If you are a fan of dark fantasy and action anime, you might have heard of Jujutsu Kaisen, a popular series that follows the adventures of Yuuji Itadori, a high school student who becomes involved in the world of jujutsu sorcerers, who fight against cursed spirits that threaten humanity.
Among the many characters that populate this thrilling story, one of the most intriguing and powerful is Naobito Zenin, the 26th head of the Zenin clan, one of the three great families of jujutsu sorcerers in Japan. But who is Naobito Zenin, and what makes him so special? In this article, we will explore his personality, abilities, goals, and relationships with other characters in the anime.
All About Naobito Zenin
- Kanji: 禪院直毘人
- Rōmaji: Zen’in Naobito
- Species: Human
- Age: 71
- Gender: Male.pngMale
- Height: 184 cm (6’0½”)
- Hair Color: Gray
Naobito Zenin’s Background
Naobito Zenin is a supporting character in the Jujutsu Kaisen series. He first appears in episode 17 as a flashback, and later in episode 31 as one of the jujutsu sorcerers who participate in the Shibuya Incident, a major event that involves a large-scale attack by cursed spirits on Tokyo. He is the father of Naoya Zenin, another jujutsu sorcerer who is also a member of the Zenin clan.
Naobito has a distinctive appearance that belies his age. He is 71 years old, but he has a muscular body and gray hair that he slicks back. He also sports a long mustache that extends beyond his cheeks.
He usually wears traditional Japanese clothing, such as a yukata and a haori. He also carries a gourd with him, which he uses to drink alcohol frequently.
Naobito’s personality is also quite unique. He is temperamental and aloof, often clashing with others who do not share his views or values. He is arrogant and dismissive of those he considers inferior to him, such as his nieces Maki and Mai, who have little or no cursed energy.
He also does not care much about the fate of his clan or the world, as he openly states that he would not mind seeing them fall. He enjoys fighting and taunting his enemies, showing no fear or mercy.
However, he also has a sense of honor and duty, as he respects the rules of jujutsu and follows the orders of the higher-ups. He also cares about his son Naoya, although he does not show it often.
Naobito Zenin’s Appearance
Naobito has mid length, gray hair that is usually slicked back to reach just behind his neck. He has small black eyes with long eyebrows with thick edges. Naobito also sports a long, thin, English style mustache that extends beyond both sides of his cheeks.
The 26th head of the Zenin Family casually wore a brown yukata with a black sash around his own house. While out on missions, he wears a more layered Japanese style uniform. This includes a light gray haori over a dark blue yukata with a black hakama, white tabi, and zori sandals.
During the Shibuya Incident, Naobito’s arm was lost to Dagon’s shikigami and his skin was severely burnt by Jogo’s flames.
What are Naobito Zenin’s goals?
Naobito does not seem to have any clear or noble goals in the series. He mostly acts according to his own whims and interests, without caring much about the consequences or implications of his actions.
One of his main motivations is to prove himself as the strongest and most worthy leader of the Zenin clan. He does not tolerate any challenge or disrespect from anyone within or outside his family.
He also wants to maintain his status and influence among the jujutsu society, as he is one of the three candidates for the next headmaster of Tokyo Jujutsu High School.
Another motivation that Naobito has is to enjoy himself by fighting against strong opponents. He likes to test his skills and abilities against other jujutsu sorcerers or cursed spirits, especially those who are faster than him. He does not care about the danger or risk involved in these battles, as long as he can have fun and satisfy his pride.
Naobito Zenin’s Personality
Naobito is an arrogant drunk who embodies the twisted, traditionalist values of the “Zenin” Family. He views his nieces far below their worth as human beings because they were born with a lack of cursed energy.
The clan still refuses to recognize Maki despite her skills and actively tries to keep her from getting promoted. Naobito himself threatened to make Mai’s life difficult on the day Maki chose to leave the clan.
