Hello, everybody! Man, I’m doing a lot of post right now. 4 or 5(depending on if another chapter of Edens Zero gets leaked earlier) might have come out before this post. But if my calculations(guesswork) are correct; it should still come out in the first week of 2021- along with my review for the 1000th chapter of One Piece. Either on Thursday or Friday; I don’t know exactly when. But it should. But I’m getting ahead of myself and too personal with my schedule. Let’s talk about some “Jujutsu Kaisen,” huh?
“Jujutsu Kaisen” is a manga series publised in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine- written by Gege Akutami. With 133 chapters published and 14 Volumes printed; it is currently one of the “younger” series in the magainze- in comparison to series such as My Hero Academia or Black Clover. However; the series is still ongoing. I myself am reading the manga on a weekly bases. I decided to read it when I heard it was getting an anime adaptation- much like I did for Dr Stone. And also like Dr Stone; I forgot a lot of the entirety of the opening part of the series– including the sequence of events, characters origins and abilities, and who certain characters were. Part of the reason I read the manga, watch the sub, watch the dubs on my computer, and then again when they appear on TV. So even though I’m all caught up to the manga; I still ended up going into the series somewhat blind. Which just made the series even better. Man; “Jujutsu Kaisen” is GREAT!
The series is animated by Studio Mappa- the studio responsible for title’s such as The God Of High School, Hajime No Ippo: Rising, Days, Yuri!! On Ice, Dororo, Dorohedoro, Attack On Titan: The Final Season, and is going to be animating the upcoming Chainsaw Man anime. With all of these titles still working in progress; Studio Mappa is getting a bit “crowded.” I go into it more in my Chainsaw Man post, so check it out there. But all of these titles seem to be piling up, and I’m worried about the quality of each series going forward.
The series follows 1 Yuji Itadori. He went through his life with very little ambition- he was content with being the the Occult Research club despite his natural athleticism(a feat he displays by throwing a metal ball like it was a baseball) and didn’t really want much out of life. He visited his ailing grandpa everyday after school(much to the old man’s chagrin).
On his grandpa’s final day; he tells Yuji to “Make sure he’s surrounded by others when he died.” This line implies that he wasn’t well liked- that he might have alienated anyone who would have cared about his passing. And he wants Yuji to avoid the same mistakes as him. So he wants Yuji to “help people” since he’s so strong. And then he passes away on his side. Depressing. And with no parents to speak of(Yuji doesn’t really care); Yuji’s all on his own.
A student from Jujutsu Tech comes up to him as he’s leaving the hospital- “Megumi Fushiguro.” He’s very stoic- somewhat “Sasuke-ish.” He wants the Cursed object Yuji found. But Yuji left it at the occult research club room. When they arrive at Yuji’s school; they find his friends being attacked by Cursed Spirits- the big “mcguffin” of the series. You know all those negative emotions like hatred, fear, anger, and the like? Well whenever you feel those emotions; your innate “cursed energy” clumps together with those some emotions from others- and a “Cursed Spirit” comes to be. Yuji and Fushiguro have to fight these things off- ultimately coming to Yuji having a flashback to his grandpa’s final words: “Help People.” So Yuji decides “If you can’t beat em- join em”
Something I suppose I should have mentioned before was what exactly the Cursed Object was. It was Finger. And it belongs to the undisputed “King Of Curses-” 1 “Ryomen Sukuna.” As his epithet would suggest; he is without a doubt the strongest Cursed Spirit of all. And Yuji eats only 1 of his 20 Fingers.
I think the reason that Sukuna was able to take over Yuji’s body is because he was- at one point in time- a Human. Which I find interesting because that implies to me that a human can become a Cursed Spirit if and when they have enough Cursed Energy- that Cursed Energy can be used to “evolve” in some manner. And that’s why Sukuna could only possess Yuji. Had a Cursed Spirit digested one of his fingers; it would have resulted in the Cursed Spirit becoming Stronger- while Sukuna still lied dormant.
Naturally; this gamble ends up working- as Sukuna destroys the Cursed Spirit. But don’t get it twisted. One of the later episodes in Cour 1 displays this the best, I think, when he and the “Human Cursed Spirit” Mahito laugh at Yuji’s failure to save someone, and how he asked Sukuna for help. That episode made it clear that this series would NOT be like Naruto or Black Clover– there is no “Befriending the Evil within.” No, no, no– Sukuna, for all intents and purposes- is the “Devil.” Yuji will not be relying on him for help in this series- he shouldn’t even bother asking him for a d@mn. I’ve noticed that in today’s modern shonen manga- they’re always using the same tropes, but are trying to have these unique @$$ spins on them. If it’s not My Hero Academia giving the “Friendship power” to the Villains team, then it’s something like Kaiju No 8 making an older protagonist that still acts like these younger protags. It’s fine- doesn’t mean that I hate todays modern anime. It’s just something I noticed.
