Hi everyone, こんにちは!
This is Kyle Scouter.
Welcome to a thrilling journey into the dark and mystic world of Jujutsu Kaisen!
In this blog, I will break down each panel, offering insightful commentary and analysis to enhance your understanding of the story, characters, and the fascinating world created by Gege Akutami Sensei.
I’ve created visual aids to help illustrate each point on every page, making it easier to follow the details.
In this blog, I will talk about Jujutsu Kaisen Ch.3, “For Myself”.
I will explain in detail in the text what the images alone cannot explain enough.
Let’s dive into the Jujutsu Kaisen world now!
① Important Chapter
Title of Ch.3 is ”自分のために(For Myself)”.
This chapter is so important for Jujutsu Kaisen Manga.
It is said that the first 3 chapters of a manga are crucial for several reasons.
1:Sustaining reader interest
Publications may decide the continuation of a series based on the initial response. Thus, the first three chapters can be pivotal for the manga’s future.
2:Making a strong first impression
Readers judge the manga’s world, characters, and story style within these initial chapters. A strong first impression can captivate readers and encourage them to continue reading.
3:Establishing the story’s foundation
The opening chapters introduce key characters, settings, and the basic direction of the plot. This foundation is essential for immersing readers in the story.
4:Setting the hook
Early chapters often include intriguing hooks, mysteries, or dramatic events to stimulate readers’ curiosity and deepen their interest in the story.
And manga’s quality is assessed through reader surveys. Fans send WSJ letters ranking the three works they find most compelling. These results influence the manga’s placement in the magazine; nearer the cover indicates higher popularity.
Take “Jujutsu Kaisen,” for example.
Its WSJ serialization rankings were 1→9→13. Compare this with other legendary manga:
One Piece: 1→5→6
My Hero Academia: 1→7→9
Sakamoto Days: 1→6→10
With so many intriguing works in Jump, ranking at the top is challenging. Even One Piece’s ranking changed from 1 to 6. This competition is both physically and mentally demanding for the creators.
And Jujutsu Kaisen’s first ranking move is not good.
If this ranking continues, the publication would be discontinued.
Therefore, Gege Sensei had to make various efforts to improve the ranking from here.
① What is 高専(Kousen)?
“高専(Kousen)” is a Japanese term that stands for “高等専門学校” (Koto Senmon Gakko) in full. In English, it is commonly translated as “National Institute of Technology” or “National Technical College.” These are higher education institutions in Japan that focus on providing specialized and practical education in engineering and technology fields. Students at these institutions often pursue degrees in engineering, applied sciences, and related disciplines, preparing for careers in technical professions.
Jujutsu High is not for engineering, but they learn about Jujustu techniques.
That’s why Gege Sensei made it “高専(kousen)”.
② Head = Top of organization
In Japan, the term “頭(Atama, Kashira)”, Head in English, is often used to refer to the top of an organization.
In Japanese, the word “頭” (head) originally means “the foremost part” or “the topmost part.” This is used not only to denote physical positioning but also in terms of hierarchy or order of importance. The leader of an organization, being at the top of the hierarchy, came to be referred to as the “head.”
Also in Japanese culture, hierarchy and order within organizations or groups are highly valued. Therefore, the leader of an organization holds a role that goes beyond mere management. They are responsible for decision-making, guiding the organization’s direction, and representing the group. By using the term “head,” the significance and responsibility of the person’s position and role are emphasized.
There is also an idiom, 頭首(Toushu) that uses the word “頭(head)” to refer to the leader of the group.
頭(Tou or Atama) means Head, 首(Shu or Kubi) means neck.
On the other hand, the idiom “当主(Toushu)” with the same sound also means leader.
“当主” and “頭首” both refer to leadership positions, but they differ in their contexts and nuances:
“頭首” (Toushu) generally means the head or leader of a group, organization, or a movement. It implies the highest-ranking or most authoritative figure within a specific context, such as the leader of a nation, a group of people, or an organization.
“当主” (Toushu) typically refers to the head or leader of a family, a clan, or an organization, especially in a traditional or familial sense. It denotes someone who holds authority or is responsible for the affairs and decisions within that family, clan, or organization. It’s often associated with a hereditary or familial leadership role, like the head of a household or the leader of a family business.
