‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ fans outraged ‘Maki’ didn’t even make top 10
Anime character polls are always contentious within the anime community. This is especially true for shows that have many popular and beloved characters. And, the controversial results of a recent Jujutsu Kaisen fan poll have got the Twitter anime fandom buzzing.
Jujutsu Kaisen is one of this year’s breakout anime hits. Starting in Weekly Shōnen Jump in 2018, the series follows a young man called Yuji Itadori. When Yuji eats a cursed finger to save his friends, he becomes the host of the Ryomen Sukuna curse. Yuji quickly finds that the world is more magical than he thought, and he is taken before a council of magic users who task Yuji with eating all of the fingers, so they can destroy Ryomen Sukuna once and for all. 2020 saw the series get an anime adaptation made by MAPPA, and this massively increased the series’ popularity.
However, one character has built a large and dedicated fandom. Maki Zenin is a second-year student at Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School. Unlike many of the characters, Maki doesn’t have Cursed energy. So she instead uses special glasses and tools to deal with the supernatural threats she encounters. However, she possesses physical skills that more than make up for this downside. In fact, her unique powers make her one of the most popular and beloved characters in the series. Or at least that is what fans thought. In this poll, Maki didn’t even make the top 10.
Fans quickly took to Twitter to talk about this upsetting result. Many questioned why certain other characters made the top 10 while Maki didn’t. One fan asked how Naoya Zenin, a character who isn’t popular with American viewers, placed above Nobara Kugisaki and Maki.
Others pointed out that Maki’s bad showing is part of a trend, with one user pointing out that the poll shows “how hard girl characters have it” in shonen manga. The tweet went on to point out, to paraphrase, that female characters in shonen manga find it challenging to gain popularity, no matter what they do in the story.
This was backed up by another user. who pointed out that nearly every male member of the Zenin clan appears in the top 10 despite having much less development and screentime than Maki.
Some users took the time to playfully warn those who voted for Naoya to tread carefully in the future, reflecting some peoples’ views on Naoya.
Some simply used the trend to show their love for Maki, with many cosplayers posting pictures of their costumes based on the character. As one user said, “I love Maki Zenin, and I relate to her story a lot,” before adding that the character reminded them that they can “choose to follow our own path.”
This poll is a fantastic example of how the Twitter anime and manga fandom, while massive, only represents a small slice of a show’s audience. So, the trends seen on it, especially ones linked to character popularity, may not represent the franchise’s audience as a whole.