Additionally, in spite of Satoru Gojo’s importance to the world, Naobito has proudly said he wouldn’t mind seeing the fall of his clan. Throughout all the battles, he had an arrogant grin the entire mission while taunting his allies and enemies alike.
Naobito is known to be frequently drunk and will even openly ask for “booze”. He’s often seen with a gourd to drink from and Nanami went as far as to question whether he had been drinking on a mission based on Maki’s comment.
Regardless, Naobito didn’t take part in the beginning stages of the Shibuya Incident, electing to take a nap rather than fighting transfigured humans with Maki.
The special grade 1 sorcerer appeared to only have an interest in stronger opponents like Dagon. There were several exchanges where Naobito engaged in playful banter with the cursed spirit despite being in the middle of a fight.
Naobito Zenin’s Abilities and Powers
Overall Skill: Naobito Zenin is a special grade 1 sorcerer with exceptional combat abilities. At first glance, he appears lazy and more interested in drinking than fighting, but this same person can effortlessly overpower a special grade cursed spirit in close quarters exchanges.
His innate technique coupled with his capacity for martial arts and knack for strategic timing got Naobito recognized as the fastest jujutsu sorcerer (with the exception of Satoru Gojo).
The head of Zenin Family was chosen to lead a team of sorcerers during the Shibuya Incident. While disinterested at first, Naobito proved invaluable in the early efforts to rescue Satoru Gojo from Pseudo Geto’s Prison Realm.
Maki and Nanami couldn’t deal any lasting damage to Dagon. Naobito saved Maki from certain death when one of her attacks failed and even outperformed Nanami throughout the early battle.
Naobito was able to read and react to Dagon’s growing strength throughout their fight. He recognized Dagon had far more cursed energy and cursed techniques than himself, but Naobito still had him far outclassed in speed.
With support from Nanami and Maki, Naobito was able to completely overwhelm Dagon with one crushing blow after another with not even a second in between the attacks.
This prevented the special grade curse from unleashing any of his techniques, prompting Dagon to openly recognize that Naobito was his strongest adversary. He openly admitted that Naobito’s speed was the reason he couldn’t fight back and resorted to using Domain Expansion.
Trapped inside Horizon of the Captivating Skandha, Naobito was the only one on the team able to effectively counter the domain granted automatic hit. Falling Blossom Emotion allowed him to withstand Dagon’s shikigami at first.
The cursed spirit was forced to adjust seventy percent of his overall strength just for the old man using Death Swarm. Even after finally managing to overpower the old man, Dagon was shocked when he withstood an endless stream of shikigami for over a minute. All his efforts only managed to sever one of Naobito’s arms.
Once the domain’s guaranteed hit was nullified, Naobito was able to effectively fight back against the curse again. The team chose to attempt to flee and accidentally let in a recently revived Toji Fushiguro on accident. Naobito supported Toji at the end of the fight by not allowing Dagon to escape.
Afterward, the sorcerers were unfortunate enough to happen upon Jogo. Maki and Nanami were instantly set aflame by the curse but Naobito was able to avoid his initial attack.
However, he too was blitzed by Jogo’s flames and defeated, eventually succumbing to his wounds and perishing after the Shibuya Incident. Despite his high cursed energy, his physical body’s endurance wasn’t enough to survive the heavy burns.
Master Hand to Hand Combatant: Naobito employs the speed granted by his innate technique in tandem with his martial arts ability with masterful skill. He engages adversaries at close combat, crushing his opponents with rapid fire punches and devastating kicks among other immensely fast attacks.
Coupled with his speed, Naobito’s power makes him dangerous as well. Strikes with blinding speed come one after another in quick succession, preventing his opponents from fighting back.
He has great strength that can generate enough force to injure special grade cursed spirits. A single punch forced Dagon to vomit numerous human skeletons. Even after Dagon evolved, Naobito was able to knock him around the room with successive powerful strikes.
