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Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 157 and 158: Hakari joins and new players are revealed

In Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 157, Megumi Fushiguro manages to subdue Kirara. He quickly release Kirara and bows. Megumi begs to be heard. Suddenly, Yuji Itadori is knocked outside. Yuji tells Panda and Megumi to not “interfere.” Kinji Hakari begs wailing on Yuji who’s decided that it’s best to take the hits, so Hakari will accept him. Hakari agrees to “listen to his spiel,” as long as Yuji can remain standing. Yuji compares Hakari’s punches to being “hit with a serrated bat.” Jujutsu Kaisen has established Gojo as the standard. However, Gojo himself has suggested that Hakari, Yuta, Megumi, and Yuji have potential to surpass him. Hakari was never going to use the power Gojo suggested but like Yuta we get a small glimpse of it through Yuji’s eyes.

Hakari accuses Yuji of being a tool for Jujutsu High. Yuji agrees. He says that he’s a “cog.” He sees himself as a tool to eradicate curses. Hakari unsurprisingly isn’t impressed. He calls Yuji “boring” and knocks him into the wall. Hakari tells Panda and Megumi to leave, but Yuji has other ideas. Despite being hit three times unguarded, Yuji gets up. Impressed, Hakari agrees to “cut a deal.” In Chapter 158, Hakari is shocked to hear of Gojo’s sealing. Panda casually mentions the death of the Principal. Hakari agrees to help with the culling game. In exchange he wants Jujutsu Regulations changed. Megumi tells him he’s the head of the Zenin clan, even though we know (they don’t) that he and Maki are the only ones left.

Two new players are introduced

It’s likely Maki and Megumi will have to prove the Zenin clan still matters, but I doubt either will want to. Regardless, Hakari and Kirara are on board. Suddenly, a Kogane appears announcing the new rule added by Hajime Kashimo. A Kogane is a “liaison between players and the game,” and is assigned to specific players. This one is assigned to Yuji, which Megumi notes is strange. Yuji shouldn’t be counted as a player yet. Since Kenjaku (pseudo Geto) claimed he “had” Yuji ingest cursed objects (Sukuna’s finger) Yuji is automatically included in the game. Megumi still thinks it’s strange considering Yuji “ingested Sukuna’s finger of his own free will.”

I immediately thought of Aizen’s manipulation of Ichigo in Bleach, which always struck me as implausible. Is Kenjaku capable of that kind of planning? Hajime Kashimo adds a new rule granting players access to a players name, points, rules they add, and current location. They had scored 200 points prior to adding the new rule. Hajime is at least 400 years old considering they suggested Jujutsu Sorcerer’s were “tougher 400 years ago.” Kenjaku has implied that sorcerers were stronger in the past as well. Megumi asks for a list of player with 100 points or more. There’s only one other than Hajime, Hiromi Higuruma, Megumi hopes he can force them to create a rule to free his sister. If they add a rule allowing players to spend points to get out of the game with the condition that a substitute player be brought in.

If Megumi can use himself as the substitute it might work. However, trying to control Hajime or Hiromi seems unlikely. To amass that many points mean they’ve killed a lot of people. I doubt they will have much compassion for Megumi. Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 158 sets up the culling game well and I’m excited for the upcoming chapters.

Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 155: Yuri Itadori is exposed by Hakari

In the last chapter of Jujutsu Kaisen, Kirara spotted Panda and Fushiguro outside of Kinji Hakari’s location, resulting in a battle. Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 155, “Fever” begin with Hakari explaining how much he loves “fever.” It’s what “people get high on,” when they make mistakes. Without people cannot fall in love. The most direct way to deal with fever is to gamble. Hakari believes that life itself is a gamble and everyone does it. He hope to gain “control over Japan,” by controlling the fever through the fight club. With the reveal to the public that cursed spirits are real and the pressure on Jujutsu Headquarters, Hakari plans to take advantage of the chaos.

He expects the Jujutsu regulations to change and wants to force them to acknowledge the fight club. Suddenly his phone rings. He ignores it and offers Itadori a drink. Yuji refuses alcohol as he’s underage. When Hakari asks if he knows Gojo can’t “drink either,” Yuji ruins the plan by pretending he has no idea who Gojo is. Hakari asks him if he’s a Jujutsu High spy and attacks with his Cursed Technique. He creates two doors, attempting to catch Yuji in-between them. Yuji dodges, trying to explain himself. However, Hakari manages to crush Yuji neck in two more doors. He explains that when he gets a call from Kirara it means “somethings up.” Yuji head buts him and demands Hakari listen.

