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The opening credits for Jujutsu Kaisen generally only feature scenes of the major characters who will appear in the forthcoming episodes. As far as I can tell, there is only one motif that actually recurs between the two OPs in season 1, which is that of a thin black and white fish.

Screenshots from the first OP:

Screenshot from the second OP:

What does this fish symbolize?

I tried searching for images of black and white fish, but I wasn't able to find any real fish that closely resembled the one pictured in these screenshots.

It's possible that the black and white pigmentation indicates that the fish is poisonous; if it is so, then my guess is that it's supposed to represent Ryomen Sukuna, since he's also known as the King of Deadly Poisons. I also get the vague feeling that it could have something to do with Yoshino Junpei, but I am unable to articulate why this would be so. Unfortunately, there's not much that I'm able to say beyond this.

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    I can't fully understand since I don't know the story...but there are several sites mentioning it (e.g. this). The fish is タテジマキンチャクダイ or Emperor angelfish. Seems like this fish swims into areas where it cannot survive, and as such symbolizes/predicts somebody's death.
    – sundowner
    Nov 5, 2021 at 5:07
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    And the behavior is called 死滅回遊, which is the name of something in the anime. I can't find the English equivalent (some suggests abortive migration?).
    – sundowner
    Nov 5, 2021 at 6:57
  • @sundowner Thanks for the info, that is interesting! Since my hypothesis about the fish being poisonous turned out to be incorrect, I'll just mention that I've often had a vague sense that it could also be related to the character Yoshino Junpei. From your info, it fits this character a bit better than Sukuna, since (in a way) Junpei does end up swimming into a new world (that of Jujutsu sorcery), with consequences that could indeed have been foreshadowed by the symbolism of the emperor angelfish.
    – Namaskaram
    Nov 9, 2021 at 11:35
  • In fact, I'm unable to locate a proper source for my claim that "black and white fish are generally poisonous", so it may very well be completely incorrect, based on something I misheard or misremembered. But I'll avoid removing it from the question since one answer already references the claim.
    – Namaskaram
    Nov 9, 2021 at 11:45

2 Answers 2

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I was also wondering this, and also thought the fish could represent Sukuna or Junpei, but after watching the series over again, I've found that about 43-45 seconds into the opening it shows the black/white fist jump out at Yuuji and transfer into a part of Sukuna, specifically his mouth that opens from Yuuji's cheek. Which makes more sense as where the fish is in the water which his body is only partially emerged, maybe symbolizing how he has not fully taken over Yuuji's body, but he is lurking patiently until before the beat drop he jumps into his cheek:)

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  • Excellent point! Thanks for this answer :)
    – Namaskaram
    Mar 21 at 19:33
  • Ofc! I was wondering the same thing so I'm glad your post urged me to look closer into it
    – Lor
    Mar 22 at 3:59
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According to a Tumblr post, it is the Pomacanthus imperator, or emperor angelfish. Contrary to what you have pointed out, a website states that:

General aquarium Angelfish are not poisonous. If you properly care for Angelfish, they can grow up to 6-8 inches in length.

The angelfish can represent the need for self-love. It might represent an internal struggle for self-care, but I won't pass a judgment since I am yet to watch the show or know any of the character struggles.

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