I have been wallowing in depression for sometime now, and finally decided to gather my thoughts and write this article. JJK chapter 236 was a stake through the heart for Gojo fans.
For starters, let’s get this clear: Gojo is dead. He really is gone. There is little room for copium here. His head is not cut off, but yeah, there is no coming back from the damage that Sukuna has done.
The important question here would be how did Sukuna kill Gojo exactly. He was labeled the strongest sorcerer, and in the previous chapter, he managed to live up to that title. His death in chapter 236 definitely came as a huge shock.
The details were as ambiguous as they could get. But the worst part? Satoru met his end off-screen. Gege just did him dirty there. However, there are enough details for us to go on and speculate what could have happened. And it involves Mahoraga and its adaptation for sure.
So, without wasting too much time on introductions, let’s get down to the main question here.
How did Sukuna cut & kill Gojo in JJK 236?
To answer in short, Sukuna killed Gojo by using Mahoraga’s slashing attack as a base which negated his infinity and cut his body into half. In the end, Gojo was left standing without the top half of his body.
Trust me, it was not an asspull. What I said above is only a simple version of the answer. Before I give you a detailed explanation, you need to understand why there is a confusion regarding how Gojo died and how Sukuna was able to cut him.
First – Sukuna cutting Gojo happened off screen, and second – Gojo was in a seemingly victorious position in the previous chapter.
There is no denying that Gojo was on a high in JJK 235. He made Sukuna feel nervous for the first time in over a thousand years. And towards the end, there seemed to be an overwhelming consensus that Gojo had won the battle.
But, Gege was only deceiving us with all that development. After all, Sukuna could not be written off. We knew he had a trump card up his sleeve.
Honestly, everyone was expecting him to pull out the fire arrow once again. However, he managed to do something that none of us even expected him to do.
What’s more baffling is the involvement of Mahoraga in the whole deal. Now where did that come from?
Mahoraga’s involvement and Sukuna’s cut:
If you remember correctly, Gojo had already destroyed Mahoraga in JJK chapter 235 using his Hollow Purple.
The biggest takeaway from the fight between the two jujutsu titans till then was that Gojo left Sukuna seriously short of shikigami. He almost rendered the Ten Shadows Technique useless.
However, come chapter 236, Sukuna says that Mahoraga adapting to infinity was key in him killing Gojo. Does that mean Mahoraga is not dead?
No. I believe that Mahoraga is still dead. Instead, Sukuna used Mahoraga’s slashing attack as a base for overcoming Gojo’s infinity.
Let me make another point very clear. It was not Mahoraga’s slash attack from chapter 234 which did the damage to Gojo. He only lost a hand to that attack and healed from it in chapter 235.
Now let’s get into the detailed explanation.
Ever since the start of the fight, Sukuna had identified Gojo’s infinity as the single biggest obstacle on his path to victory.
To understand this, we need to know what made Gojo the strongest. It was not his cursed energy reserves, Sukuna had way more CE than what he did, neither was his cursed energy efficiency, they were both more or less equal in that scenario consider Sukuna had larger reserves.
No, the thing that made Gojo stand out was his infinity or his inviolability. No matter how strong the opponent is, they can’t touch Gojo. And Sukuna HAD to find a counter to this broken cursed technique.
The only way Sukuna could work around this was by using Mahoraga’s adaptation. Fraud allegations aren’t justified here.
And Mahoraga did adapt to infinity. We see that the shikigami was able to land a hit on Gojo back in chapter 232 itself.
Sukuna always planned to use Mahoraga to adapt to infinity. However, that’s where the shikigami’s role ended in Sukuna’s plan too.
Based on what he revealed in chapter 236, Sukuna never intended to use Mahoraga to land the killing blow. He only wanted to use Mahoraga’s adaptation as a blueprint or a model for him to understand how to overcome the infinity.
Understanding the difference:
Mahoraga was able to land a hit on Gojo twice after it adapted to his infinity. The first was in chapter 232 and the next was in chapter 234.
