overpowered shonen anime characters

Anyone who has broken through into Jujutsu Kaisen territory should know by now what a force of nature Gojo Satoru is. And I don’t mean just to curse in his anime world, but also to those dripping over him in real life (I see you, girls). Gojo Satoru has easily broken through into the anime fandom as one of the sexiest and most Overpowered shonen characters ever. But here’s a thing you may not have heard – Gojo Satoru of Jujutsu Kaisen breaks the Overpowered Support Character trope in Anime.

How other Shonen Anime does an overpowered Character

Gojo Satoru as he appears in Season 1
Gojo Satoru as he appears in Season 1, courtesy of Studio Mappa

Now here’s the thing, Gojo Satoru is insanely overpowered. But he certainly isn’t the first. We have seen the overpowered character trope in anime before. The shonen genre has homed multiple likable yet cocky overpowered bastards.

Why are Shonen overpowered-Anime-Characters cocky?

Netero is Overpowered Anime Character from Hunter x Hunter
Netero, Chairman of Hunter Association (Courtesy of Madhouse studios)

But apart from him, no matter which overpowered support character you take, there’s always this sense of egoism in them. Although this feels like a broad generalization, it may have partly to do with the fact that overpowered characters know that they are overpowered. They are written in a way as to emanate that aura of strength, which has a sense of “I have conquered what I needed to” vibe. The most accurate person to relate this to is Netero from HxH.

Gojo is cocky and he goes all out in being so from the start

Gojo Satoru
Gojo Satoru in the film Jujutsu Kaisen 0, via Rotten Tomato trailers
  • But it would be an overestimation to consider their cockiness as noviceness. Sometimes the character is written in a way in which his ego is meant to be his downfall. Usually, such a character seems to be the villain and not exactly the support.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen’s Gojo Satoru is not the villain ladies, he’s a freaking good support. It’s often that the ego of this ‘Overpowered Support Character’ is actually his way of condemning the ginormous wall that is between him and his enemy. Gojo Satoru has not exempted himself from this wall.

The purpose of Gojo Satoru in Jujutsu Kaisen Storyline

Gojo Satoru is an overpowered anime shonen character
via Crunchyroll

When we compare Gojo Satoru, we must compare him with the likes of support roles in other anime. It’s irrelevant to compare Gojo with Itadori as our limit-breaking mentor is not supposed to be Itadori’s competition. The very existence of Gojo in Jujutsu Kaisen seems to be a cheat key and a plot armor.

  • The thing with Jujutsu Kaisen is that the wall between the protagonist and the adversary of Ryoumen Sukuna that he has to overcome is ginormous. The world is filled with unlimited forces that are just way beyond Itadori’s limits.
  • Gojo Satoru is the cheat key that the author will deploy when he’s feeling lazy and just doesn’t know how to solve a situation. That’s Gojo’s ultimate power – to save the day. 
Levi Ackerman in Season 4 of Attack on Titan is an Overpowered Anime Character
Levi Ackerman in Season 4 of Attack on Titan, Via the Official Youtube trailer of Season 4 of AOT

The same can be said for other support characters along a similar line, like All Might or Levi Ackerman. Both these examples have shown exemplary performances in rescuing the protagonist from the brink of death. But at one point, either the protagonist surpasses them, or they are weakened to near death. 

The thing about being the overpowered Mentor

The thing with being this overpowered is that you are supposed to be killed at one point for the Protagonist’s character development. As harsh as this is, that’s how most anime usually do it. Killing may sound like an overestimation for Gojo san. It is still true that Gojo at one point is supposed to be subdued, so Itadori can surpass even him.

A Comparision with all might

All Might in his weary form
All Might in his exhausted form, courtesy of Studio Bones
  • All Might’s strength only ran till the time when the plot had no other characters to take on the might of All For One. After his battle with the infamous king of all villains, All Might exhausted his life line.
  • That serves as a motivation for Deku to grow and become better. The entire point of the overpowered character losing his shit is that it is the part where the story totally divulges from relying on that support character to the point where it’s time for the protagonist to shine.

In some way, the Overpowered character is no longer overpowered in the typical Shonen anime marker to indicate that the protagonist is in a secure enough position. He can finally take the helm and steadily move towards his own development without having to be saved by the OP support.

How is Jujutsu Kaisen’s Gojo Satoru different from other strong Shonen anime characters?

  • Gojo Satoru is different in the sense that the Gege Akutami has left few stones unturned in showing that Gojo is a badass right from the get-go. All authors love to flex their overpowered support character, but no one does it quite as well as Gege does with Gojo.

  • Kakashi Hatake is a very well-written character. From the get-go, Kakashi showed what it meant to be an excellent Shinobi, but Kakashi never felt like an indomitable wall. Even when he fought Zabuza, there was much to lose. His blood was shed, his flesh was cut and his eyes were exhausted.

Gojo kind of never has had to be pushed to the limits. At least not in the Jujutsu Kaisen present continuation. The most ‘to-the-edge’ he’s gone is with Toji Fushiguro, which would be the prequel to Jujutsu Kaisen and is spoiler territory. (So we will avoid it for now).

  • Different Shonens have flexed their overpowered anime characters, but there always seemed to be some weakness left in them that could be exploited.
    • All Might was introduced as he was losing his prime in the aftermath of his battle with All For One.
    • Levi was introduced as humanity’s strongest soldier but he was never invincible. A Giant titan could still crush him if situations went south.
    • Kakashi Hatake was never the peak of Shinobi. Kishimoto may have shown Itachi as such, but Itachi is not a supporting character to the protagonist. (This is debatable later in the series, but we are discussing the initial point of the series.)

Concluding

Gojo Satoru was supposed to be the flex in the story. Overpowered in all sense, to the point that he’s a god of the Jujutsu world. Born with both Limitless and The Eyes, Satoru san rules the world filled with curse energy. Even later in the manga, it has been impossible to beat Satoru.

Yet he too fell to similar lines in which the Overpowered character, has to go. Don’t worry, he doesn’t die (or does he?). But ultimately Jujutsu Kaisen is a shonen world and must do shonen stuff.


Feel free to drop a comment below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.  

Make sure you subscribe to our push notifications and never miss an update from the world of video games, cinema, and sports. You can also follow us on Twitter @spieltimes for the latest PS5 restock and drop. Until next time, Stay Safe and Happy Gaming!