Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 9: Recap and Review

Mahito likes talking to Junpei  in episode 9 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Mahito likes talking to Junpei

Episode 9 – “Young Fish and Reverse Punishment”

Junpei Yoshino is a young Satozakura High School that is often bullied by his classmates. They claim that he was sexually harassing a female student. Junpei is the boy we saw questioning Mahito at the end of Jujutsu Kaisen episode 8. He skips school to see Earthworm Man 3 his bullies also had the same idea. They make noise during the film making it impossible for Junpei to enjoy the film. Suddenly, Mahito kills them for being rude. Junpei witness this massacre from his seat and runs to chase Mahito. When he catches up to him he asks “if there was any way he could do the things that he does.” 

Yuji Itadori and Kento Nanami a Grade 1 Sorcerer arrive to investigate the deaths. Nanami is a dear friend of Gojo but he claims that he doesn’t respect him. He doesn’t like that Gojo breaks the rules and regulations of higher-ups. Nanami doesn’t consider Yuji a “full-fledged sorcerer” yet, something that Yuji aims to change. In the present, Nanami teaches Yuji to see the residual curse energy that gets left behind after a cursed technique is used. Yuji quickly uses it, seeing footprints from Mahito. The residual leads them to a nearby rooftop. As soon as they arrive they notice two cursed spirits. Nanami tells Yuji to fight the one peeking around the wall and he handles the other. 

Nanami’s Cursed Technique

Nanami explains his powers. He jujutsu is called Black Flash. It’s a technique that “creates spatial distortion when a user connects with an impact of Cursed Energy within 0.000001 seconds of a physical hit.” He takes out the creature with one strike of his sword. Yuji gets a chance to show off his new techniques. In a flashback, we see that Yuji has a “time lag” when drawing out cursed energy. This results in him turning “one strike into two impacts.” Yuji uses Divergent Fist, he punches a hole into the chest of the curse. It was a devastating attack. Before Nanami can finish off the creature he notices that it was wearing a watch. Stunned, he takes a picture of the creature. 

Shoko Ieiri confirms that the curses are humans that have been mutated by a curse technique. Shoko assures Yuji that he didn’t kill them but he becomes enraged. Nanami is surprised that Yuji can be genuinely sad for the victims. Later Nanami tells Yuji that he believes that Mahito has deliberately been leaving residuals to trap them. Elsewhere, Mahito teaches Junpei how curses manifest. According to Mahito, curses are created from “human’s collective fears.” Mahito claims that fear of natural disasters can manifest curses. So a curse like Jogo was likely born of people’s fear of volcanic eruptions. 

Can cursed spirits come from anything?

An interesting concept has been introduced in Jujutsu Kaisen episode 9. If the source of cursed spirits is simply anything a group of human fear then anything is on the table, spiders, dogs, water, and clowns. Considering that humans are never going to be cured of fear, I wonder if a curse like Jogo gets killed if he would come back? Or would another curse spirit be born from people’s fear of volcanic eruptions? I think it’s a clever source of spirits and it has an infinite number of possibilities.


Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 8: Recap and Review

Aoi Todo is a beast. He attacks Megumi in episode 8 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Aoi Todo is a beast

Episode 8 – “Boring”

In episode 8 of Jujutsu Kaisen, the Kyoto Principal visits the Tokyo campus and brings two of his students, Aoi Todo and Mai Zenin. Before they arrive, Megumi and Nobara are doing an errand for Maki. Meanwhile, Panda expresses concern about principal Gakuganji brings his students. Aoi and Mai quickly accost Nobara and Megumi, mocking the “death” of Yuji. Aoi claims that he wants to see if the replacements for Yuta Okkotsu’s will be “entertaining.” He asks Megumi “what kind of girl he likes.” If he gives the wrong answer he’ll “beat him half to death.” Put off by the question, Megumi hesitates. He tells him that he’s attracted to a woman that has “unshakable character.” Bored with Megumi’s answer, Aoi assaults him. Aoi, in tears, claims that Megumi has “trampled all over his kindness.” Megumi remembers that Aoi was the sorcerer that defeat Cursed Spirits in Shinjuku to Kyoto Night Line of 100 Demons. 