We need to convince Kirara

Elsewhere, Megumi and Panda try to convince Kirara they mean no harm. Megumi explains they need Hakari’s cooperation with dealing with the recent Jujutsu terror attacks. Panda explains why they came into conflict with the higher ups in the first place. Panda says that the more “conservative” faction of Jujutsu High prefer more conventional Jujutsu like Nobara Kugisaki’s Straw Doll Technique over the modern techniques that feature technology like cursed video tapes. Megumi reveals that Gojo was sealed and that’s why they need them. Kirara doesn’t appear to believe them but Megumi thinks they must convince Kirara if they’ll have any chance to meet Hakari.

Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 155 reminds us of something Gojo always stated, the Jujutsu High leaders are too conservative. What specifically made them conservative was never explained until now. I wonder what actually is consider modern cursed techniques. For example the Zenin Families inherited technique, projection sorcery, appears to turn opponents into flat screen tv’s. For specifically the technique “divides one second into twenty-four frames of animation using the user’s field of view as the projection angle of view.” Furthermore, how does cursed tools fit in. Yoshinobu Gakuganji use of an electric guitar could be too modern. I don’t expect this conflict to get too violent and believe Yuji will convince Hakari to join them. I’m really excited to see Kirara and Hakari’s techniques.

Manga

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8: Satoru Gojo and Suguru Geto escort the Star Plasma Vessel

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8, begin with Gojo’s Past Arc takes us back a decade to follow Satoru Gojo during his years as a second-year student. He’s given a mission along with Suguru Geto to escort the next vessel for Master Tengen.

Jujutsu Sorcerers protect the weak

In Hamamatsu City, Mei Mei and Utahime Lori investigate a cursed mansion. However, they get caught in the curses barrier. They deduce that it “overlaps space,” causing them to walk along a never ending hallway. None of the marker they placed remain and the walls are “squishy,” making them unbreakable. They plan on “splitting up and move unpredictably,” to break the curse. However, the mansion is torn apart by Satoru Gojo’s Cursed Technique Lapse: Blue. Gojo teases Utahime, asking if she’s “crying.” Suddenly, a giant curse appears behind her. A second later a n even large curse begins to swallow that curse. Suguru Geto appears and orders his curse “not to swallow it.” He tells Gojo, it’s “not nice to pick on the weak.” Gojo asks “who the heck would pick on someone strong?”

Gojo and Geto are both arrogant, but Geto doesn’t believe he is, whereas Gojo doesn’t care. Among all the excitement, they forget to erect a curtain. Without it the events at the mansion make the news. Masamichi Yaga questions the three students, Gojo, Geto, and Shoko Leiri. The latter two point to Gojo as the one responsible. Gojo believes curtains are pointless, especially considering that “regular people,” can’t even see cursed spirits or jujutsu. Geto argues that curtains “are important for citizen’s peace of mind.” We continue to see the gap between the two’s view on the “weak.” Gojo thinks it’s too troublesome to “look out” for the weak and Geto believes “society should protect the weak and keep the strong in check.” He believes jujutsu sorcerers exist to protect non-jujutsu users.

The two organizations that are trying to kill Riko
The two organizations that are trying to kill Riko

Master Tengen’s significance

Master Tengen is a character that was vaguely mentioned previously. He possesses the cursed technique of immortality, which fails to keep him from aging. Once he reaches a certain age, he forced to evolve. If he does he “will no longer be human and will ascend to a higher state.” Master Tengen is responsible for strengthening the barriers that protect both Jujutsu Schools, the Pillars of the Jujutsu world, and the assistant managers barrier techniques. Without him Jujutsu sorcerers would have a harder time completing missions. Furthermore, he could “become an enemy to humanity,” if he doesn’t merge with the “star plasma vessel and rewrite the bodies genetic information.”

So becoming MetalGreymon is fine, but it’d be a problem if he became SkullGreymon . . . so we reset back to Koromon, right?

Satoru Gojo

According to Yaga, the location of the vessel has been leaked a two groups are now targeting her. The first group, Q is an organization of curse users who aim to overturn the modern jujutsu world. If they can kill the vessel then Master Tengen would “lose all reason.” The second group, the Time Vessel Association, worships Master Tengen as a God. They believe if Tengen merges with the vessel he’ll become impure. Gojo and Geto have to escort the girl, protecting her for two days. As Geto and Gojo head to her location, she’s thrown out a window by the Q soldier, Kokun. Geto rescues her with a flying curse, meanwhile, Gojo briefly battles Q soldier, Bayer. Elsewhere, the representative of the Time Vessel Association meets with a former member of the Zenin clan, Toji Fushiguro.

