Top Ten Anime, Manga, and Movies of 2020

Jujutsu Kaisen

I’ve heard about Jujutsu Kaisen, but I thought it was just another demon manga/anime series. Considering my history with anime (Yu Yu Hakusho and Demon Slayer), I should have known not to prejudge based on tropes. Regardless, I Iove this series. It’s still in the middle but I like the world building, characters, and animation so far.

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 1: Recap and Review


Tower of God

Manhwa (Korean comics) has become an important source for anime adaptation. Tower of God was my first exposure to the series by Lee Jong-hui. The story centers on Twenty-Fifth Bam. Trapped with his friend Rachel underneath the mysterious Tower, he follows her into the Tower. Bam encounters challenges on each floor of the Tower as he searches for Rachel. The first season is phenomenal, ending in a shocking cliffhanger.

Is Tower of God Good?


Deca-Dence

Deca-Dence is a series set in the distant future, insect-like creatures called Gadoll have forced humanity towards extinction. I had no expectation for this series, so it was a surprise when Deca-Dence turned out to be far more sophisticated. The series was full of twists and turns, while making a critique of capitalism. Its themes are topically for 2020, and it was one of the most original anime of the year.

Deca-Dence Episode 1: Recap and Review


Pokemon: Twilight Wings

One of the biggest surprises of this year was Pokemon: Twilight Wings. A seven episode limited animated series, set in the Galar Region, the short anime series follows the citizens of Galar. Despite the short length of the series and each episode, Pokemon: Twilight Wings was impactful. All seven focused on side characters expanding the Pokemon universe through the eyes of Galar citizens. Pokemon: Twilight Wings was an emotional series with great animation.

Pokemon: Twilight Wings, a short anime series based on Sword and Shield games


The God of High School

I was excited about The God of High School from the moment they announced it. I wasn’t disappointed. Like Tower of God, it based on the series created by Yongje Park. While the series doesn’t reinvent the wheel, there are enough surprises to keep you interested. The God of High School balances humor with high octane action.

‘The God of High School,’: An instant hit


Burn the Witch (Manga/Movie)

The most expected manga for me was Tite Kubo’s Burn the Witch. The series also released a movie of the same name. Both cover the same material, but I preferred the anime. We’re introduced to the principal characters, “Noel and Ninny, the world of Reverse London, and it all ends with a battle with an ancient dragon, Cinderella.” With the addition of music, sound effects, and explosions, Burn the Witch is a unique experience when animated.

Burn the Witch Episode 1–3: Recap and Review


Kimetsu no Yaiba : The Movie – Mugen Train

Kimetsu no Yaiba: The Movie–Mugen Train is the first film from the Demon Slayer series. A direct sequel from the anime series, the film retells the Mugen Train arc. Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke join the Flame Hashira, Kyojuro Rengoku in investigating disappearances on the Infinity Train. The movie centers on the themes of humanity and accepting death. Once again, Tanjiro emotional intelligence stands out.

Kimetsu no Yaiba: The Movie–Mugen Train Review


Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep

I can’t wait for the Made in Abyss series returns. In the meantime, Abyss has produced three movies. The first two were recap movies, with Dawn of the Deep telling the Ido Front Arc. Made in Abyss continues to flush out the harsh universe, as Nanachi, Reg, and Riko head down towards the center of the Abyss. Like the Demon Slayer movie, using a film to tell an arc is proving to be a wonderful decision.

Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul, Recap and Review


Dorohedoro

Dorohedoro follows Kaiman, a man with a lizard head, as he tries to find the one magic user that cursed him. Kaiman also has amnesia, making his search even more difficult. Dorohedoro is an odd series with a strange world. Each character has unique designs and powers to match. Dorohedoro is a stylised violent series with a intriguing mystery at its center.

Dorohedoro Episode 1 Recap & Review


Haikyuu!! To the Top

I wasn’t into anime sports series until Yuri on Ice. I was so impressed with the series I wanted to give another popular sports anime a chance. Haikyuu!! To the Top is the fourth season of the volleyball anime. It separates Hinata and rival Kageyama as they develop apart. Hinata learns more about volleyball without playing and Kageyama sharpens his skills with Japans best. Once reunited, Hinata, Kageyama and the rest of Karasuno battle in the Spring Tournament.

