Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 43 Review

Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 43 Review

Mahito’s Other Natural Enemy

Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 43 was good — for the first half. Yeah, the two halves of this episode couldn’t have been more different. And, that’s going to be the main focus of today’s review. How was the first half so good and the second half so bad?

There are two things that made the first half of the episode good. First, it had some good action. The fight between Mahito and Nobara looked a little janky at times. But, the fight between Itadori and Mahito looked good. And together, the fights were cool.

Second, and more importantly, the start of the episode set up Nobara to actually have a role in the series. That’s a huge deal. As I mentioned in my review of Episode 42, I didn’t have very high expectations for Nobara going into this fight. Until now, she’s kind of been a nobody.

Nobara Kugisaku fighting Mahito from the anime series Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 43
Nobara Kugisaku fighting Mahito

Shounen battle series have a tendency to push the female characters to the side. Think of Sakura in Naruto, Ochaco in My Hero Academia, and Miksasa until the final chapter of Attack on Titan. They’re always overshadowed by the (usually two) main male characters.

The same is true of Nobara in Jujutsu Kaisen. She’s always been overshadowed by Itadori and Fushiguro. But, in her fight against Mahito, we got a glimpse of her being important. She was the only person aside from Itadori who could hurt Mahito with her attacks.

All the series had to do was expand upon this. Break out a niche for Nobara so that she could continue fighting alongside the boys. Her niche could even be in handicapping cursed spirits. You know, like how she damaged Mahito so that Itadori could regain momentum in his fight. But, that’s not what happened.

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Itadori Isn’t Alone

Of course, Mahito told us exactly what he intended to do to Nobara. So, I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised by what happened. And, it played out exactly as Mahito intended. He wanted to use Nobara’s death to break Itadori’s spirit.

Before Nobara’s death, Itadori was already at his lowest point. First, he saw the destruction “he” caused by allowing Sukuna to take over. Shibuya is gone and so is anyone who wasn’t able to evacuate. Even though that wasn’t Itadori’s fault, he blames himself. And, that’s not all he was dealing with.

Itadori also watched Mahito kill Nanami. He wasn’t able to do anything to save Nanami. And, I’m sure he blames himself for Nanami’s death, too. Itadori likely views everyone Mahito has killed since they last crossed paths as his fault. If only he was stronger back then, he could have exorcised Mahito and saved them.

Yuuji Itadori fighting Mahito from the anime series Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 43
Yuuji Itadori fighting Mahito

After all this, there was something keeping Itadori going. He recognized the cursed energy that hit Mahito as Nobara’s. That reassured him that he wasn’t alone. There are others still fighting out there. And, it’s one of his friends, no less.

To me, this was the best part of Nobara dying (we can assume she’s dead). Without this moment, it would have been tragedy after tragedy for Itadori. But, by giving him this little moment of happiness, it actually makes the next tragedy hit harder. Well, for Itadori. Not for me, as I’ll get to shortly.

Imagine if Mahito’s other half just showed up out of nowhere with Nobara’s body. That would hurt Itadori, sure. But, it wouldn’t have hurt nearly as much as what actually happened. The elation of finding out Nobara is still out there fighting followed by the crushing weight of her death.

Nobara, Fumi, and Saori

So, I called the second half of Episode 43 bad. And, yes, I already know there are going to be plenty of people who disagree with that. But, allow me to explain. It’s not that it was bad on a technical level. It looked great. I just don’t care about Nobara.

As I’ve already said, this episode could have been the start of Nobara being a major character. Until now, she’s been a supporting character just as much as someone like Mechamaru. I didn’t care when he died and I don’t care now that Nobara is dead.

Why didn’t I care about Nobara? Because Gege Akutami (the mangaka whose name I just had to look up) didn’t make me care. What development did Nobara get before her death? What has she done to make me care about her? Nothing.

Nobara Kugisaki as a child from the anime series Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 43
Nobara Kugisaki as a child

Gege made one of the biggest mistakes I see mangaka make. If you want me to care about a character’s death, you have to make me care long before they die. He didn’t do that here. When did we get Nobara’s “tragic” backstory? Once we already knew she was a goner. By that point, it’s too late.

Did introducing Fumi and Saori at this point change anything? No. I doubt we’ll ever see them again beyond this episode. The only reason they were added was to try to make us care about Nobara in a short amount of time. That may work for some people, but not for me.

There’s a pretty simple way to use the same content but make it more impactful. Introduce Fumi and Saori earlier. Do Nobara’s backstory in an earlier episode and then cut to Fumi and Saori in this episode. That way, their relationship with Nobara is already established.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 43? Were you expecting this to be the start of Nobara’s importance in the series? Is there anyone left to kill off in this arc? And, do you agree with me that Nobara’s death could have been handled better? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to share it with everyone you know. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on any future articles — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. And, I’d like to thank Rob and Pepe for supporting at the Kouhai tier. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

The review of Episode 44 is available now.

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