Review: ‘Jujutsu Kaisen 0’

Big Anime Action For Hardcore Fans And Newcomers Alike

Jujutsu Kaisen, for those unaware, is the new mega-hit shonen manga/anime series on the block. The manga by Gege Akutami debuted in the legendary Weekly Shonen Jump 2018, with its Anime debuting in the fall of 2020 by Studio MAPPA. As a regular US shonen jump reader, I didn’t read one bit of it as I was catching up on another monster hit Demon Slayer at the time. With me being turtle-like slow, this series seemed to envelop all of my Anime watching circles. I’m not that much of a new anime fan, but I’ve heard some good things and jumped into this new film – Jujutsu Kaisen 0, a prequel story that itself was a series the manga-ka (cartoonist) did before this one. Here we meet a high schooler Yuta Okkotsu, who his late girlfriend, Rika, curses. After an event where Rika seriously hurt some teens bullying Yuta, he meets Satoru Gojo, a sorcerer, and teacher at a special high school for sorcerers in Tokyo. If Gojo can help Yuta release his curse, Yuta won’t have to be exorcised and killed. From there, Yuta, a unique cursed user, is added to Gojo’s class of first years – Maki Zen’in, Toge Inumaki, and Panda. Yuta then has adventures with his classmates to learn how to use curse energy, bringing attention to another dangerous cursed user, Suguru Geto.

Story-wise this film works well in a couple of different ways. See, much like the success with the Demon Slayer film, this film is canon, unlike most shonen Anime movies. This film works for those that have watched the first season of the Anime series as it has characters they know and have seen from that, and the film does an excellent job of adding some parts that weren’t in this manga release of 0 to help fold in better to the now much larger story. Yet it also works well as a beginning, you can watch this first, then jump into the story, and it’ll give you a different context of the characters. The characterization of all the characters is fun, Gojo, the wise-ass mentor teacher who is invincible, the tough on the exterior girl, the quiet kid, and a giant talking panda. This animation is top-notch and excels in the action and fight scenes. All the shot movements are dynamic and move at deliberate speed. The curses have genuinely ugly, creepy designs. A lot just look nasty. As I read the manga for 0 before I watched it, all the cursed battles hit way differently in motion than on the page—stellar work from Studio MAPPA.

To wrap up, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a dope film and great for people who want to see something animated that doesn’t have anything to do with being a family film. This is a big-time action with cool characters and horrible-looking cool monsters and a great story all wrapped up together. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is worth going to the theaters and checking out the series afterward, and the fans of the franchise will be thrilled.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 opens in theaters on March 18th.