Megumi vs Aoi

Megumi combines Nue with Toad to create winged toads. However, Aoi isn’t bothered and he suplexes Megumi. Overwhelmed by Aoi’s power, Megumi is left bloody before he’s saved by Panda and Toge. We get a glimpse of the latter’s powers as he stops Aoi from moving with his voice. Elsewhere, Nobara is knocked on the ground after Mai shoots her. Maki arrives and the two sisters argue over which is ” more useless.” Nobara grabs Mai in a headlock, demanding she gives her the outfit she’s wearing. Aoi returns and he and Mai leave so he can meet his favorite idol, Takada-chan. On the walk back Maki tells Nobara that she can’t create cursed energy and need special glasses to see Cursed Spirits and uses cursed tools to fight them. Meanwhile, Satoru Gojo meets Principal Gakuganji. He makes thinly veil threats while Gakuganji’s student fangirls in the corner. Gojo states that “the coming age will surpass the special grade classification and they’ll all be fighting to erase the old society.”

Yuji’s new mission

One month later, three teenagers are brutally murdered in a movie theater. It appears that Mahito mutated their corpses. He’s spotted by a young man, who asks if he’s responsible. Mahito is shocked that the boy can see him. Yuji and a new Sorcerer are on the scene to investigate. I’m getting more excited about the Goodwill Event, but I don’t think that it will be that friendly. Considering the small number of sorcerers the culture of interpersonal violence is staggering. Gojo freely and often threatens to kill all the higher-ups and Aoi seems to enjoy abusing other students. Mai feels sadistic. I guess if no one is killed it’s not a problem but the relationship between schools is toxic. The revealing of some of the abilities of Maki and Toge was interesting. So far it doesn’t seem likely that curse tools are enough to harm Special Grade Cursed Spirits, but Maki may be different. Toge powers on the other hand are probably effective. His weird speaking quirks make sense now, I wonder what other limits his power has. Jujutsu Kaisen seems to have more of a horror element than I originally thought. Mahito might be a sadist as well.


Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 7: Recap and Review

Episode 7 – “Assault”

Jujutsu Kaisen has been teasing us regarding the “strongest sorcerer,” Gojo. Episode 7, “Assault,” gives us a glimpse of Gojo’s power. We weren’t misled. Jogo attacks Gojo, attempting to crush him. He misses and crashes into the road. Jogo creates a volcano behind Gojo that erupts, releasing magma into the forest. As typical for anime, Jogo believes that he killed Gojo. Gojo emerges from the magma unharmed. He marvels at Jogo’s ability to speak and his abundance of cursed energy. Gojo believes that because he’s above Sukuna’s current level, Jogo is an “unregistered special grade.” Gojo is excited to fight.

Jogo uses Ember Insects. Gojo stops them by appearing to create a “glitch” around him. This stops the insects. However, they explode using sound. Gojo avoids the attack but not Jogo’s follow up. Once again Jogo is surprised that Gojo is unharmed. Gojo explains that this is because of the “infinity” that’s between them. From this point on Gojo dominates the fight before unleashing Cursed Technique Reversal: Red. Jogo accepts that he’s not strong enough to defeat Gojo. Suddenly, Gojo returns with Yuji. He intends for his student to watch the rest of the fight. Gojo specifically wants to teach Yuji about Domain Expansion. When Jogo calls Gojo a “fool” for bringing Yuji, Gojo responds that it won’t matter because Jogo is too “weak.” This enrages Jogo, who then activates his Domain.

