With Jujutsu Kaisen 0 now on Crunchyroll, fans around the world have gotten the chance to enjoy the shonen masterpiece that Japanese fans and those that were lucky enough to see the movie early (yours truly included) had already seen. The protagonist of the film, Yuta Okkotsu, is a character that certainly attracted the attention of a lot of people and ultimately, people keep wondering why Yuta never made an appearance in Season 1, although he was referenced. In this article, we are going to answer these questions for you.
Yuta Okkotsu is a major character in Jujutsu Kaisen and the main protagonist of the prequel series, Jujutsu Kaisen 0. He was originally a human cursed by his childhood friend, Rika Orimoto. He was later mentored by Satoru Gojo and enrolled in Tokyo. He is currently a junior at the Tokyo Exorcism School with Maki Zen’in, Panda, and Toge Inumaki. He was studying in Africa with Miguel but returned to Japan right after the Shibuya Incident.
The rest of this article is not going to be so much about Jujutsu Kaisen 0 as about Yuta Okkotsu’s role in the whole series; the idea is to tell you who Yuta is and what his role in the story is. We are going to tell you where Yuta was during Season 1, but also why he was not present in it and how the creation of Jujutsu Kaisen influenced such a turn of events.
Who is Yuta Okkostu in Jujutsu Kaisen?
Around 2011, Yuta received a ring from Rika and the two promised to get married when they grow up. Unfortunately, Rika died being run over by a car, forcing Yuta to unknowingly curse her soul to stay with him. Yuta is involved in an incident where four students were seriously injured. This calls out to the Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical College which takes Yuta away to be executed as he is cursed.
While in solitary, Yuta tries to kill himself, but Rika stops him. Satoru manages to get Yuta enrolled in the school and then convinces the teenager to enter the institute. When Yuta is introduced to his class, Maki, Toge, and Panda notice he is cursed and attack him. Satoru warns them but Rika appears and defends Yuta. Satoru then explains Yuta’s situation to the class and introduces each student to Yuta.
He is then paired with Maki for an exercise but the latter confronts him. Satoru brings Yuta and Maki to an elementary school where two children have been captured by curses. When three curses appear, Yuta is amazed that Maki exorcises them all. As they head inside the school, Maki is surprised to see no curses and asks Yuta to see his student ID.
She is then stunned when she discovers that Yuta is an S-class exorcist while the latter warns her that there is a curse behind her. Yuta and Maki are then swallowed by the curse and inside, they discover the missing children. Maki suddenly falls to the ground much to Yuta’s dismay. Maki then asks him why he came to the school, to which Yuta replies that he wants to have enough confidence to be able to live.
Maki encourages Yuta to exorcise the curse, which causes him to put on his ring and make Rika appear attacking the spirit. Once freed, Yuta takes them to the exit. After the incident, Yuta is in a hospital with Satoru where Maki and the children are being treated. Yuta then talks with Satoru about Rika’s appearance and says he remembers his promise made to Rika.
Yuta also says that he thinks he is the one who cursed Rika, and vows to find a way to free her from her curse. Afterward, Yuta receives a katana from Satoru, who tells him how he can break Rika’s curse by imbuing the weapon with cursed energy. Three months later, Yuta trains with Maki as Panda, Toge, and Satoru watch. The latter assigns a mission to Toge and tells Yuta who will accompany him.
Besides, Satoru also explains to Yuta what Toge’s ability is and tells him to observe it during the mission without bringing Rika out. They are then taken to Hapina Gallery by Kiyotaka Ijichi. Once there, Kiyotaka explains the details to them, and then Yuta and Toge head into the gallery. On the spot, they find a great number of curses which Toga exorcises easily.
They then notice that the curtain hasn’t been lifted, when suddenly a curse appears behind them. As the curse attacks, Toge pushes Yuta away and easily crushes the curse’s arm. However, this hurts Toge, who begins to cough. Yuta rescues him and gets him to safety but leaves behind his throat medication. After a short rest, Toge prepares to face the curse again but Yuta decides to go instead.
As he approaches the curse, it notices Rika’s presence and becomes enraged. Yuta manages to dodge some of his attacks and lands a blow on him. However, Yuta notices that he cannot defeat the curse and finds the throat medicine that he brings to Toge. After Toge drinks the medicine, he uses his Incantation to exorcise the curse. Following this, Yuta drops his student ID, which is retrieved by Suguru Geto.
After the mission is completed, Yuta and Toge return to the school. Yuta meets Panda, who explains to him that Toge is a nice guy and that he was worried about Yuta because their situation is similar. Yuta then bumps into Maki and asks her how to pour curse energy into her saber, but she replies that she can’t help it. A few days later, Yuta is with Toge, Panda, and Maki when Suguru shows up in front of them.
The latter reveals to him that he wishes to kill all non-sorcerers and Yuta then becomes angry with Suguru when he begins to insult his friends. As the teachers attempt to force Geto out of high school, Suguru announces an all-out war on December 24.
On December 24, Yuta is in one of the high school classes when Maki shows up. The two talk and Maki explains her situation to him. Yuta tells her that he wants to become someone like her one day and wants to fully support her. Maki is then embarrassed by this and leaves. However, both are challenged by a veil that has been erected above the school.
Later, Yuta meets Suguru and sees his friends defeated on the ground. Yuta then gets angry and calls Rika to his side. As Suguru sends several curses to attack the teenager, Yuta fights back and manages to save his friends and heal them. Yuta then uses Rika’s powers to easily exorcise all the curses through the use of Toge’s spell.
Yuta manages to get close to Suguru, but the latter overpowers him, causing Rika to pull Yuta away from Suguru. Yuta decides to continue fighting but Suguru breaks Yuta’s saber during their confrontation. After a brief conversation, the two have with each other, Suguru decides to use all his curses against Yuta and Rika through his Whirlwind technique.
Yuta decides to fully unleash Rika’s power at the cost of his life and both fire an energy beam powerful enough to exorcise all of Suguru’s curses and force the latter to retreat. Afterward, Yuta wakes up and finds all his friends around him. As per the promise, in return for the power obtained, Yuta decides to follow Rika into death but is shocked when he sees Rika’s curse lifted.
Satoru then arrives and congratulates Yuta for undoing Rika’s curse. He also explains to Yuta that he is one of his distant relatives, both being descendants of Sugawara no Michizane. Yuta then says goodbye to Rika as his mind drifts away. Later, Yuta walks with Satoru, who allays his worries about being the cause of Suguru’s attack and returns his student ID. Yuta then meets Maki, Panda, and Toge.
Why was Yuta not in Season 1 of Jujutsu Kaisen?
During the first season of Jujutsu Kaisen, Megumi Fushiguro mentions to Nobara Kugisaki that Yuta is currently studying abroad when she first meets the former. He is later mentioned by Satoru as one of the few students with the potential to surpass him. In Jujutsu Kaisen 0, we find out that Yuta is in Africa, training with Miguel.
When Satoru is about to be sealed by the Pseudo-Geto at the end of the Shibuya Incident Arc, the former mentions that they still have Yuta on their side, but the Curse controlling Suguru’s body tells Satoru that Yuta’s occult powers came from the when he possessed Rika’s soul. The impostor then tells Satoru that no matter what, Yuta will not be able to become the “next Satoru Gojo”. He then proceeds to seal off Gojo, while Yuta returns to Japan to help Itadori and free Gojo.
As you can see, Yuta was in Africa when the first season took place but he will return to the main story after the Shibuya Incident arc. This probably won’t happen in Season 2 of the show – possibly at the very end in the form of a post-credits scene, potentially – but he is certainly going to be a major player from Season 3 onwards.