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Jujutsu Kaisen’s Culling Game Arc Reveals Its First Victim

Chapter #147 of Jujutsu Kaisen reveals a heartbreaking death, setting an even darker tone for the upcoming arc of the series.

Jujutsu Kaisen’s Shibuya Incident arc dominated much of the series’ recent chapters, and its aftermath has left the world in a much darker place. Unfortunately for Yuji Itadori, Megumi Fushiguro, Yuta Okkotsu and many others loyal to Satoru Gojo, the situation hasn’t gotten any easier with the start of the ominous Culling Game. Now, in Chapter #147, the eponymous event has sadly taken its first victim — and it’s one from the Jujutsu Tech family.

Clear lines have been drawn in Jujutsu society now that Satoru Gojo has been sealed with the Prison Realm by Geto and branded a traitor by the Jujutsu elders. Those who have been attributed with helping Gojo, like Principal Masamichi Yaga, have execution orders on their lives. Due to those orders — and perhaps a differing ideology — Yaga comes face-to-face with the Jujutsu Tech Kyoto’s Principal Gakuganji, who has come to fulfill the elder’s commands. The battle itself is unseen, but the impact of the death of Yaga is felt immediately.

Gojo Satoru activating Red and Blue

With Gojo being such a powerful presence, he is essentially a fix-all for any situation, so his current removal from the story means he can no longer be a safety net for Yuji and co. The powers that be — the ones that oppose the positive changes Gojo was championing for the Jujutsu world — immediately took full advantage of Gojo’s removal to set an even darker tone for the “Culling Game” arc. As things gear up for the twisted competition, Yuji, Yuta, Fushiguro, Choso and Yuki Tsukomo meet with the enigmatic and immortal Master Tengen to learn more about Kenjaku’s plans. However, elsewhere, we catch up with Yaga.

Chapter #147 opens with a conversation between Yaga and Gakuganji — the two principals of Jujutsu Tech Tokyo and Kyoto, respectively. As Yaga sat imprisoned in a jail cell, Gakuganji inquired about how he created the independent Cursed Corpse, Panda. Gakuganji explains that the higher-ups fear that Yaga can make an army if he knows how to create more Cursed Corpses like Panda. Yaga replies that he’s not sure how exactly Panda was created or, at least, had no intentions of revealing that information to Gakuganji yet.

However, the story shifts to another flashback where Yaga is with another independent Cursed Corpse named Takeru and several others. The moment is strangely reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh, with Yaga as the Christopher Robin here — he even crawls through a strange door at the base of a tree. Takeru is then revealed to be the replicated soul of a woman’s dead son crafted into the Cursed Corpse’s core.

Though the clash between principals isn’t shown, the grave injuries Yaga suffers are. However, before he succumbs to his injuries, Yaga explains to Gakuganji the secret behind creating independent Cursed Corpses. Essentially, three highly compatible souls must be inputted into the cores, and they’ll constantly observe one another. Eventually, once they stabilize, the Cursed Corpse will become self-aware and, after three months, will achieve self-sustaining Cursed Energy. Yaga’s final words reveal that his revelation of this to Gakuganji is a Curse, “from me… to you.”

Jujutsu Kaisen's Panda in his Gorilla Mode.

After it’s too late, Panda arrives on the scene, brushing past a shocked Gakuganji who asks the Cursed Corpse why he didn’t immediately attack him. Panda heartbreakingly responds that he is not like humans and understands that Gakuganji was only acting on orders. However, the chapter closes on his words, “But remember one thing. Even pandas cry,” as he weeps for his fallen father.

Gege Akutami’s focus on the division and corruption within the Jujutsu world will undoubtedly be an integral element of the current arc. And Yaga’s death means that the battle lines have never been more evident. With Gojo and Yaga now out of the picture, hardly anyone could keep the higher-ups in check. Beyond that, the Culling Game — which was started by the head of the Kamo Clan (one of the three major Jujutsu clans) — appears to be a power play by the clan to wrestle power back from the Gojo clan. Kenjaku, who at one point masqueraded as Noritoshi Kamo, the evilest sorcerer to have ever lived, is implied to have manipulated this event per his plan to revive the golden age of Jujutsu.

With broken hearts and the world in disarray, Yuji, Fushiguro, Panda and others on their team have a daunting task: defeating Kenjaku, stopping his Culling Game with minimal casualties, and stopping both the Cursed Spirits and Jujutsu higher-ups from taking over Japan.

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