Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 19: Recap and Review

Episode 19 – ‘Black Flash (Kokusen)’

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 19, Black Flash, opens with Megumi, Toge, and Noritoshi fleeing from Hanami. Toge uses his cursed speech to stop Hanami in its tracks. Noritoshi then uses his Blood Manipulation: Convergence – Piercing Blood. It does mild damage, but Hanami heals. The most vulnerable place on Hanami’s body seems to be its branches that grow from its eye sockets. Noritoshi intents to repeat the game plan over and over. Toge stops Hanami, Megumi and Noritoshi attack. They hope to reach the outside of the curtain. Their plan fails. Toge stalls as his throat bleeds. The difference in strength between Hanami and Toge causes strain on his throat. Megumi prepares to use his secret attack. However, Toge stops him. He uses the last of his strength to say, “blast away,” sending Hanami flying into the roof.

Jujutsu Kaisen has tried hiding Megumi’s secret technique several times in the series. Obviously they saving it for the best moment, but the constant interrupting is feeling silly. It’s fine to avoid using all the techniques too early in the series, but telling the audience that Megumi has the powerful ability but won’t use it is odd. Especially considering that they needed help against Hanami. Maki appears. She attacks Hanami with Kasumi’s katana, but it snaps against the curses skin. Megumi pulls out a three-section staff, special grade cursed tool: Playful Cloud, for Maki. She doesn’t do any damage but sends Hanami flying through the forest. Meanwhile, Megumi attacks with Divine Dog Totality, cutting into the arm of Hanami. It doesn’t matter though. Hanami regenerates.

The Black Flash

Megumi and Maki tag team Hanami, using cursed tools against the cursed spirit. Unfortunately, Megumi is attacked with a cursed bud sprout. It feeds off of cursed energy. Despite this, Megumi prepares to use cursed techniques anyway, even if he dies. Maki stops him. Aoi Todo and Yuji crash down. Todo continues his role as mentor towards Yuji. He says that he won’t “help until Yuji unleashes the Black Flash.” Yuji fails at first but Todo tells him “not to rely too heavily on anger.” Jujutsu Kaisen’s power system is complicated. It’s based on negative human emotion, but too much negativity apparently can backfire. The Black Flash is an example of its difficulty. The Black Flash is a “distortion in space” that occurs when a sorcerer applies “their cursed energy within one millionth of a second.”

It can’t be done deliberately, even Gojo can’t do it when he wants. Aoi praises Yuji for his “growth.” The friendship between Todo and Yuji at first was shallow. It’s becoming a deeper relationship. With Aoi now fights with Yuji against Hanami. Sensing that the fight will become more difficult, Hanami reveals its left arm. It’s black with a red rose at the shoulder. Hanami unleashes giant roots, forcing Yuji and Aoi to dodge. The scene is the highlight of the episode. Before the two sorcerers can get the advantage, Hanami releases the roots. Todo and Yuji fall. Hanami attacks, but Aoi and Yuji dodge midair by pushing off each other. The act symbolises the closeness that Yuji and Aoi’s relationship has reached. As Hanami admits that it’s “enjoying the fight” Todo prepares to use his cursed technique.


Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 18: Recap and Review

Hanami aims to fight for mother Earth by killing humanity in episode 18 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Hanami aims to fight for mother Earth by killing humanity

Episode 18 – “Sage”

After the last episode, Jujutsu Kaisen episode 18 had a lot to live up to. I didn’t. It not a problem, however. Megumi runs through the temple, evading arrows embedded with cursed energy. He has no trouble avoiding them. Megumi breaks one arrow, resulting in blood splattering on the wall. Noritoshi Kamo uses the Blood Manipulation. An inherited technique in the Kamo family, the technique “grants Noritoshi the ability to control all aspects of his blood.” Jujutsu Kaisen has made a point of highlighting the “Three families.” These families hold prestige in the Jujutsu Kaisen universe. Megumi Fushiguro is a member of the Zenin family, but it’s not clear what his exact relationship is to Maki and Mai. Like Kamo, he’s inherited a valued technique from the Zenin family, the Ten Shadow Technique. This ability allows him to summon ten different shikigami using shadows.

