The world of Jujutsu Kaisen (created by Gege Akutami in their manga series and animated by studio MAPPA) is filled with unique and memorable characters from curse users and beyond. Love or hate them, they leave an impact that sticks with you. With Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 in full swing, now is a perfect time to look at the cast beyond just the main characters and rank our favorites. This is not measured by power level or skill with jujutsu sorcery, just by who I love or love to hate the most. So, with that, here are the best Jujutsu Kaisen characters from Tokyo Jujutsu High, Kyoto Jujutsu High, and beyond.
10) Toji Fushiguro
Sliding into the tenth spot is the most recent antagonist of the series and former member of the Zenin clan. Toji shines as a villain thanks to the awesome mix of powerful physical strength and skillful cunning strategy the man utilizes in his hunt for Riko. While many characters focus on moment-to-moment tactics, Toji puts an equal emphasis on the larger strategy he employs, which allows him to maneuver Gojo and Geto into the positions he needs to make the kill. And once he is in combat, he showcases just how dangerous a person can be in this world, even if they can’t wield cursed energy.
9) Riko Amanai
The prey to Toji’s predator, Riko may play the narrative role of damsel in distress as she is hunted by several parties in order to prevent her from becoming an offering to Tengen, but her personal arc crafts a far more complex personality than a simple prize to be fought over. Despite her initial confidence in the role she had laid before her, the story quickly develops her into a more three-dimensional character that evokes empathy from the viewer. As she comes to eventually reject the choice that has been made for her and chooses instead to live, she is given a brief moment of true freedom, the first in her life, before it all gets taken away in a twist that leaves the viewer hurt and speechless.
8) Satoru Gojo
I know many of will be surprised to see Gojo so far down my list of my favorite Jujutsu Kaisen characters, but if I’m being honest, if I had made a list like this before episode five of this season, he wouldn’t have made it at all. When it comes to the present-day storyline of Jujutsu Kaisen, Gojo is far more of a hindrance than a help to the show. His power level is so high that virtually any threat an opponent may bring is instantly extinguished, and the way he interacts with others leaves him feeling like he’s either a complete idiot that shouldn’t be trusted with the care of students, or he’s a total jerk who just loves screwing with people for his amusement.
This season’s flashback opening arc, however, does a lot to explain why Gojo is the way he is. His confrontation with Geto there, as well as in Jujutsu Kaisen 0 helps me feel for the character and allows him to come across as a bit more of a human and less of the near-trickster god his power level and personality make him feel like.
7) Mai Zenin
Introduced as an antagonist for her twin sister Maki, Mai has only appeared in a significant way in a single episode of the series, but she nonetheless delivered a complex character that has stuck with me.
Like her sister, Mai’s life has been impacted by her family’s obsession with Jujutsu Sorcery. A person’s entire worth in the clan is measured by how well one wields these abilities. Mai, however, does not share this fixation. She would be all too happy to make do with a modest amount of skill and fly under the radar of her family’s notice. Or at least she would, if Maki wasn’t constantly pushing the envelope on her. Knowing what would happen to her in the family if she fell behind her sister’s sorcery level, Mai is forced to push her powers as hard as she can to keep up, lest she be viewed as weak and useless by those around her. Her frustrations over her endless need to improve and the anger they fester into are directed solely at Maki, since pointing it where it should go would be as destructive for her as giving up on sorcery altogether.
This misplaced anger makes Mai the villain in her confrontation with her sister, but a relatable one. She feels too small to change the system, so rather than strike at the root problem she lashes out at the thing that would make the problem infinitely more manageable. It is a sad choice, and one cannot help but wonder how much happier she would be if she could simply cast aside her concern for what her family thinks as Maki does.
6) Nobara Kugisaki
At six is one of our first years. From her introduction as the small-town girl arriving in the big city to the final moments of season one, Nobara is perhaps the character who grows the most of all my favorite Jujutsu Kaisen characters. Her skill as a jujutsu sorcerer as well as who she is as a person, is revealed throughout the season, allowing the character to grow into something far more than the initial impression she gives as the angry girl whose job it is to call Itadori stupid all series. Combine her growing personality and power level with a striking combat style and signature hammer and straw doll and all, and you have a character that is guaranteed to be memorable.
