WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Jujutsu Kaisen, Episode 1, which aired on Crunchyroll on October 2nd.
As far as premieres go, it’s rare that I find myself hooked on a series after its first episode. But every once in a while, an anime like Jujutsu Kaisen airs and I can tell it’s going to be one of my favorite anime from the start. With only one episode, Jujutsu Kaisen sets itself up to be the breakout anime of the year and our favorite release this Fall. And I have to say, as someone who is caught up with what’s been revealed in the manga thus far, the adaptation not only does the source material justice, but takes it to a whole new level.
Jujutsu Kaisen‘s manga, which is created by Gege Akutami, rose to popularity within a short period of time, and with an exciting premise and some of the most interesting, likable characters, like some of my favorites Yuji Itadori, Megumi Fushiguro, and Satoru Gojo, it’s easy to see why. It comes as no surprise to me that the adaptation is also seeing a rise in popularity for these same reasons. With such an amazing manga to work off of, Jujutsu Kaisen was already set up for success, but I must admit I was slightly anxious with how they were going to pull it off. With MAPPA studio who’ve worked on some of my favorite anime, like Dororo, Terror in Resonance, and Dorohedoro, behind animation though, I found myself at ease, and I’m happy to say that their work on Jujutsu Kaisen far exceeds my expectations.
The first episode follows the chain of events that occur within the beginning of Volume 1 faithfully, but as always, experiencing a manga animated offers a whole new experience, particularly when it comes to the fights and action sequences. It opens up with Yuji Itadori, who is your average, everyday teenager aside from the fact that he is unusually strong physically. He had just lost his grandfather, who told him on his deathbed to live his life helping others. It is from these first scenes that you really get a feel for just how caring and selfless Yuji is. It starts getting into the thick of things when the Occult Research Club comes across a sealed cursed object and they unknowingly unleash the terror within when they break its seal. Yuji takes his grandpa’s words to heart during these moments of terror and rescues his friends, along with Fushiguro, who headed to their high school to retrieve the cursed object.
Of course, Yuji does a foolish, but honorable thing by swallowing the cursed object, which you find out is a finger from the demon Sukuna. This allows him to access his power, but given that this power is from a demon, it is sure to come at a cost. The only thing that they flipped around for dramatic effect was that opening scene with Yuji tied up and Satoru Gojo sitting in front of him. The way they flipped this really helped foreshadow what’s to come and further entice those who are experiencing Jujutsu Kaisen for the very first time. All in all, I am really impressed with how they stayed true to manga in terms of its timeline, but I’m even more impressed by how they brought the characters, style, and atmosphere of the manga to life.
Jujutsu Kaisen features a lot of fight and action scenes, and like with most manga, they can sometimes be hard to follow and you don’t always get to see the in-between moments that occur within them, but the anime fills in these gaps. The fight at the end of the episode really sticks in my mind, because they animated it in a way that made it exhilarating to watch and it showed promise for future ones that are to come. The nuances and suspense that could be felt added more to the intensity, and I also have to say that I got chills seeing Fushiguro and his Divine Dogs animated for the first time. It was just fun to see both Yuji and Fushiguro battle it out in this scene and it really sets a high standard for what’s to come. Also, I have to mention that scene where Yuji is swinging around the demon, because that was something to behold.
Jujutsu Kaisen is already a strong anime with only one episode, and the most exciting thing is that it’s only going to get better. I couldn’t be happier with how it’s been executed thus far and it’s one that deserves every bit of hype and praise it has received. I haven’t been this excited for an anime in quite some time, and for this reason alone, I can’t recommend it enough! And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m already predicting that Jujutsu Kaisen is going to be my favorite anime of 2020.
If you have yet to check out the manga, you should definitely do so! You can read a free preview (Chapters 1-7) on Viz here. You can read the rest of the chapters if you are a Shonen Jump member on Viz and Volumes 1-5 are in-stock now with Jujutsu Kaisen, Volume 6 releasing tomorrow!
Where to watch Jujutsu Kaisen: Jujutsu Kaisen is streaming on Crunchyroll in the following territories: North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, and CIS.