A shonen series such as Jujutsu Kaisen dictates that it needs to be battle-oriented to sustain its ‘shonen’ nature, which is why characters like Shoko Ieri often take a backseat in the story’s narrative. Currently an alumni of Tokyo Jujutsu High, Shoko became a full-time doctor at her school. She used to be classmates with Jujutsu Kaisen’s two important characters – Satoru Gojo and Suguru Geto.
As is common for the only girl to be in a trio group whose other members are boys, fans have often shipped her with either one of them or imagined the three in a polyamorous relationship. However, a question arises on whether or not Shoko was actually in love with Gojo or Geto. But why would such a query even rise? The answer is in Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 220, whose official translation has received much traction from the fandom. However, to answer the titular question – Shoko wasn’t in love with either one of them.
Note: This article contains spoilers from the manga.
Shoko Ieri’s feelings for her classmates remained clear as day, that is until Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 220 happened
but the one from viz is far from correct they make it seem like shoko does INDEED have a thing for one of them (but it could never happen almost like it’s unrequited love? it’s so weirdly structured 🥴) and I’m like that’s not what she meant 😭
— mimi 🐣🦋 (@_gojosflatass) April 16, 2023
Exploring a specific character’s potential romantic inclinations is always a fun activity for fans, and Jujutsu Kaisen characters are no different. Among the older gen characters, Gojo, Geto, and Nanami Kento have remained the most popular. But female characters like Utahime Iori and Shoko Ieri are not far behind, especially the latter who has been seen hanging out with Gojo and Geto quite often in her school days.
Now, one might think that given how close knit the trio was, there may have been romantic feelings for either of them. Turns out the scapegoat had to be Shoko Ieri, who, up until now, had shown no such interests in either men, women, or others. However, the official publication of Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 220 messed up the dynamic of the three as the Viz translation showed in one of the panels that Shoko was in love with a classmate. Sadly, Tokyo Jujutsu High didn’t get many students each year, so Shoko’s batchmates consisted of Gojo and Geto only.
// jjk 220 spoilers
first off, the difference between the viz translation and the fan translation is really stark. in the viz version, it seems like what shoko is saying that she /was/ in love with one of them, but nothing was ever going to come of it pic.twitter.com/pwiKfBDcI5
— bea @ persona 5 disease (@cassibee_) April 16, 2023
When the raw scans and spoilers for Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 220 were released a week before it’s official publication, the fan translation saw Shoko saying:
“To tell the truth, an occasion of having love on either of you…that would’ve never happened even if the world was turned upside down.”
However, when the Viz translation came out, the official translation had Shoko saying:
“I was in love with one of you…that’s something that would’ve never happened if the world was turned upside down.”
Shoko is saying that her “loving one of them” would never happen under any circumstances
“Actually, if I were to be in love with either one of you…
Such a crazy thing…”
VIZ is accurate here but it may be worded weirdly is all pic.twitter.com/0qdJd7rmm5
— Lightning (@lightning446) April 16, 2023
The difference in meaning is large in both the sentences. Fans may jokingly even say, “That’s just semantics.” However, the point is that the fan translation suggests that Shoko will never see Gojo or Geto in the romantic light, while the official translation asserts that she is in love with them. The discussion and debate in the online forums was large, but whoever from the Viz translation team may be at fault, it all boils down to understanding the complexities of the Japanese language.
Going by the rules of linguistics, this method is called ‘inversion,’ where two expressions change their grammatical order of appearance. The Japanese language is much different from English, and the use of kanjis and hiraganas thus enhance the complexity of each sentence. As a result, the syntactical order of a sentence may sometimes change. That’s what had happened with this specific panel in Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 220. What was meant to suggest an impossibility showed a possibility of a situation.
yeahh 😭 apparently gege wanted shoko to exaggerate it so he used an inversion sentence (that's what is called in japanese if I'm not mistaken). and it's a normal expression in japanese. indeed it's hard and tricky, but viz can translate it better tho
— vee | live for the strongest bad boy (@greatsatoru) April 16, 2023
As such, Shoko Ieri has never been in love with either Gojo or Geto. This is said considering how the fandom largely accepts the fan translation, which negates the possibility of Shoko’s romantic feelings for her batchmates. However, it would be interesting to see if the doctor will come to love someone dearly in the future of Jujutsu Kaisen.