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Film Friday- Jujutsu Kaisen

Film Friday- Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2018. The individual chapters are collected and published by Shueisha, with thirteen tankōbon volumes released as of October 2020. In North America, the manga is licensed by Viz Media which publishes the series in print since December 2019. Shueisha publishes the series in English on the Manga Plus app and website.

A 24-episode anime television series adaptation produced by MAPPA premiered on MBS in October 2020. The anime is licensed by Crunchyroll for streaming outside of Asia, who premiered an English dub in November 2020.

As of October 2020, the Jujutsu Kaisen manga had 10 million copies in circulation, including digital versions.

Production

In 2014, Gege Akutami started working as assistant to Yasuhiro Kanō in Kiss x Death. He published his first work the same year, titled “Kamishiro Sōsa”, a one-shot chapter published in Shueisha’s Jump NEXT! vol. 2 on May 7, 2014. His next work was No.9, with a one-shot chapter published in Jump NEXT! vol. 2 on May 1, 2015, and another one-shot in the 46th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump on October 10, 2015. Akutami would publish the one-shot “Nikai Bongai Barabarjura” in the 2016 44th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump, released on October 3, 2016. This one-shot was nominated for the 11th “Gold Future Cup” contest of the magazine. In 2017, Akutami published Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School, a 4-chapter series that ran in Jump GIGA from April 28 to July 28, 2017. This series would serve later as a prequel to Jujutsu Kaisen, being retroactively titled as Jujutsu Kaisen 0. Akutami began the publication of Jujutsu Kaisen in the 2018 14th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump, released on March 5, 2018.

Akutami said that the message of Jujutsu Kaisen is that nobody has the absolute truth, not the “good guys” nor the “bad guys”, and if nobody is right, then nobody is wrong neither, and that each character acts according to their own ethics. Akutami is particularly a fan of Yoshihiro Togashi, author of Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter × Hunter. He stated that the Sensui arc of Yu Yu Hakusho inspired him to create evil characters with the goal of eradicating humanity, for whom the readers, nevertheless, would feel certain empathy for. Akutami stated that with Sukuna and Mahito he wanted to avoid the typical “deep down they are good” idea, and stated that they are intrinsically evil beings who like make humans suffer, but he said that it cannot be proved that they are wrong, adding that Mahito was like Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, as Akutami never felt hatred for him.

Akutami stated that Neon Genesis Evangelion influenced him to develop the mythological aspects of the series. He is also a fan of horror films, whose influence is noted in the series, expressing as well that he used to be obsessed with found footage films. His art style is influenced by Yoshihiro Togashi, Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto), Yusuke Murata (Eyeshield 21 and One-Punch Man illustrator) and Tite Kubo (Bleach). Akutami said that he wanted his art style to get as close as possible to Togashi’s style. Regarding the process of character creation, Akutami stated that they must fall within the canons of shōnen manga in order to capture the attention of readers. Yūji is largely inspired by Akutami’s older brother, who is, in Akutami’s own words, his opposite, as he had succeeded in sports and study. For some characters, like Panda and Toge Inumaki, Akutami first created their visual aspects, while the character of Satoru Gojō came from an idea, which represents the paroxysm of force. Akutami said that Sukuna was his first favorite character, due to his design that was influenced by everything he had read, but Kento Nanami was the first character that he created and developed on his own, making him his current favorite character. He also stated that he plans to introduce Yūji’s mother in the story, and he knows when she will make her first appearance. Akutami also stated that the magic system presented in the series is largely based on Yoshihiro Togashi’s Hunter × Hunter, which fights, in Akutami’s words, “rejects emotional arguments”, but Akutami said that like Daisuke Ashihara, World Triggers author, whose magic system is also similar to Togashi’s, he is trying to find and develop his own style. He stated that he had the ending and the main stages of the story planned, but the path between the two remains “fairly free”.

Characters

Yūji Itadori
A teenager athlete who joins his school’s Occult Club to avoid the track team. After finding and opening a box containing a cursed charm resembling a rotting finger, his school is attacked by phantom-like creatures known as Curses. In order to protect his friends, he consumes the rotting finger and becomes possessed by a Curse known as Ryoumen Sukuna. He later joins the Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College under the tutelage of Satoru Gojō, where he is placed under a sort of death sentence, which has been suspended until he consumes all of Sukuna’s fingers in order to kill himself and Sukuna at the same time.