Toji Fushiguro accepts the offer to kill Riko
Toji Fushiguro accepts the offer to kill Riko

Fushiguro places a bounty on Riko

After easily defeating the Q soldiers, Geto and Gojo meet Riko Amanai and her caretaker Misato Kuroi. The tendency of Gojo and Geto to rudely insult someone in their presences is humorous. Riko is an orphan. While she claims to have no issue merging with Master Tengen, Geto seems unsure she’s sincerer. Toji Fushiguro puts a 30 million yen bounty on Riko. His intention is to use the bounty hunters to “wear Gojo down.” Two Curse Users, an old man and a man with a bag on his head look to claim the bounty. Suguru heads to confront the intruders, while, Satoru and Kuroi go to find Riko.

Geto encounters the old man first. The two size each other up. The old man correctly deduces that Geto uses curse manipulation. The old man is too confident and assumes Geto is afraid of close combat. When Suguru attacks a giant worm curse, the old man falls for his trap. He avoids the curse by exiting through a window and re-enters a window next to Geto. Suddenly, the old man receives a flashback of his dog Tasuke, as Geto beats the hell out of him. Elsewhere, Gojo finds Riko in her music class. With the target in custody, Gojo flees with her. However, the Bag head curse user surrounds them with clones.

Gojo takes on the Bag Head Curse user
Gojo takes on the Bag Head Curse user

The Limits of Limitless

The curse techniques of Jujutsu Kaisen can be difficult to comprehend. Gege Akutami seems to be inspired by complicated concepts. Gojo mentions that his curse technique, the infinity, is from “Achilles and the tortoise,” or the Zeno’s Achilles paradox. In the paradox, Greek philosopher, Zeno explains how it’s possible for a tortoise to defeat Achilles in a race:

First, the tortoise is given a slight head start. Anyone fancying a flutter would still rush to put their money on Achilles, but Zeno pointed out that to overtake him, Achilles would first have to cover the distance to the point where the tortoise began.

In that time, the tortoise would have moved, so Achilles would have to cover that distance giving the tortoise time to amble forwards a bit more.

Logically, this would carry on forever. However small the gap between them, the tortoise would still be able to move forward while Achilles was catching up. Meaning that Achilles could never overtake.” – britannica.com

I still can’t comprehend the paradox completely. Regardless, Satoru Gojo’s limitless technique allows him to slow things down, permitting “impossible situations” to manifest. Of course if they’re impossible then they can’t manifest at all right? Anyway, Gojo can create a magnetic effect. This process requires Gojo to use a lot of curse energy, which cause fatigue. At this point in Gojo’s life he’s still learning to master his curse techniques. He attempts to use his Cursed Technique Reversal of the Limitless: Red, but it fails. He ends up knocking the Bag Head Curse User out with a punch. Suddenly, Riko gets a text. The enemies have captured Kuroi.

Toji ambushes Gojo
Toji ambushes Gojo

Toji Fushiguro’s ambush

Satoru Gojo, Suguru Geto, and Riko Amanai pursue Kuroi. She’s rescued off page. First Year students, Yu Haibara and Kento Nanami provide backup at the airport. On the beach, Geto notices that Gojo has been using his technique since yesterday. The next day, they return to Tokyo Jujutsu High four hours after the bounty was lifted. Assuming the danger is gone and the mission is complete, Gojo finally releases his curse technique. Suddenly, Toji Fushiguro stabs Gojo through the back, shocking everyone.

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8 expands the Jujutsu World. We learn the significance of Master Tengen and how his curse technique functions. Suguru Geto and Satoru Gojo are two of the most important characters in the series. In the current timeline, Geto is a curse user, however, in this arc he’s still a Jujutsu Sorcerer. We know of his down fall, but we don’t know how it can to be. Gojo and Geto share similar qualities. Their both powerful sorcerer’s, that look down of those that are weaker. However, Geto has more sympathy for them than Gojo. Which adds to the intrigue. How did the more sympathetic sorcerer become the villain?

Check out my review of Black Clover Volume 3.

