Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Review: Will this curse stay with you forever and ever?

If you’ve been on the internet at some point in the past four years, you’ve most likely – if only in passing – heard of Jujutsu Kaisen, Gege Akutami’s shonen horror manga that took off. storm the world.

Centered around the aptly named Jujutsu High, the massively popular series follows the story of new student Yuji Itadori, a young man who, after consuming the fingers and somewhat harnessing the powers of an esteemed demon lord, attends the specialized school. hoping to fully control her new “roommate” and use her powers to help those in need.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen Ch. 2 “Secret Execution” (2018), Shueisha. Color Spread Art by Gege Akutami.

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Still, what many fans of the series might not know is that the main series wasn’t Akutami’s first foray into the world of jujutsu, curses, or even the little teaching style. orthodox by Satoru Gojo, because just a year before his debut in the pages of Shonen Jump, the mangaka released what would become a prequel to Jujutsu Kaisen – Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School.

These days, this short story is better known as Jujutsu Kaisen 0 – and it just received one of the best anime adaptations of all time.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0: the key visual of the film

Eight years before Yuji consumed Sakuna’s finger, then ten-year-old Yuta Okkotsu (Megumi Ogata, Shinji Ikari in Neon Genesis Evangelion) witnessed the violent and tragic death of her childhood friend, Rika Orimoto (Kana Hanazawa, Mitusri Kanroji in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba), after being hit by a moving vehicle while crossing the street.

Ever since that day, Yuta found himself haunted by Rika, who remained by his side in the form of a twisted Cursed Spent determined to protect his childhood companion by any violent means necessary – whether he wanted to or not. .

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2022), Toho Animation / MAPPA

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Receiving word of Yuta’s situation, Gojo (Yuchi Nakamura, reprising his role from the anime series) approaches the terrified youth and offers him a place at Jujutsu High, promising to help him eventually free himself from the influence. from Rika.

Finding himself at a loss for solutions and terrified that Rika will continue to hurt those around him, Yuta gladly accepts Gojo’s invitation, eventually enrolling in Jujutsu High and joining the class alongside three very familiar faces. – Maki Ze’nin (Mikako Komatsu, Tsumugi Shirogane in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony), Toga Inumaki (Koki Uchiyama, Roxas in Kingdom Hearts series) and Panda (Tomokazu Seki, Domon Kasshu in Mobile Fighter G Gundam).

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2022), Toho Animation / MAPPA

Unfortunately for Yuta, Rika’s power caught the attention of Jujutsu World’s Mightiest Enemy, Suguru Geto (Takahiro Sakurai, Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy VII: Remake), who wishes to leave Rika under his control and use his overwhelming strength to rid the world of those who cannot use jutjusu sorcery – a category of humans he considers evolutionarily below him.

Setting his sights on the young jujutsu wizard, Geto moves onto Yuta shortly after arriving at Jujutsu High, placing the youngsters in the middle of an explosive power struggle between two of the world’s most fearsome supernatural organizations.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2022), Toho Animation / MAPPA

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We don’t beat around the bush: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is not only an absolutely incredible animated film, but a beautiful adaptation of its source material.

For manga fans, the film brings Akutami’s original four-chapter miniseries to life almost shot for short and verbatim, subtracting nothing and adding only the tiniest bit of ancillary footage.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2021), Shueisha. Cover by Gege Akutami.

Fortunately, these additions are mostly expansions of the manga’s original action scenes such as Panda’s brief hand-to-hand combat with Geto, with a moment from the main series arc “Gojo’s Past” brought in for emotional emphasis. , and in no way change the substance of Akutami’s original work.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2022), Toho Animation / MAPPA

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To that end, one of Jujutsu Kaisen 0’s main strengths is its story.

Not only is it moving and heartfelt, recounting the struggle of a young man who must deal with debilitating fear and despair in the wake of an emotionally traumatic event, but it’s also perfectly self-contained and self-explanatory.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2022), Toho Animation / MAPPA

While the standalone nature of the story is rather obvious considering the fact that the original manga was always meant to be a miniseries, this is hinted at to say that your enjoyment of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 won’t hinge on your familiarity with the Akutami myth.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the show or someone going blind, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll walk out of the theater feeling completely satisfied with Yuta’s journey.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2022), Toho Animation / MAPPA

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Of course, a film is also equal parts its production values, which Jujutsu Kaisen 0 delivers in absolute spades.

Produced by Mappa, the same studio behind the currently airing anime adaptation of the main series, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is hands down one of the finest anime films in recent memory.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2022), Toho Animation / MAPPA

From the raucous depiction of Rika’s cursed spirit against the clean lines of the human cast, to the smooth and punchy animation of the battle scenes, to the sketch-like appearance of jujutsu sorcery that seems pulled almost straight from the pages of the manga, the film presents a dazzling feast for the eyes from start to finish.

In fact, at no point does the quality of the animation ever drop, nor are there any obviously cut corners or apparent budget concerns. Mappa pulled out all the stops with Jujutsu Kaisen 0, and it shows.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2022), Toho Animation / MAPPA

This is perhaps best illustrated in Maki’s movements during her first mission with Yuta as well as their subsequent training session.

In the manga, Akutami’s flow sometimes makes it difficult to follow exactly what’s going on during those moments, but Mappa animates them so well in the movie that all that confusion is immediately (and even retroactively) cleared up.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2021), Shueisha. Words and Art by Gege Akutami.

While no project is perfect, it’s admittedly hard to find fault with Jujutsu Kaisen 0, even when actively trying to look at things as objectively as possible.

At most, one could consider the film’s biggest flaw to be the fact that some of the finer points of jujutsu sorcery, such as the mechanics behind the veils, cursed energy, and specific abilities, remain unexplained – well that it doesn’t detract from the overall experience, at best prompting someone to inwardly utter a “huh?” minor? before accepting it as is and diving back into the film.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2022), Toho Animation / MAPPA

The verdict

Ultimately, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a must-have for any fan of Jujutsu Kaisen, anime, or animation in general.

Between its heartfelt story of loss and love, its beautifully animated battle scenes, and its dedication to staying as true to its source material as possible, Yuta’s cinematic output is nothing short of top notch.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2022), Toho Animation / MAPPA

Is it revolutionary? Maybe, maybe not. Arguments are currently being made both ways (personally, this reviewer is inclined to lean towards the latter), and so only time will tell.

But it’s a movie well worth your time, money, and appreciation.

Source: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2022), Toho Animation / MAPPA

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 hits Western theaters on March 18, courtesy of Crunchyroll and TOHO Animation. Tickets for dubbing and subtitling screenings are now available.

A review copy of this movie was provided by Crunchyroll.

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Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Review: Will this curse stay with you forever and ever?

BENEFITS:

  • Beautiful from top to bottom
  • Features a close shot-for-shot adaptation of the original manga
  • Small plot additions are a treat for fans

THE INCONVENIENTS:

  • A lack of explanation regarding Cursed Energy and Spirits may leave new viewers a bit confused – but only momentarily and not enough to detract from the overall experience

9Overall score

Reader’s note: (0 votes)

0.0