From Lord of the Rings to Jennifer Lawrence to Tom Hanks, Jujutsu Kaisen never shies away from making iconic pop culture references. What would happen if we were to put Tyler Durden in Tokyo Jujutsu High? Gege Akutami answers this with his new character, Kinji Hakari. It is speculation at this point, but Hakari’s character seems to be a subtle reference to the iconic Fight Club character.
His Domain seems to be by far the most complicated of the Domains we have seen so far. Let's break down Hakari’s character and his role in the Culling Game Arc.
Who Is Kinji Hakari?
A third-year student at Tokyo Jujutsu High, Hakari is a lawless menace. He is first mentioned by Maki during the Kyoto Goodwill Arc. He couldn’t participate in the event as he was suspended for clashing with the authorities. Gojo later mentions Hakari to be one of the sorcerers who could surpass him one day.
We get to see the real Hakari at the cusp of the Culling Games. Suspended from Jujutsu High, Hakari runs his own Fight Club. In true Tyler Durden fashion, not only is Hakari extremely anti-establishment in the coolest way, he has very little regard for anyone but himself. As a nod to the iconic Brad Pitt character, Hakari’s character and costume design seem to be heavily influenced by Tyler. Moreover, just like Tyler, Hakari is also a bookie.
Kinji is prepared to advance his fight club at any cost. Currently, he aims to make the most of the commotion brought on by the public revelation of curses. His ultimate objective is to have jujutsu officials recognize his group in preparation for the upcoming revisions to their rules.
While Hakari is an uncaring outlaw, he was genuinely upset upon learning about the fates of Principal Gakuganji and Gojo, his benefactors. However, he only joined forces with Yuji and his friends to gain the favor of the Zenin clan.
Kinji Hakari’s Powers Explained
Just in terms of raw physical powers and cursed energy, Hakari outclasses most people in the Jujutsu Kaise Universe. He is an expert at using cursed energy to amplify his physical strikes, allowing him to strike with tremendous force. Evidently, the texture of Hakari's cursed energy is significantly harsher than others. Satoru Gojo told him that the "edge" in his cursed energy gave his blunt attacks a strong cutting impact. Hakari's opponent will feel a searing pain regardless of how much or how little force he employs in a hit. Yuji likens it to being struck by a bat with spikes.
Domain Expansion: Restless Gambler
Restless Gambler uses real-life Pachinko machines as the basis for its domain. The manga gives a two-page explainer about Hakari’s domain so let's not open that can of worms. Any attempt at explaining the nitty-gritty of it is bound to fail. The rules of his domain involve probability, luck, and compatibility. To quote Tenet “Don’t try to understand it, just feel it”.
The core of Hakari’s technique involved his strength getting bolstered by lucky rolls of his domain. He receives bonuses for matching specific characters (who are taken from the in-universe manga series, CR Private Pure Love Train), and he is often attempting to hit the jackpot for the one-hit-kill aspect of Domain Expansions. It is revealed that Hakari has such a wonderful fortune that he has never needed to make more than 30 rolls. However, not only is Hakari super lucky and super strong but he happens to be incredibly smart.
Hakari In The Culling Game
Hakari entered the Culling Game as an ally to Panda. The first opponent he faced was Charles Bernard, a mangaka. At first, Charles seemed to have the upper hand with his ability to look into the immediate future. However, the moment Hakari unleashes his domain, the fight is as good as over.
Caught up in Hakari’s domain, Charles can no longer focus on the future. As the battle nears its end, Charles exclaims, that Hakari is only winning because of his luck. However, Hakari countered him saying “You need the skill to capitalize on your luck” before delivering the final blow.
His next opponent is Hajime Kashimo, a 400-year-old Jujutsu Sorcerer. Hakari is basically invincible in front of a sorcerer who tore Panda into pieces with little to no difficulties just moments earlier.
Apparently, winning a jackpot in Restless Gambler rewards Hakari with 4 minutes 11 seconds of an infinite surge of cursed energy. During this time span, Hakari can even perform feats like Reversed Cursed Techniques reflexively. In essence, for this duration, Hakari is practically immortal.
Kashimo still manages to throw a real challenge to Hakari, bringing him close to death multiple times. However, Hakari’s incredible luck, skills, and power prevail. Eventually, not only is he able to defeat Kashimo, but recruits them to team Yuji and friends. Hakari’s role in the story is far from over and it would be interesting to see what direction this character takes in the future.