A prequel to the Jujutsu Kaisen anime series, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a fast paced, spectacular adaptation of the popular manga by Gege Akutami, directed by Sunghoo Park. A well balanced film, it originally debuted in Japan in December 2021 and the film finally hit theatres in various countries worldwide March 18, 2022.
Entering the world of ‘jujutsu kaisen’ where humans emanate ‘cursed energy’ that can create violent creatures known as ‘curses’, society is protected by ‘jujutsu sorcerers’ that take on exorcising those curses of dangerous levels.
The 105-minute movie begins by introducing you to a highschool boy, Yuta Okkotsu (Megumi Ogata), the main protagonist of the prequel. He is being bullied by four of his classmates when a curse attaches itself to him as a monster. The cursed energy of a ring from a childhood friend that died suddenly, appears, brutally murdering the bullies and “protecting” Yuta.
Jumping right to Yuta being discussed by the jujutsu society, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 wastes no time getting to the action and primary problem of the plot: the dangerous special-grade ‘curse rika’ (kana hanazawa) attached to Yuta.
The film overall tells a captivating and entertaining story that does not require knowledge of the main series. Though knowledge of it enhances the viewer’s experience by introducing characters already loved by fans. The success on its opening day is proof of that, as are the extremely positive ratings being received.
After the introduction, the audience is given greater insight into the jujutsu kaisen world. Following Yuta’s discovery of this society, he has been thrusted into missions to fight curses of low levels guided by all-powerful Gojo Satoru (Yuchi Nakamura) and alongside Yuta’s new classmates at Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School. This is where Yuta learns how to harness his cursed energy, eventually leading to exorcise the curse rika.
Conflict erupts when it is discovered that a previous student, Geto Suguru, has declared war on the jujutsu sorcerers for his plan to kill all non-sorcerers and take over Yuta’s curse rika for her power, unleashing a wave of overwhelming curses on the city of Tokyo.
The animation in this film is spectacular. MAPPA studios is receiving high praise for the quality of scenes, especially ones with heavy action.
Known for its exhilarating fights, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 does exactly what the main series does – keep its audience on the edge of their seats and entranced by the flow. Accompanied by a powerful soundtrack that adds to each different mood and ambience of the story, it is easy to get truly immersed while watching the film.
What truly makes the film memorable is the characters. Providing unique protagonists and equally unique antagonists, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is easily enjoyed by all.
One character that stands out as much as Yuta and the incredibly charismatic Gojo, is Maki Zen’in (Mikako Komatsu). Maki is a strong female protagonist who shines with confidence and strength while still portraying some vulnerability without shame attached, though she is shown to be quite stubborn when it comes to facing failure.
This female representation in anime is refreshing and empowering to see, every character bringing something new and exciting to the plot with their own stories and greatly enhancing Yuta’s development. The cast itself does a wonderful job expressing each of their personalities through their voices and the expressiveness of the animation style.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is well worth the watch and will surely leave you curious for more.
Season 2 of the anime series Jujutsu Kaisen has been confirmed and set to come out in 2023.