yuuji loves falling asleep on you - or at least that’s what you’re lead to believe with the amount of times he does it.
he usually ends up lying against your chest, ear pressed right over your heart as though he needs the constant reminder that you’re real, and with him.
he’ll occasionally sleep with his head on your shoulder, front smushing against your back, and arms around your waist to keep you anchored to him.
when you watch movies late at night, he’ll often end up asleep with his head buried in your lap and arms around your waist, your hands tangled and combing through his hair.
and of course you eat up. you love how cuddly he can be when he’s sleepy, malleable and needy just for you, but it isn’t until an off handed comment from megumi that you realize it’s more than that.
yuuji falling asleep on you is a sign of his trust; his walls and calm front fade, until he is truly defenseless, enough so where the exhaustion creeps up on him, and pulls him under. when yuuji falls asleep on you, connected to you, it’s because he truly loves you.
the very thought makes you encourage it a little more, and hold him a little tighter.
There's some really interesting character foiling going on with Yuji and the defense attorney. Especially since Yuji, idealistic, obsessed with saving others, and exorcising curses are unable to convince a former defense attorney who once had the same goal to end the culling game. The question is why an incorruptible ball of pure sunshine is unable to convince him. It's because Yuji isn't actually any of those things. More analysis under the cut.
1. Let's talk about Junpei (Again)
Before I start digging into the connection between Higuruma and Yuji, the chapter itself starts out with a Junpei foil. A character who is weak, and because he is weak and a target of bullies and not strong enough to stand up to them, ends up developing an unsavory and unlikable, mostly apathetic kind of personality.
Rin Amai develops an attitude of compliance and self-preservation in the face of bullying, even to the point of sitting there and watching as bullies pick on someone else knowing very easily that it could be him. It's precisely because it could be him, he becomes an apathetic watcher in order to survive not standing up to the bullies and egging them on instead. For him, the most important thing is to go with the flow and not be seen as a target.
It makes Rin Amai come off as callous at first, until you realized a much more obviously bullied and victimized Junpei almost gave this exact same speech.
I'm indifferent, because I know how bad people are. I can watch you kill people Mahito, because I don't know them, and more importantly I know the first people you killed were people who were killing me, they're bad people, in my books.
Junpei's rather honest declaration is that if there were a button for killing people he doesn't like, he wouldn't hit it, but if there were a button for killing people who didn't like him he wouldn't hesitate. The reason why is because Junpei doesn't want to go out of his way to hrut others, however, he's been such a target of bullying so many times, that he would kill the people who bullied him, just so he wouldn't be targeted anymore. It's the exact same logic as Rin Amai going along with the bullies. I have to do this, so I won't be targeted.
It's nto because people like Junpei or Amai are malicious people, but rather it's because they don't want to be beaten up. They are victims, but also victims who aren't one hundred percent good or pure people because, when they are the ones who may get hurt, they think out of self preservation, Junpei is so in pain from being repeatedly bullied all alone he simply isn't strong enough to worry about other people. His apathy is a defense mechanism against constant victimization.
This is also something Yuji fails to understand when he goes up against Junpei. He doesn't know what Junpei is going through, because Yuji has literally always been stronger than anyone else around him, when he comes across bullies he can just beat them up. Yuji doesn't really understand the feelings of a weak and helpless person like Junpei, so from the start he didn't really see him as a fully fledged human being, he just flipped between seeing him as someone either to fight against or someone to be saved.
When he admits Rin Amai again he doesnt even recognize him, and in the flashback where they met, Yuji isn't even looking at him. After beating up the bullies to stand up for a poor bullied kid, the look in his eyes is just a little bit disturbed. Yuji doesn't really see weak people, he either sees them as people to be saved, he also has relied on his natural strength to help others almost his entire life. Why am I pointing these out? Geto parallels.
2. Let's talk about Geto (AGAIN)
Higuruma and Geto are both characters who start out as empathic people who use their strength, specifically to protect the weak, and they view this as their jobs. Despite existing in corrupt systems, the jujutsu college system which calls for the death of an innocent girlin order to prolong the life of an immortal man, the court system which heavily favors the prosecution giving them more resources, and advantage even if it might result in a completely innocent person may be put to jail or even death.