Coffin of the Iron Mountain

Jogo’s domain is a lava pit inside a mountain. Gojo explains that “Domain Expansion buffs the user’s abilities and imbues the user’s innate technique into it as well. Additionally, all abilities unleashed within a Domain Expansion will always hit their target.” He also states that you can counter the “automatic hit” with a Cursed Technique. However, he thinks that countering a Domain with your Domain is best. He removes his blindfold revealing his bright blue eyes and activating his Domain Expansion: Unlimited Void. Gojo traps Jogo in an environment that overwhelms his sense with too much information, paralyzing him. Gojo decapitates Jogo and ends the Domain.

As Gojo interrogates Jogo, Hanami and Geto watch from afar. Geto leaves not wanting to be seen. He leaves Hanami to rescue Jogo. The latter refuses to tell Gojo anything. Hanami sends a spear-like plant into the ground creating beautiful flowers on the ground. The flowers appear to make Yuji and Gojo passive. Distracted, Hanami escapes with Jogo’s head. Gojo doesn’t pursue. He tells Yuji that he wants him and the other to become powerful enough to defeat Jogo. Geto heads to the Cursed Spirits hideout. We are introduced to Mahito a zombie looking spirit with two different eyes. Hanami and Jogo arrive. After fighting Gojo, Jogo agrees to Geto’s plan. Seal Gojo on October 31st in Shibuya. 

Gojo must be sealed

The outcome of the fight was never in doubt. However, witnessing Gojo’s power gave us two things. First, a greater understanding of his power and why he’s considered so strong, and secondly, a better understanding of the fight mechanics of Jujutsu Kaisen. Speaking of which, the concept of Domains is interesting. The fact that all attacks are “guaranteed” to hit was particularly surprising. The series will likely undermine that aspect but I hope we get to see how it would work at least once. Now that we’ve seen Gojo’s power, we know that the only way to defeat him is by sealing him. I’m curious if Gojo will train Nobara and Megumi. I can’t imagine that they would get the same level of training from second-year students. Regardless, I’m excited about the Goodwill Event. 

Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 4: Recap and Review

The Finger Bearer appears in episode 4 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
The Finger Bearer appears

In episode 4 of Jujutsu Kaisen, the first years, Yuji Itadori, Megumi Fushiguro, and Nobara Kugisaki investigate the appearance of a “womb.” Kiyotaka Ijichi, the assistant director at Jujutsu High, informs Yuji that they believe that the womb could transform into a special-grade cursed spirit. He also explains that a “window” is a “member of Jujutsu Tech who can see curses.” They’re not sorcerers. Ijichi explains the various “grade” of weapons and the effectiveness of each. Grade 4 means “a wooden bat is enough,” Grade 3 means a handgun is sufficient, followed by Grade 2, which means a “close call with a shotgun.” Grade 1 means, “even a tank may be insufficient,” and finally, Special Grade means “even footing with a carpet bombing of cluster bombs,” might not get it done. 

You’ll often take on missions beyond your power

The trio learns that they must investigate but not fight. Ijichi tells them that their only options are to “run or die.” The goal is to verify and rescue the survivors. Suddenly, the mother of one of the survivors, Tadashi. Ijichi tells her that there’s poison in the surrounding area, and she collapses. Yuji is eager to rescue all the survivors. As the trio enter the detention center, Ijichi creates a barrier to conceal them from the neighborhood. Once inside, the trio is stunned to see that the two-story dorm had changed. The door disappears. They enter another room with the corpses of three prisoners, one being Tadashi. Yuji and Megumi get into an argument over what to do. 

Megumi refuses to risk his life on prisoners like Tadashi. He killed a little girl while driving without a license. Suddenly, Nobara yells at them to stop. She falls through a curse on the floor. Megumi’s dog is decapitated, and the special-grade curse appears, Finger Bearer. Yuji and Megumi are so afraid that they struggle to move. Remembering his promise to his grandfather, Yuji strikes with the cursed tool, Slaughter Demon, he was given in the last episode. It’s no use. His hand with the tool is severed. Meanwhile, Nobara is trapped in a different realm with several curses. Yuji attempts to negotiate with Sukuna, however, the curse tells him that he will kill Megumi and Nobara if they switch. Yuji decides to distract the curse while Megumi escapes with Nobara. He’ll switch to Sukuna when they’re safe. 

