After a rapid and rousing worldwide reception,
becomes the latest anime series to receive the feature film treatment.
Our man with his finger on the pulse of the anime world,
spells out all the Curses and sorcery in his review of
JUJUTSU KAISEN: 0.
the success of the 2021 anime series adaptation of JUJUTSU KAISEN,
studio MAPPA capitalizes on the hype with the prequel movie, JUJUTSU
Created by author, Gege Akutami, in the world of JUJUTSU KAISEN, Cursed
Energy, which is derived from negative emotions, flows from all living
people. Normal people can’t control this energy and gradually develop
Curses, which are spiritual creatures that want to harm humanity. Those
who can control this energy are strong Curses themselves, and Jujutsu
Sorcerers, who take on requests to exorcise them.
We are immediately roped in with an ominous scene about the movie’s main
character, Yuta Okkotsu, and the curse of Rika Orimoto. The voice acting
of the characters by Ogata Megumi and Hanazawa Kana did this opening
scene justice, as we get to see what Yuta’s relationship with Rika is
really like. We then cut to Yuta talking to Gojo Satoru, the
self-proclaimed “strongest Jujutsu Sorcerer,” and a teacher at Tokyo
Metropolitan Jujutsu Technical School (Jujutsu High). Gojo sees
the potential that Yuta has to become a powerful Jujutsu sorcerer, and
proposes that Yuta become a student at Jujutsu High.
The resemblance of this
recruitment is uncanny to how he recruited Yuji Itadori, the main
character in the main JUJUTSU KAISEN television series, and they’re both
even locked in the same weird room filled with talisman seals. This was
both a thrilling and touching opening sequence to give us some backstory
on Yuta, and the overall direction the story is heading, coupled with
Gojo’s carefree self, living for his own interests.
At this point in time, the only students at Jujutsu High’s Tokyo branch
are the first-years, Panda, Maki Zenin, and Toge Inumaki (Who are
second-years in the anime series). All of the characters, including
Gojo, have slightly different character designs, which I found was a
nice touch to show the slightly different moment in time this movie
takes place in.
As much potential as Yuta
has, he is still subjected to rigorous training to catch up to his peers
to learn how to control his cursed energy. Before long, he starts going
on missions with them to really learn how to control his cursed powers.
We get a first taste of some clean JUJUTSU KAISEN fighting sequences of
Yuta, Rika, and the other first-years as they take on a variety of
curses in the real world. We also get to see more of Maki’s backstory,
which wasn’t talked about much in the series, and this made her an even
more relatable and likable character. From these fights and character
interactions, the audience gets to see a side of the second years that
we don’t see in the main series.
As we learn more about Yuta and Rika, we are also introduced to the
antagonist, Geto Suguru, a special-grade Jujutsu sorcerer who rivals
even Gojo on paper. We learn about his plan to instill chaos in the
Jujutsu world with the “Night Parade of a Hundred Demons,” a threat to
release tons of violent curses to attack the people of Japan. Being
top-notch Jujutsu sorcerers, both Geto and Gojo’s threats to each other
make their scenes that much more intense, because everyone else around
them knows how strong they both are.
Fast forward to the
eventual clash between the Jujutsu High sorcerers and Geto’s, we see a
bunch of characters from the TV series show up, and get some unexpected
action screen time, which is a nice touch for appreciative fans of
JUJUTSU KAISEN. This certainly includes Gojo himself showing off his
combat skills and cursed techniques for good measure, and we also see
what Yuta is capable of after all his training.
The movie did a good job of creating a constant feeling that something
was going on; whether directly in a fighting scene, or during downtime
conversations. The movie gave nods to a bunch of characters from the
series both directly and indirectly, which I liked.
Both casual and hardcore
JUJUTSU KAISEN fans will love that no expense was spared to animate Gojo
when he fights seriously with his cursed techniques and his combat
skills, all while capturing the magnificent expressions in his eyes. A
smaller intriguing detail comes in a hint that there is a potential way
to disrupt Gojo’s cursed techniques, which is very interesting because
he’s always claimed that he’s the strongest Jujutsu sorcerer there is.
The two end credit songs by King Gnu both fit really well; with one
being more hype, and one more emotional, which fit the overall themes of
As action packed and emotional as the movie was, there are still points
that could use some improvement. For one, Yuta seems like a pretty
generic anime main character: He has a tragic past, is a prodigy coming
from a mysterious family, and very quickly taps into his potential
through hard work and friendship. I feel like there could have been more
depth added to his character to make him more unique, such as including
more scenes about how his connection with Rika’s cursed spirit was
ravaging the lives of people he knew, and how that affected him. There
was only one scene right when the movie began that showed his anguish,
and then most of Yuta’s backstory scenes were just happy ones he spent
with Rika during their childhood.
Another is with the
chronology of the story, which isn’t necessarily the fault of the film.
Since this movie is a prequel to the anime television series, which
aired last year; as you’re watching you can kind of guess what’s going
to happen based on which characters show up here that are also from the
Overall, JUJUTSU KAISEN: 0 is a good watch! It’s enjoyable even if you
haven’t seen the JUJUTSU KAISEN television episodes, since it’s a
prequel, after all, but watching the series does give a lot more context
to the movie. JUJUTSU KAISEN: 0 showcases Jujutsu techniques from new
characters and characters we’ve seen before, all while providing apt
context of the stakes at hand for the parties that are fighting. It has
a great mix of character building, plot progression, and fighting
sequences, while keeping it casual, funny, and emotional for the
The animation and
soundtrack is also very fitting, though perhaps not as great as studio
Ufotable’s KIMETSU NO YAIBA: MUGEN TRAIN from last year. This prequel
movie is a great time if you enjoyed the main JUJUTSU KAISEN anime, and
if you haven’t seen the series it just might encourage you to go watch
~ Leo Au-Yeung for The Diva
March 15th, 2022
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