Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 225 has to be one of the best chapters of the series just for how well it used the previously established bits and pieces of information regarding domain expansions and barriers and wove it seamlessly into the Gojo vs Sukuna fight.
And it is one of these fundamentals that came into play when Sukuna defeated Gojo in a battle of domains.
While the outcome of the domain battle is clear, the manner of Gojo’s defeat still needs to be discussed. There’s more to the defeat than what meets the eye.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Related: How did Sukuna kill Gojo in JJK 236?
How did Sukuna defeat Gojo’s domain expansion in JJK 225?
Honestly, there is no short answer to this question. Don’t roll your eyes, wait! Even though Gojo’s domain broke because Sukuna was able to attack it from the outside, there are a lot of questions, minute details and other things we need to consider.
Still rolling your eyes I see.
Let’s start off with the basics.
Gojo’s domain broke because the range of Sukuna’s domain was greater, which in turn allowed the sure hit effect of his domain to attack the barrier of Gojo’s domain from the outside.
Check out the following image:
The first question that should arise is this, how did the sure-hit attack work in the first place? Wasn’t it supposed to be neutralized?
Well, as the narrator notes, the sure hit attack was neutralized in Gojo’s domain. But outside of Gojo’s domain, it was still active.
This is where Jujutsu Kaisen nerds will note a discrepancy.
Back in chapter 109, when Megumi and Dagon were involved in domain battle, Dagon’s sure hit attack was cancelled. But this was not just within the range of Megumi’s Chimera Shadow Garden, the sure hit effect was cancelled for Dagon’s domain as a whole.
So why didn’t the same thing happen with Sukuna’s Malevolent shrine here? How did his sure hit attack work outside of Gojo’s barrier?
Well, the POSSIBLE answer to this scenario could lie in Sukuna’s domain being barrierless. As Mei Mei notes in chapter 225, a domain tug of war is essentially a battle between the exterior barriers.
And since Sukuna’s domain lacked one, the domain battle was based on the sure-hit effects.
So, inside the barrier of Gojo’s domain, the two sure hit effects overlapped and cancelled each other out. However, outside of Gojo’s barrier there was nothing to keep Sukuna’s sure hit attack in check, which resulted in Gojo’s barrier being attacked from the outside.
As revealed in chapter 30, a domain expansion is meant to trap the prey. This makes it hard to break OUT of the barrier that is surrounding a domain.
On the other hand, it is easy to break INTO a domain, because no one in their right mind would try and enter a space where your defeat is almost guaranteed. Itadori, I am staring at you!
In short, the barrier of a domain is vulnerable to attacks from the outside. This resulted in Gojo’s domain breaking and eventually his loss!
Moving on, let’s focus on a point that is being brought up and heavily criticized.
Let’s not blame Itadori and Inumaki:
I hear a lot of people complaining about how Yuji, Toge and Choso totally missed out on telling Gojo that Sukuna had a barrierless Domain Expansion.
Questions were even raised about the kind of preparations that these characters did for the past one month. This flaw was also credited as poor writing from Akutami.
However, I guess everyone is missing the main point here. It doesn’t matter if Yuji told him about the barrierless domain or not.
Once again, let’s get this straight – Gojo did not lose to Sukuna because the latter simply had a barrierless domain, it was also because the range of Sukuna’s barrierless domain expansion was more than that of Gojo’s.
In short, it was a question of BOTH range and barriers, but mostly the range. And there’s a reason why the blame for the defeat cannot rest on Inumaki and Itadori, even in part. Wondering why? Read on to know!
Domains are inherently barrier techniques. However, in Sukuna’s case he simply refuses to manifest a physical barrier to close his domain.
In simple terms, if you were to consider domain expansion as a room, then Sukuna’s room would be one without walls or a door. However, the more I look at it, I feel that he is simply leaving the door open to his room as an allure.
This makes it easy for not just someone to enter, but also to exit the domain. And this essentially acts like a binding vow. In exchange for allowing those trapped inside his domain an escape route, he is able to increase the range of his domain.
Thanks to this binding vow, the maximum range of Sukuna’s Malevolent Shrine is 200 meters. But then, we know this information only because the narrator relayed this to us in Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 119.
Sukuna’s domain in Shibuya was limited to 140 meters. Even if Yuji told Gojo this information (about the barrierless domain and the range) and even if Gojo had planned accordingly, the 200 meter range would have come as a shock to him, eventually.
I’m pretty sure that his Six Eyes wouldn’t come in handy in such a scenario. Don’t get me wrong, it helped him assess how strong Sukuna was, and to understand how his cursed technique worked. But estimating range? That’s a bit out there.
