Gege Akutami has always been elaborate in sketching his battle sequences in JJK manga. Instead of relying on the emotional weight of good vs bad, the author has in the past displayed that he is a bigger fan of tactical acumen and other technical nuances.
Be it Toji’s brilliant plan to take down Gojo in the Hidden Inventory arc, or the entirety of Shibuya Incident arc, the more you understand these nuances, the more you enjoy the battle and appreciate Akutami’s genius.
Talking about Shibuya, a major part of Geto (Kenjaku) and the cursed spirits’ plan hinged on isolating Gojo from the other sorcerers. And this was achieved by the complex curtains/barriers that were put up by them at the said station.
Note: The Geto that I mention multiple times in this article is the Geto who has been taken over by the brain/Kenjaku, and not Gojo’s buddy turned enemy, unless I state otherwise.
Without understanding what these curtains/barriers did, I believe that it will be hard to grasp the entirety of what Geto and co. had planned. And it was indeed a well thought out maneuver.
- Understanding the curtains/barriers in Shibuya Incident Arc:
- Barriers A: Trapping Civilians
- Barrier B: Trapping Gojo
- Barrier C: Preventing Sorcerers from Entering
Understanding the curtains/barriers in Shibuya Incident Arc:
To give you a brief idea, there were four curtains/barriers erected around Shibuya during the incident. And each of these four curtains served a specific purpose in helping the cursed spirits achieve their goal.
But before we discuss those in detail, let’s quickly take a look at how curtains or barriers function in general.
Curtains are simply a veil that are cast in order to hide a particular area from observers, mostly normal humans. This is one of the measures taken to make sure that the existence of Jujutsu society remains a secret.
But that’s just the basics. Certain conditions can be added to curtains in order to increase their efficiency. They can be used to trap someone inside, or prevent someone from getting in, which essentially makes it a barrier.
Keeping that in mind, let’s proceed to understand the curtains/barriers in Shibuya. I’ll be using the image from chapter 91 as a base for explaining the functions of each barrier.
Barriers A: Trapping Civilians
If you look closely at the image above, you’ll see that there are two curtains/barriers that are marked A. The bigger one was surrounding Shibuya as a whole, and had a radius of 400 meters. The smaller one was surrounding the platform B5F. It’s size is unknown.
Like Mechamaru explains, the function of both of these barriers was to trap civilians. Meaning, a normal human CAN ENTER these barriers freely, but they CAN’T EXIT IT.
But this condition only applied to civilians. Sorcerers were free to enter or leave as they wished.
As a secondary effect of the curtain, cell phone coverage and reception was blocked inside the curtain. Meaning, once you enter, there was no way you could communicate with anyone from the outside (or inside). This condition was the same for both sorcerers and civilians.
Why was this curtain cast? There’s two reasons at play here.
The outer curtain trapping civilians:
The outer curtain in Shibuya was cast to trap the civilians. True. But here’s the thing we need to understand first before we go deeper into the motives behind the curtains. The entire goal of orchestrating the Shibuya incident was to seal Gojo Satoru.
Yes! An elaborate plan just to seal the strongest sorcerer of the current era. If you are wondering why Gojo had to be sealed, check out my other article linked below!
Read More: Why did Geto/Kenjaku seal Gojo Satoru?
And to seal Gojo, the baddies needed to ensure that none of the other sorcerers were present to intervene.
By trapping civilians inside, Geto and co. ensured that the jujutsu sorcerers were not able to launch an all out attack without any regard for collateral damage.
Because, in this case, the collateral damage would be civilians. And the higher ups of the Jujutsu world obliged, or rather took the bait, as only Satoru, the strongest sorcerer, was sent to deal with the situation with the least number of casualties involved.
Also, by trapping the civilians, Geto’s team ensured that Gojo came to them, instead of having to take the fight to him. Remember all the humans trapped inside calling out to bring Satoru there?
With civilians’ lives on the line, the gravity of the situation could not be ignored.
No one else knew the real intention behind the Shibuya Incident other than the bad guys. For the higher ups of the Jujutsu world, it was just a scenario where the cursed spirits were trying to challenge Gojo. And they knew that Gojo would not lose to a bunch of disaster curses.
Their deduction was correct, they just didn’t predict Geto prancing in with the Prison Realm to distract him. Heck, Geto was supposed to be dead!
So yeah, trapping civilians was indeed a much needed condition.
The inner curtain trapping civilians:
Now, the second barrier trapping the civilians in the Basement of Shibuya station was put up for a whole different reason. This was done to put Satoru Gojo off his game. Its purpose was to trap civilians, yes, but it was once again a big ‘brain’ move. Did you see what I did there? No? Too bad!