In this page, Sukuna used the word “頭(Atama)”, because he mentioned about the Jujutsu High.
But Gojo is “当主” (Toushu) of Gojo Family.
These are the same sound, but have different nuances.
“ぐぱっ(Gupa)” is an onomatopoeic expression in Japanese that signifies the sound or action of opening the mouth quickly or suddenly, often accompanied by a slight popping or smacking sound.
This sound seems a little creepy to Japanese people.
Gege Sensei must be expressing the horror of Sukuna’s mouth.
② 呪術全盛の時代(Jujutsu Zensei no Jidai)
In Jujutsu Kaisen, Golden Age of Jujutsu is Heian Era.
”Heian Era”was a significant era in Japanese history that lasted from 794 to 1185 AD.
It was characterized by a flourishing culture, particularly in the capital city of Heian-kyo (present-day Kyoto). The period saw the establishment of a distinct courtly culture, marked by artistic achievements, literature, and a refined aristocratic society.
During the Heian period in Japan, beliefs in supernatural phenomena and practices like “onmyodo” and “jumon” were prevalent. Onmyodo was a system of cosmology and divination influenced by Chinese Taoism and esoteric Buddhism. Practitioners, known as onmyoji, used various rituals, divination, and talismans to deal with spiritual matters, predict events, and maintain harmony.
Jumon, on the other hand, referred to incantations or spells performed for various purposes, including protection, healing, or achieving specific outcomes. These incantations often involved the recitation of specific words, phrases, or prayers believed to have mystical or spiritual power.
Both onmyodo and jumon were intertwined with the spiritual beliefs of the time and were practiced by individuals seeking protection, guidance, or solutions to challenges they faced in their lives. These practices were part of the broader spiritual landscape of the Heian period, reflecting a blend of indigenous Japanese beliefs and imported religious and mystical traditions.
This is why the Heian Era is called the Golden Age of Jujutsu.
① True meaning of “勝つさ”
When was asked,
“If you fought Sukuna, who would win?”
He replies with “勝つさ(Katsusa)”.
This phrase is rich in nuance, signifying a strong determination to win, though not absolute certainty.
In English, he says “Nah, I’d win”.
Understanding these nuances in Japanese adds depth to the characters.
“勝つさ” (Katsusa) implies about a 50% chance of victory, reflecting a balanced confidence.
Compare this to “勝ちたい” (Kachitai), suggesting a 30% chance – more of a wish to win, and “勝てる” (Kateru), indicating an 80% likelihood, showing higher assurance.
“勝ちたい” (Kachitai) = 30%
“勝つさ” (Katsusa) = 50%
“勝てる” (Kateru) = 80%
“勝つさ” is not just a word; it’s a statement of Gojo’s character, especially highlighted after Chapter 3.
This phrase, among others, captures his spirit and is a reason why fans adore him.
Truly, knowing Japanese enhances your understanding of his emotions and the story.
② Name meaning of “夜蛾正道(Yaga Masamichi)”
When Japanese fans see the name 夜蛾正道 (Yaga Masamichi), it evokes mixed feelings.
Let’s break down the Kanji:
“夜蛾” (Night Moth) suggests the image of an adversary, while “正道” (Correct Way) implies an ally.
This duality in Yaga Masamichi’s name initially made me uncomfortable, a nuance often missed by international fans.
The origin of this name is mentioned in the Official Fanbook.
Gege Sensei made up this name from various motifs.
What is that then?
It’s not mentioned about the details.
But I think this name is coming from 蝶野正洋(Chono Masahiro).
He is a famous Japanese-American retired professional wrestler, born in America.
His name “蝶野” (Chou-no), where “蝶(Chou)” means butterfly, subtly connects with 夜蛾(Yaga), moth.
They look very similar too.
③ Yuji’s word is from the copy
Yuji says “カワイイを作っている(He’s making Kawaii)” comes from the catchphrase of a hair care brand.
Original one is “Kawaii can be created”, which is from Kao Corporation’s long-selling hair care brand Essential signifies the idea that cuteness or ‘kawaii’ is achievable or attainable.
