Anime and manga have grown quite a reputation for having some rather unusual characters in their ranks, and that is far from a negative thing! Certain interesting characters can make for great comedic effects, but they can also be in-depth with fascinating origins.
One of these uniquely intriguing characters would have to be Panda, from the anime and manga series Jujutsu Kaisen.
As you probably already guessed, Panda is a character who takes on the outward appearance of a panda.
Despite that classic black and white look and his cuddly exterior, Panda isn’t actually a panda! The plot well and truly thickens. So, who exactly is this Panda, and why does he look like a panda?? Have no fear, for we are here to answer these questions!
We’re going to be taking a look at the character of Panda and examining him thoroughly, discovering what exactly his powers are and how he fits into the grander scheme of things within the world of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Let’s start with a bit of backstory regarding the series as a whole so that we can make some sense of Panda as a character within said world.
Both the Jujutsu Kaisen manga and anime are set in a world that is overrun with curses that can easily ruin the lives- or even lead to the deaths- of those unlucky enough to be inflicted with them. As is expected in a world of curses, there are also powerful sorcerers who inhabit this world.
At the Tokyo Jujutsu High School of Sorcery, students and teachers alike form an organization with the goal of exorcising curses from the inflicted and helping those in need.
The plot revolves around a teenager named Yuji Itadori- a character with incredible physical strength- who- after a series of events that lead him to ingesting the finger of Sakuna,
The King of Curses, to save a friend- ends up becoming cursed himself and sharing his body with that aforementioned Curse King.
After the incident, Yuji is enrolled into the Tokyo Jujutsu High School, where he becomes dedicated to fighting curses whilst cursed himself.
That’s all we really need to know about the story of Jujutsu Kaisen to get more of an understanding of Panda’s character, so now let’s move on to the panda himself.
We see Panda when he is an adorable baby/child and at this age, he had a very distinct personality in comparison to his older persona.
When young, he was very proper and formal, but this was so much so that he seemed somewhat robotic in nature. However, as he grew older, he developed his own unique personality that made him seem more human despite his panda exterior.
He became a cheerful and humorous character who is able to keep in calm in difficult situations. His humor is such that he tends to make light of most situations, even when he is in danger or being attacked.
Panda’s sarcastic tendencies make him seem all the more human, even though Panda himself considers humans to be somewhat strange creatures. Despite his human like behavior, Panda does not want to be like them.
That being said, he still respects humanity and is happy to live among them, even though he doesn’t consider himself to be one of them.
Panda is a supporting character in Jujutsu Kaisen as well as a protagonist in the Jujutsu Kaisen 0: Jujutsu High manga. He is one of the students at the Jujutsu High sorcery school and is in the second year.
His appearance resembles that of a fully grown panda- obviously- and so he is much taller and larger than his classmates, standing at about 6 foot 7 inches tall. Sometimes he will wear clothes or accessories, such as scarves or armbands.
He has even worn jackets at times, making for a particularly stylish panda.
Panda as a Cursed Corpse
Although he greatly resembles one, Panda is not actually a proper panda. He is an Abrupt-Mutated Cursed Corpse who was created by Masamichi Yaga, a well known practitioner of puppet jujutsu sorcery, which allows for the creation of cursed corpses.
Yaga had his own cursed technique that allowed for a somewhat different kind of cursed corpse to be born in the form of Panda.
Cursed corpses are inanimate objects that become possessed by a curse, making them able to move and come to life. Whilst most of these curses are naturally hostile towards humans and dangerous, artificial cursed corpses- such as those created by sorcerers- have “cores” that are embedded within them. These cores behave as a heart of sorts, which allow the cursed corpses to act independently without input from their creator.
Most of these kinds of cursed corpses can only continue to be independent until their cursed energy- the fuel within them that is used to keep them maintained- runs out.
However, Panda is even more unique in that although he can use his cursed energy, it will never be completely depleted.
Panda is one of the most complex cursed corpses to date, hence why he is referred to as an Abrupt- Mutated Cursed Corpse.
Not only was he born sentient and capable of independent thought, he also possesses three separate cores, all of which have unique traits and abilities. The truth behind Panda’s creation was eventually revealed by Yaga before his death.
Yaga had to replicate soul information from real, physical information, and then input that information within the cores of the cursed corpse.
He reveals that in during work to create Panda, he discovered that the cores must contain three compatible souls within them that are able to fuse with the cursed corpse and communicate naturally with them so that they can eventually stabilize and work together.
