Anime Review

Anime Hajime Review: Jujutsu Kaisen

Original Run: October 3, 2020 - March 27, 2021
Number of Episodes: 24
Genre: Action, Supernatural
Based on the Series Created By: Gege Akutami

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Jujutsu Kaisen. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

Yuuji Itadori (voiced by Junya Enoki), a star athlete with superhuman strength and speed, enjoys his worry-free days. However, his life becomes much more dangerous when he stumbles across a deadly cursed item, one of the twenty fingers of the demon Sukuna.

When attacked by supernatural beasts looking to use the finger to increase their power, Yuuji swallows it. Instantly, he is possessed by Sukuna, who is ready to begin a new reign of darkness. But in a twist, Yuuji manages to contain the evil now residing within him.

Unfortunately, some people cannot trust the fate of the world to an impulsive teenager. The secretive jujutsu sorcerers mark Yuuji for execution. Luckily for Yuuji, there are those in the organization that see an opportunity.

Yuuji is spared until he can collect and consume all twenty fingers. Thus, Yuuji arrives at the Tokyo Metropolitan Jujutsu Technical High School, where he will train to fight the creatures that lurk in the shadows.

Series Positives

If Jujutsu Kaisen wasn’t the definition of thoroughly entertaining, I don’t know what is.

Every now and then, a series comes along that is impossible to ignore. For those fans who prefer binge-watching their shows (like myself), you sometimes have to sit back as the rest of the anime community loses their minds over the latest phenomenon. Jujutsu Kaisen was one such phenomenon, and rightly so.

Of course, a benefit of being a binge-viewer is not needing to wait a whole week for the next episode. Therefore, when it is time to watch, there is never a lull in the excitement.

If you have been holding off on Jujutsu Kaisen, the last thing I want to do is overhype it. During this review, I will be keeping my enthusiasm in check, but do know this. This series was a lot of f-ing fun, and I hope a season two comes sooner rather than later.

Let’s start small – the animation. In short, Jujutsu Kaisen was beautiful. This show had all the nostalgia of classic shonen titles (Yu Yu Hakusho, Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, etc.) accompanied by a crisp and imaginative modern polish. If you are a veteran of the old Toonami days, it is impossible to miss that influence; it permeates throughout this series.  

Colors were vibrant, movements were swift, impacts were hard-hitting, the word “slow” doesn’t come anywhere close to describing Jujutsu Kaisen. There was so much life in this show, which went a long way at balancing the wide variety of tones and atmospheres.

We must describe Jujutsu Kaisen as a shonen action anime. This series was far too goofy to be a needs-to-be-taken-seriously drama piece. However, it was also way too intense to be considered a slap-stick comedy. Thus, calling this show a shonen action anime encompasses all those conflicting aspects. When things was funny, they were hilarious. Likewise, there was a real sense of danger in this story; people could get hurt; hell, people could even die.

Jujutsu Kaisen’s animation played a massive role in bringing these extremes to their full potential and ensuring a seamless melding between the silly and the dark.

And while we are still on the subject of visuals, the fight scenes in Jujutsu Kaisen were this series’ crown jewels.

I have seen my fair share of magic battles. I have lost track of the number of martial arts showdowns I’ve come across. I can’t even begin to tell you all the times I’ve witnessed demonic power. Shonen anime like Jujutsu Kaisen are plentiful. Still, this series was a beast on to itself. Please don’t ask me to choose which action scene was the best. That is a question I can’t possibly answer; they were all spectacular.

I don’t remember the last time a show had me so glued to screen the way Jujutsu Kaisen did. When there was a fight – and there were a lot of them – I would be overcome by the best kinds of reactions: excitement, laughter, tension, sorrow, and triumph.

It sometimes surprises me how quickly I can get through twenty-four episodes once time is no longer a concept.

Yes, the animation allowed Jujutsu Kaisen’s fight scenes to look amazing, but why they were memorable came down to a single reason – the characters.

Everyone from the Tokyo Metropolitan Jujutsu Technical High School had a moment when they were the dominant force. Almost every single character in this series proved that they could be the most badass, kickass S.O.B. imaginable. No one from the main cast failed to make a demon piss their pants at least once.

Not only that, you cannot imagine a more likable group of characters. No matter who this show chose to focus on, the story never stumbled, it never faltered, and it never stopped moving forward.

Without question, the best character from Jujutsu Kaisen – in terms of growth, personality, and pure awesomeness – was Yuuji Itadori. He was the reliable goofball that you want to have in your corner. And yet, it wasn’t his superhuman strength and stamina that made him great.

Yuuji was unique when it comes to shonen protagonists. Although he wanted to grow stronger, he didn’t care about being the best. He only wished to help as many people as possible and did everything in his power to save as many as he could. Yuuji was also acutely aware that not everyone shared his point of view. When his motives got called into question, instead of losing himself in an existential crisis, Yuuji stood firm and dared his opponent to try and prove him wrong.

Yuuji had a natural ability to read people. He was quick to pick up on someone’s state of mind through their tone of voice, choice of words, and body language. As a result, he could usually befriend even the most jaded individuals.

And when confronted with the more troubling aspects of sorcery, Yuuji never took things lightly. When he needed to take another human’s life, the act left an impact on him. It wasn’t something he shrugged off.

I cannot wait to see where Yuuji goes from here.

Before I conclude this section, I do want to say this.

Yuuji might have been the best character from this series, but my absolute favorite character from Jujutsu Kaisen was Satoru Gojou (voiced by Yuuichi Nakamura). It was no wonder why this show’s antagonists considered him to be their biggest threat.

So, with all that said, where does that leave us?

This review barely starches the surface. There were many more reasons why this series is worth a look. But if I were to list them all, this post would become of a jumbled mess of words and a thousand different thoughts. And they would just be saying the same thing:

Jujutsu Kaisen was amazing.

Series Negatives

There is no way for me to squirm out of what I’m about to do. I am intentionally leaving this section bare.

I simply can’t think of a single problem I had with Jujutsu Kaisen.

Therefore, I am calling on you, the reader, to help me out. Was there anything you thought this show could have done better? Or to go even further, do you think this series’ popularity is unearned? I would love to hear what you have to say.

But the way I see it is:

  • The pacing was spot on.
  • The characters were excellent.
  • The fights were exciting.
  • The story was fun.
  • The animation was beautiful.
  • The soundtrack was phenomenal.

I could not ask for more.

However, if you feel I have missed any negative (big or small), let me know in the comments below.

Jujutsu Kaisen

Final Thoughts

Given this show’s immense popularity, let alone its quality, it is impossible to imagine a scenario where a season two doesn’t come. At the time of this review (March 2021), there has been no news of a continuation, but I have to think one is inevitable.

And assuming season two does come, I don’t envy what it has to do. After all, it needs to match a pretty high standard.

Without question, Jujutsu Kaisen has earned a colossal recommendation.

But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Jujutsu Kaisen? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m Odyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

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