- Yuji and Mahito have similar ideals and philosophies, despite being on opposite sides. They both act according to their nature as curses or humans.
- Mahito’s main goal is to make Yuji realize their similarities and accept his own nature as a monster who kills curses to save humans.
- Although Mahito meets his end, his influence on Yuji remains, helping him realize his full potential and strengthen his resolve to help others. Their relationship is a noteworthy and engaging part of Jujutsu Kaisen.
When most people think of a captivating dynamic between a hero and a villain in Jujutsu Kaisen, they often think of Yuji and Sukuna by default, seeing as how the relationship between the two is one of the central themes of the series. However, Yuji’s parallels to a villain tend to run almost just as deep when he is put next to Mahito, the strongest of the Disaster Curses.
Mahito claims to be the opposite side of the same coin as Jujutsu Kaisen’s protagonist, and when looking at their philosophies and actions throughout the series, it is pretty easy to understand why. The outlook that both characters have on the world is greatly influenced by their nature as a curse and human, and they both greatly differ in how they carry out their goals, despite them being very similar.
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Yuji And Mahito Have Similar Ideals
When he was first introduced into the series, no one could have predicted Mahito to become the perfect antithesis to everything Yuji stood for. In their initial clash, the difference between the two was great and Mahito took a keen interest in Yuji because he could not alter the shape of his soul with his Idle Transfiguration due to the presence of Sukuna in his body.
This led to somewhat of an obsession that grew within the Disaster Curse. Yuji risked his life in an attempt to save Junpei, even willing to give himself over to Sukuna completely if it meant that Sukuna would heal his new friend, a request that the King of Curses refused. This prompted a chorus of mockery and laughter between Sukuna and Mahito as Junpei was transformed into a transfigured human and Yuji was left to fight him off.
However, Yuji eventually defeats Mahito with the help of his teacher, Kento Nanami. This defeat exacerbated Mahito’s obsession with Yuji as he realized his purpose and that of his nemesis, which was the focal point of their clash during the Shibuya Incident. After viewing Yuji’s actions from afar and finding out that he always acts out of his nature, Mahito realizes that he does the same.
During this time, Mahito kills Nanami in front of Yuji, prompting the sorcerer to lash out at him, yelling at him and asking him why must he cause so much misery, pain, and destruction everywhere he goes. Mahito then responds with the iconic line; ‘I’m You’. With the utterance of this fact, Mahito explains that he is not evil for doing what he does, as he is simply acting in a way that befits his nature as a Cursed Spirit, stating that since he is the curse born from humans’ fear and hatred of other humans, it’s simply in his nature to kill them.
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A Fight To Decide Who’s Right
Mahito opens up the truth to Yuji, stating the biggest parallel between the two. Just as it is Mahito’s nature to indiscriminately kill and torture humans, it is Yuji’s nature to save them and indiscriminately kill Cursed Spirits. Mahito raises quite the paradox for Yuji as he asks him why human lives inherently have more value than those of Cursed Spirits who only act according to their nature, while humans themselves wage war and spread destruction for selfish reasons against their own kind.
Mahito’s main goal, other than killing Yuji and reaching his full potential, is to make Yuji realize what he is. This philosophy is one that Yuji vehemently denies, saying that he is the furthest thing from a monster who kills people, but Mahito insists that this is not the case. This certain clash between the two comes to a head at the end of their fight.
After getting Todo’s help and finally defeating the Special Grade Curse, Yuji comes to a realization. He comes to terms with the fact that Mahito was right about his earlier assessment of their rivalry and, after taking so much from him, Yuji comes to terms with what he must do. In one of the greatest moments in all of Jujutsu Kaisen, Yuji accepts that he indiscriminately kills curses to save humans, giving in to the fact that this is his nature as he walks down a fleeing Mahito, saying; ‘I’m You’.
The imagery in this scene is masterful, as Gege Akutami shows Yuji in a similar role as Mahito, as a hunter who runs down its weak and damaged prey that can’t defend itself. Mahito’s philosophy comes full circle, as Yuji admits that they’re the same and states that each time Mahito comes back, Yuji will kill him, no matter what kind of form he takes or when he returns, as he will always kill Mahito, no matter what.
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Aftermath Of The Battle
Although Mahito meets his end at the hands of Kenjaku, his influence and relevance remain within the series and especially within Yuji. Mahito took everything from him, but in doing so, helped him to realize his full potential and further strengthened his resolve to help others out, no matter what. Yuji’s growth over the traumatic events that he faced in the Shibuya Incident greatly added to his overall development.
Their relationship is also compounded by how much they both want to power up and get stronger to defeat their opponents. During their fight, Mahito unlocked the true essence of his soul and underwent a transformation, called the Instant Spirit Body of Distorted Killing, and became far stronger. In doing so, he led Yuji to do the same in order to keep up. This newfound strength was vital for Yuji’s growth in the fight, as well as going forward.
Yuji and Mahito’s relationship and the parallel that they share are a masterclass in writing and are some of the most noteworthy parts of Jujutsu Kaisen. Just as sympathetic and lovable of a hero as Yuji is, Mahito serves as a perfect antagonist who’s far more nuanced than just someone who wants to destroy or rule the world, leading to an incredibly engaging dynamic for the fans of the series to watch and read about.
Jujutsu Kaisen can be streamed on Amazon Prime and Netflix.
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