How Jujutsu Kaisen’s Inumaki Toge Echoes Dune’s Bene Gesserit Witches

Jujutsu Kaisen is a hugely popular shonen action series with a creative combat system to its name. In this dark fantasy world, negative human emotions can give rise to powerful curses, which often resemble monsters or mutated humans, but jujutsu sorcerers can fight back with their own cursed techniques fueled by negative emotions.

One of the most unique sorcerers aside from Yuji himself is the quiet Inumaki Toge, a boy who rarely speaks unless he absolutely must. With his Cursed Speech technique, he can compel any target to do what he commands, and this may remind fans of the incredible Voice ability found in Frank Herbert's Dune franchise. Some remarkable parallels can be made between these two techniques.

The Power Of The Bene Gesserit Voice In Dune

In the Dune universe, a major theme is the exploration of the true potential of the human mind and body, especially in the wake of all computers and robots after the Butlerian Jihad. Around that time, the order of the Bene Gesserit witches was founded; an all-female organization devoted to political manipulation and a selective breeding program to create the Kwisatz Haderach, or destined savior. Until that savior arrived, the Bene Gesserit would protect humanity's best interests with their cunning minds and elite training, including absolute mastery over their own bodies and even the minds of other people.

Among other abilities, Bene Gesserit witches can pitch their voices exactly right to force a listener to do as they say, almost entirely by reflex. Anyone who hears the Voice of a Bene Gesserit witch will obey before they even realize what they are doing, so long as they understand the order, and the Voice can be used repeatedly since it doesn't rely on an energy source aside from regular speech. In theory, other people can be trained to use the Voice too, although that rarely happens. Paul Atreides was an exception.

The Voice is one of many optimistic elements in the Dune saga that praises the incredible capabilities of the human body and mind. No one relies on computers or robots to do anything for them -- humanity must hold its own fate in its hands, and the Bene Gesserit witches are absolutely devoted to ensuring humanity's survival and unlocking its true potential. These witches prove that the human mind and body are capable of absolutely anything with sufficient training and willpower, even controlling the sex of their unborn children, stopping their own hearts to escape interrogation and most of all, using the Voice. Ever since the Dune saga began, other franchises have emulated what these witches can do, including Jujutsu Kaisen's Inumaki Toge.

How Inumaki Toge's Cursed Speech Works

While Dune has minimal sci-fi elements and no fantasy elements, Jujutsu Kaisen has plenty of fantasy, most of all cursed techniques like Toge's. His Cursed Speech ability is more potent but riskier than other cursed techniques, and it rewards mental prowess rather than physical strength, setting it apart from Yuji's and Aoi's fighting styles. Toge's family technique, the Cursed Speech technique, allows the user to manipulate or damage the target by speaking a command out loud, roughly similar to the Dune Voice ability. Toge can even use this technique on high-level curses or a large number of weaker ones -- although this comes at a cost.

The stronger the command, the more exhausting this technique is for the user, and there is the constant risk of the user accidentally harming other people with their speech. So, characters like Toge must minimize and codify their speech to prevent accidental uses of the Cursed Speech ability, which impairs their social lives somewhat. In return, this technique can do things even the Bene Gesserit Voice cannot, such as ordering the target to explode, twist its appendages or be crushed with heavy gravity.

Toge's advanced speech abilities are truly impressive, but they come at a cost, and it doesn't necessarily compare well to the Dune Voice. For one thing, the Voice is only used on purpose, while all of Inumaki Toge's speech is infused with his Cursed Speech ability, forcing him to use rice ball ingredients to talk. Also, careless use of Cursed Speech can damage Toge's body or even hamper his ability to speak at all, which is a serious liability in battle.

By contrast, the Voice has no downside aside from the difficulty of training to use it and the fact that it has no effect on anyone who cannot hear or understand the command. All that, combined with the fact that anyone can learn the Voice with sufficient training, make it clear that for now, Toge's impressive ability is still no match for Frank Herbert's original creation, and the Bene Gesserit witches might not be that impressed with it. Then again, Toge is still in training, and he may realize his true potential someday, Dune style. After all, the human body and mind have no limits, and fear is only an illusion.

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