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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.

Top 5

My Top 5 Demon Slaying Anime

Demon slaying is common in pop culture. They come in several varieties. The hunter who kills demons for revenge. The “chosen one,” who is born to kill demons, or the half demon that a target for full fledge demons. Family raises some demon slayers to fight demons. Specifically, demon slayers are common in anime and manga. In the last few years anime that focuses on “demon slaying” have gain prominence. So what are my top 5 demon slaying anime:


Berserk

Berserk is a little extreme for my tastes. A manga series created by Kentaro Miura, Berserk follows Guts as he fights evil spirits and demons from hell. Guts was cursed with the “Brand of Sacrifice.” As a result, ghosts and demons want to eat him. After the betrayal by his former best friend Griffith, Guts seeks venegance. Born from the womb of a hanged woman, he was raised as a child soldier. The series begins in the middle, establishing Guts character and the setting. It then flashes back revealling Guts tragic childhood.

Berserk is frequently disturbing, including child abuse, torture, sexual violence, and gore. It’s not a series for everyone, however, if you can stomach it the series explores themes like revenge, moralitiy, and coping with a cruel world. Berserk is inspired by Kaoru Kurimoto’s Guin Saga, Buronson’s Fist of the North Star, and Go Nagai’s Devilman. I don’t read the manga but I do search on Pinterest for Miura’s phenominal art work. If anything is going to attract you to this series it’s his art. Unfortunately, the anime often has terrible animation, I don’t recommend them.

Inuyasha

If your looking for a lighter series then Inuyasha is a great series. Rumiko Takahashi created the series in the 90s. The manga was serialized from 1996 to 2008 and the anime ran for seven seasons. Kagome Higurashi is a Middle School student that time travels to feudal Japan. While there she encounters youkai, ghosts, orges, and many other creatures. I really loved this series for it’s use of Japanese mythology. Kagome meets Inuyasha a teenage half-youkai.

Kagome is the reincarnation of Kikiyo, the former girlfriend of Inuyasha. She sealed Inuyasha to a sacred tree 50 years ago and it’s Kagome that frees him. Kagome and Inuyasha begin a dramatic relationship that spans time and space, as Kagome goes back and forth between this world and hers. The series follows the monster of the week structure. Kagome and Inuyasha are joined by friends, Shippo, Miroku, and Sango. Together they batlle againist the forces of Naraku, as they search for the shards of the Shikon jewel.

Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen is the latest entry into the demon slayer anime. While technically, Yuji and his friends exorcise “cursed spirits” I consider them basically the same as demons. Written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, Jujutsu Kaisen began its run in 2018. The first season of the anime began in 2020. Yuji is a high school student, when his grandfather is about to die, Yuji promises to: do good so others can die the “right” way. When Yuji meets sorcerer Megumi Fushiguro his life changes.

After releasing a cursed object that attracts cursed spirits, Yuji and Megumi rescue them. During this fight, Yuji swallows the cursed object, a finger of the “King of Curses,” Ryomen Sukuna. In doing so he becomes the new vessel of Sukuna. I’ll begin reading the manga after this seasons over, but I reccomend watching the anime. MAPPA is really starting to master their craft and Jujutsu Kaisen benefits from it.

Demon Slayer

Apparently, American audiences favor Jujutsu Kaisen over last years anime darling Demon Slayer. However, Demon Slayer continued to set records in 2020 outselling the One Piece manga and making history in the box office. I think when the Demon Slayer anime returns it will resume its run at the top. The series tells the tragic story of Tanjiro Kamado. After returning from selling charcoal, Tanjiro finds his family slaughtered and his sister Nezuko turned into a demon.

Desperate to turn his sister back and prevent others from being harmed, Tanjiro and Nezuko enbark on a quest to find a cure. Tanjiro joins the Demon Corps. Armed with a katana, the water breathing techniques, and his selfless motivation, Tanjiro battles demons. He joins forces with the dumb prettyboy Inosuke, the powerful coward Zenitsu, and the always sleeping Nezuko. Can they stop Muzan before he can eliminate the Demon Corps?

Yu Yu Hakusho

Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen maybe new demon slayer series, but Yu Yu Hakusho is a classic. A shonen fighting manga by Yoshihiro Togashi. Yu Yu Hakusho tells the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a cynical, smart mouthed junior high school student. One day Yusuke dies after saving a little boy from being hit by a car. This heroic act is rewarded with an opportunity to return from the dead. Koenma, the son of the King of the Dead, makes him the Spirit Detective. Yusuke hunts demons that threaten Earth. He’s sent to train with Genkai, the crotchety old master spirit user.

Yusuke, his best friend Kazuma Kuwabara, demon fox vessel Kurama, and anti-hero Hiei. Yu Yu Hakusho set the bar for anime animation, and fight choreography. I rewatch the Dark Tournament arc occasionally and still believe that it’s one of the greatest anime arc ever.

Top 10

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

Misc

Top Five Videogames I’m Looking forward to in 2021

1. Far Cry 6

Developer: Ubisoft Toronto

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X

The upcoming sixth game in the Far Cry series, Far Cry 6, is a first-person shooter. Set on the fictional Caribbean island, Yara, you play guerilla fighter Dani Rojas. Players will make weapons, use vehicles, hire Amigos, and use the “Fangs for Hire” system all in service to topple a dictatorship. Anton Castillo (Giancarlo Esposito) is a fascist dictator. His son, Diego (Anthony Gonzalez) struggles with the expectations his father has placed on him. The Far Cry series has sold over 50 millions copies since 2004. Personally, I’ve only played 3 entries, but Far Cry 6 has me excited.


