“Gojo won” were the words with which Chapter 235 of the Jujutsu Kaisen manga ended. Of course, true manga fans knew that Akutami had something up his sleeve, and then Chapter 236 happened. As devastated as yours truly is by the fact Satoru Gojo seems to be dead. Using Mahoraga’s abilities, Sukuna managed to slice Satoru Gojo in half, and the series’ most popular character seems to have died. In this article, we are going to explain how exactly that happened.
In Sukuna’s own words, this is how he managed to cut Gojo in half: “When Mahoraga first adapted to your Limitless, it changed the nature of its cursed energy to neutralize and nullify your Limitless. That’s not something I can do, so I chose to wait. I waited for an adaptation to your Limitless that suited me. The second adaptation was exactly what I wanted. It wasn’t a projection of the Slash as I do. Instead, it’s an extension of the cursed technique’s target. The technique’s target isn’t just Satoru Gojo. It’s extended to space, existence, and even the world itself, all of which… it cuts. Limitless doesn’t matter here. As long as you still exist in that space, in this world, your existence will be split in half along with everything else.”
The rest of this article will be about the scene where Sukuna managed to cut Gojo in half. As you can see, this scene has been explained by Sukuna, but many fans are not happy with how the scene played out, thinking that Akutami simply created a Deux ex machina solution to kill off Gojo, which makes absolutely no sense. Because of that, we will provide you with all the details, and you will be able to understand the whole scene better, although we cannot guarantee that it will make more sense, even after we’ve explained it. Be careful, as the article will be filled with major spoilers.
The explanation Akutami provided about how Sukuna managed to kill off Gojo was interpreted as being too simplistic and inconsistent
Chapter 236 happened. Yes. You’ve read it correctly, and you’ve seen the panels correctly. Gojo has been cut in half and he is seemingly dead, with Hajime Kashimo jumping in the battle to try and take out Sukuna now that Gojo is dead. Supposedly. (Honestly, the more yours truly reads into this, the more stupid it seems, as either Akutami is going to revive Gojo to make the plot meaningful once again, or he is going to conclude the story with several additional inconsistent asspulls that will ruin the logic of one of the best shonen works in recent years.)
Now, in Chapter 235… okay, let us summarize what happened until Chapter 235. When Gojo and Sukuna began their epic battle, they originally acted as though they were testing one another by maintaining a standstill for several chapters while simultaneously breaching all recognized regulations and rules of the jujutsu world as Gojo’s friends and allies watch.
Gojo has recovered from his time in the Prison Realm, where he experienced a further expansion of his skills, and Sukuna is now inside Megumi’s body and can use Megumi’s techniques as well. When either of them appeared to have the upper hand, the other would pull off some incredible maneuver, and the fight would end up precisely where it had begun. At first, neither of them could do much.
But, at one point, while combining his Red and Blue, Gojo seemed to have the upper hand, as Sukuna was cornered and depended on whether Mahoraga could adapt to Gojo’s techniques in time. Sadly, he did, and sooner rather than later, Gojo found himself facing three opponents simultaneously, with Mahoraga almost slicing him off. Still, Gojo fought off the two Shikigami and then used his trump card, the Hollow Technique: Purple, to destroy a chunk of Shibuya (again!) and seemingly defeat Sukuna. Chapter 235 ended with the words, “Gojo won.”
But it seemed to be too easy. And Chapter 236 confirmed our fears. After a scene in the afterlife, we cut back to reality, where we see Satoru Gojo seemingly dead, being cut in half by Sukuna. How did he do it? Well, the explanation provided by Sukuna (i.e., Akutami) is so confusing and so inconsistent that we simply decided to quote Sukuna here, as explaining it in our words wouldn’t make much sense:
“When Mahoraga first adapted to your Limitless, it changed the nature of its cursed energy to neutralize and nullify your Limitless. That’s not something I can do, so I chose to wait. I waited for an adaptation to your Limitless that suited me. The second adaptation was exactly what I wanted. It wasn’t a projection of the Slash like I do. Instead, it’s an extension of the cursed technique’s target. The technique’s target isn’t just Satoru Gojo. It’s extended to space, existence, and even the world itself, all of which… it cuts. Limitless doesn’t matter here, as long as you still exist in that space, in this world, your existence will be split in half along with everything else. Of course, it was nearly impossible to pull off. But I had an excellent manual.”– Sukuna in Jujutsu Kaisen, Chapter 236
Now that you can read the official explanation for yourselves, you can probably see that it doesn’t make much sense, especially based on everything that had happened before. This being Sukuna’s trump card against Gojo makes little to no sense, and we can understand why even Sukuna fans think that this is not a good enough explanation and are somewhat disappointed that their favorite character won in such a manner.
Everyone expected an epic showdown, but what Akutami pulled here was a classic Deus ex machina (an asspull in layman’s terms), i.e., he simply fabricated a completely inconsistent yet somewhat plausible explanation that vaguely fits the lore but makes no sense based on what happened up to that point.
We can read it over and over again, but Mahoraga “simply adapting in such a way because of reasons” makes little to no sense whatsoever, especially since it creates additional issues with the story that cannot be fixed easily, as this ability makes Sukuna not just overpowered, but literally invincible.
So, from our perspective, this means one of two things. First, Gojo is really dead, and Akutami killed him most stupidly and disrespectfully imaginable because he hated him, thereby ruining the logic of the narrative and creating a problem that he will only be able to solve using another asspull and another one, which will further destroy the story; based on what Sukuna showed now and that Gojo said, there is no logical way that any of the characters (especially not Megumi and Itadori) could defeat him, and also, later, to have enough power to fight Kenjaku; the difference is simply too great and there is no natural way to execute it without doing another Deus ex machina.
Secondly, Gojo will come back. Several possible elements hint that Gojo is not really dead and that he will come back, which would make sense, as it would make this stupid explanation worthless and would bring back some logic to the story. He can die in the end; this is not the issue, but he doesn’t deserve to be off-screened by an inconsistent asspull that made it look like he simply had to die, no matter what. You can guess which solution we’re rooting for.