Jujutsu Kaisen 0 review: A prequel at the height of the series

It premieres on Friday, May 27, 2022, on billboards throughout Spain, the feature film Jujutsu Kaisen 0prequel to the successful series based on the manga created by Gege Akutami. And then you can read our spoiler-free review.

Filmmaker Sunghoo Park, responsible for directing the episodes of the series Jujutsu Kaisen and The God of High School (two of the great successes of the Japanese animation sector of the year 2020). It is based on a script by Hiroshi Seko, who also repeats with respect to the series starring Yuji Itadori, a great absentee in this film that works as a prequel to the events of the first season. The film premieres on Crunchyroll (streaming platform where you can watch the entire first season) in association with Sony Pictures Entertainment Iberia, being available exclusively in theaters both in the original version with subtitles and dubbed into Spanish.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is one of the most anticipated Japanese animated films, having been a real blockbuster in Japan.

The film is a production of Toho Animationfeaturing MAPPA’s polished animation, tells the story of Yuta Okkotsu, a shy high school student who is cursed by a childhood friend and ends up in the first-year class at the Academy of Tokyo sorcery, under the watchful eye of Gojo Satoru.

The film is based on the comic of the same title marketed by Jump Comics and Shueisha. Being the prequel to the popular supernatural action manga, the work of Gege Akutami, repeating many characters from the series.

The Jujutsu Kaisen anime series is based on the global hit manga, of the same title, which is being published in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump and has more than 60 million copies sold in Japan alone. In Spain the manga is published by Norma Editorial. The anime was chosen as Anime of the Year in the Crunchyroll Anime Awards of 2021.

Synopsis:

When they were children, Rikka Orimoto died in a terrible car accident, before the stunned eyes of her best friend, Yuta Okkotsu. Because they promised each other that they would get married as adults. Rikka ended up becoming a spirit and Yuta suffered the curse from him. In order to fight the curse, or at least know how to control it, the great sorcerer Gojo Satoru enrolls him in the Tokyo Magic Academy.

On his first day as a freshman, Yuta will meet his classmates: Maki Zen’in, Toge Inumaki, and Panda, having friends who are not afraid of his curse for the first time in his life. Meanwhile, an evil user of curses, Suguru Geto, a powerful member expelled from the sorcery academy for murdering innocents, will appear before Yuta and claim his power, challenging them to hand Rikka over to him or he will unleash the Hundred Demons Night Parade. where he plans to unleash thousands of curses on Shinjuku and Kyoto, to exterminate all non-sorcerers. Will Yuta be able to stop Geto and control Rikka’s curse?

Criticism

The feature film works as a prequel to the series, one of the most spectacular shonen of recent years, and the result does not disappoint. Despite being based on the series, the film manages to offer a clear enough introduction to the mythology, history and characters (both new and debutants in this story, such as the protagonist and the villain) to be understood by those viewers who do not have watched the series, though anime fans will enjoy all the references, characters, and cameos from the original series.

With a fast pace, the film boasts MAPPA’s careful animation and spectacular action and fight scenes, reminiscent not only of the Jujutsu Kaisen series, but also of the animation of the fight scenes shown in The God of High School, since the South Korean director Sunghoo Park and the MAPPA animation studio are also involved in the latter, where this studio was also in charge of animating the final season (divided into three parts) of Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) , replacing Wit Studio. As in the series itself, the animation offered by MAPPA does not slow down and is solid throughout the footage, where it even knows how to outperform itself in the action scenes, accompanied by a soundtrack that knows how to boost the exciting battles even more .

Introducing a new character

Far from telling a secondary story of the main protagonists of the manga and anime, the film dares to introduce us to a totally new character as the protagonist, surrounding him with secondary characters from the original series, from whom we will learn new details along the way. In this way, we meet Yuta Okkotsu and the story makes us empathize with his trauma, presented in a way that we can understand his motivations and help overcome his past fears. A journey full of horror and fantasy, sprinkled with extreme violence and humor, being a spiral of feelings and emotions that converge in a tremendous and massive finale, which will captivate viewers who have just boarded the ship, but will also excite all those fans. who longed for a film that manages to far exceed the average offered by other films based on successful animes.

The film has in its favor that, despite being a prequel, knowing how to explain itself, without being repetitive or slow for those who already know the mythology of the series, offering data on the curses and sorcery that help to get into the story, while allowing a newcomer character such as Yuta Okkotsu to grow fond of.

A story that can be seen alone or together with the series, of which it has little to envy.

A melodrama with a strongly traumatized main character and a main villain who, in contrast, ends up being the main disappointment of the film, since the arguments that move him are already too hackneyed in all the shonen anime that precede him, such as the claim the domination of the strongest over the weakest, that is, that sorcerers dominate the world and do not hide from ordinary humans, whom he considers inferior and calls them “monkeys”.

Neither his presentation nor his development, much less his motivations, make the viewer appreciate this villain who will go unnoticed among the villains of anime in general and of the series in particular. Any of the scenes in which Sukuna, the main villain of the anime, appears in the original series causes more impact than what Suguru Geto offered during the entire footage.

Definitely

So things, with a very careful animation. A solid story and action scenes at the height of the original anime. This prequel to the series starts out a bit slow but knows how to go from less to more, it means setting the bar very high on how the release of anime films based on successful series should be considered in the future, it is no longer worth presenting these feature films as a chapter extended filler from the main series, but should be seen as an opportunity to offer something new and good that extends the experience of the original anime.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 manages to captivate new viewers and old fans of the Japanese animated series. With a captivating story that introduces us to a protagonist to be fond of, embellished with well-loved supporting characters and spectacular action scenes, punctuated with hilarious moments of humor and explicit violence.