Jujutsu Kaisen 0 review: Beautifully heartfelt chaos

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 review: Beautifully heartfelt chaos

As if it wasn’t made obvious enough by last year’s successful release of Demon Slayer: Mugen TrainFrom being a niche form that was hard to find in the west, anime has come far from being obscure. What that and this year’s Jujutsu Kaisen 0 This is a testament to how far the genre has advanced in climbing its way up the global box office charts. Anime movies were even harder for fans to get their hands on years ago — subbed or dubbed — and animation studio MAPPA’s latest endeavor opened in second at the U.S. box office, only behind superhero and DC Comics IP titan The Batman.

It’s a commendable achievement and a great sign for the future of anime movies and the genre as a whole, and the quality behind Jujutsu Kaisen 0 — from the animation production value, pulse-pounding action, and heartfelt cast of characters — earns that notch on its belt. This series is newer and admittedly doesn’t have the same transcending cultural impact as other Shonen anime franchises like Dragon BallOne PieceNarutoYou can also call it: BleachHowever, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 proves that its respective acclaim wasn’t a fluke and even takes the good elements of the latter two IPs and trims the fat that held them back in their later days.

Beautifully chaotic action

Even without the unabashed bombast of Toei Animation’s 2018 hit Dragon Ball Super Broly or Ufotable’s flashy elegance in the aforementioned Demon Slayer: Mugen TrainMAPPA is a nonprofit that takes already stellar work and makes it even better. Jujutsu Kaisen This prequel is a TV anime. Due to the movie’s premise, it will be dominated by the Curse Energy, which they manipulate in the universe, and select clans made up of elite, modern-day wizards.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 still of Yuta imbuing his katana with Rika's Cursed Energy.

MAPPA delivers on this front and more, which is no surprise considering their previous work with the likes Attack on TitanThe overlooked Dorohedoro. The lighting is perfect from every angle and the action sequences are vivid due to their brilliant use of color. This modern dark fantasy world is filled with this amazing chaos that feels real and flows seamlessly. MAPPA’s art style on Jujutsu Kaisen 0 continues to be a tasteful adaptation of manga writer Gege Akutami’s artwork. The latter’s style is an enticing blend of detailed and erratic linework, looking to create a moody atmosphere and an air of unpredictability during tense or action-heavy scenes, but the smoother and clean interpretation of the anime is also a sight to behold and keeps the spirit of Akutami’s memorable art.

Outside the cathartic action sequences, the studio’s visual style shines even in the movie’s quieter moments, with the cast of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Benefiting from high-quality character designs That goes for the Cursed Spirits as well, with Akutami’s art style and MAPPA’s colorful talents translating well onscreen for some delightfully horrific monster designs in motion.

It is a mixture of resounding emotion, and a touch of horror

Shonen anime have been making gradual steps to being more intriguing over the years, and though it hasn’t yet been revolutionary by any means, Jujutsu Kaisen is one such franchise that’s sought to mix things up while using genre tropes at their best. In a sea of Shōnen mostly characterized by near-prophetic protagonists determined to become the best “X” in the world so they can do “Y” to accomplish/protect “Z,” Yuta Okkotsu is a refreshingly grounded character in a brutal and terrifying supernatural world.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 flips the tired convention of the older sibling protecting their little brother/sister after an expected family tragedy by revealing it to be a story about coping with the death of a childhood love interest and best friend, survivor’s guilt, and battling aggressive suicidal thoughts. The story’s conclusion to Yuta’s character arc is one of the most beautifully sincere endings for an anime tackling such a sensitive real-world topic, and it handles these themes with an impressive level of tact. It is an emotionally rich and well-written story, which is hard to dislike. The main cast is also excellent.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 promo with Yuta holding his katana and his deceased childhood friend Rika.

Satoru Gojo, a fan favorite, gets his character fleshed with a touching and tragic glimpse into his past and present with the nihilistic villain Suguru Goto. Panda and Inumaki also get filled in with well-rounded, charismatic personalities, which is another impressive feat considering the latter can’t actually talk most of the time. Maki is another star in this group, which also includes Yuta. She complements Yuta as he goes through his turbulent coming-of-age story, but also doesn’t feel like an empty vessel solely there for the sake of driving the protagonist’s story forward. Although the anime TV series did a great job of portraying her horrific past in a sympathetic light. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Yet, she manages to feel fully realized and alive without feeling repetitive.

Outside influences: The previous series has been praised. Naruto  Bleach It is a good idea to think about it, but it offers an exciting way to add a little bit of. Tokyo Ghoul  Tokyo Ghoul:re‘s premise and setting in homage. This horror atmosphere is present throughout the series. And this movie expects to continue making great use of it to push the boundaries for what shonen anime can do. The aforementioned monster designs do well to emphasize this, namely with the inventively grotesque design of Rika’s Cursed Spirit.

Rika as Yuta's monstrous Cursed Spirit in Jujutsu Kaisen 0.

Great entry point

For those who are not into superhero movies or comic books, anime can sometimes seem like a strange genre. Despite this, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 It is a great entry point for the inexperienced. For starters, this movie is an adaptation of Akutami’s manga prequel to the mainline Jujutsu Kaisen series is a short one-shot that’s collected in a single volume.

It manages to cater to both audiences effortlessly, with fans coming from the manga likely set to appreciate the adaptation and original content, as well as those who’ve either never or only seen the anime. Every strength is there. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 It’s a thrilling horror-action film that transcends the surface with its heartfelt storyline and endearing characters.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 You can now watch it in theatres.

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