Jujutsu Kaisen 0: Jujutsu High is a prequel series focusing on Yuta Okkotsu. A special grade cursed human, Yuta is cursed by a special grade vengeful cursed spirit, Rika. Six years previously, Rika’s head is crushed in a horrific car accident. She attaches herself to Yuta, protecting him from harm and keep his loved ones away. She “protects” him in an aggressive and violent manner. When four bullies harass Yuta she stuffs all of them into a locker together. After this incident, he joins Jujutsu High as one of four first-years under Gojo Satoru, along with Maki Zen’in, Panda, and Toge Inumaki. Maki Zen’in is a cursed tool user, Toge is a cursed speech user that can only speak in rice ball ingredients, and Panda is an abrupt mutated cursed corpse (but this isn’t mentioned or explained in the volume).
Yuta is quickly sent, along with his classmates to investigate the disappearance of two children at a school. Gojo creates a curtain, a barrier technique that hides anyone inside from outsiders and leaves them to exorcise the curses alone. The three curses attack Yuta and Maki. However, as Maki explains, “curses team up if they are weak.” She exorcised them with one strike. Most of the curses in the school are afraid of Yuta. Suddenly, a massive curse appears. It flings them into the air and swallows Maki and Yuta whole. He reveals that he has no control over Rita and doesn’t know when she’ll appear.
Inside the curse with them are the two children. However, Maki notices that both of them are cursed and will likely die. Infected by the curse, Maki passes out. One of the boys begs Yuta to rescue them. She regains consciousness and asks Yuta “why he came to Jujutsu High?” Yuta hoped that joining the school would help him believe that “it’s okay to keep living.” Maki encourages him to “exorcise the curses,” and the rest will follow. He calls for Rika and asks for her help. Rika rips through the giant curse, freeing Yuta to carry the two boys and Maki. All three survive and Yuta questions whether he’s the one that cursed Rika.
Is Rita Orimoto a manipulative monster?
Gege Akutami details several facts about Rita that make her look manipulative and evil. First, her parent died under separate but mysterious circumstances. Her mother dies “suddenly from unknown causes” when she was five. Her father disappeared while mountain climbing with her. Gege writes Rika stole the wedding ring she gave Yuta from the grandmother who thinks she killed both her parents. Is she guilty? Did she become a curse because she was already monstrous? Gojo questions how a girl “with no history of sorcery in her family became such an immensely strong curse?” Due to her strength, exorcising her is nearly impossible, so they focus on “unraveling” instead. Gojo explains to Yuta how to unravel. Since he’s the one that’s been cursed, he needs to “untie” the millions of knots of cursed energy, “one by one.”
To accomplish this, Yuta must learn to channel Rika through his Katana, learning to master it by repeating the process. Yuta trains with Maki to master this technique. He’s sent on his second mission with Toge Inumaki, the only Grade 2 sorcerer among the first years. Gojo believes it’s important for Yuta to learn the “different ways to exorcise curses.” Inside, Yuta and Toge encounter curses that resemble a school of fish. They combine, only for Toge to make them explode with his cursed speech. His cursed speech allows him to embed his words with cursed energy, forcing those he commands to obey him.
Yuta Okkotsu receives a Katana from Gojo Satoru.
Of course, this is Jujutsu Kaisen so the mission isn’t going to be that easy. A more powerful curse appears behind them. It says “Zomba” and creates a flash of light creating a hole in the ground. With his throat already hoarse, Toge says “get twisted,” causing the curses arm to twist violently. Toge and Yuta retreat, but the curse doesn’t move. Feeling brave, Yuta approaches the curse. After sensing Rika, the curse becomes enraged. Yuta attacks, combining channeling Rika while dodging the curses “Zora” attacks. He’s able to cut the curse but it’s too shallow. Realizing he’s out of his depth he manages to get Toge throat medicine. Toge kills the curse with the command, “get crushed.” Watching from the distance is Geto Suguru, who hoped to see Rika in action.
Non-sorcerers are just monkeys
In chapter 3 of Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 0, Geto Suguru takes center staged. He hates non-sorcerers and refers to them as “monkeys.” He’s willing to exorcise curses from them so he may collect more curses and he will help others for money. Geto calls them, “curse-collecting monkeys,” and “money-collecting monkeys,” respectively. He calls a meeting with his “commanders” and tells them to prepare for the age of Jujutsu Sorcerers and the end of Jujutsu High. Geto and his “family,” Larue, Mimiko, and Nanako show up at Jujutsu High inside a pelican-looking curse. He quickly approaches Yuta, praises his power, and asks for Yuta’s help “killing all non-sorcerers.” Yuta not buying what he’s selling, especially after he insults Maki. He declares war. At the Crucible for curses, Shinjuku in Tokyo on December 24th the “Night Parade of a Hundred Demons will commence.”
