Prison Realm to Satoru Gojo is what Kryptonite is to Superman. They might not be the same, but these objects make the unbeatable, beatable.
For such overpowering characters, there needs to be an object that gives the antagonists a way to fight against them and not be dominated by the protagonists.
Just think about it.
What would have happened if a cursed object like Prison Realm wasn’t there?
The story would’ve ended right away because Satoru Gojo would have exorcised all the curses and killed Sukuna and Pseudo-Geto (Kenjaku) for good.
Thanks to the Prison’s Realm existence, the characters with limitations on either side of the plot got their chance to shine, opening up the story in ways one would’ve never imagined.
In Jujutsu Kaisen, the Prison Realm’s existence has been known since the beginning. In earlier chapters, we see Pseudo-Geto telling Jogo about the Prison Realm and how it will play an important role in sealing Satoru Gojo, the strongest sorcerer alive.
But what exactly is Prison Realm? How does it work? Can anyone use it? To answer these questions, I have created this article with a detailed explanation of the Prison Realm. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
What is the Prison Realm? Explained!
The Prison Realm (or Gokumonkyō) is a special-grade cursed object. It originated from the final remains of the Buddhist monk Genshin.
The Prison Realm is a living barrier that can seal anything or anyone, regardless of the power or size.
The Prison Realm is a cube-sized cursed object that can easily fit in the palm of your hand. Inside this cursed object, time doesn’t flow like in the real world, and there’s no way of escaping unless the caster (Pseudo-Geto/ Kenjaku) decides to open it or the Back Gate of the Prison Realm gets destroyed using cursed tools or cursed techniques that can nullify or cancel other cursed techniques.
The special-grade cursed tool like the “Inverted Spear of Heaven” or a cursed tool like the “Black Rope” would have done the trick, but Satoru Gojo has either sealed or destroyed both during his battle against the users of these cursed tools.
How Does the Prison Realm Work?
Although the Prison Realm can seal anything and everything, there are conditions to meet for the special-grade cursed object to work.
When the caster chants Gate Open, the target should be within a four-meter radius of the Prison Realm, that too for one minute.
After opening, the cubical cursed object further divides into four cubes and stretches a mass of flesh by those four edges with an eye in the center, staring right at the target.
The big eye focuses on the target and captures it efficiently inside the Prison Realm.
Then, the mass of flesh captures the target, making it impossible to move a muscle or use cursed techniques as it drains out all the cursed energy.
The caster needs to chant Gate Close to complete the sealing. However, to process the target, the Prison Realm takes time after the sealing and hence can’t be moved immediately.
And, to process someone like Satoru Gojo, the Prison Realm takes more time than usual and becomes heavy enough for Pseudo-Geto to drop it.
The Prison Realm can seal only one occupant at a time unless the occupant takes their own life.
The Importance of Prison Realm in Jujutsu Kaisen
The Prison Realm balances the power scaling between the antagonists and protagonists in Jujutsu Kaisen, letting every character breathe.
As seen on several occasions and admitted by the mastermind Pseudo-Geto himself, Satoru Gojo was too strong to defeat; hence the plan and teaming up with the cursed spirits to seal Satoru Gojo inside the Prison Realm – the only thing capable of holding him back.
If not for the Prison Realm’s sealing, the Shibuya Incident wouldn’t have occurred, Nanami wouldn’t have died, Sukuna wouldn’t have awakened, Nobara would have been unharmed, and countless civilians wouldn’t have died.
However, that would’ve halted the growth of Jujutsu Kaisen, where the characters wouldn’t grow, the plot wouldn’t flow, and the quality would’ve stayed low.
That is the importance of the Prison Realm in Jujutsu Kaisen!
How Did Satoru Gojo Get Sealed in the Prison Realm?
Pseudo-Geto knew that Satoru Gojo wasn’t a run-of-the-mill special-grade sorcerer. He is exceptional even among the special-grade sorcerers.
