Based on Gege Akutami’s four-chapter prequel, Jujutsu Kaisen (JJK) 0 introduces a crucial character, Yuta Okkotsu, to the overall JJK story. Yuta is haunted by his childhood friend, Rika, who died after being hit by a car. Rika becomes a powerful, special grade curse that appears whenever Yuta is bullied and after four bullies are nearly killed by Rika, Yuta is taken into custody by jujutsu sorcerers and sentenced to execution. Satoru Gojo, a teacher at Tokyo Jujutsu High, swoops in and takes Yuta to the school, Jujutsu High, where the sorcerers learn to use cursed energy to exorcise curses. Yuta is determined to free Rika and be a normal person again.
Meanwhile, curse user Suguru Geto is plotting to kill all humans or monkeys and hears about Rika and Yuta. Geto goes to Jujutsu High to convince Yuta and Rika to join him and is unsuccessful, but after Gojo steps in, Geto announces that he’s planning to start a war with a Night Parade of a Hundred Demons on December 24th. This is a sham and a distraction so that Geto can kill Yuta to gain control of Rika. The last portion of the film is full of the signature anime fights, and everything ends up about how you expect it.
While this sounds like a typical, shonen anime, it’s actually more than that. JJK uses shonen tropes and turns them on their head. This film was ultimately about processing grief, growth, and love and the relationship between Yuta and Rika is really the centrepiece of the whole movie. While the entire engagement between two little kids seems silly, it was certainly heartfelt. I’m not a mushy person, so I may have cringed at some points, but I got it.
Since this is a prequel film, if you know nothing about JJK, you could easily watch it without getting too lost throughout. Yuta is a newcomer to the Jujutsu world in the movie, so everything also has to be explained to him. The most significant source of confusion could be the lack of introduction to the characters, like Kento Nanami (one of my favourite characters), Ino, Mei Mei, and the Kyoto students.
If it isn’t apparent, I am a massive fan of the JJK manga and anime. I figured Crunchyroll would show it in international theatres after the film did so well in Japan because it’s what happened with Demon Slayer: Mugen Train. I was really hyped for this film, bought my ticket when they went on sale and saw the first showing in IMAX. I was not disappointed. MAPPA is a solid anime studio and they didn’t disappoint with this film, especially with the decision to break up the Geto vs. Yuta and Rika fight with scenes featuring Gojo vs. Miguel and Nanami’s record four Black Flashes in a row. These scenes were either not in the manga or only got a few panels.
I really enjoyed this film, and I’m not going to lie, I’ve seen it dubbed and subbed. The animation was great. It was faithful and expanded on the original source material and even gave a tiny glance at the Gojo’s Past arc that should start the anime’s second season. If you’re a fan of the series, it’s a must-see. For others, it’ll depend upon whether or not you like anime in general.
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I’m a Data Analyst, from the land of Matthew McConaughey. I’m an avid movie-goer and love seeing films in theaters. My most recent favorite films are Good Time, Only Lovers Left Alive, TENET, and England is Mine. When I’m not at the movies, I’m either reading or watching obscene amount of true crime and historical documentaries.