Noritoshi Kamo uses his Flowing Red Scale technique. He can increase his “body temperature, pulse rate, and the number of red blood cells to give themselves increased energy and physical abilities.” His speed and strength increases. He’s able to dominate Megumi but doesn’t do too much direct damage. Elsewhere, Toge unlocks Mechamaru’s phone and uses it to call Kasumi and tell her to “sleep.” Suddenly, he notices a dark presence. In the observing room, Principal Gakuganji remembers assigning a cursed spirit intended to kill Yuji. That curse spirit is killed by Hanami. Mahito and the other curses have interrupted the Goodwill Event.

The Goodwill Event is invaded

Back at the fight between Noritoshi and Megumi, Noritoshi remembers his childhood. His mother was his fathers, making him an illegitimate heir. The Kamo family valued Noritoshi’s blood manipulation, so they made him legitimate. He tries to relate to Megumi. Noritoshi rejects this familiarity. Unlike Noritoshi, he doesn’t seem to want anything to do with the three clans. Using a toad to distract Noritoshi, Megumi uses his latest shikigami, Max Elephant. The elephant fills the corridor with water, forcing Noritoshi outside. With Noritoshi vulnerable, Megumi uses Nue to electrocute him. Remembering his mother, Noritoshi is determined to win. He uses Crimson Binding on Nue. Preparing to fight, a mass of branches approach them. Toge is being chased by them and he orders Megumi and Noritoshi to run.”

The wall of talismans burn red, symbolising the end of Goodwill event. Realizing that “unregistered curses” has invaded, Yaga leaves Gojo and Gakuganji to protect the students. A special “curtain” is created that keeps Gojo out. This leaves Gakuganji and Utahime to face Juzo. The old man takes out a guitar and dares Juzo to try him. I gotta say, Gakuganji using a guitar comes out of nowhere. Obviously, we don’t know what his technique is, but he seemed too serious to have a potentially fun set of abilities. Historically, the old man in anime is a badass. I don’t expect Gakuganji to be any different. The students encounter Hanami. Toge uses his cursed speech to paralyze Hanami, who communicates with the students telepathically. Hanami claims to only want “to protect the planet and asks the sorcerers to die and become sages.”

Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 14: Recap and Review

Episode 14, “Kyoto Sister School Goodwill Event”

Jujutsu Kaisen returns after a brief break. Episode 14, “Kyoto Sister School Goodwill Event – Team Battle, Part 0” begins the Kyoto Goodwill Event arc. Jojo, Geto, and Mahito discuss their plans after failing. Mahito realizes that Sukuna is “valuable,” and believes that they should focus on winning him over. Jojo is willing to everything possible, even if they die. Geto already sets a plan in motion. Elsewhere, Gojo and Yuji decided on a plan to reintroduce Yuji to his friends. At the Tokyo school, Nobara arrives with luggage. She falsely believes that they were going to the Kyoto school. Jujutsu Kaisen once again mentions Yuta Okkotsu. The buildup for this character makes me want to see his skills. So it’s working.

The Kyoto jujutsu students arrive and we get formal introductions. The student group comprises Ultimate Mechamaru, Nishimiya Momo, Kamo Noritoshi, Zenin Mai, and Toudou Aoi. All are second or third years, giving them the advantage over the Tokyo team. Gojo arrives late and makes a big deal about Yuji’s return. Megumi and Nobara aren’t moved. The Kyoto students don’t care, but it pisses Principal Gakuganji Yoshinobu off. Gojo loves antagonising him. If my knowledge with anime is any sign, old people are usually badasses. Gojo may be stronger than him, but I still wouldn’t mess with him. Anyway, Yuji reunites with his friends.