In the first attack, Mahoraga altered the nature of its cursed energy to negate Gojo’s infinity. However, changing the nature of his cursed energy was not something that Sukuna could do. This is where the second attack comes into play.
Right before the second attack, Sukuna reminds Mahoraga that the shikigami was his shadow, and not Megumi’s. While it was hard to understand what Sukuna meant back then, it becomes very clear in chapter 236.
Basically, Sukuna was asking Mahoraga to attack in a way that was akin to Sukuna’s slashing attack. He wanted the shikigami to overcome the inviolability in a way where he could understand what was going on.
As I mentioned above, Sukuna planned to use Mahoraga as a blueprint/model, and overcome the infinity himself.
In the second slashing attack, instead of altering the nature of its cursed energy, Mahoraga expanded the target of the technique. It was not a simple copy of Sukuna’s cleave and dismantle. It was an extension of that technique rather.
Since it understood how infinity worked, Mahoraga expanded the slash attack’s target to include space, existence and the world itself. If you notice closely, this attack came after Mahoraga’s wheel turned once more.
Gojo’s infinity is not a barrier, it’s just a technique which manipulates the space around Gojo in a way that makes him untouchable. So when Mahoraga included space and world itself as a target of it’s attack, there was no way Gojo could counter it with his infinity.
And this second method of attack was something that Sukuna could pull off. That’s precisely the reason why he praised Mahoraga in chapter 234.
TLDR; Sukuna used Mahoraga’s second slashing attack as a base, and used it to cut Gojo and kill him.
Clearing some doubts:
Ok, so there are some doubts regarding how Sukuna’s slash worked (read the comments below and you’ll see some really interesting ones).
Here’s my understanding of Sukuna cutting Gojo.
Sukuna’s slash targeted a particular space, and cut up anything and everything that existed inside that space, even the world. It was not like your everyday projectile attack.
Meaning, if Sukuna is standing at point A, and Gojo is at point B, the slash did not travel from A to B, instead it manifested at point B and cut Gojo. So, it did not have to traverse the infinity surrounding Gojo, it just cut everything in that place.
And no, Gege did not pull this move out of his arse. I don’t entirely think he was cornered either. The hints for Sukuna being able to do such a thing had been established in the fight.
Not an asspull:
In his fight with Gojo, Sukuna has time and again demonstrated his exceptional skill of jujutsu sorcery quite well.
For starters, we know that his understanding of cursed energy and techniques is unparalleled. Kashimo literally called him a God when it came to such things.
Sukuna is someone who understood and then executed the process of turning himself into a cursed object just by experiencing it once. It goes on to prove that he had a better understanding of not just cursed energy, but even the soul and existence as a whole when compared to the other characters of JJK.
He was even able to use RCT to get back his burnt out cursed technique just by watching Gojo do it.
All of this proves that it won’t be hard for Sukuna to imitate what Mahoraga did as far as he was able to grasp it. Note that he is not copying innate cursed techniques.
But then there are limitations here too. Sukuna clearly stated that altering the nature of cursed energy was not something he could do. So he had to wait until Mahoraga adapted further and came up with an attack that was basically a projection of his cursed technique.
Secondly, Sukuna also displayed that he can use the attacks of his shikigami even without manifesting them. He was shooting the Max Elephant’s water akin to piercing blood. And this happened twice.
Gojo himself noted that such a move required a high level of skill.
It shouldn’t really have come as a surprise that Sukuna was able to use Mahoraga’s slashing, an attack which he himself ordered Mahoraga to create.
So in the end, Gojo had no chance when Sukuna cut him. He probably caught Gojo off-guard. The only downside about Sukuna’s attack is that it occurs off-screen and we won’t know how exactly it transpired.
The technicalities are in place, however, Akutami could have at least shown how Sukuna overpowered Gojo. He deserved that much.
What are your thoughts on Sukuna killing Gojo? If you still have any doubts regarding how the king of curses managed to cut Gojo, drop your questions in the comments below, or you can reach out to me on Reddit/Twitter!