Please read the whole write-up before you proceed to roast me! Thanks!
Higuruma’s domain was supposed to be the trump card against a reincarnated Sukuna, who was now in his true form.
Gojo came mighty close to defeating Megukuna, but still fell short. And Kashimo did squat, as he was just all talk against the all powerful opponent.
As things stood in the previous chapter, the only way Itadori and the Jujutsu sorcerers could stand a chance against Sukuna was by having the Judgeman confiscate his cursed technique.
And the Judgeman did pass a guilty verdict and hand down the death penalty. However, things didn’t go as smoothly as expected.
Even though Higuruma succeeded in getting a confiscation, it was not Sukuna’s cursed technique that got confiscated, but instead, it was his cursed tool Kamutoke, the one that was gifted by Yorozu to him.
According to the rules of Higuruma’s Domain, Deadly Sentencing, when the target of confiscation is in possession of a cursed tool, the tool will get confiscated first. So, at the end of chapter 245, Sukuna still had his cursed technique – the Shrine, possibly his fire arrow and open (fuuga).
Where did the asspull allegations come from?
I have gone through a lot of discussion posts on forums regarding the development from JJK chapter 245. And, if I’m being totally blunt, then Sukuna’s cursed tool getting confiscated is being termed as asspull mostly because it did not play along as the fandom had theorized.
As I mentioned above, Higuruma’s domain and the confiscation ability were seen as a means to an end.
Rampant theories on forums online had speculated that Sukuna’s shrine will get confiscated, which will lead him to reveal the open technique.
This theory gained popularity riding on the whimsical hopes of getting more information about Sukuna’s highly mysterious ability, including the Fire Arrow.
On top of that, there were expectations that the trial would actually give us crumbs into Sukuna’s past.
Once again, details about Sukuna’s Heian era exploits is something that every Jujutsu Kaisen fan has been waiting for. So, naturally, the prospect of such a development seemed alluring to many, and everyone was eagerly looking forward to it.
But we forget one thing, as much as our theories make sense, the story is eventually the author Gege Akutami’s. If he chose not to reveal certain stuffs now, then it means he probably has a plan on how they will play out later.
Now, there is nothing wrong in being disappointed with a certain outcome of the story, however, terming it as poor writing just because it didn’t conform to our expectations is taking it a notch too far.
Why? Because if we pay closer attention, we’d realize that Sukuna’s cursed tool getting confiscated is not really an asspull. It’s not what everyone speculated, but it’s not poor writing.
Allow me to explain!
Sukuna’s Cursed tool getting confiscated is justified:
Ok, first and foremost, the biggest complaint against Sukuna’s cursed tool being confiscated in JJK chapter 245 has been Higuruma’s lack of awareness about the rules of his own domain.
According to the disgruntled readers, Higuruma should have known that the Judgeman’s confiscation would target a cursed tool over a technique first. Especially since he had one month to train and understand his domain better.
But here’s the problem, Higuruma’s domain expansion is quite unique and something that has not been seen before. On top of that, he is an awakened sorcerer, meaning he is entirely new to the concepts of sorcery.
He’s hardly been a sorcerer for 2 months.
Higuruma himself has been analyzing the cursed technique that came with this domain expansion, which he first opened during that trial in Tokyo in chapter 159, and has been working backwards to get a better understanding of the basics of sorcery.
Sure, he could have gotten a better grasp of the jujutsu basics in the one month time skip. But unlike the Limitless or the Ten Shadows technique, Higuruma’s domain expansion or cursed technique is not well documented and is not something that’s passed down.
Even seasoned sorcerers usually take years to understand their cursed techniques better, and use it innovatively. Take a look at Mei Mei, for instance. Or even Gojo, who took over a year after Riko’s death to perfect his Limitless.
Going by that, two months is hardly enough time to even scratch the surface, especially for a newbie, genius or not!
The only way Higuruma could understand his technique/domain better could be by fighting other sorcerers. And in the past one month he hasn’t fought anyone I assume!
The reason why he grew so much in the initial days is because he kept fighting other sorcerers constantly, thanks to the Culling Game rules.
For instance, when he fought Itadori, who was a special case, Higuruma understood that the Judgeman confiscated cursed energy, when the target of confiscation did not have a cursed technique.
Similarly, Higuruma could only have realized that a rule about the cursed tool getting confiscated first existed, if he fought a cursed tool user before. And cursed tool users are pretty rare to find.
There are Yuta and Maki in the team, but given his surprise, it seems that he never trained with them or had a domain battle with them.
This was not a standard shounen training arc mind you!