Principal Masamichi Yaga explains the rules of the team battle: “The first team to exorcise the grade 2 curse lurking around the battlefield wins. Its also populated with many grade 3 and lower curses. If the grade 2 isn’t exorcised by sunset, the team with the most exorcisms win.” The students must reframe from killing or severally wounding each other. However, during the Kyoto team meeting, principal Gakuganji orders them to kill Yuji. He considers Yuji to be Sukuna’s vessel and nothing more. The Kyoto team plans on ganging up on him. Jujutsu Kaisen is making the case for Kyoto, being the source of mole. We have learned little about Geto’s past, but I think he was a student at Kyoto.

What is Megumi capable of

A common theme of this episode was: the hyping of characters whose abilities haven’t been seen. This was the case for Gojo and now Megumi, Okkotsu, and Toge. At this point in the series, I feel like we know little about most of the characters’ abilities. This isn’t a criticism, but more of an observation. Regardless, we get some information on Toge’s abilities. He uses cursed speech. This ability allows him to “infuse his words with Cursed Energy to improve the spirit of his commands, forcing all those who hear it to obey.”

This ability has downsides. If he uses it against a target with more cursed energy, it will take a toll on his body. While we have seen some of Megumi’s abilities, Sukuna has pointed out that he has a special ability. Kamo Noritoshi warns against Zenin underestimating him, pointing out that Megumi is “the most talented in the Zenin Family.” Hopefully, Jujutsu Kaisen will stop teasing us in the next episode.

Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 13: Recap and Review

Mahito uses Domain Expansion for the first time in episode 13 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Mahito uses Domain Expansion for the first time

Episode 13 – “Tomorrow”

Jujutsu Kaisen episode 13, “Tomorrow” is the climactic battle between Mahito, Yuji and Nanami. Mahito creates an eye in one hand, while turning the other into a blade. The three exchange blows until Mahito transforms into a ball of spikes. This backfires as Nanami and Yuji attack him from both sides. The sorcerers realize that before he transforms, Mahito stores up cursed energy. Needing to split the pair up, Mahito spits up three transfigured humans and sends them to kill Yuji. Mahito assumes that Yuji can’t kill humans. It’s unclear whether Yuji actually kills them, but they disappear as Yuji rescues Nanami. Mahito becomes overwhelmed as Yuji and Nanami beat him, trading hits so quickly that the Cursed Spirit has no time to shape-shift.

Mahito nears death. He activates his Domain Expansion: Self-Embodiment of Perfection for the first time. He traps Nanami inside. Mahito’s Domain is a dark space with a series of interlocking hands that form a flowerlike shape. With the Idle Transfiguration sure to hit, Nanami accepts his fate. He flashes back to his time as a businessman. He recalls getting bread from a bakery girl who was cursed by a fly head, cursed spirit. The spirit caused the girl’s shoulder to fell heavy. Nanami becomes disillusioned with his job and learns the value of gratitude after exorcising the spirit from the girl. He takes off his glasses and says that he has “no regrets at all.”

The limits of Domain Expansion

Suddenly, Yuji breaks through the barrier. Jujutsu Kaisen introduces a limitation to the Domain, they’re weaker from the outside. Because Yuji entered his Domain, it forces Mahito to touch the soul of Sukuna. Having warned Mahito before, Sukuna cuts him, causing blood to gush. Sukuna says that he doesn’t care who dies except Megumi. This arc made me forget about Megumi and Nobara. I hope they’re getting stronger during this period and they get back together with Yuji. Regardless, I wonder exactly what makes Megumi so special. Anyway, Yuji attacks an injured Mahito, but the cursed spirit escapes. In the sewer, Mahito reflects on the battle and notes that Sukuna has less cursed energy but his soul unlike any other.

The end of the Mahito arc was exciting. Mahito isn’t a completed cursed spirit yet. He’s learning and growing. So is Yuji. While he hasn’t mastered his powers yet, Yuji has grown emotionally. He expected Sukuna to help him, even if he sacrificed anything. The King of Curses response shocks him. After the cruel death of Juupei, I think Yuji accepts that his personality can’t save everyone. He had to kill the transfigured humans Mahito sent after him, making Yuji grow even more. He won’t accept humans dying in terrible ways, but he will kill if necessary.


Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 12: Recap and Review

Sukuna and Mahito laughing at Yuji's pain in episode 12 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Sukuna and Mahito laughing at Yuji’s pain

Episode 12 – “To You Someday”

Jujutsu Kaisen episode 12, “To You Someday,” shows the tragic end of Juupei. Yuji ignores the orders from Nanami and Ijichi to “not to make a move.” Episode 12 briefly introduces us to a new sorcerer, Takuma Ino. Nanami leaves Ino to deal with many Cursed Spirits. If he does, Nanami will give him a Grade 1 recommendation. Juupei rejects Yuji’s plead to stop. Forced to use force, Yuji hits Junpei’s jellyfish-like Shikigami, “Moon Dregs.” The Shikigami protects Juupei from taking damage. In a flashback, they reveal that Mahito gave him this ability and the Shikigami can create poison from its Cursed Energy. The Moon Dreg surrounds Yuji, but he’s unharmed by the poison and grabs Juupei. Yuji recalls Gojo telling him that the best way to defeat a Shikigami is to attack the user. Yuji lands a strike on Juupei, knocking him through a window.

Juupei’s rationale is confusing for Yuji. However, after he reveals that they cursed his mother, Yuji understands. Yuji empathizes with him, promising to find out who cursed his mother. Suddenly, Mahito appears. He attacks Yuji, pinning him to the wall with his arm. He calls Yuji, “Sukuna’s vessel,” while Juupei tries to stop him. Yuji yells at Juupei to “run” but it’s too late. Mahito turns Juupei into a mutated monster. Juupei attacks Yuji. He begs Sukuna to help heal Juupei. He refuses. It excites Sukuna to learn that Yuji has forgotten their vow. Sukuna and Mahito laugh at Yuji’s anguish. It reminds Yuji that both Mahito and Sukuna “are both curses.”

Juupei dies. Mahito finds his death funny, and Yuji becomes enraged. Yuji hits Mahito with a powerful punch, hitting both his body and soul. Mahito notes that “because of his own soul sharing a body with Sukuna, Yuji has naturally learned how to perceive the contours of the soul.” Yuji is so enraged that he intends to kill Mahito, something he never wanted to do. Geto previously warns Mahito that “Yuji has no regard for his own life and taking a hostage won’t work.” Mahito hopes to use Yuji’s rage against him, forcing him into a pact with Sukuna. Mahito avoids making himself bigger, but creates an arm of mill blades and slashes at Yuji. He escapes through a hole in the wall.

Mahito transforms his arm into a drill and fires it at Yuji. He avoids the drill and grabs Mahito’s flesh, which turns into thorns piercing Yuji’s hand. Regardless, Yuji keep holding on and pulls Mahito down, crashing into a wall. Yuji attacks, but Mahito ignores that damage. He pierces Yuji’s stomach with flesh spikes. Mahito takes the opportunity to “re-shape Yuji’s soul.” Sukuna chastises him for daring to touch his soul. He lets him off this once, but makes it clear he won’t be so generous the next time. Stunned, it leaves Mahito opened to a brutal attack from Yuji. He smashes the Curse Spirit’s face in, but Mahito suddenly appears behind him. Having shaped shifted his hand into a mace, he prepares to attack. Nanami uses his Ratio Technique to counter Mahito’s attack. The two prepare to team up against Mahito.

Jujutsu Kaisen episode 12 reminds us that Yuji’s worldview might not be appropriate for this world. He doesn’t listen to authority, and it cost his friend’s life. I originally thought Juupei might become a member of Mahito’s group, but he was more useful as a pawn. Despite Yuji’s personality, he does genuinely care about people. Nanami notes that he “is always thinking of others.” I don’t expect him to change too much, but his view of Curse Spirits may have. The upcoming battle has interruption written all of them. The question I have is, will Geto finally show his face?