Jujutsu Kaisen Review – Midway Impressions

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Studio: MAPPA

Episodes: 14 (Ongoing)

Director: Sunghoo Park

Genre:  Action, Supernatural, Shounen, School


Summary

Idly indulging in baseless paranormal activities with the Occult Club, high schooler Yuuji Itadori spends his days at either the clubroom or the hospital, where he visits his bedridden grandfather. However, this leisurely lifestyle soon takes a turn for the strange when he unknowingly encounters a cursed item.

Triggering a chain of supernatural occurrences, Yuuji finds himself suddenly thrust into the world of Curses — dreadful beings formed from human malice and negativity — after swallowing the said item, revealed to be a finger belonging to the demon Sukuna Ryoumen, the “King of Curses.”

Yuuji experiences first-hand the threat these Curses pose to society as he discovers his own newfound powers. Introduced to the Tokyo Metropolitan Jujutsu Technical High School, he begins to walk down a path from which he cannot return — the path of a Jujutsu sorcerer.

Summary sourced from My Anime List

Our Thoughts On Jujutsu Kaisen Cour 1

Story

While the main concept of its story doesn’t run far from your average supernatural shounen anime, it is the side stories that makes a difference. Instead of having the good guys team up to take down a powerhouse villain, it is the villains conspiring to bring down the omnipotent Gojo. All while Gojo is carrying out his own plan to overthrow the corrupted higher ups of the jujutsu society from within.

While gathering all of Sukuna’s fingers is the main plot, the one that take center stage is the politics around the “good guys” and the potential dark history surrounding them.

Pacing

One of the main gripes I had is the positioning of episode 8. Titled ‘Boredom’, episode 8 cuts back to Megumi and Nobara training with their seniors. It is also a setup to introduce the Kyoto branch of Jujutsu Tech and the rivalry between them in the following Sister School Exchange Event arc.

It isn’t a bad episode but just in a wrong place, killing the pacing between Satoru’s fight with Jougo and the introduction arc of antagonist Mahito. It is like having a mini episodic arc smacked in between two action plot points.

Characters

At first glance, the main characters bear resemblance to Naruto’s team 7 squad. We have the hyperactive protagonist, the no-nonsense deuteragonist, a short-tempered female lead and a laidback, masked mentor.

However, that is just their surface characteristics. The characters are more grounded in realism. An example would be Yuji Itadori. In the face of true death, he breaks down in fear and regrets like any high school boy would in situations like that. There were no cases of “my friends are my power” or “sheer willpower” clichés that helped him.

Visuals

MAPPA certainly outdid themselves on the animation for the anime. We get spectacular stills ranging from Gojo Satoru’s eye reveal and the different Domain Expansion techniques shown. On top of that, we’re given great character expressions paired with fluid fight scenes that pumps the action-junkie in each of us.  

Verdict: Watch it!

Overall, the series proves to be a good start to another long-running shounen series. For now, it is building its world and the key figures that revolve around the story. If you aren’t the type to appreciate paced character building, there’s still the thrilling fight scenes animated spectacularly for you to enjoy!


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