Getting Gojo to come alone to handle the situation was not enough. Because the strongest sorcerer would just blitz through any opponents in front of him.
Geto (Kenjaku/Pseudo-Geto/Brain/call him what you want) had to make sure that Gojo could not go all out against his opponent no matter what. And hence the plan to trap the civilians in the second barrier.
Let’s go back to what Geto told Jogo in one of the flashbacks. This exchange is from chapter 84 of JJK manga.
Satoru is most in his element when he is fighting alone. Why? Because he is so superior to everyone that anyone, even a Grade 1 sorcerer fighting beside him, would just be a hindrance.
So, Geto decided to use the even more inferior human beings, who don’t even stand a chance to fight, to restrict Gojo’s movements. Not only were they totally useless when it came to countering curses, Gojo also had the added burden of making sure they didn’t turn into unwanted casualties.
The casualties we talk about here are not just the ones created by the cursed spirits, but even ones by Gojo himself.
The basement of Shibuya was soo packed with non-sorcerers that Gojo could not go all out even if he wanted to. Because, even his attacks would be fatal to them. He wouldn’t be able to cast his domain expansion nor his explosive Red or the implosive Blue.
It won’t be just the cursed spirits who will be affected by it.
Well, Satoru does cast the Unlimited Void eventually, because he is GOJO SATORU!
Even though Gojo never intended on saving many people (yeah he is cold to a certain extent), he certainly wasn’t ready to be the one who was directly responsible for their deaths.
Geto assumed that this move would end up putting a lot of pressure on Gojo, and it indeed did put him in a spot for a while. Gojo came out victorious in the end against the cursed spirits, but yeah, Geto was able to pull off what he wanted.
The real victory belongs to Geto here. Period.
Barrier B: Trapping Gojo
This curtain was put up just outside the innermost barrier A. Coincidentally, this is also the barrier we know the least about.
I mentioned in the previous section that trapping civilians using curtain A was done in a bid to get Gojo to come to Shibuya instead of taking the fight to him. However, there also needed to be a measure to ensure he didn’t escape.
Don’t take the word escape in the wrong sense. When you see the prison realm, the first thing you do is run.
But it wasn’t just to stop Gojo from escaping the prison realm, it was also to ensure that Gojo would not take the fight elsewhere after realizing that he could not go all out with the civilians crawling around him.
Geto’s plan to seal Gojo would only work if he stayed in basement B5F, and if he didn’t forcibly take Jogo and the others out of the basement.
That’s where barrier B came in. Its purpose? To TRAP GOJO SATORU just like the civilians so that he wouldn’t leave his designated area. Barrier B and the innermost barrier A worked in tandem.
Satoru could enter this curtain whenever he wanted, but he would not be able to exit it unless the curtain was destroyed.
We don’t know the size of this barrier, nor the caster, but it was probably cast using the talisman with a barrier technique imbued in it, with Geto as its mastermind.
The ability to single out just one sorcerer required the barrier to be cast by a highly skilled curse user. And Geto is the only person who fits the bill. If you’re caught up with the manga you’ll know that Kenjaku is an expert at barrier techniques, second only to Tengen.
Also, this barrier to trap Gojo was an inverted and slightly advanced version of the one we saw at the Kyoto Sister School event.
The barrier put up to keep Gojo out during the event was actually a test run to check the barrier before they put it up at Shibuya. Don’t just take my word for it, Geto mentions that in chapter 54.
And because Gojo was able to lift the curtain eventually, I’m pretty sure Geto went ahead and took a few extra steps to ensure that it wouldn’t happen a second time.
Meaning, even if he wasn’t sealed, Gojo probably might have been trapped in that barrier for quite a long while.
Barrier C: Preventing Sorcerers from Entering
Once again, I’ll be explaining this in the context of the earlier barriers. And as I mentioned above, Geto did not want the other sorcerers interfering with his plan to seal Gojo.
Trapping civilians was only part of it. If things got out of hand, there was nothing stopping the sorcerers from saying f*ck it, and storming Shibuya Station all at once. Moreso when they realized that Gojo was sealed.
And in order to prevent that from happening, Geto put up another barrier – C, between the previously explained A and B. Its function was simple – stop any and every sorcerer from entering that space.
The conditions that are applied on curtains basically have to be related to cursed energy. Meaning, the condition revolves around cursed energy. So, for this curtain/barrier to fulfill the condition of not letting any sorcerers enter, it should have filtered out people by the level of cursed energy they possessed.
Meaning, anyone above a certain threshold of cursed energy shouldn’t have been able to pass through. So, Maki should technically have been able to enter the barrier right, because her cursed energy levels are close to zero.