Haikyuu!! Fourth Season, Episode 1: Recap and Review

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.


Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 11: Recap and Review

Juupei becomes a jujutsu sorcerer in episode 11 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Juupei becomes a jujutsu sorcerer

Episode 11 – “Narrow-Minded”

In the beginning of Jujutsu Kaisen episode 11, Nanami goes “overtime,” Mahito notes that he made a “vow” with himself “to limit himself in order to gain greater power once he goes into overtime.” In Jujutsu Kaisen, vows with oneself imposes some restriction on the user that’s potentially harmful. The vow will grant them an increase in curse energy. When Nanami reveals how his technique works, this increases his power. Nanami destroys a wall with his Ratio Technique: Collapse. While Mahito considers avoiding the wall, his leg is severed by Nanami. He retreats, leaving Mahito to be crushed by the wall. Elsewhere, Yuji and Junpei are talking. Yuji directly asks what happened at the movie theater. Juupei lies and says that he “saw nothing.” They continue to talk while Geto watches from above.

They bond over movies, then Juupei’s mother, Nagi Yoshino, arrives and invites Yuji to dinner. The three have fun, talking and laughing. Yuji become even closer and before he leaves Juupei asks Yuji “what he would do if he’s forced to kill someone.” Yuji responds that he would “try not to because the value of life would become even more unclear.” Juupei believes that humans don’t have hearts, but his mother and Yuji are still good people. He claims that therefore he would never kill. However, his mother is killed after she finds a Sukuna finger on the dinning room table and a curse appears. Devastated, Juupei seeks revenge on his bully.

Juupei’s desperation

Mahito and Geto cast a curtain over the school, hoping to use Juupei to manipulate Yuji. Not only has Mahito been using Juupei from the beginning, he and Geto kill his mother. The students in the auditorium fall asleep. Juupei attacks Shota, questioning him over the Sukuna finger. Now a jujutsu sorcerer, Juupei poisons Shota. However, Yuji interrupts him asking “what is he doing?” Episode 11 of Jujutsu Kaisen is largely setup for the climax of this arc. I thought Juupei would matter after this arc, but he might get killed soon. If Mahito’s primary goal was to get to Sukuna (Yuji) through Juupei, then the latter has served his purpose. Regardless, Juupei is a more sympathetic figure, having become desperate because of his mother’s murder. If Yuji can get Juupei to stop before he kills, maybe there’s hope for him.

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 10: Recap and Review

Episode 10 – “Idle Transfiguration”

In the tenth episode of Jujutsu Kaisen, Yuji and Ijichi investigate Junpei while Mahito and Nanami square off. After a flashback of Junpei being bullied, he explains to Mahito that he believes in “indifference.” Mahito encourages Junpei’s killer instincts. It remains to be seen if Junpei takes the next step to murder his classmates, but Jujutsu Kaisen is making the case for why he might. Mahito explains the concept of a “soul.” I found his explanation of the soul to be confusing. Regardless, he claims that “all emotions are the result of the soul’s metabolism.” Mahito can “reshape,” the soul using the Cursed Technique, Idle Transfiguration

The rules of engagement

Jujutsu Kaisen flip flops between Yuji and Nanami as they engage with Junpei and Mahito respectively. It’s done well but I keep wanting to see more of the fight. Anyway, Yuji and Ijichi follow Junpei with the intent to “attack” him. Ijichi explains the plan, 1) if he’s a normal person who can’t perceive curses, Yuji should save him. 2) If he can perceive it, but has no means to deal with it, then Yuji should also save him. 3) If he exorcises the fly head with jujutsu, Yuji should restrain him by force.

Or 4) if Junpei is a grade 2 sorcerer or higher, they must retreat. In Jujutsu Kaisen, the grade scale from grade four to grade one puts the Sorcerer above the corresponding Cursed Spirit grade. For example, a grade two sorcerer is slightly stronger than a grade two cursed spirit or a grade two sorcerer is closer to the power of a grade 1 curse.