Great Tactical Intellect: Naobito is very observant and takes mental notes of the progress of a situation. He stays one step ahead of his opponent by playing to his strengths and applying them appropriately during the fight.
When Dagon evolved, Naobito instantly recognized that he was just a cursed womb before. After seeing Dagon’s cursed techniques, Naobito instantly came up with a counter strategy that overwhelmed Dagon with speed in spite of the curse’s superior jujutsu.
Inside Dagon’s domain, Naobito was able to resist counter the domain’s automatic hit within just a few moments of judgment. Despite being the only one to resist Dagon’s shikigami, Naobito recognized that the situation still didn’t favor him.
How does Naobito Zenin relate to other characters?
Naobito has various relationships with other characters in the series, ranging from friendly to hostile. Here are some of the most notable ones:
Naoya Zenin: Naoya is Naobito’s son and heir. He is also a special grade 1 jujutsu sorcerer and a member of the Zenin clan. Naobito and Naoya have a complicated relationship, as they do not seem to have much affection or respect for each other.
Naobito often criticizes or insults Naoya for his incompetence or arrogance, while Naoya often complains or rebels against Naobito for his strictness or indifference.
However, they also share some similarities, such as their pride, ambition, and love for fighting. They also cooperate and support each other when necessary, such as during the Shibuya Incident.
Maki Zenin: Maki is Naobito’s niece and a second-year student at Tokyo Jujutsu High School. She is also a jujutsu sorcerer and a member of the Zenin clan. However, she has no cursed energy, which makes her an outcast and a target of ridicule among her family.
Naobito despises Maki for her lack of talent and potential, and he does not hesitate to mock or threaten her whenever he sees her. He also tries to prevent her from advancing in her career or achieving her goals, such as becoming a special grade jujutsu sorcerer. Maki, on the other hand, hates Naobito for his cruelty and oppression, and she vows to surpass him and change the Zenin clan for the better.
Mai Zenin: Mai is Naobito’s niece and a second-year student at Kyoto Jujutsu High School. She is also a jujutsu sorcerer and a member of the Zenin clan. However, she has very little cursed energy, which makes her inferior and dependent on her twin sister Maki.
Naobito does not care much about Mai, as he considers her weak and useless. He also uses her as a leverage to manipulate or intimidate Maki, as he knows that they have a strong bond despite their differences. Mai does not like Naobito either, as she blames him for the hardships and suffering that she and Maki have endured because of their family.
Satoru Gojo: Satoru is a special grade jujutsu sorcerer and a teacher at Tokyo Jujutsu High School. He is also the strongest jujutsu sorcerer in the world and the leader of the Gojo clan, one of the three great families of jujutsu sorcerers in Japan.
Naobito and Satoru have a tense and competitive relationship, as they are rivals for the position of the next headmaster of Tokyo Jujutsu High School. They also have different views and opinions on how to deal with the problems and issues that affect the jujutsu society, such as the curse users or the cursed spirits.
Naobito does not trust or respect Satoru, as he thinks that he is too reckless and irresponsible with his power and influence. Satoru, on the other hand, does not care much about Naobito, as he thinks that he is too conservative and rigid with his rules and traditions.
Naobito Zenin is a fascinating character in the Jujutsu Kaisen series, who showcases both his strengths and flaws throughout the story. He is a powerful and skilled jujutsu sorcerer, who can manipulate time and space to his advantage.
He is also a proud and confident leader of the Zenin clan, who does not tolerate any challenge or disrespect from anyone. However, he is also a temperamental and aloof individual, who does not care much about the fate of his clan or the world.
He is also arrogant and dismissive of those he considers inferior to him, such as his nieces Maki and Mai. He has various relationships with other characters in the series, ranging from friendly to hostile.
Naobito Zenin is a character that you will either love or hate, depending on your perspective and preference. He is not a hero or a villain, but rather a complex and realistic person who has his own motives and goals. He is one of the characters that make Jujutsu Kaisen such an engaging and captivating anime to watch.
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