Partners in Crime; Megumi Fushiguro & Yuji Itadori.
Warning; This article contains Manga Spoilers for Jujutsu Kaisen.
Exorcising the physically manifested energy of humanities’ negative emotions is already a daunting task for the normal sorcerer, let alone the level of pressure it puts on a student, hence them being guided and taught by an adult while attending Jujutsu high. However, the things we’ve seen from the experience of being a jujutsu sorcerer, may you be a student or teacher, is that it is filled with difficulties that you cannot prepare the mind for. There is a level of insanity that has the potential exist (if not already) within a person for them to survive the mental battles that will overwhelm their lives.
This notion is transparent to the reader when we are given the backstory to the relationship of Gojo Satoru and best friend and story antagonist Getou Suguru. The life of even the two strongest of students in modern history was filled with strife and difficulties that are literally labeled taboo in the world they inhabit. The theme of death, life and the weight of them in comparison to each other, is at the root of Jujutsu sorcery in both theory and practice. I specifically mention Gojo and Getou because their separation was displayed as a defining moment for both characters’ outlook on life, death and its relative worth being dependent on certain individuals.
When you look at the after events of Geto’s separation from the Jujutsu School, the beginning of Gojo’s life of becoming a teacher and a man who wants to change the Jujutsu Society truly began. Now we see that he is labeled an enemy of the Jujutsu Society due to false allegations, and his students are secretly preparing to participate in a death game all to hopefully free him from a legendary sealing box. I say all of this to highlight the evidence that backs the main focus of this article, Megumi and Yuji’s partnership and how their trauma together makes it work perfectly.
Geto and Gojo are products of partners who went their separate ways after experiencing a major mission loss, costing them the life of Riko, and beginning Geto’s spiral toward becoming a Curse User. Both of them loss to Toji, albeit Gojo came back for a rematch and won, but the loss still changed both of them for better or for worse. Both of them acknowledge each other as one another’s one and only best friend, but their ideals and happiness resided in two different places. Both of them were willing to become enemies of the Jujutsu World to protect Riko if she refused to become Tengen’s vessel, which would have lead them to causing Tengen’s evolution and ultimately becoming two most dangerous cursed users in the world.
However, Riko’s request to live didn’t happen and that shook Geto in a much darker way than it did Gojo who became partnerless and most likely entered a deep thought process about how to keep future sorcerers from going down that same path.
This is what makes Megumi and Yuji’s relationship so special. The Parallels between these four men is transparent and is mainly in their relationships with each other. Gojo and Geto were best friends who seemingly argued over their different outlooks but truthfully they cared about each above any of their petty differences. This applies to Megumi and Yuji in every aspect, making me feel the need to explain how the two strongest partners getting separated boosts the perfection of Gege Akutami’s pairing Yuji and Megumi.
It might be hard to believe but the truth is there is nobody more perfect to be Yuji’s partner than Megumi Fushiguro and vice versa. I know, a strong opinion, and one that I know many people agree with for good reason. I’ll be blunt, Megumi & Yuji hold a sense of brotherhood that neither one had in their everyday lives, and they have a sense of love that allows the both of them to better themselves, as well as contrast each other in their approach to care about one another.
The background of the two couldn’t be any different, and their meeting feels like fate without feeding into any cliche “pre-destination” plot lines or narrations. The truth is, Megumi and Yuji are the accomplices and true reasons why hundreds of people in Shibuya were killed, as well as why Kenjaku has had the ability to continue with all his plans without any issues.
I know how that sounds, so no I’m not blaming Yuji and Megumi for everything happening in the Jujutsu Kaisen series because of course there were many things that pre-dates their relevance to give them all the credit, but when you look at how things escalate in the story it all is rooted in these two boys meeting each other, and gaining respect for one another within hours. Think about it, the two of them only knew each other for at most 2 hours and yet within a life or death situation both them shown what truly drives them, making the meeting of our protagonist and deuteragonist a poetic moment that fits the themes of the entire story, and ties them together forever.
Megumi was simply doing his job as a sorcerer in his falsely nonchalant way when he met Yuji, which was only his way of trying to act detached from the job he does everyday. Megumi was introduced as if he is this overly serious, talented, and confident kid while fighting the curses within Yuji’s highschool. Even after he gets snuck up on by the bigger curse in the building, Megumi still maintained the appearance of a kid who wanted to complete his job by saving those around him.
With that being said, seeing Yuji trying to fight a curse and then to eat Sukuna’s finger wasn’t Megumi seeing a kid who wanted to be reckless and die. The truth is, Yuji wanted to save people and Megumi felt that above all else. Even after concluding that by Jujutsu Law Yuji should have been killed right then Megumi wanted him to live. Megumi’s drive is to let good people live, because the world isn’t fair.
Yuji’s thought process after losing his Grandfather was the same as the last words he said to him, “Help people”. It speaks volumes for a kid to see a monster before him and continue to fight on, even showing his understanding of the new guy he just met by saying “I’ve got quite the curse myself”, clearly alluding to the words that drive him in his quest as a sorcerer and a person.