Lists · Top 5

Top 5 reasons I love Jujutsu Kaisen

5. Jujutsu Kaisen’s Reason’s for Curses Spirits

Once I stopped calling Jujutsu Kaisen’s Cursed Spirits, “demons,” I was curious what made them different. First, demons are generally living beings, whereas, as their name suggests, Cursed Spirits are spiritual beings. They are born from the negative Cursed Energy in humans. Locations that are hotspots for curses tend to be populated by negative emotions like hospitals and schools. What’s more interesting is anything humans fear collectively can manifest a Cursed Spirit, even famous monsters or ghosts. The amount of fear directly corresponds to the curses intellect. Mahito is a cursed spirit that believes that he’s the manifestation of humans’ hatred of each other.” In my review of episode 9, Young Fish and Reverse Punishment,” I wonder if cursed spirits could come from “anything.” I think the answer is yes. So far cursed spirits have manifested from human fears of natural disasters, volcano (Jojo), forests (Hanami), diseases like smallpox, and infestations like “grasshopper plague.”

4. Power Levels (Grades)

Jujutsu Kaisen has a power scaling system that ranks jujutsu sorcerers, cursed spirits, cursed objects, and cursed tools. The ranks range from grades one through four and special grades. It can be confusing at first, as most of us associate larger numbers with higher values. Generally, sorcerers are graded from Grade 4 to Grade 1. The scale for cursed spirits isn’t exact, Grade 2 sorcerers are slightly stronger than Grade 2 curses as their abilities put them closer to Grade 1 curses.

Ranks

If traditional weapons were used against curses and sorcerers measured their effectiveness as a gauge:

  • Grade 4: “A wooden bat is enough.”
  • Grade 3: “If you have a handgun, you can rest easy.”
  • Semi-Grade 2 :
  • Grade 2: “Close calls with a shotgun.”
  • Semi-Grade 1 :
  • Grade 1: “Even a tank might be insufficient.”
  • Special Grade 1 :
  • Special Grade: “Cluster bombs might work”.

Source: Fandom

3. Jujutsu Kaisen’s Cursed Techniques/Innate Techniques

Coming up with a unique power system has to be difficult. At this point what hasn’t been done. It’s not always necessary to invent new techniques, like fire, but you can invent how those abilities manifest. The series power system focuses on limitations. Binding Vows, Heavenly Restriction, and Domain Expansions are some limits placed on techniques. By deliberately placing limitations on one’s self, a jujutsu sorcerer can increase their power. For example, Nanami limits his power during work hours. This puts him at disadvantage for hours, when Nanami has to work “overtime” his cursed energy increases.

2. Satoru Gojo

Satoru Gojo was instantly appealing when he was first introduced in Jujutsu Kaisen. He loves to show off, enjoying fights with cursed spirits. When he fights he shows his enemies no mercy, he’ll happily decapitate them without any apprehension. Gojo is more complex than he initially seemed. He’s playful with his students but disrespectful towards the sorcerer executives to the point of suggesting he was willing to kill them. He’s arrogant, becoming judgmental of those he deems “weak.” He claimed that “throughout the Heavens and earth, he alone is the honored one.” He’s the strongest, everyone knows it, and he’s not afraid to remind people.

1. Deconstruction of shōnen tropes

When deconstructing tropes, a writer will often compare how tropes appear in one work and how they might play out in real life. Or at least apply more realistic consequences for the trope. This series deconstructs many tropes common to shōnen anime and manga. For example, Yuji Itadori is possessed by the evil cursed spirit Sukuna. In many shōnen series, like Yugioh, Bleach, and Naruto the evil entity is befriended, and the host gain power. So far in the series, Sukuna is completely unhelpful and even roots against Yuri.

Shōnen series like My Hero Academia and Naruto have massive casts of characters, Jujutsu Kaisen on the other hand only has small classes. This is due to Jujutsu sorcerers being picky and sorcerers being rare. Deconstruction is not intended as a criticism and according to TV Trope, can be thought of as taking work more seriously on its own terms than even the work itself does, for the purpose of laying barely hidden meanings in the text.” Regardless, Jujutsu Kaisen’s deconstruction of some shōnen tropes is welcomed.

Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 24: Recap and Review

Nobara and Yuji uses Black Flash in episode 24 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Nobara and Yuji uses Black Flash

The first season ends with a perfect episode

Jujutsu Kaisen, episode 24, ends the Death Painting Arc. They executed the last episode of season 1 of Jujutsu Kaisen perfectly. I always fear the marginalization of female characters in Shonen series (trauma from Naruto). Often they fall by the waist side and become cheerleaders and damsels. Nobara was heading in that direction. I’m grateful that they did not regulate her to “sakura” status (I love Sakura, but she’s not a great female character). Anyway, Nobara and Yuji face the Death Painting brothers, Eso and Kechizu. The episode opens with high-speed action. Yuji and Nobara attempt to avoid the “poisonous” blood from Eso’s Rot Technique Maximum: Wing King. Nobara isn’t fast enough to avoid the technique’s so Yuji carries her while sprinting. It impressed both Nobara and Eso.

Most Evil Sorcerer in History

Kechizu ambushes them, spraying Yuji with his acidic blood. Eso explains that their blood is painful but not lethal. He activates his Rot Technique Decay. Floral patterns appear across the face and arm of Yuji and Nobara. In a flashback, we learn the history of the Death Painting Wombs. During the Meiji Era, they ostracized a woman because of her child being born with a mixed of cursed spirit and human blood. Afterward, she found herself the victim of the “most evil sorcerer in history,” Noritoshi Kamo. He impregnates her nine times and aborts each pregnancy, creating the Death Wombs. Jujutsu Kaisen doesn’t state that there are nine wombs, but it seems like it would make sense. Death Wombs 1-3, Eso, Kechizu, and the introduced Choso side with Mahito.

Choso argues the world Mahito wishes to create is more favorable to them. The three brothers agreed to live for each other. The creation of the wombs is tragic but their relationship with each other is touching. Being trapped for 150 years with only each other has left them alone. With very little time, Jujutsu Kaisen made men like Eso and Kechizu. In the present, Nobara admits the curses are strong but a “matchup” for her. She activates her Straw Doll Technique: Resonance and stabs herself, injuring both Eso and Kechizu. By “linking” them with their Decay ability, Nobara can harm both brothers. Despite this, Eso is certain that they’ll win.

As Sukuna’s vessel, Yuji is afforded several perks. One is that he’s immune to poisons. This permits him to continue moving while under the curses technique and he dominates Kechizu. Yuji and Nobara switch places. Eso attempts to reach his brother before he’s killed. However, Nobara kills Kechizu with Straw Doll Technique: Hairpin. Witnessing his brother die cause Eso to cry. Nobara notices that Kechizu’s corpse didn’t disappear, meaning it’s not just a curse spirit but flesh and blood. When a truck comes barreling out of the tunnel, Eso hops on and takes the passenger hostage. Yuji pursues him, while Nobara uses her Resonance technique, piercing Eso through the chest. As he falls off the truck, Yuji apologizes before killing him with a Divergent Fist through the chest.

What does it mean to take a life

After killing Eso and Kechizu, Nobara and Yuji discuss what’s it like to kill someone. We understand Yuji hates killing any living, even if it’s no longer human. Nobara on the other doesn’t care. She’s self aware enough to know how she sounds, but I like her attitude. However, neither are wrong. Yuji knows why the brothers had to die, but still regrets having to kill them. I would expect they will test both of their morals in the future. Megumi wakes up, and it relieves Yuji and Nobara.

Still, they have to do something with Sukuna’s finger. Megumi gives it to Yuji mainly because he has the most strength, but not so he can eat it. Suddenly, Sukuna manifests a mouth in Yuji’s hand and swallows the finger. It’s one of the subtle comedic moments in this episode. Yuji notes that not only didn’t Sukuna help them, he hasn’t even lead them to fingers like Gojo thought. It’s odd that Sukuna doesn’t appear preoccupied with getting his limbs back.

Later, Megumi tells Nobara that Sukuna’s “incarnation triggered the Yasohachi Bridge curse,” and she should tell Yuji. Elsewhere, Sukuna taunts Yuji for “killing all those people,” Yuji warns Sukuna “not to tell Megumi.” He remembers Megumi asking him “what are you going to do when someone you saved kills someone else?” Yuji saved Megumi by eating Sukuna’s finger and triggered the activation of the bridge curse. From Megumi’s perspective, he’s the person who Yuji saved that caused innocent people to die. He doesn’t want Yuji to feel guilty, and Yuji doesn’t want Megumi to either. Finally, after killing a special grade each, Nobara, Megumi, and Yuji, along with Panda and Maki, are recommended by Aoi Todo and Mei Mei for Grade 1 status. Jujutsu Kaisen’s first season ends with an action pact, emotionally touching, and occasionally funny episode. It’s the perfect ending for an amazing first season.