Jujutsu Kaisen fans eagerly awaited the release of chapter 223, which was published in Weekly Shonen Jump issue 25 on Monday, May 22, at 12 AM JST. This highly anticipated chapter marked the beginning of the long-awaited battle between two formidable forces: Satoru Gojo and Ryomen Sukuna. However, readers hoping for a moment of respite or a potential rescue for Megumi Fushiguro were met with a relentless continuation of the intense narrative.
In the preceding chapter, Sukuna made preparations for the upcoming battle by devouring all but one of his remaining fingers. Meanwhile, Gojo learned about the losses suffered by their allies in their absence. The chapter also provided a glimpse of Yuji’s Cursed technique as he underwent training with Kusakabe. At the same time, Kenjaku, a cunning antagonist, devised a plan to eliminate the remaining players in the Culling Game while Gojo and his allies confronted Sukuna. Aptly titled “Inhuman Makyo Shinjuku Showdown, Part 1,” Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 223 thrusts readers into the heart of the action.
The chapter opens with Gojo and Ijichi arriving at Shibuya, where Gojo discovers that his residual Cursed Energy from the Level B5 battle had deterred other curses from preying on humans. The non-sorcerers affected by his Infinite Void technique had been cured of their afflictions. Gojo explains to Ijichi that time within the Prison Realm is condensed and prolonged, creating a unique temporal experience.
A poignant flashback reveals Gakuganji confessing to Gojo that he was responsible for the death of Yaga and expressing regret for not facing any consequences. Gojo, understanding that Gakuganji acted under orders, refrains from assigning blame and instead inquires about Yaga’s final words. Unbeknownst to them, Panda secretly listens in on their conversation.
As Gojo learns that Yaga had disclosed the secret of creating Cursed Corpses to Gakuganji, who had yet to report it to the Headquarters, he contemplates the benefits of having someone like Gakuganji in a position of authority. Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 223 reveals that the higher-ranking officials have been mysteriously murdered. Returning to the present, Ijichi erects a protective barrier around Gojo as Utahime prepares to unleash her Cursed Technique.
Utahime’s Cursed Technique, known as “Solo Forbidden Area,” enhances the Cursed Energy reserves and effectiveness of any sorcerer within her chosen range, including herself. The chapter elaborates on the idea that a sorcerer’s skill can be deduced by the number of steps they omit before activating their Cursed technique. However, both Utahime and Gojo meticulously execute every step in this instance, allowing Utahime’s technique to reach an impressive 120% efficacy. Consequently, Gojo’s Cursed Energy output surges to 200%, enabling him to launch a devastating Hollow Purple attack at Sukuna, who has arrived in Shinjuku accompanied by Uraume.
While Uraume voices frustration over their lack of knowledge regarding the time and location of the impending battle, Sukuna dismisses it as unnecessary, citing his ability to sense Gojo’s Cursed Energy. Attempting to counter the Hollow Purple, Sukuna underestimates its strength due to Ijichi’s barrier, resulting in the searing of his right arm. Gojo confidently proclaims his status as the current strongest sorcerer, casting Sukuna as a mere challenger vying for that position.
Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 223 sparked significant analysis and discussion among fans due to several notable aspects. Firstly, the chapter’s direct plunge into the Sukuna-Gojo battle without extensive setup or emotional exploration surprised many readers. This narrative approach aligns with mangaka Akutami’s distinctive style, but opinions regarding the limited focus on Gojo’s return vary. Some fans hope that subsequent flashbacks will provide the desired emotional depth.
Another intriguing element introduced in this chapter is the assassination of the Jujutsu Society’s higher-ranking officials. While the chapter hints at Gojo’s potential involvement, a scene from chapter 222 featuring Yuta and Inumaki suggests that they may have played a role instead. Alternatively, it is plausible that Kenjaku orchestrated the massacre to create a power vacuum in anticipation of the culling game’s conclusion.
Furthermore, Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 223 unveils Utahime’s Cursed Technique, which surprised many fans with its empowering nature rather than being an overt display of raw power. However, the ability to strengthen her comrades proves invaluable not only against Sukuna but also in the face of Kenjaku’s schemes.
The most contentious aspect of the chapter revolves around Gojo’s decision to launch a direct attack on Sukuna with a 200% Hollow Purple, seemingly without any effort to save Megumi. Speculation runs rampant as to whether Gojo, after his encounters with Geto and Kenjaku, has adopted a perspective that prioritizes the greater good over personal attachments. Nonetheless, this nonchalant attitude toward his ward’s possession appears uncharacteristic of Gojo.
In conclusion, Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 223 omits the appearances of Yuji, Yuta, and other allies of Gojo, leaving readers to infer that they stand ready to provide backup support if needed. Notably, characters like Hakari and Kirara could have potentially pursued Kenjaku during this time. While both Yuta and Yuji expressed their intentions to rescue Megumi, it remains unlikely that Gojo would engage in a battle against Sukuna without some plan to save his student. Mangaka Akutami seems to have left a flicker of hope for Megumi’s survival, ensuring that readers eagerly anticipate future developments.
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