5) Megumi Fushiguro
The first Jujutsu Sorcerer fans meet in the opening episode of the series, Megumi’s reserved attitude provides a sharp contrast to Itadori’s outgoing personality. One of our lead first-year students, he brings a lot to the story. While only initially hinted at, Megumi had a hard childhood that has informed much of his personality. But while he projects a persona that can come off as harsh in his early dealings with Itadori, his true emotional nature is exposed when he believes Itadori has died. His struggle with this belief fleshes the character out in a wonderful way, making him far more empathetic to the viewer. Combine his rich character with his always impressive curse-summoning skills and you have a fantastic protagonist.
4) Yuji Itadori
Compassionate, surprisingly powerful, and a bit on the dumb side, at first glance, Yuji fits the stereotypical mold of a shonen main character perfectly. But while he may start out like so many shonen protagonists before him, it is how the show sculpts him through his experiences that makes him a memorable addition to my favorite Jujutsu Kaisen characters list.
From the moment he takes his first bite out of the world of curses by waistin no time to swallow one of Sukuna’s fingers and becoming a host for the special grade curse, Ryomen Sukuna, to his closing battles in Jujutsu Kaisen Season One (Mahito and beyond), Yuji manages to keep the viewer invested throughout his growth and progress as a character. Peaking during his battle with Junpei, Yuji’s will and determination to help others and live put to the dying wish of his grandfather always keeps the star of the show firmly in center stage and promises even more to root for as his story continues.
3) Yuta Okkotsu
The main protagonist of Jujutsu Kaisen 0, Yuta’s story is one that explores love and grief in some truly profound ways. The exploration of his connection to his lost love Rika, and what it takes to set her free of the curse that has bound her to him is an emotional tale that develops the protagonist into an infinitely empathetic character. But despite all the pain in his story what allows him to truly shine is the moments where we get to see him happy. While they are few, these moments speak of a far greater strength than the one he brings to the battlefield. To be able to manage to smile, be kind, and show compassion for those around you in even your harshest moments makes him not only a great protagonist but also the perfect counterpoint to Zero’s antagonist.
2) Suguru Geto
Where Yuta comes to see the worth of those around him, Suguru comes to judge those around him as largely unnecessary. As his elitist attitude towards those without the ability to be sorcerers comes to its fever pitch, we see him revel in the destruction and pain he causes others. While this season has fleshed out how he came to view humanity with the contempt that he does, going so far as to only refer to those without cursed energy as “monkeys,” it does nothing to redeem the former protector of the people for the crimes he has wrought.
As is often the case with fiction, the moment that makes him look the worst isn’t his wholesale attack on those he deems inferior, but rather how badly he comes to hurt the one who trusted him the most. The utterly cold and dismissive way he leaves Gojo at the end of the flashback arc this season removes any shred of humanity from the character as he begins down his dark road. Remember how I said there were characters in this show I love to hate, yeah, it’s this one right here.
1) Maki Zenin
Cold and stern on the outside, Maki is a hard person to get to know. Having lived her life under the yoke of her family’s view of her as a failure that wasn’t worth bringing into the world, Maki is driven to increase her own strength so she can both prove her family wrong and tear the entire corrupt establishment they’ve built down.
Lacking the ability to wield cursed energy, or even see curses without the aid of special glasses, one would think that Maki would be at an insurmountable disadvantage. But what she lacks in cursed energy she more than makes up for in determination. While MAPPA has filled this show with gorgeous battle sequences, no one ever quite shows as much raw technical skill in combat as Maki. Her ability to skillfully wield weapons and outmaneuver foes allows her to make up for much of what she lacks and the animation never fails to highlight this when she takes a weapon in hand.
But while her grit and determination are her overriding characteristics, like others on this list, it is the moments of vulnerability that make Maki a character that endears herself to the viewer. Maki’s moment comes in Jujutsu Kaisen 0 when she leaves Yuta after he tells her how cool she is and how he wants to help her with her goals. Standing alone in the dark and clearly holding back tears, we hear her utter a single phrase: This doesn’t mean you are accepted. The betrayal she has suffered at the hands of her family has scarred her so deeply that she cannot bring herself to even entertain the notion that someone could genuinely accept her. While this moment is heartbreaking to witness, it further enhances her quality as a person. After all, she fights so hard to protect others, even though she believes she will never be accepted by them. It is all these reasons that place her on the top of my favorite Jujutsu Kaisen characters list.
And there it is. My list of favorite Jujutsu Kaisen characters. Did yours show up on my list? Let us know who we missed and who you’d rank elsewhere!