Fans of anime, Japanese animation, are giving a lively feast in this 2022: since the beginning of the year, the unprecedented number of five animated films from Japan have reached the theaters of the country, in an unprecedented event in all the history in Argentina of the anime.
Anime films in the cinema, of course, are not new: tapes of popular franchises such as “Dragon Ball” or “Pokemon” have already attracted thousands of young people and not so much, like the films of the Ghibli studio, but the premieres they were sporadic, discontinuous: in Argentina, Japanese animation was supported for years by a group of enthusiasts who often had to resort to piracy and international merchandise shipments. There were some waves of animation on the small screen, in the 90s, in the early 2000s, but it was not until the internet took its current form and the platforms took over the market that anime became a massive hobby in the country, guaranteeing thousands of spectators in cinemas. The premiere of Japanese animation, then, ceased to be a risk, a bet, and pre-sales are already exhausted in several of the rooms where “Jujutsu Kaisen 0”, a prequel to the successful anime, will be screened from today.
The massiveness of the phenomenon is in fact reflected in the fact that beyond today’s premiere, in these three months of 2022 five anime films have reached theaters: the year opened the film “My Hero Academia”, “World Mission of Heroes” followed by “Belle”, a new film by Mamoru Hosoda, which had some Oscar aspirations; Then “Digimon Adventure: The Last Evolution” came to theaters, the last film of the eternal “Digimon” franchise (a kind of “Pokemon” but less globally popular); surprised the recent premiere of “Sword Art Online Progressive”; and today, “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” arrives in theaters.
What is “Jujutsu Kaisen”? Originally written and illustrated by Akutami, it began as a manga (comic) published in 2018 under the Shūkan Shōnen Jump label: it was popular since its launch, but the making of an animated series adaptation in 2020 made it a furious phenomenon. : Manga sales, for example, increased by 650%, going from 8.5 to 55 million copies in circulation.
The story follows Yūji Itadori, a high school student who becomes the recipient of Sukuna, a powerful curse that wants to destroy the world: as Itadori ingests the talisman containing the curse (a rotten finger) to save his schoolmates. , they should exorcise him, but because he manages to keep some control of the Sukuna, he ends up joining a secret order of sorcerers, seeking to hunt down the rest of Sukuna’s fingers and end the curse.
This prequel film, meanwhile, follows Yuta Okkotsu, an insecure high school student who carries a curse from his childhood friend, Rika. This leads him to join the mysterious Tokyo Magic Academy, where he tries to break the curse as he battles the forces of Suguru Geto, a powerful sorcerer who was expelled from the school for slaughtering innocent people. Geto aspires to create a world exclusively for sorcerers and decides to unleash thousands of curses on different cities in Japan to exterminate all non-sorcerers.
“Jujutsu Kaisen” is one of the great phenomena of the Japanese animated industry at the moment, along with “Demon Slayer”, whose recent passage also through theaters, and the success of that step, with pre-sales sold out in several theaters, worked like a charm. kickoff for this little phenomenon that brought five Japanese animated films to theaters.