Kotono MitsuishiMegumi OgataAimiJujutsu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen: Season 2
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2023
Director: Shota Goshozono
Writer: Hiroshi Seko
Actor: Aimi, Anna Nagase, Asami Seto, Atsuko Tanaka, Aya Endo, Chinatsu Akasaki, Daisuke Namikawa, Gakuto Kajiwara, Hiroki Yasumoto, Junichi Suwabe, Junya Enoki, Kenjiro Tsuda, Koki Uchiyama, Kotono Mitsuishi, Marina Inoue, Megumi Ogata, Mikako Komatsu, Mitsuo Iwata, Mugihito, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Rie Kugimiya, Risa Shimizu, Satoshi Hino, Shigeru Chiba, Subaru Kimura, Takahiro Sakurai, Takaya Kuroda, Takehito Koyasu, Tomokazu Seki, Yoko Hikasa, Yoshitaka Yamaya, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Yuichi Nakamura, Yuko Sanpei, Yuma Uchida
Keywords: Jujutsu Kaisen, anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Episodes 25-47
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=25346
Website category: Anime 2023
Review date: 14 March 2024
Jujutsu Kaisen
I don't dislike it, but I don't really see the point and I must remember not to watch Season 3. I am, though, in a minority. We live in a world where one of Netflix's biggest hits was Baki the Grappler, i.e. lots of people will watch anything with fight scenes, even if it means crossing the Baki event horizon of infinite risibility. Jujutsu Kaisen is nowhere near that bad. Also, fans of the original manga had been hyping up this season as soon as it was announced, calling the Shibuya Incident arc one of the greatest story arcs in the battle shounen genre. It also won huge in the 2024 Crunchyroll Anime Awards, taking eleven categories including Anime of the Year, Best Action, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Character Design, Best Supporting Character, Best Opening Sequence and Best Ending Sequence. (Mind you, Kimetsu no Yaiba was another big winner and I can't stand that show.)
But... but... it's just lots of fights. I don't get it. I watched the episodes and everything, but... what? Episodes 25-29 tell an interesting prequel story and I liked the first half of ep.30, but thereafter it's just fighting. A plot synopsis would go as follows. Ep.31 = fight. Ep.32 = fight. Ep.33 = fight. Ep.34 = fight. This continues until ep.47, whereupon the season ends.
It's watchable, though, and I liked the cast. Todo the idol fan can be hilarious. Mei Mei and her brother are amusing, although I wouldn't be surprised if she became a villain one day. She's almost there already. The "clever" locust monster also made me laugh. Meanwhile, the baddies are thoroughly evil and you'll be overjoyed whenever one gets killed. (This show is keen to show gory death.) That granny who murdered the schoolgirl... ew ew ew, gave me the creeps. Smug blonde boy deserves absolutely everything he gets. They even kill their own allies.
But it's still just a 17-episode battle. There are lots of combatants and the sides' fortunes swing to and fro, but I soon started wanting conflicts less thudding than a baddie's fist. (Or sword, or magic powers, etc.)
The season's first five episodes are leading up to the 2021 Zero prequel movie. Those I liked a good deal. They're about the relationship between two best friends, Gojo and Geto. (Gojo will eventually become the world's strongest sorceror and, fortunately, a good guy. Geto... won't. I prefer these episodes to the Zero movie itself, in fact.)
After that, ep.30's first half is an amusing bit of filler with our heroes and a girl who likes Yuji but hasn't seen him in ages. The last time they met, she was fat.
Thereafter, it's the fights.
I should also mention the studio, MAPPA. The anime industry is infamous for horrible working conditions, insane hours and bad pay (despite exceptions like KyoAni and Polygon)... but MAPPA managed to drop even below that baseline. Itsuki Tsuchigami (animation director on this show) tweeted in September that MAPPA is "a mess" and told animators wanting to do their best not to work there. They made an animated feature film in four months, whereas production companies in other countries might regard four years as relatively speedy. The show's primary animator, Kosuke Kato, tweeted at one point that he was considering suicide. MAPPA certainly aren't the only studio to expect the impossible, but they're the only ones in 2023 to push their staff so hard that all this went public.
I'd never call this a bad show. It's enjoyable if you put it on in the background. Lots of people loved it and I'm clearly in a minority in my opinion here... but I'm afraid I just didn't find it that interesting.