In fact; I think Sukuna- along with Mahito- might be some of my favorite antagonists from this era. Like; I like what Mahito represents in relation to Yuji and the themes that are conveyed through him. But Sukuna is like- EVIL. He’s not gonna help Yuji save anyone- just protect Yuji because he’s his vessel. He has no other connection or care for Yuji beyond something a spoiled rich kid has for Sports car- “I’d rather have it, but’s easily replaceable. So it doesn’t matter.”
He also seems to have some sort of interest in Fushiguro. His ability to summon Shikigami intrigues him, as it ties into his plans in some way. That’s the other thing: I like how he has this secret plan that(SPOILERS for the manga) requires Fushiguro to the point where he went out of his way to save him from death! Not only that, but is seems to be a plan that requires he himself very little. As shown in I believe episode 5 or 6(or possibly even 4)(corresponding with chapter 11 of the manga); he made a pact with Yuji that 1)Whenever he says a code word; Yuji would switch out with him for 1 minute– in which he will not kill or bring harm to others and 2)Yuji would forget this pact.
Whatever Sukuna’s plan is- he seems to only need a minute at a time to fulfill his role in it. And he can fulfill that role without anyone getting hurt or killed in the process. Not to mention the fact that Yuji remembering ever having made this pact wouldn’t be beneficial to him. It seems like Sukuna’s willing to play ball with him because he thinks that Yuji’s the main issue- if he remembered it.
That said; how they come to the idea of a contract leads me to believe that Sukuna made a new deal. Yuji didn’t care for the deal- he just wanted Sukuna to revive them since it’s his fault he died in the first place. So Sukuna proposes a “Death Battle-” whoever wins gets to set the terms of this contract. Sukuna wins by cutting off the top of Yuji’s head. And because Sukuna was in charge of making the contract……..Something tells me that Sukuna’s “1 minute” limit with no hurting is a little bit different now. But that’s probably later on in the story.
I think the thing I should talk about next is probably the “New Sensei On The Block:” 1 Satoru Gojo. In the same vein as Aizawa; he takes a lot of inspiration from The Kakashi Hatake. Only the similarities are much more apparent and obvious in the case of Gojo. Did I mention that he’s God, yet? Cause I feel like that’s an important part of his character. So- Gojo is kind of The Strongest Character in the series. Like; people will have debates back and forth over who’s stronger between he and a Full 20 finger Sukuna. I can’t exactly find the chapter in which this was stated(which possibly discredits it immediately), but I think it was the Volcano Spirit Jogo that stated the Gojo was “25-30 fingers.” Sukuna only has 20. But, as with other shonen battle series in this day and age- “Just because you have more nen/cursed energy/ power in general doesn’t mean you win.” Everything’s all about the abilities and what you can do with these powers rather than how much of the “power currency” you have. But I still think he’d win against Sukuna. Simply because of 1 word: “Limitless.”
Of course; the fluidity and art work were great. Studio Mappa’s “hitting its stride” right now. I like the way the series looks and how the fights operate- especially the martial arts aspect. It kind of reminds me of how God Of High School’s fights looked. I always admired Dragon Ball for the same reason- even if the martial arts aspect of the series is a thing of its past. Having read the manga; I excited to see Yuji learn a certain technique in the future- based on how they treated his “Divergent Fist” attack. The voices they chose for the characters were also really good- Mahito’s in particular is the one I’d say I like the most. His or Nanami- whose just F*cking cool. Especially when he has to go into “Overtime.”
I guess sense I mention Mahito again, I should start talking about him. Mahito is the “Human Cursed Spirit-” he is humans innate fear and jealousy of each other. That jealousy you feel when your passed over for a promotion at work; the fear you feel when you look at certain people and- despite knowing better- you secret guess their personality based on their appearance; the anger you feel when someone insults you despite being told all your life to let that sh!t go- That is what Mahito is. He’s made to represent the worst parts of humanity- the psychopaths who take enjoyment in harming other, to the sociopaths who use others and move on, to the instigators who start fights for their own amusement. Mahito is– in every sense of the word-The Worst. And he was made this way to counter dear little Yuji.
Whenever writing any series; the protagonist is written to either be the “Best Parts of Humanity-” the childlike innocence and wonderment we tend to lose going into our adult years. The protagonist is supposed to be the “Shining Example of Good In this world-” exemplified in characters like Izuku Midoriya, Asta, Monkey D Luffy, Son Goku, and Naruto, amongst others. Yuji is no different. So while Yuji is the representation of “Everything Good In Humanity;” Mahito represents the Worst in humanity. But the connection between the 2 does not stop there.