It suggests that by using their hair care products, individuals can create or bring out a cute and charming appearance.
And since Yaga is making cute plusy, Yuji uses this word.
① Yuji’s favorite type of woman is Jennifer Lawrence
Yuji says this when he introduces himself.
Jennifer Shrader Lawrence (born August 15, 1990) is an American actress. She is known for starring in both action film franchises and independent dramas, and her films have grossed over $6 billion worldwide.
Gege Sensei likes to let his characters talk about the type of his/her favorite.
Even in the Juju Sampo in anime, for example, various characters talk about their favorite type of girl/boy.
I guess by doing so, the character’s personality can be conveyed to the reader.
By the way, Gege Sensei likes girls with thick legs.
Gege Sensei had an episode in which he had a fight with his editor because the girl he drew in a previous manga had thick legs.
”遺言(Yuigon)” in Japanese translates to “will” or “testament” in English. It refers to a legal document where a person outlines their wishes regarding the distribution of their assets, properties, and guardianship of dependents after their death.
By law, a will must be in writing, and a verbal promise is not considered a will.
But you can still call it “遺言(Yuigon)”.
Cursed Corpse is called 呪骸(Jugai) in Japanese.
It is a nonliving object that has been endowed with a curse, allowing it to gain self-control. They can appear naturally as hostile creatures but are more often used as dolls and puppets for sorcerers.
呪(Ju) means Curse, and 骸(Gai) means dead body or bone.
③ Family = Grandpa
In this scene in Japaese ver., Yuji says じいちゃん(Jichan), Grandpa in English, while the writing is 家族(Kazoku), Family.
In manga, when the intended meaning of a word differs from its conventional reading, furigana is employed to provide the correct pronunciation or alternative reading. This is particularly common when characters use slang, colloquial expressions, or alternate readings for certain words.
This use of furigana helps convey nuances, cultural references, or character-specific speech patterns that might not be immediately apparent to the reader. It enhances the understanding of the intended meaning, especially in cases where the characters are using informal or unconventional language.
This is called “Ruby”.
In this case, Yuji’s family was only his Grandpa.
Yuji was living with his Grandpa, and both of his parents were most likely dead.
So Yuji’s family = only his Grandpa.
That’s why Gege Sensei used the “Ruby” technique.
“ボンボンボン” is an onomatopoeic expression in Japanese that represents the sound of a ball bouncing or a soft object repeatedly hitting or bouncing.
Yaga’s Cursed Corpse is made of cotton, which gives it such a soft sound.
② Jujutsu work = Unpleasant work
Yaga says the Jujutsu work is ”不快な仕事(Fukai na Shigoto)”, Unpleasant work.
Why does he say so?
Curses are created when cursed energy leaks from non-sorcerer humans as a result of their harboring of negative emotions. Cursed energy thus gathers in one spot, building up like sediment until a cursed spirit takes form.
So this work must be Unpleasant work.
① Yaga’s Question
This question is perfect as a Teacher.
Yaga himself also says ”Education includes helping students make realizations”.
Yuji seems to be just trying to follow his grandfather’s words and enter the Jujutsu world.
So Yaga did not want Yuji to enter the Jujutsu world with such half-heartedness, which is why he asked this question.
呪術師に悔いのない死はない, No Jujiutsu Sorcerer die without regret.
This is a very important fact in Jujutsu Kaisen.
If you are a Jujutsu Sorcerer, you will die fighting curses.
In other words, you die with some regrets.
That’s why Yaga said that.
And as the saying goes, every character who dies in Jujutsu Kaisen’s story dies with regrets.
Keep an eye out for their last words from now on.
① 宿儺を喰う(Eat Sukuna)
Yuji says 宿儺を喰う(Eat Sukuna).
He says “喰う(Kuu)”, to eat in English, but there is another word for “to eat”, 食う(Kuu).
“食う(Kuu)” and “喰う(Kuu)” are both Japanese verbs that mean “to eat,” but they differ in their formality and usage.
Both mean the same thing, but “食う” is a common kanji character used to describe eating food in order to sustain life.
On the other hand, “喰う” has no connotation such as enjoying the taste, and has a strong wild and cruel nuance of carnivorous animals eating and killing herbivorous animals just to survive.
