Jujutsu Kaisen: The Culling Games Arc That Defied Expectations

Jujutsu Kaisen: The Culling Games Arc That Defied Expectations


Jujutsu Kaisen has captivated fans worldwide with its intense battles and intricate storyline. One of the most ambitious arcs in the series, the Culling Games, stands out as the longest and most complex arc, focusing on the protagonists' struggles against reincarnated sorcerers from the past. This arc's primary goal is to thwart Kenjaku's plan to merge Tengen with humanity. While it features numerous individual battles, it deviates from the structured sequence typical of a ‘tournament arc.’ Recently, the author, Gege Akutami, shed light on how the Culling Games arc could have been different.

The Concept of the Culling Games

The Culling Games arc is centered around a series of deadly battles that pit the protagonists against reincarnated sorcerers. These fights are intense and strategically crucial in the broader context of the series' narrative. The ultimate aim is to prevent Kenjaku's plan, which involves a merger between the ancient sorcerer Tengen and humanity. Despite its chaotic and freeform nature, the arc could have followed a more organized, tournament-style structure.

Akutami's Vision: A Tournament Arc That Never Was

During a Jujutsu Kaisen exhibition, Akutami revealed that the Culling Games arc was initially considered for a tournament arc format. This version would have included a separate arc dedicated to the rescue of Gojo Satoru. Akutami felt that the major characters from the protagonists' side were already well-introduced, which negated the need for a tournament arc. 

Jujutsu Kaisen: The Culling Games Arc That Defied Expectations

Tournament arcs are a beloved trope in anime, characterized by a structured series of battles between two sides, with the victors progressing through the tournament. Iconic examples include the Dark Tournament arc from Yu Yu Hakusho, the Tournament of Power arc from Dragon Ball Super, the Holy Grail War arc from Fate, and the Chunin Exam arc from Naruto. The Culling Games arc had the potential to join this list of legendary tournament arcs.

Key Battles and Character Development

In the Culling Games arc, characters like Yuta engage in significant battles that highlight their growth and capabilities. Akutami's original plan for a tournament arc could have expanded Gojo's escape into a separate arc, titled "Gojo’s Rescue Arc." This format might have also provided Tsumiki Fushigoro with more character development. Tsumiki, who appeared abruptly as the host of the ancient sorcerer Yorozu, lacked a proper introduction and background, leaving many fans wanting more from her character.

Why the Tournament Arc Was Abandoned

Despite his initial intentions, Akutami ultimately decided against the tournament arc format. He consulted his editors and was even prepared to alter the Culling Games’ rules and battles to fit a tournament style. However, the primary issue was the lack of new characters to introduce in the arc. Key characters, including Hakari Kinji, had already been introduced before the arc started. Consequently, the tournament arc idea was discarded.

Several factors beyond character introductions also indicated that a tournament arc wouldn’t work. The fights in the Culling Games lacked the fairness and structure typically associated with tournament arcs. For instance, the entry of Naoya’s cursed spirit to take revenge against Maki showcased how the battles didn’t adhere to the structured and balanced nature of a traditional tournament arc.

Jujutsu Kaisen: The Culling Games Arc That Defied Expectations


The Culling Games arc in Jujutsu Kaisen remains a unique and ambitious storyline that deviated from the traditional tournament arc format. Gege Akutami's initial vision for a more structured arc, including a separate rescue mission for Gojo Satoru, could have added different layers to the narrative. However, the decision to maintain the arc’s chaotic and intense nature ultimately served the story well, allowing for a dynamic and unpredictable series of battles that kept fans on the edge of their seats.


What is the primary objective of the Culling Games arc in Jujutsu Kaisen?  

The main goal is to thwart Kenjaku's plan to merge Tengen with humanity.

Why did Gege Akutami consider a tournament arc format for the Culling Games?  

Akutami initially considered this format to create a structured series of battles and possibly include a separate arc for rescuing Gojo Satoru.

Why was the tournament arc format abandoned?  

The format was abandoned because most major characters had already been introduced, and the arc’s battles did not fit the structured and fair nature of a typical tournament arc.

What character could have benefited from more development in the Culling Games arc?  

Tsumiki Fushigoro could have benefited from more development, as her abrupt appearance and lack of background left many fans wanting more.

How does the Culling Games arc differ from traditional tournament arcs?  

The Culling Games arc is more chaotic and freeform, lacking the structured and balanced nature typical of tournament arcs in anime.

What impact did the decision to abandon the tournament arc format have on the story?  

The decision allowed for a more dynamic and unpredictable series of battles, contributing to the arc’s intensity and overall appeal.

By understanding these aspects of the Culling Games arc, fans can appreciate the complexities and creative decisions that make Jujutsu Kaisen a standout series in the world of anime and manga.

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