We learn that Nanami is a grade one sorcerer, much to Mahito’s excitement. He claims that reshaping the soul of a strong sorcerer is preferable. Nanami and Mahito engage in an intense battle. Nanami lands the first serious hit, using his Cursed Technique to tear open the arm of Mahito. As his wrist dangles by his skin, Mahito is surprised that his block didn’t work. Mahito almost seems boneless as he waves his arm around. That could be an oversight in animation or something distinct about his body. I just don’t know. Regardless, Nanami isn’t interested in small talk and he wants the fight over by 6:oo pm. Mahito uses his ability to shape the souls of several humans, reforming their bodies to attack Nanami. 

Junpei meets Yuji

Elsewhere, Yuji makes contact with Junpei. However, the plan falls apart when a teacher unexpectedly arrives at Junpei’s home. Yuji distracts the teacher by taking his pants and running away with it. Junpei is mildly amused by Yuji but it seems to provide an opening for Junpei and Yuji to talk. Meanwhile, Mahito shows off so of the other abilities his Cursed Technique provides him. When he fails to transform Nanami, he avoids a strike from him by morphing his legs into horse legs. It’s an unexpected ability and does seem weird at first but it also suggests that Mahito might not have any limits on how he can “shape his soul.” If Nanami gets touched by Mahito two or three more times then he will cease to be human. When Nanami’s watch strikes 6, Nanami undoes his tie and increases his curse energy. He’s preparing to go into “overtime.” 

I admit that I thought Nanami was going to get killed. Now I’m not so sure. He’s handled himself much better than I thought possible. Mahito’s power is interesting. I wonder if there’s a limit to it or what the limit is. Jujutsu Kaisen presents the Cursed Technique as being more sophisticated than initially suggested. I think we’re going to see more techniques from Nanami. I’m also not sure how the Junpei storyline is going to play out. Yuji can be effective even if he’s a bit immature. However, this might undermine the image that Junpei has regarding humanity. Would it be enough? 

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.


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.


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. 

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 6: Recap and Review

Jogo is fired up in episode 6 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Jogo is fired up

Episode 6 – “After the Rain”

Jujutsu Kaisen episode 6, After the Rain, opens inside of Sukuna’s mind. Sukuna offers Yuji a deal he will fix his heart in exchange for the ability to use Yuji’s body for one minute and for Yuji to forget the conversation. Yuji initially rejects the offer. Sukuna offers to refrain from hurting anyone within the minute. Yuji doesn’t trust Sukuna to keep his deal. However, Sukuna explains that a pact made with Jujutsu “cannot be broken or else Sukuna will be punished.” They agree to fight to the death to determine whether the pack is agreed to. Sukuna instantly cuts off the top of Yuji’s head. In the morgue, Gojo tells Ijichi that he hoped to break the “foundations of the Jujutsu community” to do this he needs to raise Sorcerers with more progressive ideals.

He reveals that students like Yuta Okkotsu and Hakari have the potential to surpass him. Suddenly, Yuji wakes up. Gojo excited to see his star pupil high fives him. He later tells Shoko to leave Yuji as deceased in the reports. Gojo will train Yuji in private. Elsewhere, in the diner, Suguru Geto and the Cursed Spirits continue to discuss how to deal with Gojo. Geto tells Jogo that he is unlikely to survive a battle with Gojo. He suggests that they use a special grade cursed object called Prison Realm. This gets Jogo so excited that he begins to heat up. This results in a waiter sensing the danger, quitting, and running out. His boss takes over his table (Jogo’s) and catches on fire. Suddenly, all the other people in the diner catch fire and die. 