As foolish as eating the Sukuna Finger was, it came from a place of innocent ignorance. Yuji had no clue what the effect of eating the finger truly would be, only assuming it might give him power of some sort, instead it turned him into the vessel for the strongest curse in history. This moment though is the best way to express Yuji’s biggest flaw and strength, his heart. The way he is able to do the most insane and absurd things to help people was displayed here, and we don’t need anymore crazy stunts to hone us in on that fact. Thats where he and Megumi are very similar yet different, seen with the latter’s willingness to die by summoning Mahoraga when in dire need.
As Gojo said, Megumi has immense potential and talent but his lack is his inability to “bring out his best”. This is interesting in itself because of the mental implications of being unable to “bring out his best” makes it clear that Megumi has a blockage that keeps himself from seeing the strongest version of himself. As for Yuji, he does his best to see where his limits are, or at least has a drive to see his max potential when there is genuine interest for them.
It is safe to say that Yuji’s massive growth is what sparks Megumi to look at himself to be stronger, but I’d argue that Yuji’s first “death” was the true spark. Not only was Nobara striving for better after Yuji’s supposed passing, Megumi began exploring new ways to use his technique, not to mention Sukuna himself calling Megumi’s ability a: wasted treasure.
The thing about Megumi’s revaluation about himself and his powers that makes it special is that none of it would have happened without him deciding to ask for Gojo to keep Yuji alive. He didn’t think about seeing what Yuji could do for the world of Jujutsu Sorcery, he just wanted him to survive. Because of this, Megumi witnessed first hand Yuji’s talent level, even having to retreat in moments where Yuji stands fighting.
These are blows to Megumi’s pride, making him question where he is as a sorcerer, while also giving him the mental drive to double down on his beliefs. Yuji differs from this because his belief(s) are challenged and shaken throughout the story as not only great character growth but to give the audience the sense of depth that is necessary to appreciate said character growth.
While Megumi is discovering a new way to protect and envision his beliefs, Yuji is still trying to form what he believes in. He begins to bare burdens on himself due to being Sukuna’s vessel. The issue that Yuji struggles with, is balancing his desire to help people with the overwhelming calamity sharing a body with him. This is an issue that isn’t expected to be solved anytime soon but this is where Megumi’s role as Yuji’s partner shines the brightest.
After the events of Shibuya, Yuji was labeled a threat again and was sentenced to be executed by Yuta Okkutsu, and went on the run executing curses with his new brother(?) Choso. Choso did nothing to help Yuji feel any better about the incident in Shibuya, and Yuji wallowed in self pity even stating he needs to stay as far away from Megumi as possible because of Sukuna’s interest in him. Yuji expressed the sadness and self proclaimed responsibility through the execution of curses throughout Shibuya’s different districts but it isn’t until he is reunited with Megumi that he begins to seemingly revert back to his old, goofy self but he clearly isn’t completely over his experience.
The thing to pay attention too is Megumi’s words to Yuji when he sees him again; he doesn’t allow Yuji to speak badly of himself nor does he allow him to take on the responsibilities of the aftermath alone. Megumi’s awareness and understanding of being a Jujutsu sorcerer, in the philosophical and moral sense, is a cut above his peers allowing him to realize that he is just as responsible for the things Sukuna does as Yuji.
Him saying to Yuji “it’s OUR fault” was so shocking to Yuji it made him go silent. Megumi further explains that regular humans cannot judge them because they don’t understand the depth of their jobs, so all they can do is prove their worth in their beliefs by saving as many people as they can, and even says to Yuji that he understands why he feels the need to save people.
Yuji has support from multiple people, but it is the way that Megumi is able to hit Yuji right in his moral compass and heart to the point where even though Yuji is worried about Sukuna his partner will shrug away his worries not because they are trivial but because of his confidence in who Yuji is. It is just like when Megumi put his life on the line to attempt to force Sukuna to repair Yuji’s heart back during the Cursed Womb Arc. Sukuna antagonized Megumi by saying Yuji didn’t have the guts to die by taking back over his body with no heart, but Megumi believed otherwise literally attributing to Yuji’s good personality.
When it comes down to it Megumi and Yuji compliment each other where the other one lacks. Megumi helps Yuji with understanding the jujutsu world on a political and moral level while Yuji is there to give Megumi the physical and emotional boosts he needs to become a stronger version of himself. It was Yuji’s rash decision to eat Sukuna’s finger that brought the calamity into the world, but Megumi’s decision to ask Gojo to support Yuji to keep him alive is what kept the King of Curses around.
Now, after the deaths of hundreds of civilians in Shibuya, the two boys are working together to go against the Jujutsu Higher Ups by fighting with their seniors to save Gojo from his sealing, on top of keeping Yuji alive against all of the sorcerers who may or may not want him dead. Where Yuji begins to feel depressed and alone Megumi is there to remind him that he isn’t, and when Megumi lacks in his physical ability and strength, Yuji is there to edge him on while showing him what it means to fully believe in your abilities.
Perfect Partners in Crime.