Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen anime series cover art
Jujutsu Kaisen

Series Overview

Jujutsu Kaisen (also known as Sorcery Fight, if you’re a nerd), was potentially the anime that surprised me the most from 2020. It began airing in fall 2020, but since the season was two cours long, continued through winter 2021.

Before I get into why this series was surprising, I need to say something about its English title. Sorcery Fight is a bad title. Yes, jujutsu means sorcery. But sorcery is a dumb word. And I’ve literally never met anyone who called this series Sorcery Fight. It’s Jujutsu Kaisen.

Now, I know that this was already a popular shounen battle manga. But, when I originally watched the trailer before the anime aired, I thought it looked pretty generic. While I’d still say that the beginning is kind of generic, I do think that Jujutsu Kaisen set itself apart from the pack very well later on.

The premise of the series is probably the most generic part (and the fact that the main trio is made up of two boys and a girl). Basically, there are people who use magic known as curse energy to fight against curses — monsters that harm humans.

And, since this is a shounen battle series, the protagonist obviously has a super-powerful curse inside of his body. So, yes, the premise is generic. However, I loved the magic system. There weren’t a bunch of hard rules it followed, but there were some general guidelines that gave it structure.

For example, someone’s curse technique could be anything. But, they also all have the potential to be able to use a heightened version of their technique called a domain expansion, which is where the guidelines of the system come into play.

Also, for the most part, characters’ abilities were fairly well-defined, which I like.

Main Characters

Yuuji Itadori is the protagonist of Jujutsu Kaisen and vessel of the “King of Curses” Sukuna Ryoumen. As far as protagonists go, he’s pretty run-of-the-mill. I wouldn’t say there’s that much unique about him other than the fact that he doesn’t inherently have some broken power.

Itadori’s cursed technique is just that when he hits things, they get hit with a second impact of cursed energy. In my review of My Hero Academia Episode 98, I compared Shoda’s Twin Impact quirk to Itadori’s cursed technique.

This might seem like an odd comparison, but I view him in a similar way I view Luffy from One Piece. Luffy doesn’t have an inherently broken ability. It’s how he uses it that makes it good. And that’s very similar to Itadori despite the fact that Sukuna is inside of him.

Kugisaki, Itadori, Yoshino, and Fushiguro from the anime series Jujutsu Kaisen
Kugisaki, Itadori, Yoshino, and Fushiguro

Megumi Fushiguro is the obligatory emo member of the group — just think of Sasuke from Naruto if you don’t know what I mean. Now, that may sound generic, but he’s not just a Sasuke clone. And Fushiguro’s curse technique revolves around summon animals.

Nobara Kugisaki is the obligatory female member of the group. However, Kugisaki isn’t like many other female main characters in shounen battle series. She’s basically one of the bros. Her cursed technique has to do with voodoo dolls, which is pretty cool for a main character.

And then we have Satoru Gojou, the completely overpowered teacher of Itadori, Fushiguro, and Kugisaki. As far as we know so far, Gojou has the most broken ability in the series. His cursed technique effectively lets him control space.

I’ll touch on them a bit in the next section, but for now, I do want to mention that Jujutsu Kaisen has a lot of great supporting characters as well.

Cour 1 vs. Cour 2

If you haven’t yet watched Jujutsu Kaisen, or if you’ve only watched a small amount of it, you should know that the second cour is far better than the first. The first cour is basically just there to set up the premise of the show.

Honestly, I couldn’t tell you much about what happened in the first cour at this point. Itadori ate a finger, they fought some curses, and the main cast was introduced. That’s about it. The second cour, though, is where everything starts to be expanded.

The second cour has more of an actual plot, it introduces a bunch of great side characters, and it dives deeper into cursed techniques. Everything that the first cour does, the second cour does better. Even the OP and ED of the second cour are better.

Sukuna Ryoumen from the anime series Jujutsu Kaisen
Sukuna Ryoumen

As far as the side characters go, there are three that I really liked. These are Toge Inumaki, Aoi Toudou, and Momo Nishimiya. Inumaki can control people with his voice, Toudou is a bro among bros who can use teleportation, and Nishimiya is literally just a witch.

With Toge, it’s his cursed technique that I think makes him interesting. The rules of his technique are laid out very well and he sticks to them. For Toudou and Nishimiya, it’s more their personalities I like because they both act in ways you wouldn’t expect based on their appearances.

Also, the second cour of the series has the Jujutsu Kaisen version of the second stage of the Chunin Exam from Naruto. You know, the one where it’s a survival/battle competition and then some unexpected stuff happens that throws everything into chaos.

Jujutsu Kaisen cour two just has everything I want from a shounen battle series. I actually liked it more than “anime of the decade” Demon Slayer.

Conclusion

Overall, I gave Jujutsu Kaisen an 8/10. I would actually rewatch all of this first season to prepare for a second season in the future. That’s not something I would do for the vast majority of anime I watch — even those that I like.

Also, earlier I mentioned that the second OP and ED are better than the first. I know not everyone agrees with that, but I stand by it. I think OP2 has way better visuals and a better song too. ED2’s song isn’t my favorite, but the visuals are very good.

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2 Replies to “Jujutsu Kaisen”

  1. I didn’t like Jujutsu Kaisen as much as you did, but like you, I also prefer it to Kimetsu no Yaiba, which I felt was carried really hard by Ufotable instead of standing on its own feet with the strength of its source material.

    1. Jujutsu Kaisen just hit something that I’ve been wanting from a shounen battle series recently. I definitely didn’t expect to like it as much as I did before it aired.

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