Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

What is JJK? (Release dates etc.)

Jujutsu Kaisen (JJK) is a phenomenal animanga (anime and manga) originally created by Gege Akutami. Akutami released the first volume of the manga on December 3, 2019, which immediately exploded in popularity. With the continuous release of new volumes, the manga racked up over 30 million sales in 2021 making it the best selling manga of 2021. 

Akutami released one chapter of the manga every Friday after the original debut – with the exception of a brief hiatus from early June 2021 – August 2021. The manga is now on its 179th chapter as of March 25, 2022. 

With the explosion in popularity of the original manga, the animation studio MAPPA (Maruyama Animation Produce Project Association) adapted chapters 1-63 into 24 episodes that released every Saturday from October 3, 2020 – March 27, 2021. 

Following the finale of the first season of the anime, MAPPA announced the new Jujutsu Kaisen movie that would cover volume 0 of the manga. Volume 0 is a prequel to the Jujutsu Kaisen story, which came out January 5, 2021.

The movie, titled Jujutsu Kaisen 0, released in Japan on December 24, 2021 and in the United States on March 18, 2022. The movie became the second highest grossing movie in the US upon release, only falling short to The Batman. 

The movie achieved a staggering 96% on rotten tomatoes and a 99% audience review

As for the next season of the anime, season two has been confirmed for a release in 2023, although there is no specific date.

Season One Plot (Minor Spoiler Warning)

Jujutsu Kaisen follows Yuji Itadori, a 15-year-old high schooler, as he navigates the world of Jujutsu. 

Due to an unfortunate series of events, Itadori ends up consuming a cursed object which fuses him with Ryomen Sukuna, the king of curses. This introduces Itadori into the world of Jujutsu, where he meets Megumi Fushiguro and Satoru Gojo, student and teacher, respectively, at Jujutsu highschool. 

Unfortunately, since Itadori contains such a powerful curse within him, the higher-ups of jujutsu society want him executed. Gojo fights for Itadori’s cause and argues that they should at least let him live until they collect the rest of Sukuna’s cursed objects. The higher-ups agree and Itadori enrolls in Jujutsu highschool with Gojo as his teacher. 

As a jujutsu sorcerer, Itadori exorcizes loads of curses. Curses are evil beings manifested through negative thoughts and emotions, they tend to appear in places with a lot of negative emotions like schools or hospitals. With the help of Megumi and new classmate Nobara Kugisaki, the trio go on many adventures and collect more of Sukuna’s cursed objects.

Movie storyline (More minor spoilers)

The movie, on the other hand, is a prequel to season one of the show. The movie follows Yuta Okkotsu, a 16-year-old sorcerer, as he tries to free a powerful curse that is attached to him.

Along the way, Yuta learns about Suguru Geto, a curse user who wants to eliminate every non-sorcerer in the world. Exiled from the jujutsu world, Geto feels that people who can’t use jujutsu are far inferior to him, and aims to create a society of exclusively jujutsu sorcerers.

The movie provides necessary background on side characters that have importance in future volumes of the manga. The context gives the audience an appreciation of Yuta’s character as well as the development of different relationships between the characters.

Emma’s thoughts

While walking into the movies, I knew I would enjoy both of them no matter their differences. What I didn’t expect were the subtle changes between the two. Naturally for the subbed version, I was reading the subtitles first and then looking up at the scene. This was a little more difficult on the big movie screen rather than watching a subbed show on my phone. I wouldn’t call it a hindrance to watching the movie, but rather it just took more of an effort to understand what was going on. 

Likewise for the dubbed version, I was able to pay more attention to the animation which definitely didn’t let me down. Out of Francis and I, only I had read Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 0 in its manga form, so I came in with high expectations for several scenes that were critical to the development of the series. The consistency of the art style with the show flowed well, and there were several scenes of Gojo’s famous eyes that were incredible. Jujutsu Kaisen’s animation studio, MAPPA, met my expectations as they always have when animating some of my favorite shows. 

As good as the dubbed version was, there were some moments where the voice acting was so bad that Francis and I looked at each other and visibly cringed. Dubbed versions of anime often get a lot of hate, whether it’s from hasty production or the unsatisfactory voice acting. I commonly find that Japanese voice actors do better when voicing fight scenes or scenes with a lot of emotion compared to English voice actors. For JJK Volume 0, some of the pivotal moments of the movie didn’t have the same impact or effect as it did in the original Japanese voicing solely because of the voice acting and minor translation differences from Japanese to English.

I had heard previous to the movie that there were additional scenes not included in the manga–possibly to give JJK season one fans a glimpse of some of their favorite characters. The backgrounds and features of several characters were a subtle way of setting up the show and hinting at JJK’s infamous upcoming Shibuya Arc in season two.

Francis’ thoughts

For the week leading up to the movie’s release, I was stoked to go watch it. Since the movie had already been released in Japan, and some people had already seen it the night before, I was dodging spoilers everywhere on social media. I knew the movie was going to be good, but I was concerned it would not live up to the hype I had given it in my head. Fortunately, I was wrong.

I loved the movie to death. The animation was drop dead gorgeous, as every character, curse, and scene had such a beautiful and unique design. Jujutsu Kaisen is pretty well known for its character design, and that held up extremely well going into this movie. 

Personally, I liked the sub more than the dub, but the dub’s voice actors were good nonetheless. I don’t mind having to read subtitles at all, and I’ve become quite used to it after watching so many shows – therefore I typically enjoy subbed versions of shows better. I felt like the voice actors in the subbed version fit the characters much better, specifically with Satoru Gojo and Yuta Okkotsu. 

The dubbed version also had some great voice acting, but there were a few things that stuck out to me as red flags. First off, the dubbed version pronounced Geto’s name as “gay-toe”, which honestly made me laugh everytime they tried to say it in a brooding manner. Second, as with most anime, there were a few lines that sounded especially corny in English. I noticed this in almost every line from Rika Orimoto, the curse attached to Yuta, as well as a few other spots throughout the movie. 

As someone who didn’t read the manga, I found the storyline very interesting. Season one of the show hints at Yuta’s character a few times, but his personality and upbringing were very different than I originally thought they would be. Seeing the parallels between Yuta and Itadori was pretty fascinating to me, and I loved watching Yuta’s character develop. 

Despite not reading the manga, I heard that some of the movie scenes were not in the manga like the fight scene featuring Kento Nanami, a main character in season one, but I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see him in action as he is one of my favorite characters in the show.

Final Thoughts

Overall, we both agree the movie is outstanding. Although the subbed version was a little better than the dubbed, both were very enjoyable watches. 

The movie balanced action with a few comedic scenes extremely well, giving the movie a serious feel without being too dark. 

Watching the franchise on the movie screen was so much different than watching it on a phone. Experiencing the show in the theaters with other people was fascinating, and only made us more excited to watch season two.

By Francis Fleming, senior editor 2021-22

Hi! My name is Francis and I am a senior editor for The Mycenaean. I run, I am good at Mario Kart Wii, and I'm a good cook.

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