As mentioned earlier, to seal someone inside the Prison Realm, the target should be within a four-meter radius for one minute. But to keep Satoru Gojo within the said radius for a minute is like asking a horse to bark.
But being the mastermind he is, Pseduo-Geto knew precisely what to do and how to do it. Having the memories of Suguru Geto helped him make a bulletproof plan to seal Satoru Gojo during the Shibuya Incident arc.
Firstly, Pseudo-Geto tasked Mahito, Jogo, Hanami, and Choso with pushing Gojo on the edge. Pseudo-Geto asked them to make Gojo use his brains by limiting his cursed techniques with non-sorcerers (civilians) as a shield.
Pseudo-Geto knew Gojo wouldn’t use “Blue” in the presence of the civilians so as not to kill them. Similarly, Gojo won’t use his domain – Unlimited Void, as it would crush the civilians between Unlimited Void and the curtain.
However, they didn’t expect Gojo to cast the Unlimited Void for 0.2 seconds and selectively kill transfigured humans. But that didn’t phase the mastermind at all. Pseduo-Geto opened the Prison Realm immediately after Gojo deactivated his domain.
To render Gojo immobile for a minute, Pseudo-Geto used emotions as the final weapon against the strongest sorcerer alive. He bet on Gojo’s friendship with Geto.
It was the first time Gojo came across Pseudo-Geto, and as expected, Gojo stood still after seeing his friend’s face in front of him, reminiscing about the last three years. He kept thinking about his best friend Geto being alive, whom he killed a year ago with his own hands.
In reality, only an instant had passed, but in Gojo’s brain, a minute’s worth of time had passed, satisfying the Prison Realm’s condition. He got captured by the Prison Realm, which drained all of his cursed energy.
Before closing the gates of the Prison Realm, Pseudo-Geto revealed how he took over Geto’s body. The Prison Realm takes time to process the target, but Satoru Gojo made the process painfully long. The strongest sorcerer alive flexed his muscle even after getting sealed.
Does Satoru Gojo Ever Gets Unsealed?
Yes, Satoru Gojo gets unsealed by Hana Kurusu in the later half of the Culling Game Arc.
Following the tragedy at Shibuya and dealing with the aftermath of the incident, Yuki Tsukumo, Yuji, Megumi, Yuta, and Choso met Master Tengen to ask about ways to free Satoru Gojo from the Prison Realm. Tengen shows them the Back Gate of the Prison Realm – where Gojo was sealed.
Tengen said that only the bearer of the Front Gate can open it. However, the Back Gate can be forced open using cursed tools like the Inverted Spear of Heaven, the Black Rope, or any cursed technique that can nullify any cursed technique.
Unfortunately, the cursed tools were either destroyed or sealed by Satoru Gojo. On that, Tengen suggests to find Angel, who can extinguish cursed techniques. Yuji and Megumi later discover that Angel has incarnated into Hana Kurusu’s body, whose sole purpose is to kill Sukuna, the Fallen.
After recovering from Sukuna’s attack, Hana uses her cursed technique, Jacob’s Ladder, on the Back Gate to free Satoru Gojo from the Prison Realm.
However, it wasn’t that easy for Gojo. After absorbing Tengen, Kenjaku knew about the Back Gate. As safety measures to kill Gojo, Kenjaku put cursed spirits inside the seal’s layer and placed the Prison Realm in a subduction zone, 8000 meters underwater of the deepest area of the Japan Trench. But all this to no avail.
Satoru Gojo broke out of the Prison Realm like a cakewalk!
Prison Realm exists because of Satoru Gojo. It is there to maintain the balance. I would have liked to see more Satoru Gojo like any other JJK fan. But it’s also true that in his absence, we witnessed Yuji Itadori and others grow as individuals and sorcerers.
What’s your take on the existence of Prison Realm? Do you think there should’ve been any other way to restrict Gojo’s overwhelming power to let him fight the battles?
Also Read: All Shibuya Incident Arc Deaths