I wanted to pull off a Spirit Gun

In every anime, it’s important to set the limits of the power systems. Gojo displays the difference between Cursed Energy and a Cursed Technique by blasting two cans. He compares Cursed Energy to ” electricity and Cursed Techniques to the appliances fueled by it.” However, much to Yuji’s disappointment Gojo tells him that he can’t learn Cursed Techniques. In Jujutsu Kaisen, sorcerers are born with “Innate Techniques” and Yuji won’t be able to gain 80% of Sorcerer skills. Gojo explains that Sorcerers must “train to control their negative emotions so they don’t waste Cursed Energy.” To gain this ability, he has Yuji watch movies. The goal is to have the movies trigger emotional reactions and then have him pour Cursed Energy into one of Principal’s dolls. 

As Gojo is driving to his meeting with the Kyoto Jujutsu High principal he has Ijichi pull over and leave him at the side of the road. Suddenly, he’s attacked by Jojo. The episode ends with Gojo asking him “who he is?” Jujutsu Kaisen episode 6 introduces one of the oddest training methods in anime. I like how the series is willing to use modern elements like movies and acknowledges other anime series. I liked the fact that they named checked the iconic techniques from anime like Yu Yu HakushoDragon Ball, and Bleach. Powers systems can make or break a series and can be difficult to balance them. So far it seems like Jujutsu Kaisen is trying to find a way to balance. If they limit what each character can learn from birth then this may result in a more balanced power system. I fully expect Yuji to be the strongest, but not by much. Regardless, Jujutsu Kaisen episode 6, sets up the opportunity to see how one of the most powerful characters (Gojo) fights. I can’t wait. 


Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 5: Recap and Review

Sukuna in control of Yuji's body in episode 5 of Jujutsu Kaisen
Sukuna in control of Yuji’s body

Episode 5 – “Fearsome Womb, Part 2”

Early in Jujutsu Kaisen episode 5, Sukuna appears behind Megumi, telling him that Yuji won’t be coming back. He says that Yuji “overused his power without a pact.” Without being able to switch back, Sukuna is in control. To prevent Yuji from returning when he recovers, Sukuna rips out his heart. If Yuji returns, he’ll die. This moment was shocking. However, it was a clever decision by Sukuna. I was never under the impression that Yuji wouldn’t come back and “die,” but I’m curious how he returns. Sukuna on the other hand assumes that Yuji is a “coward,” and he won’t risk death. After swallowing the third finger Sukuna and Megumi fight. 

Sukuna verses Megumi

This was always going to be a beat down, but sometimes these fights are entertaining. Megumi releases that Sukuna can use Reverse Cursed Technique. By reversing cursed energy the user heals themselves. Megumi believes that if he could put Sukuna at a disadvantage (because he’s weakened without a heart) he can force Sukuna to use Reverse Curse and heal the heart. Megumi tries valiantly to pressure Sukuna but fails. Sukuna’s able to easily evade his attacks destroys his Orochi shinigami and tosses Megumi around without much effort. Despite how weak Megumi is compared to Sukuna, the latter is impressed. Megumi is prepared to unleash more power when Yuji returns. He dies telling Megumi to “live a long life.” 

It was a setup

In the morgue, Gojo meets with Ijichi. He assumes that the higher-ups set Yuji up to die since they wanted to execute him anyway. He says that maybe he should “kill” them all. At the school, Nobara and Megumi are saddened by Yuji’s death, despite not knowing him that long. They’re introduced to second years, Maki Zenin, Toge Inumaki, and a panda named Panda. The trio are odd, but I get the feeling that most characters in this series will be. They invite Megumi and Nobara to participate in a Goodwill event against another school. Nobara and Megumi are excited to join, as they both want to get stronger. 

Sukuna and Yuji might make a pack

Tournament arcs are a staple in anime, it’s just a question of when they occur. It might seem too early but it will be an excellent opportunity to see the fighting techniques in this series. The introduction of the three curses and an apparent evil sorcerer was interesting. He seems to be familiar with Gojo. So far we are told that Gojo is powerful, but the evil sorcerer confirms that he’s one of two forces (the other being Yuji/Sukuna) preventing the Curses from controlling the Earth. Finally, Yuji isn’t dead or his soul isn’t. Sukuna seems to be in conversation with the remnants of Yuji. I believe that they will create a pack. 


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.