The Jujutsu Kaisen anime changes Yuji’s grandfather’s death, especially in terms of its emotional gravity. This is how changes happen.

Although the Jujutsu Kaisen The anime is known to follow its source material quite closely, it changes several aspects when it comes to its protagonist Yuji Itadori, especially in terms of the death of his grandfather. Being completely divergent mediums, manga and anime understandably have several key differentiators, most of which manifest in the form of cut-out plots and altered character details. In terms of Itadori’s eventual evolution into a jujutsu wizard, his grandfather’s death carries far more emotional weight in the anime than it does in the manga.

Both in the Jujutsu Kaisen manga and anime, Yuji begins the series with his grandfather as his only living relative, leading to the assumption that his parents are dead. Series creator Gege Akutami gives a look at the history of Itadori’s parents in chapter 143 of the manga, which also features a mysterious reveal about Yuji’s mother. The complex backstory aside, it’s safe to say that Yuji grew up practically alone, relying heavily on his grandfather, Wasuke Itadori, for his comfort and emotional support.

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The two share an endearing relationship and clearly care deeply for each other, a sentiment that stands out in a heartbreaking way during Wasuke’s final moments. Needless to say, Wasuke’s last words have an incredible impact on Yuji, who essentially embodies the instinct to help so many people during his life. This essentially manifests itself in his selfless decision to ingest Sukuna’s cursed finger in an attempt to save Megumi’s life. While the manga also mentions how affected Yuji is by Wasuke’s death, the anime brings this to life with great nuance, capturing Yuji in his moments of utter pain, mourning the death of a loved one. Not only does this add more layers to Yuji’s development as the lead, it also manages to portray a more authentic version of events, given the grim nature of the setting.

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Furthermore, the manga portrays the effects of Wasuke’s death in a very practical way, in which Yuji’s life worsens after losing the only family he has left. While Yuji is definitely in shock, he doesn’t spend a lot of time processing his pain or reacting to it. In contrast, the anime spends a great deal of time paying homage to Wasuke’s memory, highlighting the bond he shared with his grandson. Episode 2 of Jujutsu Kaisen shows a grieving Yuji at the crematorium, where he pulls his grandfather’s bones from a pile of ashes. Since the manga doesn’t feature this scene at all, the anime does a beautiful job of bringing this aspect of Yuji to life.

In essence, Wasuke Itadori’s death causes an instinctive change in Yuji’s priorities in life, most notably the need to protect others and not live a meaningless existence. This is reflected in Yuji’s readiness to face death after Gojo reveals that he is expected to absorb all of Sukuna’s fingers in order to defeat him forever, a process that will lead to his inevitable death. Despite being aware of this, Yuji lives life with a smile on his face, selflessly plunging into the heart of danger to rid the world of curses. While the end of the Itadori arc in Jujutsu Kaisen is still in development, it will be interesting to see what awaits everyone’s beloved pink-haired jujutsu sorcerer.

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