 

Megumi Fushiguro
A sorcerer studying in first year at the Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College under the tutelage of Satoru Gojō. He meets Yūji when trying to locate a high-grade cursed charm talisman at his high school. He is the one that convinces Satoru to try to save Yūji from his execution after his possession by Sukuna. He uses his curse power to create spirits  out of his own shadows to exorcise Curses. He has been noted to have high potential as a sorcerer by several other powerful people, including Sukuna himself.

 

Nobara Kugisaki
A sorcerer studying in first year at the Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College under the tutelage of Satoru Gojō. She transferred to the college so that she could live in Tokyo without any expenses. She meets Yūji Itadori and Megumi Fushiguro during her first official mission as a sorcerer. She uses a charm weapon hammer and nails infused with her curse power to exorcise Curses.

 

Satoru Gojō
A sorcerer working as a teacher in the Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College. He teaches Yūji Itadori, Megumi Fushiguro and Nobara Kugisaki. He convinces his superiors at the college to keep Yūji alive until he consumes all of Sukuna’s fingers. Even though his title of ‘The Strongest’ is self-proclaimed, most allies and enemies alike never actually dispute the title and generally consider him to be one of the most dangerous people alive. As a result, he is widely respected and venerated by sorcerers, even by those in the college’s sister school in Kyoto, and holds high influence in the sorcery world. He uses his curse power to control the space around him in innumerable ways.

 

Manga Monday- Jujutsu Kaisen

Manga Monday- Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2018. The individual chapters are collected and published by Shueisha, with thirteen tankōbon volumes released as of October 2020. In North America, the manga is licensed by Viz Media which publishes the series in print since December 2019. Shueisha publishes the series in English on the Manga Plus app and website.

A 24-episode anime television series adaptation produced by MAPPA premiered on MBS in October 2020. The anime is licensed by Crunchyroll for streaming outside of Asia, who premiered an English dub in November 2020.

As of October 2020, the Jujutsu Kaisen manga had 10 million copies in circulation, including digital versions.

Manga

Jujutsu Kaisen is written and illustrated by Gege Akutami. Akutami first published in 2017 a 4-chapter series in Shueisha’s Jump GIGA, titled Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School, from April 28 to July 28, 2017. It was later published in a single volume, retroactively titled Jujutsu Kaisen 0, on December 4, 2018. Jujutsu Kaisen started in the 2018 14th issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump, released on March 5, 2018. Its chapters are collected and published by Shueisha into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was published on July 4, 2018. Thirteen volumes have been released as of October 2, 2020.

Shueisha began to simulpublish the series in English on the app and website Manga Plus in January 2019. Viz Media published the first three chapters for its “Jump Start” initiative. In March 2019, Viz Media announced the print release of the series in North America. The first volume was published on December 3, 2019, and six volumes have been published in English as of October 6, 2020.

Light novels

Two light novels written by Ballad Kitaguni have been released under the Jump J-Books imprint. The first, titled Jujutsu Kaisen: Soaring Summer and Returning Autumn, was released on May 1, 2019. The second light novel, titled Jujutsu Kaisen: The Path of Roses at Dawn, was released on January 4, 2020.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced in the 52nd issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump published on November 25, 2019. The manga author Gege Akutami and the main cast members appeared at Jump Festa ’20 on December 22, 2019. The series is produced by MAPPA and directed by Sunghoo Park. Hiroshi Seko is in charge of the scripts, Tadashi Hiramatsu designed the characters, and Hiroaki Tsutsumi, Yoshimasa Terui and Arisa Okehazama composed the music. While the anime had an advanced streaming debut on September 19, 2020, it officially premiered on MBS and TBS’s Super Animeism block on October 3, 2020. The series will run for 24 episodes. From episode 3 onwards the series includes post-credits anime shorts titled “Juju Sanpo”, which focus on the daily lives of the main characters. The first opening theme is “Kaikai Kitan”, performed by Eve, while the first ending theme is “Lost in Paradise feat. AKLO” performed by ALI. The second opening theme is “Vivid Vice”, performed by Who-ya Extended, while the second ending theme is “Give it Back”, performed by Cö Shu Nie.

