Jujutsu Kaisen review

David Eckstein-Schoemann, Reporter

It took a while, but I finally got around to watching “Jujutsu Kaisen,” one of the most talked-about anime’s right now. It’s interesting because this show hasn’t even been around for a year, and yet it’s managed to create a huge following in such a short time. Having seen it for myself, do I agree? Well, let’s see.

The series centers on Yuji Itadori, an unnaturally fit high school student who visits his grandfather every day in the hospital. On the day of his grandfather’s passing, he tells Yuji to “always help people” and “die surrounded by people.” Yuji interprets this message as one statement saying that “everyone deserves a proper death.” He is soon confronted by Megumi Fushiguro, a sorcerer who is after a cursed charm that talisman Yuji made contact with at his school, which in this case is a rotting finger. The talisman is found by Yuji’s friends which attracts curses, creatures that are brought about through negative emotions, who want to consume the finger and become more powerful. Unable to defeat the curses head-on, Yuji himself eats the finger to protect his friends, inadvertently becoming the host of Ryomen Sukuna, a powerful Curse. This puts Yuji in a tight spot as all sorcerers are required to exorcise (execute) him to prevent Sukuna from wreaking havoc. However, Yuji is shown to retain control over his body for the most part. Seeing this, Megumi’s teacher from Jujutsu Tech, Satoru Gojo, decides to postpone Yuji’s execution date so that he can find and eat all of Sekunna’s fingers and completely destroy Sukuna once and for all.

As someone who has only known this series for a short time, I can safely say that I thoroughly loved this anime. The biggest standout to me is the premise. We’ve seen stories like this before where an ordinary guy is thrust into this world of magic and horror. But this one stands out because it takes full advantage of the ideas it has. The biggest one being the duality between the main character and the antagonist. The idea of the hero being possessed and in control of his enemy is surprisingly original. You think of all the possibilities they could do with this concept and they take full advantage of that. The conflict and interactions between Yuji and Sukuna are both creative and brilliant. It plays a lot with your expectations on whether or not you can trust this curse or not. 

I’ll even give credit that the characters in this series are also great to watch. While they’re not the deepest characters ever written, at least compared to other anime, they’re just cool people to watch. I like seeing Yuuji work off of Fushiguro and watching Satoru Gogu teach Yuuji how to harness these insane powers. Every character here has a distinct design, a distinct way of fighting, and a unique personality that leaves an impact whenever you see them. 

To give you an idea, one of the main characters is a literal panda. Just saying that out loud makes me feel insane, but because this show has so much style and personality that you immediately buy into it.

Courtesy of CrunchyRoll

While this is a premise that people are familiar with, the more you get into this world the more you start to see the full picture. The first few episodes take some time to get used to because they do introduce a lot of characters, and the curses they first face aren’t given much characterization. But if you stick with it then this series will win you over as you get a lot of cool interactions between sorcerers and curses that lead to a lot of inventive and creative scenes.

The voice acting for the dub is also really good Adam McArthur, the guy who did Marco Diaz in “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” as Yuji and he does really well here. While he’s not the most complex character, you get behind him because he’s thrust into these tough situations. He tries so hard not to kill anybody in a position where he has to make that hard choice. What makes it stand out is that they don’t find a loophole or shy away from it like in most shows, they openly acknowledge that there are times where people have to make harsh decisions, even if it is for the greater good. The conflict gets especially interesting when the teacher and student sorcerors from Jujutsu Tech are out to get rid of him. Even though this seems like such an extreme decision, you understand where they’re coming from as they want to protect people from this great evil. Story elements such as these do help this anime stand out as this is something you don’t normally see in a lot of shows.

The animation in this show is also beautiful to look at. The intro alone is full of so much energy and detail. I remember pausing a few moments so that I could see how many movements they pack into one frame. What makes it even more amazing is that it doesn’t even look like it’s done by computers, but literally drawn bit by bit by countless animators who want to make every single frame a masterpiece. The people who were in charge of the action department really knew what they were doing. They have a lot of fun with the creative character designs and how they control curses which are amazing to witness. 

So yeah, “Jujutsu Kaisen” was a really fun anime to sit through. While I admit it’s not groundbreaking, it is cool. Even though it’s simple, this show still stands out with its creative premise, cool characters, and inventive style. It truly lives up to the hype.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Sails


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