- Titles: Sorcery Fight, JJK, Jujutsu Kaisen
- Genre: Action, supernatural, comedy, drama
- Episodes: 24
- Studio: MAPPA
Yuuji always knew he was a special guy. For one, he’s way too athletic for a normal high school student and it’s not like he works out that much or anything. He just seems to have been blessed with some amazing abilities. Otherwise, though, he’s perfectly normal. at least he was until he accidentally swallowed an old mummified finger that actually contained an ancient and powerful curse for which he is now the vessel. Man, I hate it when that happens. High school, am I right guys? There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that Yuuji doesn’t have to face his new situation alone. A semi-secret organization of Jujutsu sorcerers have been keeping curses in line for generations. And he’s already met a couple of them. The bad news is that half of them want him immediately executed, and the other half want him executed later. Oh well, Yuuji might as well make the most of his newfound powers and help save people from curses in the meantime.
I really didn’t know anything about Jujutsu Kaisen when it came out but I kept hearing my fellow bloggers say some really great stuff about it. So I finally picked it up a few weeks before the season finale and ended up having to wait for the last episodes. Don’t you hate it when that happens? I guess it’s not as bad as becoming a cursed vessel.
I have to say I’m pretty impressed by Mappa lately. They certainly know how to create some eye-catching animation and Jujutsu Kaisen is no different. It’s a good production all around but it really shines when it comes to animation. It’s so smooth and fluid while maintaining proportions and art quality. It’s the type of show where the fights are just fun to look at. You know what I mean. Like it doesn’t really matter what exactly is happening, the choreography is entertaining enough on its own and it’s so well animated.
I should also give a little mention to the voice cast. They all did a good job. Although I wouldn’t be able to name a character that had a particularly great performance, the chemistry among them, especially between the main characters, is obvious and makes their relationship a lot more real. I absolutely believe these guys are worried for each other. And that really sells the rest of the story and the atmosphere Jujutsu Kaisen is going for.
Story & Characters
Once every 3 to 6 months, I will see someone try to talk about the “Big 3”. Either as a way to distinguish real fans from fake ones or as a marker of quality. If you don’t know what the Big 3 are, don,t worry, I had to look it up. The Big 3 refer to what was considered the 3 most popular anime for a while, all of which are action shonen. And they are Dragon Ball, Naruto and Bleach. I was really surprised One Piece isn’t in there. It should be, right?
Stay with me here, I’m going somewhere with this. So occasionally, people will bemoan that there is no longer a Big 3 or that modern anime could never produce a Big 3 or something along those lines. Well, I watched 2 Action shonen this season. Jujutsu Kaisen and Dr. Stone 2. I would argue that both compare quite favourably to those past titles. In fact, if the likes of Jujutsu Kaisen are what the new generation has to look forward to in the genre, I would say we are doing pretty great.
Jujutsu Kaisen has a diverse cast of characters all with well-established backstories and individual personalities but the series doesn’t feel the need to sit down and neatly explain all of these characters to us. Sometimes they are a bit messy or contradictory. Like real people. They lie to themselves a bit or they don’t want to face certain parts of their personalities. In some ways, they are a lot more mundane than a lot of anime action heroes (in personality rather than in powers) but it brings a certain down-to-earth quality to the show.
And this is a show with a lot of crazy stuff in it. Talking Panda cursed spirit, a guy that communicated in onigiri fillings, strange curses that all have different powers without anything seemingly too out there. What I’m saying is that Jujutsu Kaisen is a show that needs some grounding to remain accessible and the fact that these crazy characters act and react in surprisingly reasonable ways is what pulls everything together.
It also makes the stakes feel a lot more real.
You see, Jujutsu Kaisen is not a series that shies away from violence or from killing likeable characters. For the moment, none of the main cast has been lost but while watching it, I felt like no one was off-limits. Like any of these characters could be killed and stay dead forever. So for a pansy like me, it meant watching a series of episodes with very tangible anxiety as I hoped and prayed my faves would come out of it unscathed.
It’s not exactly a pleasant experience, but I can,t deny the series got me hooked enough to be very worried about the characters. I honestly cared about what would happen to these people which meant that sometimes I would put off watching some episodes out of stress while other times I just had to go to the next one just to make sure everyone was OK. And that’s pretty impressive for an anime to do.
I noticed that the buzz around the series seemed to die down during the second cour. I was wondering if the season goes downhill or something. I think that it’s just because new anime came out and we have very short attention spans because episodes 13 to 24 are just as great as the beginning. There is a tournament arc with the sorcerers from Kyoto which could be considered a bit of a lull depending on how you feel about the new characters. I quite liked it though and found it a welcome respite that helped the overall pacing.
All in all, season 1 of Jujutsu Kaisen is a strong start to what could become a future classic of action shonen anime. It’s not breaking any moulds but it’s a prime example of its genre
You might like this anime if:
You like ensemble action series with a lot of blood and a lot of banter.
My favourite character:
Gojou. I know he was written to be a fan favourite and it worked on me!
- Every time Itadori gets extra eyes – take a sip
- Every time a new curse shows itself – oh no!
- Every time Gojou is being a troll – what else is new
- Every time Gojou looks like h’s coming in for a kiss – squee
- Every time anyone bickers on the battlefield – take a sip
- Every time an innocent bystander gets brutally dispatched – take a solemn sip
- Every time there’s an art fail – take a sip
- Every time anyone calls anyone else a “brat” – hey!
- Every time Gojou takes his blindfold off – gasp!
- Every time someone gets beat up real bad – worry
- Every time anyone explains their technique in detail to their opponent in the middle of a battle – smile
- Every time anyone cries – there there
- Every time Itadori makes a friend – take a sip
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.