In every anime that we watch, there is always a character who catches our eye and someone we have grown to love as time passes by. In the case of Jujutsu Kaisen, I think I can speak for many when I say that the first one that caught my eye was the tall, mischievous, white-haired sensei which is Satoru Gojo. Then there came the character that we didn’t expect to admire — a first-grade sorcerer with a unique ratio technique and an immense amount of cursed energy, Kento Nanami. He is the kind of character that you eventually learn to love, and now we can even argue that Nanami is one of the best characters in the Jujutsu Kaisen series. The real question is WHY, and that’s what we’ll be finding out today. (This article may contain spoilers).
Table of contents
Understanding Kento Nanami
In his first appearance in the series back in season 1, Nanami looked like a completely normal character with an uninteresting role. He seemed like the type of character to appear in one episode, and never again. With his plain beige suit and strict attitude, Nanami was not exactly likable in his first few minutes. It even made Yuji Itadori think they wouldn’t get along (see pictures above for Yuji’s hilarious reactions). But as Gojo said, Nanami is someone who can help Yuji and guide him in his journey to learn more about Jujutsu. In the following episodes, we finally see that there is more to Kento Nanami than what first met the eye. Although he appears to be reserved and serious, the one thing we know is that it doesn’t equate to him being emotionless. If anything, the first-grade sorcerer is far from that.
Nanami’s sense of responsibility
In the Jujutsu Kaisen series, no other character has come close to the sense of responsibility of Kento Nanami. We’ve seen him show this a lot of times in the anime. Whenever a younger character needs help, Nanami is like a superhero who comes to their rescue. It may be because the tragic stories of his past made him realize the evil that lies within the world of Jujutsu. Nanami knows that being a sorcerer means being prepared to risk your life for others, and not only that, but they also force their fellow Jujutsu Sorcerers to do the same. This is one of the reasons why he ran away from being one and became a salaryman instead. He thought about money day and night when he was a salaryman thinking that if he had money, he could just ignore the sorcerers and curses. However, he realized it was a life lived without any purpose. So he returned to being a sorcerer where he knew he was more suited, and now that he’s older and stronger, he makes sure to do everything he can to protect the youth.
Prioritizing other people’s lives over his own
The first time we saw Nanami’s sense of responsibility was in the very same episode he debuted. In episode 9 of season 1, Yuji was introduced to Nanami, and together they worked on a mission in the movie theater. It was also the first time Yuji encountered transfigured creatures, so although he wanted to fight one of the creatures immediately, Nanami stopped him and said he’ll be taking care of the first one. He entrusted the second creature to Yuji, while also telling him to ask for help if he cannot defeat it. Yuji thought Nanami was underestimating him, to which Nanami replied, “It’s not a matter of underestimating or not. I am an adult, and you are a child. I have a duty to prioritize your life over my own.”
Feelings of concern and sympathy
In his fight agaisnt Mahito at the underground sewers, Nanami noticed that he was standing on a transfigured creature. It cried for help, and Nanami remembered what Shoko Ieiri said — that these transfigured creatures were once humans, and that when they encounter one, it’s better to kill them for the sake of the victims themselves because they won’t be able to turn back into their human form. Nanami wiped the tears that came out of the transfigured human’s eyes when Mahito told him to not worry about the creature. Even though Nanami said it was his policy to not bring personal feelings to work, Mahito still felt Nanami’s soul tremble, and he laughed because he was lying. In this scene, we can see that Nanami really cares about the lives of other people, but he tries to hide it and maintain his composed personality.
“Being a child is not a sin.”
After finding out that Nanami was injured in his fight with Mahito, Yuji furiously shows how eager he is to join Nanami the next time he comes to fight with Mahito. However, Nanami keeps saying no to him and reminds Yuji that Mahito is a cursed spirit that uses transfigured people in his fights, and knowing Yuji, it is not his desire to kill people. The first-grade sorcerer also said that if Yuji continued this kind of job, then there would be a time when he would be forced to kill people; but Nanami, trying to protect Yuji’s youth, told him that it was still not the time for him to do dirty work like that. Attempting to make Yuji understand why he does not allow him to join the fight with Mahito, Nanami informs Yuji that being a child is not a sin.
