Anime Review: “Jujutsu Kaisen”


Jujutsu Kaisen is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, serialized in the Weekly Shonen Jump since March 2018.

By Max Bielawski, editor

Think about any other Shonen anime you have seen: epic fight scenes, amazing story lines, developed characters, Jujutsu Kaisen is that anime.

Jujutsu Kaisen is a horror-action anime produced by MAPPA. The main character is Yuji Itadori, a laid back but extremely physically talented high schooler. By chance, he finds a Cursed Object and discovers a whole new side to the world. From there, the story picks up and never stops.

Itadori through this Cursed Object encounters people known as Jujutsu Sorcerers. Jujutsu Sorcerers are individuals trained and employed by Jujutsu High to defend humanity from these Cursed Spirits. Jujutsu Sorcerers use cursed techniques in order to exorcise Cursed Spirits, using Cursed Energy in the process.

Eventually after a life-threatening encounter with Cursed Spirits, he consumes the Cursed Object, which is one of Ryomen Sukuna’s fingers. Sukuna was known as the King of Curses, who interestingly had twenty fingers.  This Cursed Object gives Itadori a massive amount of Cursed Energy, basically powering him up. Most people who would consume this finger would die, yet Itadori survives. The side effect however leads to Sukuna taking over Itadori’s body.

Itadori, being possessed by Sukuna is able to easily defeat the Cursed Spirits, but Itadori is able to control Sukuna. This leads to him being sentenced to die by the Jujutsu Higher-ups, but Gojo Satoru is able to give Itadori a reprieve on his sentencing with the clause that he must consume each of Sukuna’s twenty fingers in order to eliminate Cursed Spirits.

Itadori is faced with the dilemma of, die now, or die later. Itadori choses to die later, with the idea of protecting others so that he may have a natural death, with people surrounding him in his final days. Itadori’s philosophy was instilled by his grandfather, who passes away on the first episode, as his grandfather died with nobody around except Itadori.

Itadori then chooses to join Jujutsu High, along with fellow first year students, Megumi Fushiguro and Nobara Kugisaki. Throughout the show, they go on missions across Tokyo, with the guidance of their teacher, Satoru, who is the self-proclaimed strongest sorcerer in the world.

Throughout eight episodes of this anime, the fluid animation and engaging storytelling has been able to capture my interest and has taken me for a ride. Studio MAPPA has exceeded expectations in what can only be a good sign for future projects, such as the upcoming final season of Attack on Titan.

The characters are dynamic. The usual clichè of a female character in a Shonen is shattered by Kugisaki’s strong and stubborn attitude, showing that she too can be a formidable ally. Itadori is an upbeat character who prioritizes saving others, no matter who they are.

The dynamic between Itadori and Sukuna is similar to how Kurama is inside of Naruto; however, Sukuna has no interest in helping Itadori and basically wants to take full control of his body. Many of these dynamics in the anime build it up and make for a captivating story.

The Opening, performed by Eve, is a well executed opening, that can very well warrant an analysis for another day. The ending, performed by ALI, is a stylized ending with a certain swagger that makes a fresh ending.

Both the opening and ending are well animated and stylized, making them both, in my opinion, the anime opening and ending of the year.

Jujutsu Kaisen is a solid 9/10 anime for me, and in my opinion it is the best anime of 2020. I am excited to see what the future of this anime will be.

Will Jujutsu Kaisen be in the hall of fame with other anime such as NarutoBleach, and Dragon Ball Z? Only time can tell, yet I am confident it will be a contender for a spot in that hall of fame.

Jujutsu Kaisen airs every Friday and can be streamed on Crunchy Roll. It is currently in its first season, with 24 episodes planned.