Mahito still tops my list of most hated villains in recent shonen. And that is precisely why the manner of Mahito’s demise was one of the most satisfying moments in JJK manga for me!
Rather than how he died, I’d say it were those moments just before his end, that were more satisfactory. A broken and defeated Mahito running scared from Itadori, just like a prey would run from its hunter. Ah, I savored every single moment of it.
And the way he begged Geto to save him? That was the icing on the cake. However that’s also when one Akutami serves us one of the biggest twists in JJK manga!!
This is the moment which established Kenjaku or Geto as major villain.
However, Mahito was essentially on Kenjaku’s side. So did he go and absorb and kill the cursed spirit? Let’s try to understand that better!
Why did Kenjaku/Geto kill Mahito?
To answer in short, Kenjaku/Geto killed Mahito in order to extract the latter’s Idle Transfiguration cursed technique. Kenjaku wanted to use it to awaken the sorcerers he had marked and subsequently start the culling game.
To understand why Kenjaku wanted to start the culling game, check the article below!
Kenjaku is an elaborate schemer. He had been planning to orchestrate the Culling Game for quite a long time.
As he mentioned in chapter 136, he had painstakingly formed contracts with chosen sorcerers and cursed spirits from the past for over a thousand years, turning them into cursed objects and giving them an opportunity at life again, in exchange for taking part in a death game.
On top of that, he also marked certain people with potential from the current time period (think of them as Junpei), who can awaken cursed techniques and will be forced to participate in the culling games.
However, the only way he could awaken these sorcerers was by having a cursed technique like Mahito’s – the Idle Transfiguration.
First things first, I bet Kenjaku wanted to awaken all of them together.
As Tengen mentioned in chapter 145, Kenjaku did not have enough cursed energy to be able to awaken the players using Tengen’s barriers. Also, awakening sorcerers individually by using his own cursed technique was also incredibly inefficient!
So, Idle Transfiguration was the only feasible option and Kenjaku figured that a long time ago (more on how he figured it out in the last section).
I know what you’re wondering. If all Kenjaku/Geto wanted was Mahito’s cursed technique, then he could have absorbed or killed him right at the start of the manga right?
Well, there’s two reasons why he waited until Shibuya to kill Mahito.
- Kenjaku wanted to get Gojo out of the way: Gojo was the single biggest obstacle in his path. He had to seal him first, and the cursed spirits proved extremely useful in that sense.
- He wanted the quality of Mahito’s cursed technique to improve.
The second point is something Kenjaku himself explained in chapter 136 and is equally crucial as taking Gojo out of the picture.
If you remember, Mahito was said to be a new born cursed spirit, who was only beginning to understand his powers. When Mahito fought Itadori in Shibuya, that’s when his cursed technique truly blossomed.
The task of awakening the marked sorcerers was pretty humongous, and Kenjaku waited till Idle Transfiguration was primed to its peak. I also feel that he wanted to do something with Jogo’s technique too, going by what he said!
In the end, the cursed spirits were simply pieces on his chessboard and he manipulated them to do his bidding.
Why not use Mahito himself?
So, we have established that Kenjaku basically needed Mahito’s cursed technique. And that is the reason he killed him. However, we know that once a cursed spirit is absorbed by Geto’s cursed spirit manipulation, they literally become the user’s slave (completely obedient).
Related: Why did Mahito attack Geto/Kenjaku?
What I am trying to say is this – Kenjaku could have absorbed Mahito, and ordered him to remotely activate Idle Transfiguration right? Mahito would also have been a great cursed spirit to have in his arsenal.
So why didn’t Kenjaku go for this plan?
While the answer has not been explicitly clarified, I feel that the reason Kenjaku killed Mahito was to EXTRACT the technique. The extraction part is the key here.
I don’t think Mahito was skilled enough to remotely activate a cursed technique. Kenjaku having lived for a millennia, had a better understanding of cursed technique and its nuances.
Also, it is mentioned in Jujutsu Kaisen that Kenjaku is the best barrier technique user after Tengen herself.
I don’t know for sure if the remote activation of a cursed technique was based off some kind of barrier technique (going by Yuki’s reaction), but if it was, then it makes sense that Kenjaku wanted to activate the technique himself.
To put it simply, Mahito couldn’t do it, Kenjaku was the only one who could. Could also be something about how the one who made the contract or marked the sorcerers should be the only one to awaken them.
And the only way Kenjaku could absorb the technique was by using Uzumaki, and that would essentially kill Mahito.
Will Mahito return?
Now that we understood why Geto/Kenjaku killed Mahito, I want to clarify a small detail about Mahito’s death.
Mahito did not exactly die when Kenjaku absorbed him using Geto’s Cursed Spirit Manipulation. To understand why, let’s go back to the Hidden Inventory arc when Toji obliterated Geto.
The only reason why Toji spared his life was because he did not what would happen to the cursed spirits who were absorbed using Cursed Spirit Manipulation. This suggested that there was a very real chance that all the spirit absorbed could just return to the real world.
So does that mean Mahito can come back to life? The answer is no in the short term, or atleast as far as the JJK series is concerned.
True, there is a possibility that the cursed spirits absorbed by Geto’s CSM can return. However, it doesn’t apply to Mahito because Kenjaku used him in a Maximum Uzumaki.
Cursed Spirits are nothing but a mass of cursed energy realized into a form that is reminiscent of the concept they represent. By using the Uzumaki, not only did Kenjaku extract Mahito’s cursed technique, but also used whatever cursed energy Mahito was made up of, in the attack.
In short, Mahito is NOT going to return. The cursed spirit died when Kenjaku used him in Maximum Uzumaki.
But I said in the short term. That’s because in the Jujutsu Kaisen universe, cursed spirits are reborn after a cycle of 100 years. So, it’s possible that Mahito would return sometime in the future, but definitely not during the course of the manga. Atleast that’s what I feel!
It also explains how, Kenjaku, who has been alive for over thousand years, was aware of a cursed spirit like Mahito, and the Idle Transfiguration cursed technique. He might have encountered it sometime in the past.
And that’s probably when he figured out what he could with Idle Transfiguration and formulated his plan to extract it, and use it further his goal!!
What are your thoughts on Mahito’s death and Kenjaku’s actions. Do you think there is a chance for him to return in the manga? Let me know in the comments below or you can reach out to me on Reddit/Twitter!