Is Kugisaki Nobara dead or alive in Jujutsu Kaisen? What Nobara’s return would mean for Kenjaku

Nobara Kugisaki in season 1 of Jujutsu kaisen anime
Nobara Kugisaki in season 1 of Jujutsu kaisen anime. Pic credit: MAPPA studios

Jujutsu Kaisen is one of the few stories to have so thoroughly swept the anime and manga communities. There are numerous methods for the series to win over new fans, including a running manga, the upcoming 2023 Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2, and a completed Jujutsu Kaisen 0 movie. With a strong narrative and interesting characters, it won’t be too difficult either.

Nobara Kugisaki, the main female protagonist of the series, is one of those figures. Nobara initially appeared in Jujutsu Kaisen’s opening chapters and won the crowd with her relaxed soul/voodoo-style performance, Cursed Method, and endearing character.

With the events of recent manga chapters, fans are left wondering if Nobara Kugisaki is dead.

Nobara Kugisaki’s death in Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 124

During the Shibuya Incident arc, Nobara came up against Mahito, the Special-Grade Cursed Spirit infamous for controlling other people’s souls. Mahito is arguably one of the most powerful Curses still in existence.

He has the power to “repair” certain defects by reshaping the soul within them by touching a person’s very soul. Mahito can also transform a person’s body by brutally morphing it to match the new shape of the soul. He can also use his powers on himself, which allows him to easily split himself into several bodies or change how his body moves.

Mahito transforming somebody's body by touching their soul
Mahito transforms somebody’s body by touching their soul. Pic credit: MAPPA studios

Mahito was being fought by Yuji Itadori, while Nobara was up against a Mahito double alone. Fortunately, Nobara had the upper hand because one of her Cursed Techniques could attack her opponents’ souls through severed body parts. Also helpful was the fact that the Mahito double’s Idle Transfiguration technique could only be used on itself and not other people.

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Nobara used her Cursed Technique to catch the Mahito double off guard during their battle. This gave Itadori a chance to launch many blows against the Curse, which both Mahitos were also experiencing. The real Mahito and the doppelganger felt the pain whenever Nobara’s strikes struck the “severed limb,” for it was virtually a sentient “severed limb.” As a result, the evil pair had to reassemble to defeat the two Sorcerers.

Soon after, they reversed places, with the double-fighting Itadori and the real Mahito pursuing Nobara. The real Mahito capitalizes on Nobara’s confusion and touches her while Itadori is able to kill the double. Nobara’s face explodes open due to Idle Transfiguration, and she also loses one of her eyes. Another Jujutsu Sorcerer from Kyoto high uses his technique to save her, and it appears that she is saved.

Kugisaki's face ruptures after mahito touches her
Kugisaki’s face ruptures after Mahito touches her. Pic credit: Viz media

Nobara’s odds of survival were now “non-zero,” the sorcerer declared, but she was still in danger. Nobara’s eventual fate is unknown, but this act of savagery serves as fuel for Itadori’s Cursed Energy, which he later aims against Mahito. Since then, new Jujutsu Kaisen chapters have been published, but we do not know if Nobara Kugisaki is truly dead.

What the potential return of Nobara in the Jujutsu Kaisen manga might entail

Nobara is probably still alive, despite Jujutsu Kaisen’s track record of character deaths, particularly during the “Shibuya Incident” arc. Her fate has neatly remained a mystery since fans last saw her, unlike most of the other characters that were a part of that arc. This would indicate that the show is attempting to surprise the audience with her return, which would be incredibly successful given how long it has been since she last appeared.

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Gege Akutami’s decision to eliminate Nobara would also seem odd. This is because the majority of the other student characters lived while Nobara had just acquired a power-up.

Recently, Nobara had successfully executed a Black Flash, one of the trickiest moves. The tale says that following it, all sorcerers learn more about Cursed Energy and their powers, significantly enhancing their growth potential. This may help explain how Nobara handled herself when facing the Mahito double. It would be unexpected and an inversion of the typical shonen trope to kill her off suddenly after seeing how powerful she might be. But it would also be quite disappointing if Nobara Kugisaki is truly dead.

Her reappearance also looks imminent given the introduction of Kenjaku, the show’s main antagonist. Kenjaku is a being that can implant his brain into other people to take over their bodies and gain all of their abilities. He has been able to use this to prolong his life and set up the Culling Game, his most recent experiment, which is now taking place in the manga.

It’s possible that soul-based attacks would be successful against Kenjaku because he essentially inhabits people’s bodies. Even if Nobara isn’t the hidden weapon against Kenjaku, her Cursed Technique will undoubtedly be helpful at some point because Mahito’s powers appear to have been hijacked by him.

Fans haven’t seen Nobara in a while, but there’s a good chance the character is still somewhere waiting to show up. Nobara is not only a favorite of the audience but also plays a crucial role in the main group. It would be good if Jujutsu Kaisen had at least one cheerful episode after so many sad incidents, especially if it turns out she’s the key to defeating Kenjaku. There isn’t much time left for Nobara to return because the series is ostensibly in its second to last half, but hopes it happens quickly.

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