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Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed to be Excellent

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Thomas Richards
| December 29, 2023
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Shonen series are the backbone of the anime and manga industry. There is always at least one new Shonen anime released every season, and a lot of the time, they range from average to pretty good. But every so often, one of these series comes along and stands head and shoulders above the rest. The most recent example of this phenomenon is Jujutsu Kaisen, and it’s currently sweeping the anime and manga worlds. Jujutsu Kaisen has consistently released banger after banger episodes since the series first aired in 2020. The first season was a smash hit, and the prequel film Jujutsu Kaisen 0 made bank at the box office. Season 2 has kept the momentum going with some of the best episodes of the series to date. But maybe you’re a bit hesitant to give another Shonen a watch; let me tell you why you should be watching Jujutsu Kaisen right now.

It All Started When I Ate That Finger

Give me the money bro. (Viz/Akutami/MAPPA)

Jujutsu Kaisen takes place in a world filled with curses, jujutsu sorcerers, and normal people. In this world, cursed energy is the lifeblood that creates curses and gives jujutsu sorcerers their unique abilities, called cursed techniques. They use these techniques to exorcise cursed spirits, evil manifestations of people’s negative emotions. Your average Joe can’t see these cursed spirits and is blissfully unaware of the danger they pose. Our main character, Yuji Itadori, starts the series as one of these average joes. Yuji is an average high school student, a gifted athlete, and part of his school’s occult club. But everything changes for him when curses almost kill his friends due to the presence of a dangerous cursed object, a finger of Ryomen Sukuna. Joining forces with a student jujutsu sorcerer named Megumi Fushiguro, Yuji eats the finger to save everyone. But now, Yuji has an evil presence inside him, the King of Curses, Sukuna. Now, he attends Jujutsu High in Tokyo to learn more about this new world he’s entered and to find a way to avoid his execution.

Jujutsu Kaisen’s story starts like many other Shonen series, but it soon goes off the deep end. You think you’re getting another series where the main characters will face some challenges and evil people, but through the power of friendship, everything will work out. Jujutsu Kaisen isn’t like that at all. After watching the series you’ll have experienced every emotion under the sun. Parts of the story will make you laugh; some will excite you, but most will leave you depressed (in a good way). The story twists and turns and subverts your assumptions about what a Shonen series should be. And we haven’t even touched on the prequel film Jujutsu Kaisen 0, which was the original manga one-shot and has even more action and depression (again, the good kind). While the story has recently taken a much darker turn with Season 2, it’s still one of the best today.

I Hope Nothing Bad Happens To Them

They’re just having a goofy time. (Viz/Akutami/MAPPA)

Of the recent Shonen series, Jujutsu Kaisen has one of the best cast of characters. Everyone has something unique that will ensure you remember them well after you finish watching (or if they die). The main trio of Yuji (Adam McArthur), Megumi (Robbie Daymond), and Nobara (Anne Yatco) are gold together and bounce off each other to create some great moments in Season 1. And while we haven’t seen them together much in Season 2, the moments they’ve shared have been some of my favourite of the season. And then there is the man who you’ve probably already seen somewhere on the internet, Satoru Gojo (Kaiji Tang). This white-haired, blue-eyed treasure of a man may not be the main character, but he should be. Named the Strongest Jujutsu Sorcerer (and always will be), Gojo is a force of nature, and I loved seeing him effortlessly delete whole chunks of the earth with one attack.

But, even though Gojo is amazing, Kento Nanami (David Vincent) takes the spot as my absolute favourite character in the series. Not only is he voiced by David Vincent (one of my favs), but being a former office worker turned Jujutsu Sorcerer is excellent. I could go into more, but then the rest of this article would be me gushing about the utter perfection that is Nanami.

You can’t have all these good guys without some despicable villains to spice things up. I’ve already mentioned Ryomen Sukuna (Ray Chase), an absolute menace to society. He’s just there to wreck shit and torture Yuji every chance he gets. Speaking of torturing Yuji, there is also the cursed spirit Mahito (Lucien Dodge), whom I despise with all my heart. This shape-shifting little shit has caused me more emotional pain in the past few months than any other fictional villain ever has. I started hoping that every new episode would be his last. Besides that piece of shit, there’s Geto (Lex Lang) in Jujutsu Kaisen 0, whose time in the spotlight, albeit brief, essentially allows the entire series to happen at all (even if his story is also sad).

Seriously, Fuck this guy. (Viz/Akutami/MAPPA)

Smooth Like Butter

He’s evil, but damn does he look cool. (Viz/Akutami/MAPPA)

If you’re looking for some of the best fights in recent anime history, Jujutsu Kaisen has you covered. This series has given us banger after banger, and it doesn’t look like they’re stopping anytime soon. The animation quality in these fights is on a whole other level and will have your eyes glued to the screen. You’ve got fights such as Gojo vs Miguel, which is basically a one-sided beatdown and is fantastic. There’s also Yuta vs Geto, a roller coaster of excitement that never slows down. And this isn’t even getting into the fights in the Shibuya arc, which have been fantastic week after week. The animators over at MAPPA have been working to give us some of the best animation I’ve seen from a seasonal anime in a while. Combine that with some godly music choices, and you have something truly excellent.

God, he’s so cool. I hope nothing bad ever happens to him. (Viz/Akutami/MAPPA)

Jujutsu Kaisen has been one of the most consistently good shows over the past few years, and it ain’t stopping anytime soon. With Season 2 all wrapped up (which was a banger of a season, BTW), it’s inevitable that a Season 3 announcement won’t be far off. Having caught up to the manga, The next few arcs will go hard and be the most hype the series has been, but also the most depressing. You may think this series can’t get any better but just wait. There is even more insanity yet to come. You can watch Jujutsu Kaisen in its entirety on Crunchyroll in both Sub and Dub right now. Keep it locked to Couch Soup for more anime content to feed your hungry nerd soul.

Have you watched Jujutsu Kaisen? What did you think? Who’s your favourite character, and why is it Nanami? Let us know in the comments where we can all share our cope with the depression.

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Junal Thigpen
Junal Thigpen
6 months ago

great review, but i can’t believe that you wrote all those words and never mentioned Yuji’s brother Todo. for shame…

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