It’s safe to say that Higuruma didn’t even consider such a possibility because of his inexperience. Infact, his lack of knowledge was shown over the course of the discussion in chapter 244.
Also, there’s been a touch of randomness when it came to Deadly Sentencing and what the Judgeman would do. The whole point of chapter 244 was to hit that in.
The Judgeman doesn’t confiscate the cursed technique that was used for the crime. It only confiscates the ability to use A CURSED TECHNIQUE, or a cursed tool if it was there first. It could have been any of Shrine or Open.
Check out the panel below.
And as to WHY such a rule even existed in the domain in the first place? Well, it’s common for authors to spring surprises to heighten the tension in the battle.
But think about it like this: when you usually take in or arrest a criminal, especially one with a weapon, the weapon gets confiscated first before pinning down the person or hauling him off to prison.
Since the Judgeman is basically Higuruma’s shikigami, and it thrives on Higuruma’s understanding of the law, the rules could have come up accordingly. The non-violence part in the domain? That’s just like a courtroom.
Now about the confiscation part!
I feel that Judgeman confiscates cursed technique because in the eyes of the law (Higuruma’s POV), they are very similar to weapons that can be used for mass murder etc. A person with a cursed technique is like a person armed with a gun or a sword or a tool. It’s that simple! So if a person has a cursed tool, that is bound to get confessed first.
You don’t go after the most dangerous tool first, instead you go after the first one you find in an investigation sort of scenario!
Also, after seeing this play out, I feel that the Shrine and Open aren’t really two techniques, they could be related. If the Shrine were to get confiscated, this really would have been the final battle, which it is not.
If the Shrine and the Open indeed are two different techniques, then the cursed tool being confiscated doesn’t really change the outcome. Even if the Shrine had been confiscated, Sukuna would have had Kamutoke and the Open Technique, and those would still be too hard on the Jujutsu sorcerers.
Not to forget that this guy has twice the cursed energy reserves of Yuta himself. So no, the battle wouldn’t have been easier at all! So, if the only complaint is because we did not get more details of Open, or Heian era Sukuna, then the claims of poor writing fall flat.
Now, let’s consider the second point that has been widely debated.
Kamutoke is just plot convenience?
Higuruma’s obliviousness aside, the other allegation for Gege’s writing being termed asspull is the purpose of the cursed tool Kamutoke itself in the story.
When you look at the larger picture, it seems as if Yorozu’s final gift was simply present in the story so that it could have been taken away by Judgeman in the trial.
Considering that Kamutoke was a tool JJK readers were looking forward to in action, thanks to the cover art which hyped it up, it came as a huge disappointment that it was confiscated, thus severely limiting its overall impact in the plot.
Now, this is an argument which we can’t completely ignore. It holds some water because, when you look at it, Kamutoke indeed seems like a plot convenience at this point. And I have to stress on – at this point.
It is just like how Gojo recovering his cursed technique using RCT seemed like a plot convenience at first. However, we get a very solid explanation for it later. I guess we will see more of the Kamutoke in the future too.
Why? Because I don’t think the confiscation is something that is supposed to last forever.
Itadori’s cursed energy was confiscated by the Judgeman, but he did get it back after Higuruma decided to dispel his cursed technique.
I can say for sure that this is not the final battle which we are witnessing. With all the plot points that are still left to be explored, I feel the arc will end with Sukuna’s victory and the latter retreating (let’s see how well this assumption ages).
So once Higuruma’s technique is dispelled, or if he dies (a probability we can’t ignore), Kamutoke certainly will be back in Sukuna’s hand.
But if we don’t see any convincing developments in the future, then it might join the list of plot conveniences we have seen till now, including the presence of Angel (Hana Kurusu) simply to unseal Gojo, or even Anti Gravity to that extent.
The one minute of prison realm time only needing to happen in Gojo’s brain to seal him? We can’t ignore that either. But yeah, if we peer too closely, everything might seem like a plot convenience. What does that say about JJK?
The point is, Sukuna’s cursed tool being confiscated by Judgeman in Higuruma’s domain expansion is not an asspull. Even if the cursed technique were erased, the outcome would have been same. And Gege could still have withheld details about Sukuna’s other attacks.
The whole sequence and the outcome is a parallel to real life trials. The judge/jury has passed the verdict. And it is not always that everyone can be satisfied with whatever has been handed down.
It could be a clever callout to how criminals often slip through the cracks in the judicial system. But that’s just me saying it.
I’d really like to hear your thoughts on Sukuna’s cursed tool being confiscated. Did reading this explanation change your thoughts about it? Let me know in the comments below or you can reach out to me on Reddit/Twitter!