Mahoraga’s summoning might have come as a surprise for Satoru Gojo in JJK chapter 229, but not for us readers. We knew this was coming.
Ever since Sukuna took over Megumi’s body? No. Ever since Mahoraga was first summoned in the manga, people have been speculating or rather looking forward to the day when Gojo would fight the behemoth from the Ten Shadows Technique.
As far as fans were concerned, this was a narrative set in stone. And Gege Akutami, for once, did not subvert any expectations. Sukuna finally summoned Mahoraga in JJK chapter 229, while he was on his last legs.
Oh! How the tables have turned.
While Gojo initially found himself at a disadvantage in the domain battle in Chapter 225, the latest chapter marked a significant shift with his decisive victory.
However, Mahoraga’s arrival has once again swung the odds wildly in Sukuna’s favor. This is especially evident since the cursed spirit effortlessly shattered Gojo’s domain expansion, Unlimited Void, with the same ease it shattered Yorozu’s perfect sphere.
This naturally brings a lot of questions to mind. How did Mahoraga adapt to Gojo’s Unlimited Void?
Note: This article has been updated after Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 230.
How did Mahoraga adapt to Gojo’s Unlimited Void?
If I were to answer in short, Mahoraga was able to adapt to Gojo’s Unlimited Void because Sukuna used Megumi’s soul in the process of adapting to it.
Confused? Fret not, I’ll try my best to break it down for you. Before the reveal in chapter 230, I felt Sukuna had employed some sort of Binding Vow here, but more on that later!
Let me start by pointing out that the most telling hints for Mahoraga having indeed adapted to the Unlimited Void was the turning of the shikigami’s wheel. As you may recall, each time the wheel turns, it signifies that it has adapted to the phenomenon it just encountered.
In chapter 228, Gojo became suspicious when Sukuna refrained from employing the Ten Shadows technique to gain an advantage. It was during this moment that we witnessed the first turn of the wheel (also known as the dharmachakra) in the midst of their clash.
This was immediately followed by Gojo getting a nosebleed; but it later turned out that the two incidents were not related.
Read More: Why did Gojo get a nosebleed?
The second instance of the wheel turning occurred when Sukuna was struck by Gojo’s Unlimited Void in Chapter 229. This particular turn of the wheel holds a lot of importance as it transpired after Sukuna had experienced the effects of the Infinite Void.
It is likely during this moment that the shikigami adapted to Gojo’s domain expansion. That aside, these two instances proved that Mahoraga was indeed summoned and working behind the scenes in some manner.
However, this is where it gets a bit complicated. Because, the wheel was not on Sukuna’s head, meaning he was not burdening the responsibility of the adaptation!
This is where we get to discussing how Megumi’s soul became involved in the whole adaptation process.
But before we get to that, we need to clear up how Sukuna and Gojo’s domains and their sure hit effects functioned.
The confusing domain effects:
We know that the sure hit attacks in the space where Gojo and Sukuna’s domains clashed were cancelled out. However, that’s not entirely true.
Gojo’s sure-hit attack was targeting everything inside the domain including himself. Meanwhile, Sukuna’s sure-hit targeted everything inside the domain EXCLUDING himself.
Meaning, while the two sure-hit attacks cancelled out everywhere else, Sukuna still was an open target, because his sure-hit was not nullifying Gojo’s sure-hit attack that targeted his body.
Check out the following images to understand what happened better:
In short, every time Gojo expanded his domain, Sukuna WAS HIT by the Unlimited Void. And this is precisely where Megumi’s soul plays a role.
Megumi’s soul comes into the mix:
Everytime Sukuna was hit by the Unlimited Void, he transferred the effect of the void to Megumi’s soul.
And conversely, he also summoned and put up Mahoraga’s wheel on Megumi’s soul so that every time he got hit by the unlimited void, the process of adaptation would begin.
Since we never saw Sukuna summon the wheel after the fight with Gojo started, I guess it is safe to assume that he had done this before the battle even began. Should we be commending Sukuna’s foresight? Or did Akutami miss this?
