Jujutsu Kaisen 0 review: Gory, action-packed, and a strong anime prequel

When it opened on Dec. 24, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 offered over 1 million tickets and made more than 1 billion yen. Over the weekend, the prequel to the popular anime series Jujutsu Kaisen, based upon the manga by Gege Akutami, almost tripled its ticket office, offering the record-breaking Devil Slayer movie a run for its cash. This was no Christmas wonder. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 makes its success by doing what numerous prequels stop working at: informing a gratifying story that links to and boosts the primary series while likewise inviting beginners to the franchise.

Embed in a world where human beings originate Cursed Energy that can produce eldritch animals referred to as Curses/Cursed Spirits, the Jujutsu Kaisen anime concentrates on Yuji Itadori, a high schooler who ends up being a vessel for Ryomen Sukuna, among the most effective Curses out there. Following this, a group of Jujutsu Sorcerers — individuals who can manage their Cursed Energy to combat fiends — register Yuji in the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School to assist him manage his power while watching on him. That’s the barebones summary of the anime series that aired from October 2020 to March 2021 … and the fundamental run-through for Jujutsu Kaisen 0.

The prequel informs the story of Yuta Okkotsu, a high schooler who gets control of an incredibly effective Cursed Spirit and gets registered in the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School by Jujutsu Sorcerers to assist him manage his power and watch on him. Yuta and Yuji are 2 really various individuals, with the previous starting as a shy, bleak, bullied kid, and the latter being a hyperenergetic extrovert with the type of strength and endurance that would make Batman envious. Still, the resemblances in between the setups of the television series and Jujutsu Kaisen 0 can’t be neglected. It’s nearly like the motion picture is both a prequel and a remake. A premake? Requel? Whatever you wish to call it, 105-minute motion picture strikes a lot of the very same notes as the program by utilizing a living weapon outsider character to present the audience to the world of Jujutsu sorcery and Cursed Spirits and so on.

Suguru Geto in Jujutsu Kaisen 0

Image: MAPPA/Toho Ltd.

There’s plenty to delight in for long time fans. For one, Yuta Okkotsu is not a brand-new character, having actually been discussed in the series a couple of times however never ever making a look previously. And he’s offered a perfectly awful backstory, given that it ends up that the effective Curse that locked on to Yuta is his youth love, Rika. After passing away in a traffic mishap, the mild and caring woman changed into a snake-haired, fang-faced monstrosity that might not have the most troubling style out there however offsets it by the method she acts. When the cursed Rika speak to Yuta in a kid’s voice about just how much she likes him or eliminates individuals who bully him without relatively feeling bad about it, the juxtaposition of her terrible look with her sweet however often likewise capricious, child-like disposition leads to among the most unforgettable Jujutsu Kaisen cursed spirits ever.

The motion picture likewise offers more screentime to its bad guy, Suguru Geto, who has actually been a consistent existence on Jujutsu Kaisen, though primarily riding rear seat to the resident Huge Bad Mahito. In Jujutsu Kaisen 0, however, Geto is offered spotlight, which he continues to consume with much gusto. Geto is an incredibly enjoyable villain with an epic character that is lastly on complete display screen in the motion picture. You can actually see why Curses and other sorcerers would gravitate towards him, and how his happy-go-lucky mindset while attempting to devote atrocities would irritate the movie’s primary characters.

This leads to a terrific battle in between him and Yuta. With the electronic camera motion attempting to reproduce the sensation of a regular-sized character moving with warp speed versus Geto’s enormous Curses — consisting of a Blob kaiju comprised of fat satanic force children — the fight is in addition improved by Yuta’s unexpected rage, including an entire other layer to the experience. However that’s to be anticipated from battle scenes supervised by director Sunghoo Park, whom you may keep in mind from The God of High School anime series and its amazing fights. It’s sufficient to keep Jujutsu-heads pleased throughout the 105-minute run of the motion picture.

Satoru Gojo in Jujutsu Kaisen 0

Image: MAPPA/Toho Ltd.

However beginners will get the most out of Jujutsu Kaisen 0. The prequel is generally the essence of Jujutsu Kaisen trimmed to its most available aspects, which isn’t unexpected considered that the motion picture is based upon a manga that really precedes the Jujutsu Kaisen comic. Very first released as Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School in the 2017 problem of Dive GIGA, this standalone brief series about Curses and Jujutsu Sorcerers was suggested to conclude after simply 4 chapters. But it soon gained enough popularity for Gege Akutami to expand its premise and the world he only hinted at in the original comic, ultimately culminating in the creation of Yuji Itadori and the story that took the world by storm.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is very simple, focusing primarily on Yuta, his teacher Satoru Gojo, Suguru Geto, and the second-year students of the Tokyo Jujutsu High School that fans know from the TV series: Maki Zenin, Toge Inumaki, and Panda. Most of them get a sufficient explanation that allows total novices to follow the story, and which may convince them to later plunge into the deep waters of the anime. For those less familiar, Jujutsu Kaisen concerns itself with Yuji trying to give people a “proper death.” To first determine what a proper death is, though, the anime spends a lot of time figuring out what a proper life means. Through the characters of Kento Nanami, the show explores the value of helping others over money, while Maki’s arc is the story of going against the flow and the comfort of being part of a group/family and doing your own thing. Even the cursed wombs from the last episode of the TV series explore the “proper” way to live as the characters are actually touching examples of the importance of family.

There are traces of this theme in the movie; one can interpret Yuta’s arc as a lesson about letting go and moving on. His choices around Rika are stirring but the anime series goes much deeper into its philosophical messages. That’s alright, though, because by keeping things simple, the movie makes you want more, gently leading new fans to the TV show. And any media that manages to introduce more people to a show that’s redefining shōnen anime is definitely doing something right.

So whether you’ve been following Jujutsu Kaisen for years or are simply hearing about it for the initially time now, check out Jujutsu Kaisen 0 if you ever get the chance. It’s the kind of rare movie that really has something (awesome) for everyone.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is out now in Japan. The motion picture presently does not have a U.S. release date.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.