How Did Sukuna Cut & Kill Gojo In JJK 236?

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.

Related: Sukuna’s Fire Arrow & Open Technique Explained!

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.

Gojo loses his hand to Mahoraga
Gojo loses his hand

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.

Related: How does Mahoraga’s adaptation work in JJK?

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.

Mahoraga alters his CE to cut Gojo

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.

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.

Check out the following article to understand it better!

Read More: How does Sukuna’s world/space slash work?

Sukuna praises Mahoraga for adapting to infinity using a slashing attack.
Mahoraga good boi!

TLDR; Sukuna used Mahoraga’s second slashing attack as a base, and used it to cut Gojo and kill him.

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.

Kashimo says that Sukuna is like a God.

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.

Gojo comments on how Sukuna was using Max Elephant's attack like the piercing blood!

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!

8 thoughts on “How Did Sukuna Cut & Kill Gojo In JJK 236?”

  1. Almost exactly what i was thinking too. Im not an expert in japanese but i am somewhere between N3-N4 so i recognize some stuffs.

    1. Sukuna said
    俺 (me) が 摩虎羅 (Makora/Mahoraga) に たのめたい (Request/beg/ask/order) のは 手本 (example, [role] model) だ
    俺 (me) が 貴様 (you) の 不可侵 (inviolability) を やブル (Bypass, Rip apart, destroy) ため (for) の 手本 (example, [role] model)

    It does establish that Sukuna was hiding all this time expecting that mahoraga will show him a “concept” he can apply to his own technique. It makes no sense to have or mention Mahoraga as a “role model” if Sukuna is just going to use them to battle the “Infinity” wielders that is the Gojo family (some theorized this, so this is my counterpoint).

    Apart from that, Sukuna said “実にいい手本 だった” meaning “it really was a good example”, unlike his opinion on mahoraga’s first adaptation. This means that Sukuna learned the way to bypass infinity and used it himself. Maybe Sukuna is some ancient shit who learn all sort of things.

    2. Gojo’s apparent “death” and bisection has 3 possibilities to me which are worth mentioning.
    a) Mahoraga sent a last ditch attempt
    b) Mahoraga’s earlier slash somewhat went around and hit Gojo
    c) Sukuna slashed gojo himself

    Last ditch attempt seems rather doubtful. The attack in chap 234 that went around and hit Gojo while his guard went off or took some time to “bypass”, is doubtful to me. Third option is more likely. If only Gege would show us how Sukuna turned the tide around it would have been a great chapter.

    3. We see concepts used in JJK all the time. Technically Gojo’s infinity shouldn’t even be possible and neither is Yuki’s virtual mass nor Yorozu’s perfect sphere. Sukuna’s reality slash is not that far-fetched. It really is hax but so is infinity before it was bypassed. You could argue Gojo’s Infinity is somewhat of a Bullshit in itself. The problem is just the execution imo.

    Ofc it doesn’t mean Sukuna can cut through the earth just because. There has to be a limit. If infinity can stop (technically slow) literally everything, there would also be no limit to Sukuna’s hax technique as well, so it is only fair. Given Sukuna’s mastery and understanding, it isn’t really as much an asspull.

    4. I honestly felt Gojo was “winning” too easily while Sukuna is napping his problems off, so CH 236 felt vindicating. When 234 came, people are focused on “Gojo lost an arm and turned the tide 3vs1! Gojo is him”. Meanwhile i was wondering why sukuna is hiding all the time instead of ramping the pressure. Is he reserving energy? healing? now we know why.

    Goes without saying that holding back doesn’t mean Sukuna is having it easy. Playing chess, nervous in a winning position due to risk and uncertainty is normal. Aren’t we all nervous when a cockroach flies even though could slap it hard with a sandal or something.

    Reply
    • I totally agree with whatever you said. Gege did us bad by off-screening Gojo’s death, and that is the single biggest hindrance in understanding how Sukuna turned the fight around. However, I am more inclined to believe that Sukuna himself was the one who cut Gojo. Going by his statements, he definitely wanted Mahoraga to show him a method which HE HIMSELF could adopt. Mahoraga was a chess piece he was ready to sacrifice, in order to gain something bigger here.

      Secondly, If I were to put it very simply, I feel that Sukuna’s slash is cutting everything that exists in a particular space. The range of that space could be small, but it would absolutely cut anything inside it. So while he won’t be able to asunder the earth itself, taking out infinity does seem possible. It’s like you said, some “theoretically possible concepts” are brought alive in JJK, so we can’t really argue that something is an asspull.

      Sukuna held back, but that was also a gamble. He also took a gamble by trying to copy Mahoraga’s attack. There was a very real chance that he would have failed. But after the purple, Gojo literally had to be cut down. Sukuna knew there was no other way. He either had to start burning his reserves, ramp up his CE output which he was holding back and try to push back Gojo, or he could take a gamble and end it in a single attack. He just chose the latter. If not, he risked being more vulnerable to attacks after the battle with Gojo.

      Reply
    • No he did not cross the universe or anything. Think of the slash as an extension technique. The slash extended its target, just like what Nanami did against Mahito the first time they fought.

      Instead of Gojo, the slash targeted a particular space and cut everything that ‘existed’ inside the space, including any part of the world. So if Gojo existed in that space, his infinity wouldn’t matter, because that too EXISTS in that space and the slash just cuts through it all. We need to understand that infinity is NOT A BARRIER. Rather, it is just infinite space between Gojo and the attack. The attacks that travel towards Gojo only SLOW DOWN as it travels that infinity to reach Gojo. However, here, there is no question of REACHING Gojo. The whole space in which Gojo exists is being cut. So that Infinity gets bypasses anyways.

      To put it simply, the target shifted from a person to the “space and any existence inside it” itself.

      I hope this answer clears things up!

      Reply
      • But my logic can’t understand exactly that. Lets say I am at point A and gojo is at point B. Between us is his infinity, an infinite space. To target the space gojo is at, would mean I have to target him through an infinite distance. Just how can you pin point something that far away? Unless im missing something, this means sukuna is so OP that he can, at will, make any living thing drop dead no matter where they are in the universe. Thats just….. crazy

        Reply
        • Oh wait I get why you are confused. The slash does not travel from point A to point B. Instead, point B, which is the space Gojo exists in, directly gets slashed. So the slash does not have to travel the infinite distance.

          It slashes the space with all existence in it complete. It does not travel from one point to another as a normal projectile attack. Think of it as the slash itself manifesting where Gojo exists.

          This was my interpretation of Sukuna’s attack. I hope that helps!

          Reply

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