In Tokyo Ghoul, the kanji “喰う” is also used.
“生き様(Ikizama)” means “way of living” or “way of life” in English, but this word is said to be derived from the word for “死に様(Shinizama)”, way of death.
The concept of “死に様” aligns with Bushido, emphasizing the importance of facing death with dignity and adhering to the principles of honor and integrity even in the face of mortality. Both concepts reflect the cultural values and ideals deeply rooted in Japanese history and tradition, highlighting the significance placed on a noble and honorable death, particularly among warriors or individuals upholding a code of ethics.
① Yaga’s smile
His smile makes us feel like Yuji has passed the test.
It is cooler and more impressive to draw only smiling faces than to have Yaga say “You passed”.
This is a common direction in other anime and manga as well.
② 2nd and 3rd grade
Gojo suggests the presence of 2nd and 3rd grade students.
This is about Yuta or Hakari or others.
However, Japanese technical colleges usually have a four-year program.
Gege Sensei mentioned this in an interview, but it seems that fourth-year students do exist.
However, he did not intend to make the fourth-year students appear in the story.
That is why Gojo did not mention 4th year students here.
① Gojo’s personality
This panel shows Gojo’s personality with 3 factors.
1: Gojo’s testing Yuji
Gojo tested Yuji by giving him a choice, even though he only had one option.
2: Character font
The font of Gojo’s lines in this panel is slightly different than usual.
A more rounded font is used than the normal font.
This font gives the impression that Gojo is goofing around.
3: Gojo says “たはー(Tahaa)”
“たはー” is an onomatopoeic expression in Japanese representing a specific way of laughing. It’s often used in manga or anime to depict laughter.
This laugh is used when one does something wrong and laughs goofily without remorse.
This shows how childish he is.
② Win win
Yuji, Gojo and Sukuna will build win-win relationships.
What can be win-win between them?
Yuji and Gojo can use Sukuna as a radar to find the remaining fingers.
Sukuna can then regain his strength by finding the finger.
This is their win-win relationship.
① ありがた迷惑(Arigata Meiwaku)
ありがた(Arigata) means Thankful and 迷惑(Meiwaku) means Trouble.
It represents a situation where someone’s well-intentioned actions or favors, though appreciated, become a burden or inconvenience to the recipient. It’s a complex mix of feelings where the person receiving the favor feels grateful for the intention behind the action but also finds it troublesome or burdensome.
Megumi felt like that because Yuji moved to the room next to his room even though there are other empty rooms.
② Nobara’s first appearance
Nobara is worried about being scouted.
In Japan, talent scouting involves individuals or agencies searching for potential talent in various fields such as music, acting, modeling, and other entertainment sectors.These scouts actively seek individuals who they believe possess the potential for success in the entertainment industry. They might attend events, performances, or even search through social media to discover new talents.
When scouts identify someone with potential, they may approach them with offers for auditions, contracts, or training under a talent agency. Successful scouting can lead to a person becoming a singer, actor, model, or entering various entertainment-related careers with the support and guidance of the agency or scout. These scouts play a pivotal role in discovering and nurturing talent within Japan’s entertainment industry.
Scouting often takes place in Harajuku and other cities where young people gather.
Why is Nobara saying this?
She is a country girl who came to Tokyo from a very rural village.
She came to Tokyo because she did not want to live in a rural village anymore and has a huge countryside complex and has great admiration for Tokyo.
She also believes that she will be scouted when she comes to Tokyo because she is very confident about her appearance.
This scene expresses this.
Also, as I told you at the beginning of this blog, Ch.3 is very important for manga.
That’s why Gege Sensei introduced Nobara, the heroine of Jujutsu Kaisen, at the end of Ch.3.
An attractive heroine is a very good factor to get a lot of readers.
And Nobara is charming and interesting as no other manga has such a character.
That’s it for this chapter.
I told you that Ch.3 is a very important chapter, and Gege Sensei did a lot of creative work in this chapter, right?
My aim is to enhance your enjoyment of Jujutsu Kaisen by providing insights and explanations. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
I will now explain in detail each chapter individually.
If you read this, you will discover something new that you could not have known only from the English version.
So look forward to the next one!!
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