It hurts, it hurts, it hurts!

Nobara kills some curses but is running out of nails. Elsewhere, the curse dominates Yuji. Using curse energy Yuji is knocked through a wall, then while attempting to block another attack his fingers start to burn off. Meanwhile, Megumi saves Nobara from being eaten. Yuji being to accept how “weak” he is. He hoped for a “proper death,” but realizes this isn’t possible. Accepting all the negative feelings Yuji generates curse energy but it’s still not enough. Regardless, Yuji hears the howl from Megumi’s remaining Shikigami. Hearing the signal, he gives Sukuna control. Sukuna is annoyed with Yuji and contemplates a way to get back at him while ignoring the Finger Bearer. He decides to join forces with the Finger Bearer to kill Yuji’s friends. However, the Finger Bearer attacks him. Yuji deflects the attack and mocks the curse ripping off its arm. 

What curses really are

Sukuna aims to teach the Finger Bearer what curses really can do. He shows the curse a “real jujutsu,” Domain Expansion. He cuts the curse into several pieces and it burns in a purple flame. He then takes back another one of his fingers. However, when he assumes Yuji will take back over, Yuji doesn’t. Episode 4 of Jujutsu Kaisen ends with Sukuna smiling, suggesting that maybe Yuji’s control is limited. Jujutsu Kaisen is still in the beginning stages of building the world, so we have only just started learning the universe works. The grading system seems simple but pointless, especially if my hunch is correct and the trio will only fight special-grade curses. It’s obvious that Yuji is going to get stronger but I wonder if Megumi and Nobara will as well. All three are lacking in power, even together. Overall, Jujutsu Kaisen episode 4, was entertaining and action-packed. 

Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 3: Recap and Review

Episode 3 – Girl of Steel

I’m the one woman in your group

Jujutsu Kaisen, episode 3, Girl of Steel, introduces us to the third first-year, Nobara Kugisaki. She’s a brash, confident woman that’s occasionally silly. Nobara doesn’t take to Megumi or Yuji right away. Gojo takes the trio to an abandoned building to “test” Kugisaki’s ability. She and Yuji enter the build and split up. Alone Yuji is attacked by a curse and kills it with the cursed tool, Slaughter Demon. Gojo notes that Yuji is capable of fighting curses without fear. Jujutsu sorcerers often quit due to fear and disgust that curses cause them. Like Yuji, Nobara doesn’t appear to fear them. She casually tells the curse possessing the mannequin to “come out.” 

The Girl of Steel

She exorcises it with her hammer and nails curse tools. Nobara notices a boy hiding behind several boxes. Suddenly, a curse appears and captures the boy using him as a hostage. Curses can be intelligent or as Gojo puts it “cunning.” This curse was too low level to be a physical threat, so it had to rely on threats to innocence. Jujutsu Kaisen is setting our expectations for future curses. If the weak curses have intelligence then so could the strong ones. It’s unlikely that they will get off as easily in future battles. Regardless, Yuji punches through the wall behind the curses. He cuts its arm off and rescues the little boy. Losing its leverage, the curse flees. However, Nobara uses a straw doll and her cursed tools to pierce the arm of the curse. The curse’s heart is then pierced by large nails. 

Nobara’s backstory didn’t impact me but it was centered not on her childhood, but on her relationship with her neighbor Saori. I wonder if Saori will return in this series. If she does I don’t think it will end well for her. The relationship between Yuji and Nobara is typical for an anime with the bickering sibling dynamic. Jujutsu Kaisen episode 3 ends on an ominous note, several non-jujutsu sorcerers witness a “curse womb” and three first-years are sent to investigate. One dies. We are lead to believe three students are our trio but I think they might be different first years. 

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 2: Recap and Review