Mahito’s Cursed Technique allows him to control the shape of his “Soul” and the “soul” of others. This only works because he’s able to “perceive the soul;” he can see what a soul looks like and control it to fit the situation- making himself and others larger, smaller, liquidized, or even into weapons such as blades. He can even repair himself by modifying his “soul” back to its original shape. However; Yuji is also able to perceive the “soul” because he’s sharing a body with another. He “knows” the shape of his soul and how to keep it that way. Thus; Mahito is not only ineffective against Yuji- but Yuji thus far has been the Only person(other than Gojo and Sukuna(as we’ll discuss later)) capable of actually damaging Mahito. In this way- as well as what the 2 represents; Mahito has called Yuji on several occasions his “Natural Enemy.” I’m looking forward to seeing this theme expanded upon more.
I’d be remissed if I didn’t talk about my favorite scene involving Mahito and Sukuna. Come one, guys; That was just disrespectful. Yuji begged for Sukuna’s help to save Junpei from Mahito’s cursed technique- and Sukuna just laughed through the hole in Yuji’s face. Like; that scene just shows you that Yuji will not be relying on Sukuna for anything. And the very notion that he thought that he could made the King bust a gut. And Mahito- being the psychopath he is- joins in laughter at Yuji’s despair. That scene made Yuji realize something: Cursed Spirits Are Evil- end of story. If Yuji wants to save anyone; he’s gonna have to do it with his own strength and with the help of the people he can call allies.
And what comes after this scene is also pretty funny. Like; Mahito tries to change Yuji’s soul, but as I said earlier- Yuji knows what his soul is supposed to look like. Not only that; but he also ended up touching Sukuna’s soul. I’mma tell y somethin’ right now, folks: You Do Not Touch Your King’s Soul. Sukuna lays down “The Law” on Mahito; he tells him: “Listen Here You Little Sh!t– I don’t take to kindly to other’s trying to change what I look like- ya feel me? Now I’mma let it slide since we shared a laugh at the brat’s expense. But try that again– I’mma personally putting your @$$ in the dirt.” He didn’t say it all “hood” like that, but you get the gist of the story. I just found that scene funny because…….”We laughed at some brat’s misery so I’ll give you a warning?” Youch. We see this aspect of Sukuna earlier in the season- in which he awaken’s in Yuji’s body and just casually yells the Cursed Spirit Yuji was fighting “Let’s go kill some kids.” He is the King Of Curses, and everybody knows this. And those who disrespect the King– must be eliminated.
I think that’s the other reason I like Sukuna; he has this “In Command” presence to him- he believes with all his heart that he is the “One Above All,” and everyone should know that. So rather than fight against his whim; they should all just submit to his whim and follow him. So when that Cursed Spirit attacked him; he just killed him, ending up with having Yuji’s hand regenerated- an act he’d rather have avoided if at all possible. But it worked out for the best as, in the end- he ended up getting another one of his fingers back. So I guess it worked out in the King’s favor. Stll; ya shoulda helped the man kill a few kids.
The other thing about the anime that I like is pretty much the same thing that everyone loves: The Opening And Ending. Yeah- I Love Em. And who wouldn’t? I particularly like the symbolism in the train sequence- how Sukuna appears in the reflection in the trains window. Mother’s Basement speculates in his video that this train is supposed to represent Sukuna carrying Yuji towards an uncertain future. Not only that, but the introduction of the characters by having them stand in real world places in Japan- I found that to be impressive. Nanami’s section is also intriguing because of where he’s located. It’s so sophisticated because he’s so sophisticated- he’s the “Adult” character. Mature, stoic, logical to the point where it almost feels “cold,” but emotional enough for you to know that he gives a flying f*ck. Kind of reminds me of my brother in some manner.
I also like the way Mahito is introduced, and how it mirrors his introduction in the actual show. How he just appears behind those who cannot perceive Cursed Spirits. Mahito is the Human Cursed Spirit- he looks like a human. If you were to see him; you’d think that he was human. He blends into the background- which is where he strikes. It mirrors his introduction in that he’s there without anyone really noticing, and modifying the Humans who bullied Junpei. I also suspect that there’s more to the opening than what I’ve talked about, but those are just the things that I noticed most prevalently.
