Shonen anime are like comfort food. When it comes to anime, you never know what to expect. But when you watch a shonen fighting anime, you know what to expect. The ingredients can vary and not always work, but the recipe is basically the same.
Jujutsu Kaisen is a super anime that took the anime fan base by storm in 2020. The manga was originally published in March 2018, in the Weekly Shonen Jump. After the initial publication, it sold an average of 600,000 copies, and sales soared 300% the following year.
The manga series is written by Gege Akutami and published by Shueisha. In October 2020, the 24-episode Japanese series was produced by MAPPA. The distinct art style and limitless creativity make Jujutsu Kaisen one of the epic series to debut in recent anime seasons!
What is “Jujutsu Kaisen” about?
The series follows a teenage boy, Yuji Itadori, who lives with his grandfather in Sendai. Yuji is a quirky teenager with a strong aversion to sports despite his talent. He decides to join another club, Occult Research Club, to avoid indulging in athletics.
At his school, Yuji, a genius in the field, has no interest in engaging with the rest of the sports students. However, things take a different turn when a spirit attacks school and her grandfather is on the deathbed. Yuji promises his grandfather to die an honorable death, where his family and friends surround him.
Later, Yuji meets a wizard, Megumi Fushiguro, who is on a mission to retrieve a possessed item. Yuji’s friends stumble upon the cursed object; when they open it, his cursed spirits rule the school. Megumi and Yuji try to capture and destroy the ghosts, but they are overwhelming to them. Yuji swallows one of the cursed objects and, as a result, becomes cursed with the Sukuna curse.
Despite demonic possession, Yuji manages to retain his wonderful personality. Satoru Gojo advises him to go to Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical College to learn how to control the demonic mind.
What makes this anime memorable?
The cast of characters is amazing. Each individual has their own strength and uniqueness which makes them fun to watch. We might not know everything about them, but not a single one is boring.
They are powerful. Since this is an anime about wizards, yes they have “magic”. To be a jujutsu wizard you must be able to deal with cursed energy. This energy manifests in different ways and it is not always obvious what someone’s power really is.
The bad guys are really bad guys. I mentioned before that they fight curses. These curses come in many shapes and forms. They are not human. This is what sometimes gives the anime a sense of horror. So as not to get discouraged if this isn’t your thing, it’s worth noting that sometimes things can get a little scary.
The fights are beautifully choreographed. Studio MAPPA brought to life intense and fast-paced supernatural fights that look so fluid. It’s captivating to watch. I mean overall the entertainment for the season is just outstanding. I haven’t read the manga personally yet, but saw a large moment panel side by side with the moment from the anime and it is translated almost identically. When the source material is good, a good studio will just breed it and MAPPA has done just that.
The story may be heavily focused on combat, but there is a lot more to tell. You are immediately plunged into the heart of the plot. You are in a world where you are assumed to already know the rules. The mysteries of this world are slowly revealed to you alongside our main character, Itadori Yuji. Personally, that’s how I want the world to be built. Just let me in and we can figure it out as we go. This way we can take action right away.
You never have all the pieces at the same time and it’s intriguing to see every new detail of the wizarding world of jujutsu revealed. I have to say that it’s been a long time since I’ve been as surprised by a series, whatever the genre, as this one.