First Impressions: Jujutsu Kaisen
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For anyone reading me at this point, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I haven’t exactly been keeping up with what’s been trending in the anime community. Initially, I did this for own sanity, as keeping up with every show I wanted to watch in a give season eventually became a hassle. Still, I do miss the ability to talk about anime with other people, and it gets kind of boring when all I have seen are older shows. So, in the interest of keeping myself up to date, I thought it best to at least check out something from this season, and what better than the show everyone’s already talking about: Jujutsu Kaisen.
Its always really hard when talking about new shounen anime to refrain from comparisons to other shows, and since I am an unoriginal hack, I will ignore my better instincts and make a few comparisons right off the bat. Firstly, the main character, Yuji Itadori, reminds me a lot of “Black Clover” in just how generically positive he is about his situation. Like, within one episode, his grandpa dies and then his friends are taken hostage by demons.
I don’t mean to imply that every character needs to go on for half the series thinking about their dead friends and family, but his reaction leaned way to far into “yeah, whatever” territory for my liking.
Still, despite being the main character of the show, the little personality he has does not actually bother me all that much. In fact, the story in concept is fairly interesting, to say the least. After swallowing a special grade cursed item, Yuji must now serve as both a storage device and locator for the remaining fingers of Sakuna, an all powerful curse that existed during the golden age of Jujutsu.
In this way, it feels a lot like “Dororo,” in that Yuji is going on a mission to find what will eventually become part of himself. Though, I do like the distinction hear that Yuji is doing this because only he can, and that Sakuna serves as both a motivator and a deterrent in living out the rest of his life.
Speaking of good writing, the side characters in “Jujutsu Kaisen” are loads better than most of the recent shounen I have watched. While I have only seen three episode so far, the way the show has built up Gojo, Fushiguro and Kugisaki while still leaving a lot of their backstory left to be told is magnificently done. Props to Gege Akutami on the original story for doing such a great job.
Their is also a lot of be said about the fight scenes as well. Fluidity is something I, along with many other anime critics, talk about a lot, but it is always worth emphasizing. The Fluidity of an action scene can be the difference between something looking cool in theory but having terrible execution and looking cool and theory and having fantastic execution.
“Jujutsu Kaisen” is firmly on the later end of that comparison, as the sorcerers all look incredibly cool when they are fighting. Yuji, in particular, has lot of great moments where the detail on a punch or a kick is so incredibly thorough that it feels like I could actually find the exact frame when an attack connects without even trying.
As far as music goes, while I cannot say with a hundred percent certainty since I have not heard the whole thing, the soundtrack is shaping up to be pretty average. It feels pretty stereotypical to have a lot of hard rock and rap mixture as the basis for shounen soundtracks nowadays, and so far I have not heard much different. Still, I can’t deny that the show’s opening and ending are very fun to jam out to.
Overall, while I do think the series is already bogged down a bit by reliance on tropes, it certainly does not make the show bad, and the good more than makes up for any mediocrity.
How do you all feel about “Jujutsu Kaisen?” Let me know in the comments below (no manga spoilers please).
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