He plans on releasing one thousand curses in two locations, daring the jutsu sorcerers to risk their lives to protect the non-sorcerers. Despite Geto’s large number of curses, it’s deduced that he’s unlikely to have too many curses over grade 2. With the Jujutsu Society and Jujutsu High getting involved, Geto calculates his odds of victory at “less than 20 percent.” However, if they can kill Yuta and take Rika, then those odds increase to 99 percent. He correctly predicts that Jujutsu High would leave Yuta behind.
He attacks the school, where Maki and Yuta are alone. Gojo teleports Toge and Panda to protect them while he deals with the curses. They quickly break into the curtain and attack Geto. Toge appeared to land a direct hit with the command “crumble away.” Geto appears to have been crushed, leaving a massive crater. Suddenly, Geto emerges restored by one of his curses. Yuta appears at the scene. Maki, Panda, and Toge are severely injured, as Geto cries tears of joy after witnessing young sorcerers aid one another. Yuta snaps, releasing Rika for the second time, declaring that he will kill Geto.
Yuta Okkotsu vs Geto Suguru
Geto uses a lot of curses to attack Yuta hoping to weaken him with low-quality curses. Meanwhile, Yuta tries desperately to heal Toge, Maki, and Panda. Rika jealous of Yuta’s concern for Maki grabs her. Yuta tells her to handle Maki with care. Rika tearfully apologizes. They return to face Geto. Yuta and Rika use a blowhorn to copy the Inumaki family’s cursed speech. Yuta uses it to tell the curses to “die.” Witnessing this power excites Geto.
Elsewhere, Gojo and the others fight Geto’s commanders. Miguel manages to disrupt Gojo’s technique with a special cursed rope. Gojo gets pissed and blows a hole in a giant curse scaring the commanders. Back at Jujutsu High, Rika and Yuta fight Geto, who has finally taken them seriously. However, Yuta is still learning to use curse energy while fighting Geto. He breaks his katana when he embeds too much curse energy into it. He still manages to land a hard punch on Geto. In response, Geto releases one of the 16 special grade curses, Imaginary vengeful spirit Tamam-no-mae Incarnate and combines 4,461 curses into one technique – Maximum: Uzumaki. Yuta gives Rika a hug telling her that he loves her and they’ll be “together forever.” It’s creepy but works to strengthening Rika.
The rest of the fight is off-page, but Rika and Yuta severely damage Geto. As he stumbles out of an alley, he encounters Gojo. It’s implied that Gojo kills him. At the school, Yuta awakens to see Panda, Toge, and Maki are alright. His pact with Rika causes the curse to shatter. It turns out that he’s a distant relative of Gojo’s and someone named Michizane Sugawara. Gojo reveals that Yuta is actually the one who cursed RIka. He wanted her to survive her accident and unintentionally made her into a curse. Remorseful of his actions, he tearfully apologizes to Rika and everyone else. She forgives him, revealing “she was happier than she ever was alive,” and heads to the afterlife.
Love is the most powerful curse of all
Jujutsu Kaisen 0: Jujutsu High is an exciting addition to an already amazing series. We explore two of the most mysterious characters in the Jujutsu Kaisen series, Yuta Okkotsu and Geto Suguru. If you only watched the anime then you know that Yuta is only mentioned. To see his origin and the source of his massive power was satisfying. Volume 0 answers this question but leaves others. The biggest one is why love is considered such an issue. Gojo notes in the first chapter that he “always thought love manifests the most distorted curses.” The love between Rita and Yuta is the core of their power and devotion to each other. If curses are formed from humanity’s fear, then maybe it’s the fear of losing a loved one that manifests powerful curses?
Knowing what happens in the rest of the manga currently, at some point the evil ancient sorcerer Kenjaku transplanted his brain into Geto’s dead body. It would have been an excellent time to at least show how and when that happened. Geto Suguru reminds me of Bleach’s Aizen. He always steps ahead of his opposition, predicting his opponent’s every move. Unlike Aizen, Geto isn’t all-powerful as Yuta and Gojo are clearly stronger than him. Finally, I would have liked more clarity regarding who Michizane Sugawara is and why being related to him is such a big deal. Most of these questions will likely be answered in the manga at some point but they could have been explored here. Regardless, Jujutsu Kaisen 0: Jujutsu High is worth your time. Check it out.