida.
    • Ryomen-sukuna was worshipped by some as a minor deity, and statues depicting his distinctly two-faced head can still be found today in Gifu temples and shrines.
    • One theory states that Ryomen-sukuna is a symbol of twins and brothers, therefore it refers to Oousu no Mikoto and Ousu no Mikoto (i.e. Yamato Takeru no Mikoto and his brother), twins in ancient Japanese history. Another theory states that Ryomen-sukuna refers to Emperor Chuai's sons, Kagosaka no Miko and Oshikuma no Mikoto. Both of pairs of brothers are deeply related to Mino and Hida Provinces. Takeuchi-monjo (an ancient text which recorded the lineage of ancient kami and a dynasty preceding Emperor Jinmu) wrote Hida Province as "日玉国" or "日霊国," indicating that Hida was Takamanohara (plain of high heaven) and Kuraiyama Mountain was the Pyramid. It is considered that Ryomen-sukuna had a Hida-based dynasty the same size as the Yamato Dynasty.
  • Sukuna's kimono is very loose akin to a ladies kimono, as such space granted him more comfort while having four arms in the past.
  • Sukuna ranked 10th place in the manga's 1st Character Popularity Poll with 5,860 votes.
  • Sukuna's technique names appear to have some relation with cooking. His Domain Expansion, 伏魔御厨子 (Fukuma Mizushi?), has been translated officially as "Malevolent Shrine", but 伏魔 (Fukuma?) is more literally translated as "place where demons hide" and 御厨子 (Mizushi?) is an archaic word referring to a kitchen or the emperor's eating area. His cutting techniques (カイ) (Kai?) and (ハチ) (Hachi?) also use kanji used in cooking to refer to "dismantling" and "filleting" fish.
  • According to Jujutsu Kaisen Official Fanbook:
    • His hobby is eating.
    • He dislikes nothing in particular (he doesn't care about anything other than himself).
    • In the official fan book Q&A with Gege Akutami, the author stated Sukuna's fingers taste like soap.
  • Sukuna has won the award for "Best Antagonist" in the Crunchyroll Anime Awards 2021.

References

  1. Jujutsu Kaisen Manga: Chapter 3 (p. 5).
  2. Jujutsu Kaisen Manga: Chapter 3 (p. 5).
  3. Jujutsu Kaisen Manga: Chapter 1.
  4. Jujutsu Kaisen Manga and Anime: Chapter 1 (p. 49) and Episode 1.
  5. Jujutsu Kaisen Manga: Chapter 118 (p. 8-11).
  6. Jujutsu Kaisen Manga: Chapter 8 (p. 13).

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