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Jujutsu Kaisen: Todo and Hakari Are Creating a New Wave of Jujutsu

Jujutsu Kaisen: Todo and Hakari Are Creating a New Wave of Jujutsu

Jujutsu society functions in a very specific way, led by strict rules and a corrupt hierarchy - but Todo and Hakari are beginning to deconstruct this.

The following contains spoilers for Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 189, "Tokyo No. 2 Colony, Part 8" onwards, by Gege Akutami, John Werry and Snir Aharon, available now in English through Viz Media.

While recent arcs in the Jujutsu Kaisen manga have been heavy with constant fighting, each battle has used the opportunity to further characterize and develop those involved. Two characters have shown a different approach to Jujutsu in these arcs, bucking tradition and fighting in a new way.

Todo Aoi and Hakari Kinji are both introduced early in the anime and manga as prodigies of their schools. Hakari is mentioned as ranking alongside Jujutsu Kaisen 0's Yuta Okkotsu, and both are considered strong enough to surpass Gojo Satoru. Megumi Fushiguro mentioned that even as a first-grade sorcerer, Todo was able to defeat a special-grade curse single-handedly.

Jujutsu Kaisen's Hakari and Todo Are Unorthodox in Their Ways

These characters are shown as masterminds, but also as unconventional practitioners of Jujutsu sorcery. Hakari is currently suspended from Tokyo Jujutsu High for a conflict with higher-ups, while Todo's character introduction in JJK is as eccentric as it comes. He attacks Megumi for no reason other than he finds him boring, and in his first few scenes Todo directly disobeys Jujutsu superiors by refusing to kill Yuji Itadori, instead judging whether he should be assassinated himself.

Hakari and Todo are both focused on enjoying their lives, and subsequently don't like boring people or those who live simply obeying orders. They prefer when their opponents have a drive, a strong reason for fighting. Both seek existential meaning, such as what they live for, what they want out of life and why they're alive -- as such, they try to suss out exactly why their opponent is fighting. This is why Todo asks Megumi and Itadori what type of girls they're into. This superficial question prompts a deeper answer and tells him his opponent is living for a reason beyond survival.

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Hakari and Todo Reject Jujutsu Society Tradition

What makes Todo and Hakari unique sorcerers in Jujutsu Kaisen is that they oppose tradition and think for themselves. In so doing, they have hobbies outside of being a Jujutsu sorcerer. Todo is obsessed with an idol and constantly refers to her, bringing her up in completely unrelated conversations; Hakari loves Pachinko and modeled his technique around it -- to the point where elders tried to kick him out of Jujutsu society for a technique so modern and adaptive, opposed to their tradition. They have lives outside of Jujutsu, which makes them direct opposites to shamans like Itadori, who is merely exorcising curses until his imminent execution.

Todo and Hakari are proud and individualistic; their pride allows them to dismiss tradition and make decisions themselves. They are reinventing the way of Jujutsu sorcerers and figuring out for themselves why they are fighting rather than blindly following what the elders dictate. Todo and Hakari are defiant in a corrupt system in which tradition is used to mask control, that even sacrifices the lives of young sorcerers to keep the society's older members alive.

Hakari and Todo Are Team Players in Jujutsu Kaisen

There's a specific idea in Jujutsu society perpetuated by a lot of sorcerers, Gojo Satoru included, that Jujutsu is an individual fighting style. The only way to succeed is to have individual strength and fight alone. Gojo became the strongest on his own after fighting alongside Geto Suguru for much of his adolescence, so he pushes his students to do the same because he believes they can rely on themselves.

As individualistic sorcerers, it's surprising how collaborative Todo and Hakari are. Todo was an incredible mentor for Itadori, teaching him things Gojo didn't get a chance to. His strength lies in his ability to collaborate, and his technique complements this. When he and Itadori are working in perfect sync, Todo's ability to swap their places by clapping helps surprise the opponent multiple times, giving them an upper hand.

While Hakari hasn't been shown to be quite as collaborative as Todo, he does care about and is interested in other people. His fight in the "Culling Game" arc results in him recruiting allies, putting him more on Yuta's side of preferring cooperation than Megumi and Itadori, whose fights end in the opponent's death or their walking away. In Hakari's battle with Hajime, both sorcerers even begin to have fun and enjoy the fight -- something absolutely unseen among the trauma of Jujutsu Kaisen.

There's more going on beneath the surface of both Todo and Hakari. They are more than well-loved and big-headed sorcerers, and have the potential to deconstruct the current structure of Jujutsu society. With Hakari and Todo's guidance, the new generation of Jujutsu sorcerers could be the ones to change everything.

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