The Jujutsu Kaisen fandom often tends to disagree on a lot of things, eventually creating scores of discourse on social networking sites and online forums.
However, trust me when I say this, the debate surrounding whether Sukuna is a cursed spirit or not, is by far the single biggest topic that could be splitting the fandom.
While some argue that he is a human sorcerer who reincarnated, there are others who are adamant on calling him a cursed spirit. The latter can’t be blamed because at one point, even the Jujutsu Kaisen wiki had Sukuna listed as a cursed spirit.
So, what exactly is Sukuna? To answer in short, Sukuna is NOT a cursed spirit! He is a reincarnated sorcerer.
I know, I know, you won’t just take my word for it. So, in this article, I am going to lay down all the points to prove that Sukuna is no different from a reincarnated sorcerer like Angel.
I will put an end to the debate right here right now!
Before we understand why Sukuna isn’t a cursed spirit, we need to get a better understanding of what cursed spirits themselves are.
What are Cursed spirits in JJK?
Cursed spirits are just a ball of cursed energy. They manifest via the negative emotions, and in turn the cursed energy that flows out of human beings. The greater the collective fear or negative emotion surrounding a particular subject, the stronger the cursed spirit that is formed out of it.
Cursed spirits come in different forms and sizes. But even though they take the shape of creatures or human-like appearances, they are essentially different and cannot be perceived by non-sorcerers.
To be more precise, they don’t really have a physical body or existence per se, it’s just a mass of energy that can only be seen and countered by sorcerers using cursed energy.
Stronger cursed spirits often have a sense of self and are intelligent enough to plan and interact with others.
Non-sorcerer human beings are the only people who can give birth to cursed spirits, like Yuki says to Geto in the Hidden Inventory arc, because they can’t control their cursed energy and it keeps leaking out.
However, sorcerers can also turn into cursed spirits if they are not killed using cursed energy. Naoya Zen’in is the best example of this situation.
He was killed in the end by Maki’s mother, who did not have any cursed energy, by using a mere knife. This let him return as a cursed spirit later in the culling game.
Now let’s take this information and compare it with Sukuna.
Reasons why Sukuna is not a cursed spirit:
Sukuna not being a cursed spirit was confirmed by none other than the man himself in his fight against Mahoraga.
After blocking a hit from the shikigami’s sword of extermination, Sukuna mentioned that IF he were a cursed spirit, that attack would have killed him. Meaning, he only survived because he was NOT a cursed spirit.
Related: How does Mahoraga’s Adaptation work?
No, this was not just because Sukuna was in Itadori’s body!
It is mentioned in the initial chapters of JJK manga that Sukuna was a human (curse user/sorcerer) in the past.
Unlike cursed spirits, he was not born out of the negative energy seeping out of humans. More like, he was the cause of the negative feelings that might have spread around during the heian era!
While fighting against Kashimo in chapter 238, Sukuna mentioned that he was despised as a child, confirming once again that he really was born as a human.
Another crucial piece of information is that Sukuna uses RCT to heal his injuries. This was evident during the fight with Gojo and even Yorozu. RCT was used by the Merged Beast Agito and the Round Deer respectively to heal him in the above scenarios.
This piece of information is crucial because cursed spirits don’t need reverse cursed technique to heal them. Since they are entirely made up of cursed energy, they can just rebuild their bodies using it.
In fact the positive energy that is output with RCT is harmful to them.
Now, some of you might argue that Sukuna died in the Heian era and then came back as a cursed spirit, just like Naoya did. Well, the argument sounds good to the ears, but is totally baseless on paper.
Why? Because Sukuna was converted into a cursed object by Kenjaku immediately after his death. That’s how he managed to survive all these years, preserved as 20 fingers in his own grave wax.
Yes, think of them as horcrux! And Sukuna as Voldemort!
Once Itadori ate the fingers, his essence transferred into the boy. You can read more about the soul and the essence over here.
The more fingers he consumed, the more Sukuna’s essence kept getting stronger, and finally on completely gaining his strength, the King of curses reincarnated (in Megumi’s body albeit).
The deformed body (four hands and two face) in Sukuna’s true form is probably the result of dabbling too much in Jujutsu, or due to some experimentation he carried out in order to make himself stronger! And then there’s also the twin brother theory, but we’ll discuss that later!
The point being, Sukuna is definitely not a cursed spirit!
But, if the answer to whether Sukuna is a cursed spirit or not was so clear, then why was there even a debate in the first place?
Well, the main reason why he was considered a cursed spirit by a certain section of fans, and briefly by the JJK wiki, was because he was called the King of curses and also a “curse”.
This is where we need to understand the difference between the terms cursed spirit and a curse.
A curse or noroi (呪い) is a blanket term in JJK that encompasses any and all phenomena related to cursed energy in the universe. This includes cursed spirits, cursed objects and in general anything with a negative connotation in that verse.
Sukuna comes with a lot of negative connotations. Not only was he feared as a natural disaster for his heinous actions back in the heian era, the mere presence of his fingers were sinister enough to attract and feed the cursed spirits.
In chapter 213, Itadori calls Sukuna and the others (referring to Kenjaku and his team) curses. In layman terms, Itadori was calling them bad guys! That’s it. This is very similar to how Yaga called Geto a curse in JJK 0 manga.
And King of Curses? Sukuna probably got that nickname thanks to his ridiculous skill at Jujutsu, and also because of how strong he was.
The first we heard that name was once again, in chapter 3, from Gojo Satoru. And that was said in reference to how much of a pain in the butt he was for the Jujutsu Sorcerers! So yeah, he was, and is, the biggest curse ever. So it is only fair that he earned that nickname!
I hope that the issue at hand is now clear. Is Sukuna a cursed spirit? Definitely not! If you still have any lingering doubts regarding this, do let me know in the comments below, or you could reach out to me on Reddit/Tumblr.