As the protagonist of Jujutsu Kaisen, Yuji Itadori is a headstrong lead character that certainly drives the plot forward with his nerves of steel. His bold physical strenght is balanced out with his lightheatred and compassionate personality. While this makes him a hero fans have loved rooting for, it also leads him to his greatest inner conflict.

It doesn't take long to realise that the road of a Jujutsu Sorcerer is fraught with peril at every corner, as everyone strives to safeguard humanity from the threat of curses. While this fundamental principle and job description may sound clear on paper, there are numerous obstacles on the path to peace. Yuji is at odds with his numerous tasks as a Sorcerer, and is struggling to find the appropriate balance for himself. Yuji's biggest inner battle is also his greatest weakness in life-or-death situations.


Willing To Protect, But Not Kill

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Despite Yuji's deep compassion for others, he's no pacifist. With unexplained superhuman strength, Yuji is prepared and willing to fight anyone who threatens innocent people around him. He isn't afraid to put his life at risk or cause his opponents physical harm, but as he continues on his journey as a Sorcerer, Yuji reveals one major weakness. While he has nothing holding him back from fighting to the death against the likes of heinous villains like Mahito and Hanami, there are various moments throughout season 1 when Yuji struggles to make the final blow, sometimes almost leading to his own demise.

Yuji has a very particular philosophy on death. After grieving his grandfather's passing, Yuji finds conviction in ensuring that everyone is given a "proper death." From his last conversation with his grandfather, a "proper death" appears to be one surrounded by loved ones in peace. Without thinking ahead to the darker side of the life of a Sorcerer, Yuji walks headstrong into this path, believing it gives him the opportunity to protect people and ensure them a proper death, like what he promises his grandfather. After overcoming the overwhelming realization that he himself may not die by his comrades' side, Yuji learns to balance growing as a fighter and accepting that not everyone can be protected, but it is not an easy process for him to cope with.


Developing His Deadly Strength

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Yuji learns about cursed energy and how he might combine his innate physical prowess with this source of supernatural power, with a resilient focus on defending those who cannot fight themselves. He does not foresee that his righteous conviction will be tested along the way. During the Fearsome Womb Arc at the prison facility, his philosophy is tested for the first time. Yuji, Megumi, and Nobara, despite being first-year students, are sent in on their own to rescue probable survivors.

Sadly, they found no one alive—only remnants of thrashed corpses that Yuji hopes to return to the respective families. This is one of Yuji's biggest moments of compassion, but in this case, there is nothing stopping him from fighting against the curse that took the lives of those inmates. If anything, it gives him more drive to become even stronger as a fighter. However, his stance on combat becomes complicated when the enemy is also innocent.

During his training with Nanami, they discover that the special grade curse Mahito has the capacity to change humans into curses, which Yuji sees as robbing them of their right to die. When Yuji has to struggle against those changed curses, he experiences emotional difficulty. He quickly recognises their anguish and wishes he could return them to human form. Despite his unwavering optimism, these battles are all "kill or be killed" scenarios that emotionally drain the pink-haired hero. Yuji learns that harsh and unfair events like this are unavoidable, and that he cannot allow his compassion to prevent him from fighting back, even if it means killing his opponent. As much as Yuji grows in strength, he also grows in empathy. As Season 1 ends, one of the key scenes features Yuji questioning the battle between himself and Nobara versus the curses Eso and Kechizu, his guilt tearing him up inside.

While there is little doubt that Yuji would not back down from a fight, and he is still eager to die for what he believes in and to protect those who are important to him, he is struggling to cope. He has a natural empathy for most people, which gives him a great deal of guilt. Yuji is troubled by his role as a Sorcerer, whether they were pawns of the enemy that the heroes were unable to save or simply villains to whom Yuji can empathise.As he continues to fight and is expected to not hold back against the enemy, he will have to ignore his biggest philosophy: that everyone deserves a proper death. By doing so, he's forgetting a part of himself and being someone he never wanted to be. If he holds onto his beliefs and holds back his punches, it could be the last thing he ever does.