So in the five domain expansions we saw, it seems that the adaptation process was actually going on in the background.
Naturally, this move comes with its inconsistencies.
The first question that pops up to mind when we come to know of Megumi’s soul bearing the burden is this, how did Sukuna even manage to do that? The narrator mentions that Sukuna was the one who was hit by the unlimited void 5 times.
And if Sukuna was indeed hit these five times, and if he was no bearing the burden of adaptation, how did HE NOT GET AFFECTED? How did he manage to simply manage to transfer the effects to Megumi?
Because in chapter 229 we saw, even if for a brief moment, what happens Unlimited Void hit Sukuna. So why did this not happen in any of the four previous attempts.
When Gojo opened his domain for the second time, Sukuna stayed close to him, and did not lose contact, which can be used as a justification for UV not affecting him.
The third time Gojo shrunk his domain too small, and we don’t what happened inside so we can ignore that instance too.
But what about the first time their domains clashed? The king of curses did not even bother to use domain amplification over there. How did he manage to survive the effects of Unlimited Void?
The second inconsistency is that we only saw the wheel turn twice. Maybe Gege only chose to represent it twice, but still, it’s nagging me for some reason!
Also, there is the matter of Gojo totally missing out the use of Ten Shadows technique, because he explicitly notes that Sukuna has not used the technique in chapter 228.
Throughout the manga, Gojo has repeatedly demonstrated that his Six Eyes cannot be underestimated when it comes to discerning cursed techniques or anything related to Jujutsu.
For instance, in chapter 1, even with his blindfold on, Gojo could ‘see’ that Sukuna and Itadori had merged just by looking at him.
In the Hidden Inventory arc, despite not being at the pinnacle of his power as he is now, Gojo was still able to deduce the cursed technique of the Clone Guy solely based on his eyes.
Shoko’s comment in JJK chapter 225 provides even stronger evidence. She mentions that with his Six Eyes, Gojo can determine if Sukuna’s Domain Expansion is strong enough to rival his own.
Considering all these factors, I find it difficult to believe that Sukuna could deceive Gojo into thinking he was not using the Ten Shadows technique.
Even if Sukuna hid the wheel in the shadows, the act of summoning and concealing it would still involve the use of the technique.
Some of these inconsistencies, however, could possibly be explained by something like a binding vow.
A binding vow in place?
Well, considering the inconsistencies mentioned above, it is possible that Sukuna might have put a binding vow in place. Something along the lines of him not using the Ten Shadows technique, and instead using it to make Megumi’s soul adapt to Gojo’s domain.
Binding vows are complex and involve a reciprocal exchange. Here, Sukuna made a binding vow upon himself, utilizing the cursed technique as an intermediary/condition.
By willingly abstaining from using the Ten Shadows technique, Sukuna put himself at a disadvantage in the battle against Gojo. In return for imposing this risky constraint upon himself, he was able to make Mahoraga adapt to Gojo’s cursed technique and domain.
It is possible that he shifted the target of the adaptability from Mahoraga to Megumi’s soul which resided in the same body, meaning that Mahoraga would adapt to any attacks Sukuna experienced from Gojo.
In fact, Sukuna has already employed a binding vow once before while fighting Gojo, using it to manipulate the Shrine’s effect against the Unlimited Void.
During the second opening of their domains, Sukuna sacrificed his sure-hit attack within the space where the two domains clashed. This maneuver increased the effectiveness of the slashes launched against Gojo’s domain from the outside.
This serves as evidence that Sukuna is no stranger to creating binding vows, making it entirely plausible that he employed one once again to outwit Satoru.
However, it still doesn’t explain how he escaped without a scathe.
We might possibly get more details once more chapters come out. At this point, I am not entirely convinced by what Sukuna has pulled here.
That said, I am curious to know if you are convinced by Sukuna using Megumi’s soul to shield him and adapt to Unlimited Void? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or you can reach out to me on Reddit/Tumblr.