The anime is licensed by Crunchyroll for streaming outside of Asia. Crunchyroll has released streaming dubs for the series in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and German that premiered on November 20, 2020. The English dub will premiere on HBO Max on December 4, 2020.

In Southeast Asia, Medialink licensed the series and is streaming it on iQIYI

Plot

Yūji Itadori is an unnaturally fit high school student living in Sendai with his grandfather. He regularly avoids the track team due to his aversion to athletics, despite his innate talent for the sport. Instead, he chooses to join the Occult Research Club, where he is able to relax and hang out with his seniors, and leave school by 5:00 pm to visit his grandfather in the hospital. While he is on his deathbed, his grandfather instills two powerful messages within Yūji – “always help people” and “die surrounded by people”. After his grandfather’s death, Yūji interprets these messages as one statement – everyone deserves “a proper death”. He is then confronted by Megumi Fushiguro, a sorcerer who informs him of a high-grade cursed charm talisman at his school that Yūji recently made contact with. His friends at the Occult Club unsealed the talisman, a rotting finger, which attracted Curses to the school, creatures that are brought about through negative emotions and are strengthened by consuming magical powers present in sorcerers or such charms. Unable to defeat the Curses due to his lack of magical powers, Yūji swallows the finger to protect Megumi and his friends and becomes the host of Sukuna, a powerful Curse. Due to Sukuna’s evil nature, all sorcerers are required to exorcise him (and by extension, Yūji) immediately. However, despite being possessed, Yūji is still able to retain control over his body for the most part. Seeing this, Satoru Gojō, Megumi’s teacher, decides to take him to the Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College to propose a plan to his superiors – postpone Yūji’s death sentence until he consumes all of Sukuna’s fingers, allowing them to kill him once and for all.

Reception

The series had 600,000 copies in circulation as of December 2018, 770,000 copies in circulation as of February 1, 2019, 1.1 million copies in circulation as of February 2019, 2 million copies in circulation as of June 2019, 2.5 million copies in circulation as of November 2019, 4.5 million copies in circulation as of May 2020, 6.8 million copies in circulation as of September 2020, and over 10 million copies in circulation (including digital copies) as of October 2020, having grown 400% in one year, and about 230% in a half year. Jujutsu Kaisen was the 5th best-selling manga series in 2020, with 6,702,736 copies sold.

The series ranked 1st on the “Nationwide Bookstore Employees’ Recommended Comics of 2018” by the Honya Club website. It won the 3rd annual Tsutaya Comic Awards in 2019. In 2019, the manga was nominated for the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category. The series ranked 31st on the 2021 “Book of the Year” list by Da Vinci magazine.

Leroy Douresseaux of Comic Book Bin gave the first volume a score of 8.5 /10. Douresseaux praised the series for its characters, plots, settings, and internal mythology, and described it as a “combination battle manga and horror comic book”. Shawn Hacaga of The Fandom Post, in his review of the first volume, compared the series to early Bleach and praised it for its world, lore, characters and artwork, concluding that it is a “solid first volume”. Hannah Collins of Comic Book Resources found parallels between Yūji and Sukuna and Marvel Comics characters Eddie Brock and Venom. She also noted similarities to Bleach, Blue Exorcist and Tokyo Ghoul. Collins commended the manga and regarding its then recently announced anime adaptation concluded that Jujutsu Kaisen is a “darkly enjoyable action series that’s sure to be one to watch out for in 2020”. Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network ranked the first volume as a C. Silverman praised the series’ use of Japanese folklore and yōkai elements, comparing this and Akutami’s art style to Shigeru Mizuki’s GeGeGe no Kitarō, but criticized the story for being “very generic”. She concluded; “It has the potential to be more as Akutami gets more comfortable with the serialization process and figures out precisely where the story is going, so it may be worth a second book to be certain. But as of this one, it’s just okay, making it the kind of series that gets damned with faint praise”.