Jujutsu Kaisen is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, released in the weekly issue of Shnen Jump Shueishi since March 2018. Selected chapters have been collected and published by Shueisha, and as of March 2021, fifteen volumes of tankobons have been published. She follows high school student Yuji. Itadori as he joins a secret organization of sorcerers to kill a powerful curse named Riomen Sukuna, which Yuji takes upon himself.
Episodes – 01 – 16 ++
Status – Ongoing
October 3, 2020 – Ongoing
In kaisen jujutsu, all living beings emit an energy called Cursed Energy, which arises from negative emotions that naturally flow throughout the body. Normal people cannot control this flow in their body. As a result, they constantly lose Curse energy, which leads to the birth of Curses.
Jujutsu sorcerers are people who control the flow of Cursed Energy in their bodies, allowing them to use it at their discretion, as well as reducing its release. High-ranking sorcerers and curses can purify this energy and use it to perform Cursed Techniques that are usually unique to the user or their family. An advanced form of Cursed Technique is an Expanding Area from which the user can use their Cursed Energy to create a pocket dimension that covers the surrounding area, in which all attacks will be stronger.
Yuji Itadori is a high school student in an unnatural form who lives in Sendai with his grandfather. He regularly avoids the athletics team due to the time it takes to do so, despite his innate talent for the sport. Instead, he decides to join the Occult Research Club; because of the freedom he gives to visit, he goes to the hospital every day to visit his dying grandfather. On his deathbed, his grandfather instills in Yuji two important messages: “Always help people” and “Die surrounded by people.” These two ideas seem to stem from the regrets of his grandfather. After the death of his grandfather, Yuji interprets these messages as one statement: everyone deserves a “proper death.”
Yuji then confronts Megumi Fushiguro, a sorcerer, who informs him of a high-class cursed mascot at his school that Yuji recently came into contact with. His friends from the Occult Club unsealed a talisman, a rotting finger, which attracted creatures generated by negative emotions and amplified by absorbing the magical powers present in sorcerers or similar enchantments to the school of Curses. Unable to defeat the Curse due to lack of magical powers, Yuji swallows a finger to protect Megumi and his friends, and becomes the master of Ryomen Sukuna, a powerful curse.
Due to the evil nature of Sukuna, all sorcerers must banish him immediately. However, even though Yuji is possessed, for the most part he can still control his body. Seeing this, Satoru Gojo, Megumi’s teacher, decides to take him to Tokyo Prefecture Jujutsu High School to propose a plan to his superiors: to postpone Yuji’s death sentence until he absorbs all of Sukuna’s fingers, allowing them to kill Sukuna once and for all.
Anime Jujutsu Kaisen was named Anime of the Year at the 5th Crunchyroll Awards in 2021, while Ryomen Sukuna won the Best Antagonist category and ALI’s Lost in Paradise won Best Final. “In January 2021, it was revealed that the anime became the second most watched anime series on Crunchyroll in 2020 after Black Clover, and was watched in 71 countries and territories, including North America, South and Central America, Europe, and the Middle East. and North Africa, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
The Ringer’s Mika Peters said that while the show’s “focused execution” of shounen tropes makes it “endlessly watchable,” it’s his “specificity, his personality, his super-powerful style” that makes the show special. He added, “As with Puck’s previous work, there are tons of flashy, expensive mo-cap-enabled animations that convey the action promised by the comics.” Paul Thomas Chapman of Otaku USA wrote that the show has “all the elements you need for an anime adventure: action-packed scenes, slapstick comedy, and a set of cute cranks with a big, wide character.”
He called it “a shining example of medium-sized material enhanced by superior performance,” stating that the attitude and premise of kaisen jujutsu are similar to those from other series such as Bleach and Yu Yu Hakusho. Chapman commented that Sunghoo Park “really kicks in the rhythm of the storytelling,” adding that he can “go from silly comedy to chilling horror in an instant.” He concluded: “The change in tone at breakneck speed can lead to a story in which the motivation seems confusing and the plot is meaningless, but Park and the MAPPA team are simplifying this variance of storytelling.” Polygon’s Ana Diaz singled out episode 17 of “Kyoto Sister School Exchange – Group Battle 3 -“, praising the series’ treatment of female characters in comparison to other shonen dramas.
Diaz wrote: “Jujutsu Kaisen goes one step further than avoiding gender stereotypes by representing different female perspectives. It doesn’t seem like these young women have any right way to deal with the unique pressures they face. History allows them to disagree and fight for their point of view and their place. She concluded by saying, “The widespread success of the show shows that the audience is not only ready for change, but also actively yearning for it. All other creators are now allowed to add a wide variety of women to their shows. “