Gojo was the only person after Mahoraga who deflected/dodged Sukuna’s dismantle though.
So in short, Gojo lost the domain battle to Sukuna because the range of the latter’s domain’s expansion was more.
Food for thought:
Let’s consider one more scenario, just to satiate your thirst.
Assume that Sukuna and Gojo opened domains with the same range, meaning none of their domains would succeed, resulting in a stalemate.
However, even in such a scenario, there is no guarantee that Gojo would win.
So, let’s say that Gojo and Sukuna turn off their domains after realizing that there was no use going ahead. In this scenario, both of them shouldn’t be able to use their Cursed Technique for a while right?
Well, Gojo sure won’t be able to use his cursed technique. But the same can’t be said for Sukuna.
Remember Sukuna’s fight against Mahoraga? Immediately after using his domain expansion on the cursed spirit, Sukuna immediately proceeded to use the fire arrow. There really wasn’t too much of a waiting time.
He could have done the same in this fight too. And Gojo would once again be left with no way to defend against it.
Meaning, Gojo was bound to lose no matter the outcome of the domain battle. The battle was written in a way that the outcome would be fixed.
Doing away with the misconceptions:
With that in mind, allow me to clear some basic misconceptions:
- Sukuna’s domain being barrierless did NOT make it stronger than Gojo’s, they were both evenly matched inside.
- Since none of the domains had superiority, the sure-hit attack was canceled out. The sure hit attacks would have stayed canceled even if the domains weren’t evenly matched. This was established way back in the domain battle between Megumi and Dagon at Shibuya.
- Gojo knowing about Sukuna’s barrierless domain wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the battle much, unless he somehow was able to guess the extended range of the domain. Calling him ill-prepared is not completely correct.
- Akutami did not write himself into a corner with this chapter. Instead, he put to use all the basic information he had established before, making it all the more worthwhile.
- No matter the outcome of the domain battle, Gojo most probably would have lost!
Now, allow me to move on the biggest question from the chapter;
Did Satoru Gojo die in chapter 225?
The implication of losing a domain battle couldn’t have gotten much worse for the current strongest sorcerer. One small mistake, and Gojo’s neck was on the line. Sorry!
Here’s an interesting point about Sukuna’s domain, as long as it is open, it keeps on slashing away at the opponent. Meaning, if Sukuna doesn’t intend to stop, he’ll stand one head shorter, or he will be gone for good.
Remember how Gojo told Toji that he should have cut his head off? Well, Sukuna seems to be sticking to that script!
Gojo has been shown to walk away with the heads of curses and transmogrified humans in the manga. Would you consider those panels as foreshadowing for Gojo losing his head too?
However, the answer to the question is this, Satoru Gojo is not dead in Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 225.
No, this is not RCT Copium. Nor am I going to dissect the last panel and make assumptions on how shallow the cut on his neck is.
Instead, I’m basing my answer on what Akutami said in an interview back in 2021. Talking to Mando Kobayashi, Akutami said that Gojo will be the one to tell Megumi about Toji.
Also there is that special training he was talking about. Akutami wouldn’t stress on it, unless he planned on using it down the line. Will that technique be his savior? Probably not!
And since these incidents have not come to pass yet, I can only assume that he will continue to live. That is if Akutami has not had a change of heart.
The two of them share a precarious relationship. At one point I was pretty sure Gojo won’t even make it out of the prison realm until the manga was over!
Also, there’s another reason why I believe that Sukuna won’t unleash hell on Gojo; at least not yet.
During his fight with Yorozu, the latter told Sukuna that she understood how lonely he was at the top. In Gojo, Sukuna sees someone who is in a similar predicament as him.
Here stand two characters who are only respected for the power they have. Anything they try to communicate translates into the authority asserted by their strength eventually.
This fight with Gojo is probably something that he has been waiting to have for a long time. Once again, let me clarify this – Sukuna doesn’t have a soft-spot for Gojo. He is an extremely self-serving sorcerer. So, this battle is his way of having fun. But thematically, there is more to this fight than what meets the eye.
So, considering all this, he might spare Gojo for the purpose of extending his playtime alone.
In short, if Gojo survives, it’s because Sukuna decides to spare him. It’s because he decides to stop his domain, and maybe allow time for Gojo to heal. This will also allow him to look down on Gojo, and let him know that the roles have changed. To assert that he is not a mere challenger, but a foe he should be wary of.
In short, if Gojo uses RCT to heal his wound, it’s because Sukuna let’s him. That’s the way he survives. Else, it’s time to bid the strongest sorcerer goodbye!
But since Akutami hinted at more narrative potential for Gojo, we might just see the brat survive this bad day!