Mahoraga – the ultimate and the strongest shikigami in the ten shadows cursed technique. We first saw the shikigami in chapter 11, when Megumi summoned it as a last bid to defeat Shigemo during the Shibuya incident.
And ever since it was introduced in Jujutsu Kaisen, there has been a considerable hype surrounding the divine general, that too for a valid reason too.
Mahoraga has an outright broken ability – adaptation. Meaning, the shikigami is able to adapt to anything and everything that is thrown at it. Not just cursed technique, but even phenomena, if we are to believe Sukuna.
Furu’s incantation of Ten Sacred Treasures which summon Mahoraga and the wheel represent a complete cycle and harmony!Ryomen Sukuna
Mahoraga’s adaptation has often been discussed in the fandom, in a bid to better understand how it works. At first, it felt as if the shikigami could immediately adapt to anything instantly. However, that consensus has shifted and evolved during the Gojo vs Sukuna fight.
Armed with all that new info, let’s take a look at Mahoraga’s adaptation at this stage in the JJK manga!
How does Mahoraga’s adaptation work?
To answer in short, Mahoraga’s adaptation is an ongoing phenomena, meaning, once it experiences something – a cursed technique, or an attack or anything – it begins the process of adaptation and it keeps going on till it has “completely” adapted to it.
Every turn of the wheel (also known as the dharmachakra) on Mahoraga’s head signifies that the shikigami has experienced and has started adapting, or adapted more to the phenomena.
As opposed to what many believed initially, Mahoraga’s adaptation is NOT AN instantaneous process. As in, experiencing the attack once and a single turn of the wheel doesn’t signify a “complete” adaptation.
Itadori had raised a very interesting question in chapter 232. Mahoraga was taking around 5-7 spins to adapt to Gojo’s Unlimited Void and his Infinity.
Naturally, like us, he wondered if Mahoraga adapted to an attack after a certain time, or did it have to experience the same attack multiple times in order to complete the adaptation process.
Well, we finally get our answer in chapter 236.
According to Sukuna, Mahoraga’s adaptation is based essentially on time. However, the number of times it takes the same attack also dictates the time in which it adapts.
Confused? Allow me to break it down for you.
Let’s simplify it:
Mahoraga’s adaptation begins when it experiences an attack. And naturally, the wheel spins. From this point on, it gradually starts analyzing the attack/cursed technique it experienced.
And over a period of time, it will adapt to this attack completely, EVEN IF IT DOESN’T experience the attack/cursed technique again. The wheel spins a certain number of times in that time period.
Let’s go back to chapters 231-232. In those chapters, Sukuna notes that Gojo was not using anything other than his lapse, as in the neutral state of Limitless – the infinity – and also the Blue.
Since Mahoraga was in the process of adapting to the Infinity, everytime it experienced Gojo’s attacks, the wheel turned signifying that the process of adaptation was on.
However, in chapter 232, we see the wheel turn, even when Mahoraga did not experience any of Gojo’s attacks. He was simply running away from the latter.
But then, that’s not all. As I said, Mahoraga does adapt to a particular attack in a set period of time, however, if it experiences the attack AGAIN, the time taken for the adaptation is cut short.
For instance, let’s say Mahoraga adapts to a random cursed technique in 5 spins of its wheel. And let’s say that if Mahoraga experiences the attack only once, it will take 10 minutes to adapt to it. So, that means, the wheel will spin every two minutes on average.
However, let’s say, Mahoraga experiences this random cursed technique once more, and let’s say within a minute of experiencing it the first time, then the wheel will spin again. So naturally, the time will be cut short here.
It will still need 5 spins, however, instead of 10 minutes, it might adapt to this cursed technique in 8 minutes or 7 minutes.
I hope you were not confused more with this example I gave.
BUUUUTTTTTTTTT (I know, that’s a lot of buts I’m putting here)
And this is a big one.
Mahoraga’s adaptation is never actually COMPLETE. Remember how I said it was an ongoing process. Well, this is what I saw talking about.
Even when Mahoraga adapts to a cursed technique, you can make it adapt more for the shikigami to come up with even more methods to counter or nullify it.
This is precisely what Sukuna asked Mahoraga to do in order to get it adapted to Gojo’s Infinity.
When the shikigami first adapted to Infinity, it altered the nature of its cursed energy in order to counter the cursed technique. However, later on, it adapted even more to come up with a slashing attack that could be used as a model for Sukuna to copy.
So yeah, the analysis and adaptation never really stops. I am assuming that given a chance, Mahoraga can maybe come up with infinite (theoretical) possibilities to counter a jujutsu.
Now, let’s go back to chapter 118 and 119, the first time we saw Mahoraga’s adaptation in action.
Here, while experiencing Sukuna’s cleave and dismantle, the wheel on the shikigami’s head turns multiple times. This points out that the process of adaptation was ongoing.
This would explain why Mahoraga took damage when it was exposed to Sukuna’s domain expansion. It had not COMPLETELY adapted to that scenario.
It was able to process the dismantle, and probably the cleave too. However, it did not completely adapt to it, so as to be able to defend against it perfectly.
I guess it would be wise to say that Gege Akutami had these broken powers sorted from back then itself.