After failing someone however, they both go off the rails. They were before that point, law abiding citizens who were working with the system the best they can to improve it. However, they reach their breaking point and then try to break completely free from the system. What specifically is their breaking point for both of them however, is a moment where they are helpless to save another person.
Higuruma wonders why they look at him, Geto constantly flashes back to the people who applauded Riko Amanai's death, as he wonders who exactly he is doing all of this for? Putting his body through absolute hell swallowing curses for people who act like the cult that applauded Riko's death mindlessly, or the villagers that put Nanako and Mimiko in a cage out of superstitition.
There's even water symbolism for both of them, Geto thinks of these things in the shower, when Higuruma meets up with Yuji he's sitting in a full bath tub with his clothes on. Almost as if the both of them are still trying to find a way to stay clean.
However, it's not just that. It's the powerless they experience in moments when they are not able to save others. Riko Amanai was shot dead right in front of Geto when he promised he was the strongest. Higuruma followed all the rules, did everything right to prove his court victim innocent, only to have the appeal rule him guilty. Higuruma's client was branded guilty from the very start, Riko Amanai was always going to die, if she wasn't sacrificed to the star plasma vessel then she was marked for death by many assassination contracts, and Geto was powerless to do anything about her, or even avenge her afterwards. Having lived through that moment of powerlessness, they now grab onto power to try to make their ideals come true. Higuruma's first action is to declare a retrial, and he also, isn't joining the culling game because he enjoys killing but because he can now use his power to make a world which he believes should follow the rules.
Geto and Higuruma even after they both snap, are still idealists. Higuruma wants to get rid of the whole messy affair of trials because he doesn't believe they can be fair anymore. Geto wants to get rid of humans who just produce curses and don't have to bear the responsibility of exorcising them, because it is unfair a mintority has to again and again die very young deaths over and over while the majority is mainly oblivious to curses and how many they are killing. They notice the world is unfair, and want justice, howevver, despite still have a conscience Yuji can't reach him, and why is that?
Because Yuji doesn't have any ideals to speak of. He's just a cog in the system. All he cares about any more is exorcising curses. The reason I went on such a long tangent about Junpei and Amai at the beginning is because we are set up to believe that Yuji is the opposite of characters like these, apathetic people like Junpei and Amai who don't want to be bullied so they just, switch their emotions off. Yuji obviously cares, he's fighting to stop the game and save others. However, Yuji has to some extent become apathetic. A person who is feeling things doesn't refer to themselves as a cog. THe thing is, there are times when Yuji is not an entirely virtuous person, where his words about saving people all sound empty.
When Yuji is faced with Mahito the first time and was powerless to save Junpei, he flips and declares that all he wants to do is kill Mahito. When Yuji fights against Mahito the second time and is nearly broken by the deaths of Nanami and Nobara right in a row, Yuji declares he doesn't care what his role in anything is, he's just a cog in the system, someone who will kill Mahito over and over again. To be a cog is to be apathetic.
The thing is when Yuji is weak and helpless, he acts really similiar to Junpei, both violently lashing out, and also growing more apathetic to the world around him. Yuji is someone who acts almost the opposite of Higuruma's ideal, Higuruma wante dto keep his eyes open, while Yuji is fine keeping his eyes shut and being a cog in the system. Yuji doesn't particularly have ideals anymore, as evidenced by the fact he has a chance to try to convince Higuruma what he's doing is wrong, basically flubs it, says nothing, and then switches to, okay nevermind I am just going to beat you up. It will be fine if I beat you up. Because, this is how it's worked for Yuji his entire life. Yuji has always been strong enough to beat up any bullies, and is rarely the weak one in the situation, so nine times out of ten, he just falls back on punching the bullies in order to save people because that's what worked before.
Higuruma is presented to us as a formerly empathic individual who has now snappe,d and seems to enjoy killing and violence now, especially because it makes him feel like he is in power, and in control when he was formerly helpless. However, putting him up against Yuji begs the question, isn't Yuji like that? Yuji who is only entering the culling game to save people, who has the exact opposite motivation of Higuruma by trying to bring an end to it?
