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What You Never Noticed About Nobara's Hair In Jujutsu Kaisen

The plot of the recent hit shonen anime "Jujutsu Kaisen," which is arguably one of the best anime series of 2020, revolves around the conceit that widely-felt, negative human emotions manifest into autonomous demonic beings called Cursed Spirits. Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School is dedicated to training high school-aged kids into supernatural warriors capable of defeating Cursed Spirits in combat. Series protagonist Yuji Itadori attends Tokyo Jujutsu High after swallowing one of the fingers of Ryomen Sukuna, a legendarily powerful Cursed Spirit. This act both awakens supernatural powers within Itadori and lands him under the strict supervision of the staff at Tokyo Jujutsu High, who don't want the considerable negative energy manifest in even one of Sukuna's fingers let loose upon the world at large.

Of course, Itadori isn't the only misfit of sorts enrolled at Tokyo Jujutsu High. The series' central trio is rounded out by Megumi Fushiguro, who's capable of summoning demonic animals, and Nobara Kugisaki, whose fighting style utilizes elements of a Japanese black magic ritual called Ushi no Koku Mairi (via Yokai.com). The historic ritual notably involves hammering a nail into an effigy of the curse's intended target. Nobara similarly hammers nails both directly into her opponents and into a straw doll imbued with the ability to transmogrify damage to the doll into pain on a corresponding part of her target's body.

The origins of Nobara's Straw Doll Technique and related attacks are common knowledge to those who are familiar with Japanese supernatural lore. Her hairstyle, however, hides an ultimately unimportant but nevertheless revealing character trait likely unknown to the majority of anime viewers.

Nobara's hair reflects her personality

According to a profile of Nobara Kugisaki included in the first compiled volume of the "Jujutsu Kaisen" manga and referenced on the series' Fandom wiki, Nobara's hair, as it appears in colored comic book images and the entirety of the "Jujutsu Kaisen" anime thus far, is dyed. Her locks are a shade of orangish-brown, appearing, especially in a fantastical anime world, to be nothing out of the ordinary. That said, "Jujutsu Kaisen" author Gege Akutami surely decided that Nobara is the type of girl to dye her hair for a reason.

Immediately upon her introduction, Nobara reveals a multifaceted personality. Though her manner of speaking is brash, she also visits Harajuku first thing when she arrives in Tokyo. Harajuku is famously an epicenter of overtly cutesy, girly fashion aesthetics — seemingly the antithesis to Nobara's rough-edged demeanor. However, Nobara is as stereotypically feminine as she is tough, expressing a strong interest in clothes shopping while remaining a stone-cold combatant in battle.

Nobara's hair color, then, seems to be a contributor to this divide. Even though Nobara is most often dressed in a relatively standard-issue, utilitarian school uniform, her dyed hair allows her a degree of self-expression in line with her interest in fashion culture. That same profile from the first volume of "Jujutsu Kaisen" also mentions that her two favorite brands are luxury clothing line Balenciaga and running shoe company Onitsuka Tiger, further cementing the two sides of her personality.

Fanart by Twitter user ayukaawa of Nobara with undyed hair received over 1,000 likes, proving popular with the "Jujutsu Kaisen" fanbase. While the look makes for compelling fan content, Nobara's dyed locks are not an afterthought but rather a component of how Akutami decided to craft her almost-but-never-quite-contradictory personality.