This Crucial Factor Sets Yuta Okkotsu Apart From Other Wizards
The following article contains spoilers for Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 79, “A Taste of Things to Come” by Gege Akutami, John Werry, and Snir Aharon, available in English from Viz Media.
Jujutsu KaisenThe Culling Game arc is full of brutality and loss, adding to the trauma of many characters, but each fight also highlights the themes and philosophy behind a wizard’s drive. Yuji Itadori’s fight revolves around crime and punishment, as his main reason for joining the game is to make amends for unleashing Sukuna in Shibuya. Likewise, Megumi Fushiguro pushes his limits and grows stronger as an individual, but not because he wants to be a hero, he needs the power to save his sister.
However, Jujutsu Kaisen 0Yuta Okkotsu’s battle is very different from Fushiguro and Itadori’s battle, and it illustrates how Yuta is so unique compared to other wizards. The other two care about saving other people’s lives, but they’re so individualistic that their reasons for being wizards revolve around becoming stronger, so they can pursue their own ideals. Whereas Yuta is a collectivist who seems to act for the good of others.
Yuta is characterized by his relationships with others
Through Jujutsu Kaisen 0, Yuta went from wishing to die alone to protect others from himself to finding a reason to live using his power to protect those he loves instead of fearing him. If Fushiguro’s character revolves around saving people he deems worthy and Itadori about saving everyone he can, Yuta’s character revolves around the bonds he makes with the people around him and draws strength of these links. Of the three, Yuta most closely resembles a shonen protagonist with the power of Nakama.
The reason Yuta fights is for the sake of others, never for himself, and he is made stronger for it. In Jujutsu Kaisen 0, he even uses the power he was still so afraid of to fight Geto Suguru to protect his classmates and peers. However, as Geto points out in this battle, there is an egocentric element to how Yuta views the world of Jujutsu. Essentially, Okkotsu wants to be around people he loves to gain validation of his power, and if he didn’t receive that, he probably wouldn’t have the strength to continue. Yuta sees the world through the lens of his relationships with others, only believing that he deserves to continue living if his friends also see him that way.
Yuta Okkotsu continues to grow emotionally
When reintroduced into Jujutsu Kaisen in the Shibuya arc, it’s clear that Yuta’s mindset has changed since his confrontation with Geto. When sent to exterminate Yuji Itadori, he refuses to do so. Although he doesn’t know the boy personally, because Itadori is important to his classmates, the wizard fights to defend him and comforts Itadori instead. However, due to his collectivist views, Yuta misunderstands Itadori and struggles to understand his way of thinking. He doesn’t understand Yuji as himself, only as someone important to those who are important to him. That’s why he treats him like this and refuses to kill him.
Yuta still develops a sense of empathy, even as an extremely empathetic character, as his moral code is skewed by his current worldview. This can be seen in the way he approaches his Jujutsu fights, as there are certain things that Yuta does that Fushiguro and Itadori cannot do due to their focus on themselves and self-improvement. For example, he is the only one trying to figure out why his opponents are in the Culling Game or what they are fighting for and is shocked when they say they are not fighting for a lover or friends.
Yuta has different priorities
Okkotsu is also the only one of the three to be shown actively protecting innocent people from the fallout of Jujutsu. In one instance, he even forgoes using Rika against opponents who overpower him in order to protect a stadium full of helpless people. This forces him to fight in a greatly weakened state just to protect bystanders, which is very rare for a Jujutsu wizard.
It also makes Yuta’s development in direct contrast to virtually every other character. Gojo Satoru, for example, left behind all earthly attachments, including Geto, to strengthen himself individually. Likewise, Maki Zenin reaches her potential not with her sister’s cooperation, but after her death when she was able to let go of everything. The people wizards are attached to, those who humanize them, tend to be what keep them from reaching their full potential. Yuta, however, directly opposes this. Instead of choosing to become a singularly strong wizard, he continues time and time again to cling to the attachments of his peers.
As a wizard fighting in a way that challenges the incredibly individualistic mindset of Jujutsu society, Yuta will certainly continue to have his ideals challenged. Despite the difficulty of walking this path as a wizard, Yuta Okkotsu maintains his humanity regardless in Jujutsu society encouraging him to destroy any vulnerability he may have.