Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 14: Recap and Review

Episode 14, “Kyoto Sister School Goodwill Event”

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

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

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

What is Megumi capable of

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

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

Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 13: Recap and Review

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

Episode 13 – “Tomorrow”

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

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

The limits of Domain Expansion

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

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


Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 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.

Anime

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?