Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 1: Recap and Review

Yuji possessed by Ryomen Sukuna in episode 1 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Yuji possessed by Ryomen Sukuna

Episode 1 – ‘Ryomen Sukuna’

Episode 1 of Jujutsu Kaisen starts with Satoru Gojo asking Yuji Itadori, “Which one are you?” Itadori is bound and chained to the ground inside a rectangular room covered in tags. Yuji’s first instinct is to ask about his friend’s safety. However, Gojo tells him it doesn’t matter because he’s “destined to die.” Jujutsu Kaisen is adapted from the manga of the same name. Yuji Itadori is a high school student that chooses to join the Occult Research Club over athletics. Yuji prefers to spend time with his friends, and the Occult Club allows him time to spend with his hospitalized grandfather. Jujutsu Kaisen makes a point in showing us that Yuji possesses abnormal athletic skills. 

Fighting evil with more evil

Fushiguro is a Jujutsu Tech student and an apprentice exorcist, searching for a “special grade cursed object.” At some point previously Yuji obtained a cursed object and gave it to his friends, Sasaki and Iguchi. Fushiguro explains that curses feed on the negative emotions of humans. Curses can only be countered with “eviler” more powerful ones. This is a very interesting change from the normal battle evil with good. It can be difficult for anime to separate themselves from each other and the demon anime series is so common that I thought Jujutsu Kaisen might have this issue. Anyway, relic seals degrade over time, attracting curses that feed on them. Elsewhere, Sasaki and Iguchi unwrap the relic, revealing a purple finger. 

People Should Die Properly

Sasaki and Iguchi are attacked by curses, while Yuji and Fushiguro rush to save them. Fushiguro takes the lead, encountering a curse, he releases his familiars or Shikigami, Divine Dogs. Suddenly two “dogs” appear and Fushiguro orders them to “feast.” Outside, Yuji remembers what his grandfather taught him about using his strength to help others. As the curse consumes Sasaki and Iguchi, Yuji jumps through the window, punching the curse and grabbing his friends. When he grabs the relic a curse crashes through the ceiling. Fushiguro quickly pushes Yuji out of the way but is overwhelmed by the curse. 

Where are the women and the children

Sensing Fushiguro’s in danger, Yuji attacks the curse. However, without the ability to use curses he’s outmatched as well. Desperate, Yuji swallows the relic. Fushiguro notes that special relics are poisonous, however, Yuji survives. Possessed, Yuji develops markings, claws, and additional eyes. As he defeats the curse with ease his personality changes. Louder and ruder, Yuji asks “where are the humans, and the women?” He’s excited to massacre all the humans. Suddenly, Yuji takes over his body again, as Fushiguro prepares to “exorcise” him. I will take a few episodes to get a feel for how this series compares to another “demon” centric anime like Demon Slayer or Yu Yu Hakusho. 

I’m fascinated by the use of evil to combat evil. I keep mentioning “demons” even though Jujutsu Kaisen doesn’t have any demons. I’m not sure that there’s much of a difference, but maybe the lore will make it clear why there’s a difference. Yuji’s relationship with his grandfather was odd. His grandfather was abusive. I wonder if the series will expand on that relationship especially now that Yuji’s grandfather is dead. Regardless, his grandfather left a great impact on him. Jujutsu Kaisen is a promising series, I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. 


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