This line of Kento Nanami is one of his most unforgettable ones since it’s the kind of line that’s enough to make your heart ache because it just hits too close to home. I once saw on X (previously Twitter) that this line has changed some people’s perceptions about life. They recalled and shared their experiences when others made them feel like making mistakes was a bad thing when they were much younger, but hearing Nanami say this, they were given some kind of comforting assurance — it’s okay to not know anything, it’s okay to make mistakes in the process of knowing, and it’s okay to not push yourself to do everything an adult is already capable of doing.
Other times Nanami protected and cared for the youth
Kento Nanami has shown his sense of responsibility a lot of times, so here are more unforgettable moments of the first-grade sorcerer that show his concern for others and just how reliable and responsible he is:
- Letting the opportunity of exorcising a weakened Mahito go when he saw Yuji lying on the ground, completely worn out. He stopped trying to run after Mahito to tend to Itadori who needed to be healed.
- On the Night Parade of a Hundred Demons, a group of young sorcerers watch their fellow sorcerers get killed by a large curse. Left with no choice, even in their frightened state, they still decided to fight next. Fortunately, as they were about to step forward, Nanami stopped them and stated that he would take the fight from there. If this scene alone doesn’t scream best character in Jujutsu Kaisen to you, then I don’t know what else would. There were only a few seconds of Nanami screen time in Jujutsu Kaisen 0, but he was on fire! (not literally, at least not yet. *cries*)
- Seeing curse user Haruta Shigemo attack and injure Nobara Kugisaki and Akari Nitta, Nanami showed no mercy for Haruta as he delivered strong punches using his fist covered with an immense amount of cursed energy. Haruta stood no chance against the first-grade sorcerer. In the later scenes, Nobara and Akari are seen sitting on a couch, whereas Nanami is seen kneeling in front of the two women, informing them of the situation. (He is the greenest green flag, and you can’t deny it). Nobara insists on going, but Nanami asks her and Akari to stay behind since the following fights can only be fought by sorcerers who are at least first-grade.
- As Nanami and the Zenin team head inside Shibuya station to rescue Satoru Gojo, Naobito tells Maki that she should go home, to which Nanami agrees. But Maki replies that she’ll be more useful than Naobito who has been drinking all night. Noticing a cursed spirit hiding behind a post, Nanami puts his left arm in front of Maki to stop her from advancing and tells her that he’ll handle the cursed spirit.
- In the fight with Dagon, the octopus-like cursed spirit sent two shikigamis to kill Megumi, however, just before the shikigamis reached him, Nanami came to the rescue and sliced the eel shikigamis. The first-grade sorcerer asks Megumi about the condition of the other two, pertaining to Yuji Itadori and Takuma Ino, which makes Megumi explain the situation. An injured Nanami then tells Megumi to focus on his domain while he protects him.
There are many times Kento Nanami proved that he’s one of the best characters in the Jujutsu Kaisen series. From being a responsible person who protects the students to being a great and inspiring mentor to younger sorcerers like Ino — it cannot be denied that he truly is an exceptional character that everyone, if not all, can consider a role model. It’s no secret that Jujutsu Kaisen is an anime filled with unique characters, mind-blowing techniques, and all things sorcery, but Nanami’s character is a pinch of reality that makes many people relate to him, especially with his desire for money and despise for overtime. Even with his strict and reserved attitude, he still never fails to show his care and concern for others, and we can see that in the many times he said “I’ll take it from here.” Despite running away from his life as a Jujutsu Sorcerer, he came back stronger and more committed than ever to fulfilling his purpose as a sorcerer which is to protect the youth and guide them with all his might. He had such an impact on people that surely when he’s gone, the younger sorcerers and even us, the viewers, will continue to remember him, his words of wisdom, and his deeds of unselfishness.
That’s it for Why Kento Nanami Is One Of The Best Characters in Jujutsu Kaisen. Do you agree that Kento Nanami is one of the best characters in the series? Comment down your thoughts about the first-grade sorcerer below. We also hope you have already watched the recent episode, and still feel sane after all the crazy happenings in Shibuya, especially with what just happened.
©Gege Akutami/Shueisha/JUJUTSU KAISEN Project