What is Yuji's strategy in order to try to convince Higuruma? He tries words for five seconds and then he's like, it's fine I'll just beat the crap out of him. If I beat him up, it's all fine. Yuji too, is someone who tries to use violence in order to get what he wants from others. Yuji is introduced to us as the opposite of people like Geto and Higuruma, however, he is going through a very similiar arc then both of them at the moment. Despite the fact that Yuji still looks like the same easygoing friendly guy, there are hints of more going on.
He has already been through a moment that broke him, not once but twice, first with Junpei, then with Nanami, completely helpless to save those he should have been able to save over and over again. He went through the same trauma as Geto, and has the same response, to rely on power and strength above everything else. Just keep exorcising curses. Don't think about what you have to do, just keep exorcising curses. Because, that worked out so well for Geto.
Now as a response, Yuji who used to talk to people and open up like he did in that one moment with Junpei, now relies on strength for everything. His response for everything is to just try to get stronger, because if he were stronger surely things would be different, if he were stronger he wouldn't have let the bad thing happen the first time. Geto confronts Gojo about his strength and how he wanted to use it, because he believes if he had that kind of godlike strength he could make the world a more just place. Higuruma wants to keep the killing game rules in place to feel stronger.
Higuruma and Geto are presented to us as ruthless killers who seem to enjoy killing now, but doesn't Yuji act in a similiar way?
"Have you ever killed someone who ticks you off? It feels better than I expected."
Yuji switched to kill when he was facing Mahito. Not exorcise a curse kill. Of course it's different when it's a curse, but Yuji has never had to face human opponents before this.
Fighting against HIguruma is supposed to make us question what Yuji is doing, because no character in Jujutsu Kaisen is truly evil as Gege has stated before. Everyone has a little bit of the right idea in their way of thinking. Everyone can also be wrong. If Higuruma wants to use his power to either force people to do the right thing, or kill them off, then what exactly is Yuji using his strength for right now? There's nothing persuasive about his words, and Yuji's plan going in was basically, okay, if he doesn't listen I'll just beat him up and force him to do it.
Yuji is such an interesting protagonist because despite his desire to play the hero, he's actually rarely allowed to play the hero in a world as morally gray and myopic as Jujutsu Kaisen. The question is if Yuji is not the hero then who is he?
Just another person probably.
However, that's not a bad thing. Yuji's entire arc is about how everyone only sees him as a curse, how right now he's a literal pawn in the villain's scheme. He has no parents because he was born to fill a role, born to be Sukuna's vessel. Won't the ultimate achievement for Yuji's arc be to learn he's not a hero, but rather, a human being with flaws and weaknesses like everyone else, and learn to accept these things and live with them rather. Even if Yuji can't accept them himself, there's still Megumi who accepts him, including everything he did in Shibuya and every flaw. It's something Yuji has right now, that Higuruma and Geto both didn't.
What Yuji needs more than anything right now, is to be human again. Not to be a cog in the machine even though that makes him feel more secure. To be human, and insecure, and open his eyes, and learn to question things. Like that one moment of humanity he showed Junpei where he was able to admit he was wrong, that caused Junpei to back down the fight. THat will always be a better strategy then come on, let's break out the punchies, choo choo it's time for the pain train.
this was a highly requested idea from the poll, thank you to everyone who suggested it. these are also the top five characters in the jjk running but there’s still another week to get your response in! this style is also a bit different and includes pictures for the *full effect* i do not own any of these images and all credits go to the original artists/owners. enjoy!
itadori -> mermaid man and barnacle boy: he’d do it all for the sole purpose of recreating this picture
megumi -> yin yang: it’s the only non-corny costume that you suggested, the other option being avocado toast. he actually thinks it’s kinda cute
inumaki -> mitsuri kanroji and obanai iguro: he’s been wanting to do this for a long time, for more than one reason but you think it suits him too
gojo -> hugh hefner and playboy bunny: in which you are hef and he is the bunny. he’s all about that role reversal....and having his shirt off
nanami -> morticia and gomez addams: he doesn’t love the mustache but he could pull off the look just by wearing the suit
hope you’re feeling jovial for jjk night! requests forwarded here...
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