This could then grant the cursed corpse a unique level of self awareness, which is what happened with Panda. This core compatibility also means that within three months of being created, the cursed corpse can replenish their cursed energy by themselves.
The nature of the cursed energy within him is why Panda is able to maintain a stable level of cursed energy, enough to always be able to maintain his self awareness and stability.
Panda’s Powers, Abilities and Cores
As mentioned above, Panda’s true nature as a cursed corpse means that he has cores within him. Rather than just one, Panda has three, as is the method of creating an Abrupt-Mutated Cursed Corpse.
These three cores not only act as Panda’s heart, but they are also compatible souls that are hosted within him.
As well as his general skills, we are going to be taking a look at these three cores and how the souls within them relate to Panda. Let’s begin by taking a look at his general abilities.
Powers and Abilities
Sorcery: Panda has a natural ability with jujutsu and is a grade 2 sorcerer. His sorcery abilities are also linked to the cores that he possesses.
Panda has a much higher level of cursed energy within him due to being a cursed corpse, but this becomes even more substantial than a regular cursed corpse as he is an Abrupt-Mutated Cursed Corpse.
Panda has learned how to enhance both his offensive and defensive skills with his cursed energy, reinforcing his physical body in the process.
Physical Skills: Due to his large frame, Panda is incredibly strong and sturdy. He is able to exorcise curses through his physical abilities alone.
Not only is his strength a useful skill when fighting enemies, it is also useful when it comes to helping out his allies during a fight, as he can do things such as carry them on his back and create escape routes with ease due to being able to break walls simply by running into them.
Endurance: Panda also has an exceptionally high level of durability, thanks to a combination of his robust nature and from being an Abrupt-Mutated cursed corpse.
Being a cursed corpse lets him absorb a huge amount of damage, whilst his immense strength and panda body only add to the amount of punishment he can take.
His body is also reinforced with the protection from his cursed energy, which can envelop his body in a moment’s notice and act as a protective barrier to defend against various techniques from his enemies that could strike down his fellow sorcerers with ease.
The only possible way to kill Panda is to destroy the cursed energy cores within him, as they essentially act as his heart.
Intelligence: Panda has always been an incredibly intelligent being, even from a young age due to the education that Yaga gave him, as well as the method in which he was born.
His intelligence easily transitions over to battle scenarios, allowing him to analyze his opponent’s fighting styles to remain one step ahead in a fight. Panda is meticulous with his planning, making him a highly formidable adversary.
Panda has three separate cores, rather than the one that most cursed corpses have. Let’s take a look at them.
Panda Core: Panda’s first core is pretty simple: it’s just a panda! Panda is the balanced core type that he utilizes most frequently.
The panda core is the easiest and most convenient to use, as well as not being volatile in terms of cursed energy.
This doesn’t make the panda form any less powerful, though, as Panda gains his classic super strength and enhanced endurance whilst in this form.
Gorilla Core: Panda’s “Gorilla Mode” is considered to be the core of his “brother” and Panda’s appearance will change drastically when using it.
His look becomes more similar to that of a panda/gorilla hybrid, maintaining the black and white panda colors, but adopting a much more muscular, gorilla like body and stance.
Whilst using the gorilla core, Panda is even stronger and faster, but this comes at the cost of his cursed energy draining rapidly.
His most powerful move whilst in gorilla mode is the “Unblockable Drumming Beat”, which allows Panda to strike with a hugely potent power.
The attack will resonate through the target’s body and send a shockwave outwards that will penetrate any guard or barrier, meaning that the victim will feel the damage even if they successfully defend against the attack.
Sister Core: The specific form of the third core has not yet been revealed in either the anime or the manga as of yet. All that we know is that core is considered to be the “older sister” of Panda, in the same manner that the gorilla core is his “brother”.
Panda has described the core as bashful and shy, but little else is known about it. During a fight with Mechamaru, the core was summoned to battle. However, it was crushed almost immediately, leaving its current status as unknown.
Seeing as both the panda and gorilla cores focus on brute strength and speed, it is speculated that the sister core could be on the other end of the combat spectrum, perhaps focusing on skill and stealth to balance out the other cores.
So, there you have all that you need to know about Panda, his powers, abilities and the nature of his cores.
Hopefully, Panda’s third core will have survived the battle with Mechamaru and will show us the true nature of their power at some point in the future.
Until then, we can only continue to speculate. In the meantime, here is hoping that Panda keeps being the awesome character that he is in the world of Jujutsu Kaisen!