On that note, Geto was probably able to single out Gojo when it came to barrier B by using his cursed energy signature. Yes, I am assuming Gojo had a particular cursed energy signature.
Coming back, curtain B, which prevented sorcerers from entering, activated the instant Gojo entered the basement. Erecting it outside the barrier that trapped Gojo ensured that he and the other sorcerers were visibly separated.
Now, let’s get into the technicalities of this curtain.
C was supposed to prevent a large group of sorcerers from entering. This meant that the curtain had to be that strong- strong enough to hold several Grade 1 sorcerers and a supreme grade 1 sorcerer from being able to destroy it with brute force.
And in order to give it this extra strength, Geto had the ones casting the curtain make a binding vow of sorts.
Don’t get me wrong. Geto was still the mastermind behind the curtain. He probably is the one who came up with the talismans to cast one, but like we saw at the Kyoto Sister School Event, it was some other curse user who cast it.
In this case, it was Granny Ogami and her gang.
Usually when someone casts a barrier, they stay inside it. As Ino explained, a barrier is meant for protection and for providing cover. However, here Ogami and her minions stayed out of the curtain exposing them to an attack from their enemies.
But in exchange for risking their safety, the curtain’s strength increased. And that’s why Itadori and the others were not able to destroy it with simple brute force.
They did defeat Granny Ogami and break the talismans. Which eventually led to the curtain trapping the sorcerers lifting!
An interesting point to note: Curtain C is the only curtain out of the four which we see getting lifted midway during the Shibuya incident arc.
Itadori, Megumi and Ino broke three talismans, but all three of those were either powering the same curtain – C, or only one of them was responsible for the curtain and the other two were dummies.
The other three were probably lifted when Geto and Uraume successfully escaped after the incident.
Buuutt, we saw Itadori breaking a talisman by defeating the Locust curse. So, what curtain did that lift then?
Which curtain did Itadori lift by defeating the locust curse?
The curtain which Itadori lifted was also one which prevented sorcerers from entering. However, the one he destroyed was not located in Shibuya station, and was not directly connected to Satoru’s sealing.
Itadori, Mei Mei and Ui Ui were deployed outside the outer barrier of Shibuya station initially. But then after getting a call, they rushed to the Meiji-Jingumae (Harajuku) Station, where barriers similar to the ones in Shibuya had appeared.
However, there were only two here. An outer barrier trapping the civilians, and an inner one preventing the sorcerers from entering.
I have been stressing on the point that the barriers’ main job was intended to isolate Satoru and cut off any help that he could get from the outside. So what was the point of erecting two at Meiji-Jingumae?
Spreading the sorcerers at Shibuya? Maybe. But it was more tied in to Mahito’s plan, and indirectly to Gojo’s sealing.
If you remember correctly, Mahito made a grand entry at Shibuya Station in a train filled with transfigured humans. Where do you think he came from? Yeah that’s right. The Meiji-Jingumae station.
If you look at the map, Meiji-Jingumae comes right before Shibuya in the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line. This line goes through the BF5 station in Shibuya.
Mahito’s entry at Shibuya with the transmogrified was the surprise element needed to put more burden on Gojo’s shoulders. If he were at Shibuya from the start, Gojo would have been wary of his presence and his abilities.
But when he unloaded a train full of terror, causing panic and chaos at BF5 in Shibuya, it shook Gojo for a moment. And in order to achieve that Mahito had to make sure that he had enough humans to play with, before packing them onto a train and delivering them to the destination.
This is where the Meiji-Jingumae station came in. Naturally, when these barriers were put up at that station, a lot of people ended up being trapped over there too. And in order to prevent sorcerers from meddling in his affairs, a barrier was put-up which prevented them from entering, just like the one in Shibuya.
Itadori did break it, but Mahito had already done the damage by then. The lone lady who Itadori encountered at the station was the only one left to tell the tale – briefly.
However, that intel proved to be vital in him later diffusing the curtain C at Shibuya. So, I can say that it did not end super bad. Maybe.
Well, that’s all there is to explain about barriers surrounding the Shibuya station and their role in the horrific incident that panned out there.
The fact that I was able to write a 2600+ word explanatory article on it shows that Akutami had done due diligence. But then, their importance is often overlooked and missed out by a lot of readers.
I simply wanted to make sure that everyone understood the genius that Akutami is, and in the story it translated to masquerading mastermind, Geto Suguru.
If you still have any nagging questions regarding the curtains/barriers around Shibuya station or if you just want to discuss more about it, feel free to drop a comment below, or you can reach out to me on Reddit/Twitter!