And I realize that peoples choice in music is subjective, but……. I REALLY LIKED THE SONG. “Kaikai Kitan” by the group Eve was just a straight banger of a song. I still find myself humming it whenever I’m bored. Especially the final verse in the opening. You know the line I’m talking about; it goes like “Hashitte koronde kienai itami daite wa Sekai ga matteru kono isshun wo~~.” This line roughly translates out to “Running and falling, embracing these wounds that won’t disappear
The world awaits for this moment.” It represents that Yuji is going to continue to move forward with the mistakes he cannot undo- as he await the fate that will befall him. I just love the ending portion of the song- particular seeing Yuji fight against that Cursed Spirit in that Prison. It’s a nicely animated sequence that leads into Yuji with his grandfather once again. And then showing him surrounded by all of his friends(Junpei included) having a picnic.
I also like Nobara and Fushiguro’s fight against Todo and the Senior Zennin Girl(don’t care enough to remember her name). I feel like I haven’t referenced those 2 yet. Which is weird because I really like Nobara as a character. Though she may not like me considering my………”preference in women.” Nonetheless; I like her. Particularly how crazy-yet-normal she is. Like; this woman get’s RE~~AL psychotic later on in the manga. But even that is overshadowed by her reason for coming to Jujutsu Tech. She more just wanted to come to Tokyo because she wants to have fun in a big city. She lived in a rural area most of her life, so the first chance she got to get away from it- she jumped at it.
Although I think I might like Fushiguro more as a character. I like Nobara’s ability more because it allows her to fight on her own- kick @$$ with her own strength and even just what it does. While with Fushiguro; he has to rely on Shikigami- and outside source. If it were me me; I’d rather be the one fighting and putting my own life on the line, rather than summoning someone or something to do my fighting for me. Like Ninnie Spancold said in Burn The Witch: “If I have to rely on someone else’s power to make my happy ending; I’d rather be the one casting the spell.” But it’s not like I have any problem with the summoning ability.
As far as characters go; I just like Fushiguro more. I can see his taste in women as admirable. And I like his personality and characterization so far. He’s kind of like Sasuke in terms of the “Brooding lady killer” archetype, but also has enough character for him to not be a complete bummer or obnoxious.
I found the events of chapter 17 to be rather comical. I mean; Aoi Todo almost killed Fushiguro just because he like’s a “Woman with a moral compass that’s not easily swayed.” And……..”Mai Zennin?” Okay. Mai almost shot Nobara for calling her “ugly.” It was a funny little exchange that could have ended up being worse had the Seniors not been there to stop this. It was just a funny situation. The Seniors were also all interesting in their own ways. For the first few weeks of the anime; my brothers and I were beside ourselves in curiosity as to what the deal with the Panda was. We finally figured it out- but I won’t spoil it for you guys. It’s coming up in a few weeks anyway. Janurary 15th is when Cour 2 beings!
………….What else can I say? I guess I could talk about the morality of Junpei. How he’s not necessarily “Evil-” just misguided and ngry. And with every right to be angry- considering the life he’s led. The constant bullying and relentless assaults from others. And the fact that the 1 teacher who saw it going on did nothing in his power to stop it. Now……..killing is wrong. Junpei should not kill them. That said; I can see how he arrived at that conclusion. The last thing keeping him from snapping was his mother. And because of those d!cks; he had one of Sukuna’s fingers. And because that finger was left on the kitchen table where his mom fell asleep- she was killed. She was the last thing keeping him sane- because she was a Good Mother. She saw that Junpei didn’t want to go to school for some reason- so she let it go. Now she’s gone. So in his mind; he’s got nothing left to lose. So he figured that killing the people responsible for his pain would make him feel better. It wouldn’t– but again: Nothing left to lose.
Junpei is not a bad guy. He stated himself in his introduction that if he could; he would not kill those that he hates- only those that hate him. He does not wish to inflict unnecessary harm on others- only on those that have caused him some kind of harm. He’s vendictive– not “evil.” I would to have liked to see how Junpei’s development would have gone, had he lived. But unfortunately; we won’t get to see his progression as a character anymore. Thank you for that one, Mahito.
There are a great many things that I could say at this juncture- talking about the seniors and their Cursed techniques; the stellar ending; the darker themes and elements that are somewhat reminscent of YuYu Hakushou and Hunter x Hunter– both works of Yoshihiro Togashi; this series in relation to Chainsaw Man; and speculation about the future of the series. But I think I’ll save some of that stuff for the review of Cour 2. In all; “Jujutsu Kaisen” is a must watch for anyone into the Battle Shonen genre. It has great characters, great fights, and amazing sound quality and music. And if cour 2 can keep the same momentum, then this series is gonna go down as a Legend. I give it a 9/10. Until the next post, people; enjoy this gif of Gojo dancing in the series first ending!
See ya later!