Maki Zenin's popularity increased following the first season of Jujutsu Kaisen. Many fans admired her harsh and belligerent personality, her tremendous physical power, and her determination to one day govern the Zenin clan that had previously rejected her. Her character design was simple yet distinctive, making the transition from her original damaged state to her present scarred state in the manga uncomfortable for many fans. Here's how Maki got the battle scars that now define her appearance.

Since Mai Zenin's death and the completion of Maki's heavenly restriction, the sorcerer's somewhat muscular build has evolved to mirror the superhuman power that comes with totally breaking free from cursed energy. Despite this, Maki's physical alteration is minor in comparison to the striped scars that run up both sides of her arms and face. Maki's new face reflects the underlying power she has always carried, and it was achieved in the midst of a difficult battle.


Jogo Was Responsible for Maki's Burn Scars

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Maki's famous scars were received as a result of her involvement in the Shibuya Incident. After she, Nanami, Naobito Zenin, Megumi, and Toji Fushiguro fought the Special Grade Cursed Spirit Dagon, they were assaulted by Jogo, another Special Grade curse. Jogo wasted little time in retaliating for his compatriot's exorcism by showering the tired sorcerers in flames. Maki had no method to combat the effect of the cursed spirit's flames because she lacked cursed energy, and she suffered severe burn injuries as a result of the encounter.

According to Yuki Tsukumo, the only reason Maki survived the attempted immolation by Jogo was because of her body's superhuman properties, even before the completion of her heavenly restriction. The Special Grade sorcerer hinted that Maki had received treatment with Reverse Cursed Technique—which increased her chances of survival—but that even the healing jujutsu art would have no chance at erasing the burn scars she'd sustained. Overall, considering the severity of her injuries, Maki looks to be in pretty good shape, with her scars even serving as a visual indicator of her being a capable and battle-hardened sorcerer.


Maki's Character Design Goes Against Jujutsu Traditions

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Even before her heavenly restriction was completed, Maki had always been one of Jujutsu Kaisen's most revolutionary characters. Merely existing as a woman sorcerer in the Zenin clan was considered radical, and she had no cursed energy to boot. Even so, her initial goal was to one day lead the Zenin clan but once she realized reforming it for her sister was pointless, Maki settled for destroying it completely in Mai's honor. After defeating the entire clan single-handedly, Maki no longer had anything to prove to the institution that had rejected her before.

According to Nishimiya Momo, jujutsu society had historically valued women sorcerers only for their looks, with their combat ability being an afterthought if it was regarded at all. While scars were battle trophies for men, they were regarded as imperfections for women. This notion has never been truly applicable to Maki and even less so now that she has those scars that should be "imperfections." Her full heavenly restriction has allowed Maki to gain strength comparable to that of Special Grade sorcerers and some unique abilities that are simply unattainable for traditional sorcerers. Both literally and figuratively, Maki has become a jujutsu anomaly by thriving as a woman sorcerer without access to cursed energy, but with a body that defies even the most absolute of jujutsu principles.