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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.

Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 21: Recap and Review

Completion (Kansui)

After the epic action from the last few episodes, we should expect Jujutsu Kaisen to take a break from the intensity. Jujutsu Kaisen episode 21 concludes the Kyoto Goodwill Evert. Haruta Shigemo regrets his failure. He notes Hanami was “working too hard.” The special grade curse spirit collapses with a massive hole in its body. Hanami doesn’t seem like it can heal the wounds from Gojo’s attack. Shigemo attempts to “kill” Hanami but is stopped by Mahito. They discussed what they achieved. Mahito could “steal two sets of special grade cursed objects that were sealed away,” Sukuna’s fingers and the Death Painting Wombs No. 1-3. I love this series, but Jujutsu High keeping all six of Sukuna’s fingers in one place is ridiculous. Sure, placing Mahito’s cursed energy on one finger made it easier, but still.

Go, Baseball

What was interesting was Suguru deducting that Sukuna cared about one student (Megumi)? He doesn’t know which student but suggests to Hanami that killing students could undermine the mission with Sukuna. Regardless, their mission to seal Gojo is still on for October 31st. In the present, Ijichi lists the casualties and confirms what they took. We’re introduced to a character Tengen who doesn’t seem to matter other than his barriers. According to Suguru, Tengen doesn’t interact with the outside world and compares him to a “tree.” It’s an odd choice for the Jujutsu Kaisen series to make. I wonder why Gege made him so neutral. Maybe he won’t remain so obscure.

Anyway, Baseball. Gojo manipulates the Goodwill event, so the students play a game of baseball instead of one-on-one battles. Understandably, Jujutsu Kaisen would not have more battles, there can be overkill with fighting. I didn’t find the baseball all that interesting but was dismayed that everyone hates Todo. He’s irritating but has become one of my favorite characters. I couldn’t help feeling sorry for him when Maki beamed him in the face with a baseball. Meanwhile, Yaga and Gakuganji discuss how to deal with Yuji. Gakuganji admits he doesn’t hate Yuji, but his existence is against the rules. They’re not sure how Yuji and Sukuna will turn out, but Yaga expects that the sorcerers will experience regret. The Goodwill Event ends with Tokyo High as the victors.

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 17: Recap and Review

Maki declares her intent to return to lead the Zenin Clan in episode 17 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Maki declares her intent to return to lead the Zenin Clan

Episode 17 – “Kyoto Sister School Goodwill Event – Team Battle, Part 3”

Jujutsu Kaisen continues to get better. Episode 17 is by far the best. Jujutsu Kaisen episode 17 balances the complex and emotional relationship between Mai and Maki while giving us wall to wall action with the highest animation quality. The episode opens with Kasumi recalling how Mai belittled the abilities of her sister. She claims Maki “was weak and forever a grade 4 sorcerer.” This false impression backfires on Kasumi. Faced with the actual Maki, she knows Mai was wrong. Maki overpowers her, forcing Kasumi into a defensive position. She tries to use her Simple Domain ability. However, Maki counters the stance by snapping her spear in half and throwing the non-cursed half. She also throws a kunai, forcing Kasumi to move, deactivating the Simple Domain. Maki disarms Kasumi, taking her sword for herself.

Where introduced to a new character, Mei Mei. A pretty sorcerer with pale blue hair in a long braid covering one eye, Mei Mei can see through the eyes of crows. She remarks on the ability of Maki and tells Satoru to promote her. He agrees he should, but the Zenin Family interferes.

Image of Mei Mei. She is introduced for the first time in Jujutsu Kaisen episode 17.
Mei Mei is introduced

I’m Nobara Kugisaki

Elsewhere, Nobara is chasing Momo through the woods. Momo uses a cursed energy wind that keeps Nobara at a distance. Momo explains that “female sorcerers have it harder.” She specifically acknowledges that Mai is under tremendous pressure from the Zenin Family. She explains that she’s considered a “failure” by her family’s standards. Nobara doesn’t care. From her perspective, having a hard life isn’t an excuse for destructive behavior. She notes she hates Mai but loves Maki, both of whom had the same upbringing. Nobara rejects Momo’s sexist ideology, unwilling to limit herself to the gender standards of society.

Nobara attacks Momo with Straw Doll Technique: Hairpin which results in the nails exploding with cursed energy. These explosions cause the trees to fall, allowing Nobara to grab a bristle from Momo’s broom. Using her Straw Doll Technique: Resonance, Nobara dispels the control Momo has over her broom. She crashes to the ground. Nobara approaches Momo and strikes her with a squeaky hammer to avoid killing her. Before she can “finish” Momo, Mai shoots her in the temple with a cursed infused rubber bullet.

Maki dominates Kasumi in combat in episode 17 of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Maki dominates Kasumi in combat

Why wouldn’t you stay at the bottom with me?

Like most characters in Jujutsu Kaisen, Mai is more complicated than first assumed. We believed Maki was unfortunate because she couldn’t see curses naturally. Jujutsu Kaisen asks us to consider how it might be a blessing. As a child, Mai was burdened with the ability to see cursed spirits. She was afraid of them. Maki’s inability to see them became a kind of privilege. Maki didn’t fear the cursed spirit, freeing her to pursue her dreams. Mai hated her for it. As Maki moved forward, she left her sister behind. This is at the core of Mai’s bitterness.

During her fight with her sister, she uses her technique, construction. In Jujutsu Kaisen, one can use their cursed energy to “create matter from nothing.” Mai uses this to create a bullet. The matter produced in this way doesn’t disappear after the technique ends. The technique seems to cost Mai as she bleeds from her nose. Regardless, Maki catches the bullet. Mai believes Maki was born with a “Heavenly Restriction” that gave her physical power for a lack of cursed energy. Mai attacks Maki with her revolver but is bested by her sister once again. She hates her sister’s ambition, forcing her to follow. Maki has a talent that Mai lacks, and their clan won’t even acknowledge it (Maki’s talent). Where does this place Mai?