Review of Jujutsu Kaisen 0: Demonic Symphony

Jujutsu Kaisen, manga by Gege Akutami, quickly established itself as a major saga, regularly climbing into the top three of the top Oricon. But it was last March that the series broke all records, with the cinema release of its prequel: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 !

The story

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 takes over the “volume 0″ of Gege Akutami’s manga, published by us in October 2020 and entitled ” The Tokyo School of Exorcism “.

Yuta and Rika are two close friends, whose feelings blossom as they grow. But as they go their separate ways after exchanging a promise, Rika is hit by a vehicle and dies instantly. Become an S-class plague, it haunts Yuta and is unleashed against all who attack him.

After yet another particularly bloody incident, Yuta is picked up by Satoru Gojo, a professor at the Tokyo School of Exorcism. By learning how to harness black energy, will Yuta be able to rid himself of his guilt and soothe Rika’s soul?

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 : a cosmic animation

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is offered to us by director Park Seong-Ho, already at the helm of the first season. Polished aesthetics, boosted music, the Mappa studios, let go and deliver a visual bomb to match the thrills given from the first episodes of the anime.

The film is full of impactful scenes that underline the emotional state of the protagonists or suggest their strength. Like Yuta’s entry into the classroom, irremediably terrifying for those who perceive the occult energy, and hard-hitting for the viewer.

Jujutsu Kaisenlike all anime, would be nothing without the seiyu, the dubbing actors. Those at work in this prequel do a tremendous job and give heart to characters with ultra-detailed psychology. We will thus highlight the performance of Kana Hanazawa, who lends her voice to Rika. We owe him many chills in moments of outbursts as well as dramatic moments!

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 : fan-service, for the greater good

If it is not mandatory to have followed the anime or read the manga to appreciate the show, purists will get their money’s worth. It is indeed the occasion to meet one of the mythical characters of Gege Akutami’s manga who, like Shanks le Roux in One Piecebenefits from an almost mystical aura… even though it appears little or not at all until then.

We of course want to talk about Yuta Okkotsu, voiced by Megumi Ogata. His evolution during the feature film is perfectly exploited, both in terms of his physical abilities and the psychic path implemented to “liberate” Rika’s soul. However, the link that binds the apprentice exorcist to the overpowering S-class scourge turns out to be much more complex.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 also offers a whole gallery of emblematic characters from the saga: Maki, Tôge, Panda… and of course Satoru Gojo, who reveals himself in a very interesting new light.

Liberation through mourning

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 will delight fans. But the screenplay takes it beyond action shounen, offering a comprehensive analysis of its main character’s psyche. Indeed, it is a love story that has turned into the most complete tragedy. Yuta and Rika are mutually attached to each other. One could even go so far as to say that they cursed each other. All the way to be done will then be a mourning through which everyone can free themselves.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 explores the curses that we suffer and that we choose. Unveiling a deeper philosophical reflection than it seems, the film takes its characters beyond their limits and their mental restrictions. Like so many levels of reading, this feature film therefore deserves several viewings to grasp all its subtleties.

Only small downside to put in perspective with the general quality of the work: the final fight. This one is indeed totally fragmented between Yuta’s duel against the antagonist, and the Night Parade of the Hundred Demons, inspired by the traditional procession Hyakki Yako. This diffraction slightly diminishes the impact of the respective fights, even if it blows our minds!

The output of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 has undoubtedly participated in the surge of animated films that have been seen in dark rooms since the end of the last confinement. Like the last feature film My Hero Academia, seasoned amateurs as well as neophytes have come together to appreciate this punchy work. Mappa studios confirm, if necessary, their perfect mastery of the subject! What to wait before the arrival of season 2 of the anime, in 2023!