2. Resident Evil Village

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X

The latest entry in the storied survival horror series, Resident Evil Village, is the tenth major instalment in the series. A direct sequel to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Village takes place a few years later. Chris Redfield re-enters the life of Ethan Winters, shooting his wife Mia. Ethan finds himself in a mysterious village searching for answers. I enjoyed Resident Evil 7: Biohazard until the end that felt too much like Call of Duty, abandoning the horror elements that made the game frighting. Hopefully, this next game will continue the horror aspects of the last game.


3. Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

I’m never disappointed with a Zelda game, and Breath of the Wild was no different. A launch game for the Nintendo Switch in 2017, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, received critical acclaim for its gameplay and attention to detail. Many consider the game to be one of the greatest games of all time, selling over 20 million copies, making it the highest selling video gems of all time. Nintendo announced the sequel at 2019’s E3 with Aonuma claiming that the game will “build atop the original’s world with a new story and gameplay elements.” We know little about the game and expectations are high, but Nintendo always meets the high standards.


4. God of War 2: Ragnarok

Developer: SIE Santa Monica Studio

Publisher: Sony

Platform: Playstation 4

The God of War series was first introduced on the Playstation 2 in 2005. An action-adventure game that follows Kratos, a tragic Spartan warrior tricked into killing his family by the God Ares. I was into the first two but didn’t play rest. God of War for the Playstation 4 marked my return to the series, and I wasn’t disappointed. Unlike the previous games in the series, God of War took place in the world of Norse mythology. Everyone praised the game for its art direction, graphics, combat system, characters, and cinematic feeling. The father and son relationship stood out the most to me. Having a personal love of mythology and stylish violence, God of War, is my kind of game. A sequel was never in doubt, especially considering how it ended.


5. Horizon Forbidden West

Developer: Guerrilla Games

Publisher: Sony

Platforms: Playstation 4 & 5

New ip can be hit or miss, so when Horizon Zero dawn was released in 2017, I didn’t know what to expect. The series follows the story of Aloy, a hunter in a post-apocalyptic world, the player hunts robotic creatures with stealth, traps, and arrows. The series was well received, selling over 10 million copies. I’m too impatient for stealth games like Horizon Dawn, but the story and characters kept me interested. Once you get use to the gameplay, the game become captivating. Horizon Forbidden West promises to introduce more robotic creatures and new environments. In the sequel, humanity is facing an unknown threat, and Aloy traverses unfamiliar terrain in search of answers.

Top 5

Top 5 Drama-Preserving Handicap in Anime

Shonen anime generally fall into the same trap. How do our heroes going to defeat the all-powerful villain? The trope general requires a hero of modest beginnings and his friends to travel the world trying to either stop a villain from gaining more power or getting released. In order to keep the series interesting, the villain is giving some kind of handicap to give the opposition a chance. This also happens to heroes sometimes, otherwise, the series would be boring if the hero won with one punch (LOL). 

In Soul Eater everyone has a handicap

All the characters in Soul Eater have some handicap that prevents them from being as strong as they possibly can. Black Star has a tendency to show off, preventing him from being an effective assassin. Death the Kid has a weird symmetry fetish, Stein goes insane, and Shinigami cannot move from the spot he’s standing on. 

Sesshomaru’s One Hit Kill

In Inuyasha, Sesshoumaru acquires a sword that can kill almost anything with one hit. This proves to be a problem for Naraku forcing him to kidnap Rin to prevent his destruction. The show ends if Sesshomaru gets his way right. Besides, Inuyasha is the star of the show and must defeat Naraku. 

Orihime’s personality

In Bleach, Orihime possesses the power to “reject physical events in a manner characters in-universe have speculated to be akin to time-space manipulation or completely rejecting the reality of the event having ever happened.” Her only limit is her personality. If she believes that something is impossible, it doesn’t occur to her, or she doesn’t believe she can do something, she can’t. If Orihime didn’t have this limit she would be unstoppable. 

Itachi would have won if he wanted to 

After years of anticipation fans finally got the battle between brothers, Sasuke and Itachi. This fight was epic. The two battled in an intense standoff that sees Itachi gain the final upper hand when he uses his Susanoo. Suddenly, he touches Sasuke’s head just like he did in their childhood and dies. Itachi had been suffering from a terminal disease. However, he wanted Sasuke to win anyway. Tobi notes this, saying that if Itachi wanted to win, Sasuke would be dead. 

Gohan’s broken arm

This is probably the most famous example of a drama saving handicap. After Gohan finally reaches SSJ 2, he dominates Cell. Nothing the villain could do harms the young Saiyan. Goku begs his son to end Cell, but the arrogance overcomes Gohan. After playing around with Cell, the embarrassed villain decides to blow up Earth. Goku sacrifices himself, dying to protect his home. Gohan finally realizes his error. However, due to his Saiyan cells, Cell returns stronger than ever. He kills Trunks and attempts to do the same to Vegeta. However, Gohan diving save keeps him alive. His arm is no longer any use. This results in the far more dramatic and entertaining Kamehame Ha clash, that Gohan wins with the help of his friends. Gohan wouldn’t have need aid if he wasn’t injured.

Source: TV Tropes