*disclaimer: the author of this review is a shounen fan.*
The latest turd to fall out of the ass of Shounen Jump Weekly has gotten an ill-advised Studio Mappa adaptation, and man does it suck seeing all that talent go into something so painfully undeserving.
This anime is essentially the lovechild of Bleach/Naruto and Fairy Tail if it was raised by Mob Psycho 100 had less interesting characters than all three. I cannot overstate how generic this anime is. If you're looking for a show that breaks new ground or offers anything of substance, this isn't it.
The main thing you can't trust is the first two episodes. They make the case that this will be a bit like Mob Psycho 100 but have an intriguing twist with its protagonist. But don't be fooled, immediately after the striking second episode the show sinks into a pit of shounen mediocrity unmatched by its competitors. The uninteresting and overdone sorcery powers aside, this show wastes no time delving into every trope imaginable, from seemingly machine-generated hype culture pandering in the handling of its battles to overpowered characters not giving a shit what they're doing, and even dipping a toe into the most tried and failed shounen cliche of all, killing main characters to create a false sense of urgency only to bring them back a minute later. Yup, another show that thinks it's audience are a bunch of halfwits. And judging by the reception this show's getting, it might be right.
"It isn't anything new, but at least it does things right, right?!"
The Characters are extremely shallow. Main character is your typical Shounen protagonist, except with all the humanity and relatability removed. Instead of him having any likable traits at all, he starts as a blank piece of overpowered paper that is practically the definition of mary sue, with typical ignorance and stupidity to force a false sense of "endearing-ness" onto the character. He's so woefully uninteresting and unsympathetic, they force a relative death on him AND force him to ponder some meaningless shallow morality in the first three episodes just so that the audience doesn't tune out before they get to introducing all the other trite annoying quirky characters.
And yes, they are trite quirky and annoying. There's a guy who beats you up if you don't agree with him on what type of woman is sexy, a guy who only speaks in rice ball ingredients, a girl who is inexplicably a douche, a bunch of random characters with shallow personalities and really hard-to-care-about backstories that interrupt the good animation. Also starring literally kakashi from naruto but more smug, literally shigaraki from MHA but more coherent, and literally kurama from naruto but more evil. Shounen keeps up its tradition of only adding characters based entirely on one note quirks that My Hero Academia unfortunately normalized.
Additionally, they thought it was a good idea to add in a character who's the most overpowered guy of all time, has no weaknesses, isn't inspiring, poses no significant threat to the "heroes", and doesn't serve to make the main character's grow at all. Worst of all, they made him as generically attractive as possible to draw in the female fanbase. So in short... the worst kind of character.
The Sound is boring pop music, especially the ending, though the opening is good, and the soundtrack is boring shounen music you'd expect to hear anywhere. They took the success of You Say Run and ran with it here as well, no show is safe from having a repeated "emotional" track. And don't even get me started on the unbearably bad ED theme. If I never see it again it'll be too soon.
The Animation is the reason you're watching this show. If you wanna see me deepthroat MAPPA'S animation staff, ask me about one of their shows where all the other elements aren't hogshit.
"smile, you're in my cringey instagram edit now, edgy boy!"
Story-wise is where this show should have a leg up on others, due to its unconventional first two episodes, but it completely squanders it immediately. First battle being overhyped slog? Check. Throwing teenagers through buildings and they end up without a scratch? Check. Boring training your powers scenes? Check. A whole episode of OP guy showing how OP he is? Check. Episode spent with introductions of characters nobody cares about or likes? Check. Meaningless, boring tournament arc spaced out by really dumb backstories? Check. This anime fell off the shounen drivel tree and hit every cliche on the way down, completely burying any sense of intrigue the premise had and showing no signs of promise to improving.
This anime also has a horible sense of humor very reminicent of Fairy Tail, it isn't as bad as Demon Slayer's where loud=funny, but instead quirky=funny.
Yes, this anime is formuleic, and yes it's full of stuff you've seen time and time before and executed in mediocre fasion. But what really bothers me about it is the complete and utter lack of any and all thematic depth or substance. Usually even in shounen there's some solid idea behind everything, be it dreams, people you care about, being a hero, ect. With this anime, it's hard to care about anything that happens because there is none of that. No real virtues being stood up for, nothing gained from watching besides maybe epiliptic shock from the flashy visual effects. No philosophy. And at the end of the day, making a statement is what makes a piece of art. This anime really doesn't do that, it feels like it has nothing to say. It feels like a kid trying to copy his sucessful older brothers even though he has no life experience to draw from. And that's ultimately this anime's biggest failing.
In short this anime is garbage, and not worth your time. It once again proves that Shounen Anime have no other goals than to appeal to the widest majority of their audience with hype culture pandering, quirks with no substance, genetically engineered pop-appeal, fake early-introduced emotional stakes, and standing up for basically no specific theme besides shallow virtue.
Watch Mob Psycho 100 instead.
SPOILERS SORRY DUDES
I know it's shitty to compare them, but this is what Team 7 could have been if they had actually been given proper personalities that were 3D and not based entirely on tropes. Although you could argue that T7 is the og trope...I digress.
Everything about this show, from the worldbuilding to the slow but steady development of the hierarchy of power is amazing. Like FMA, this show takes the time to actually help the viewer along in a way that doesn't seem cheesy or preachy. It doesn't explain everything about the world right of the bat, yet it still answers the three basic questions for worldbuilding:
What are the magical elements?
What can they do/can't they do?
What is the ethical problem?
In comparison to the way that FMA set up the otherworldly elements in its own story without having to flat out tell you what the rules were. (These are also the same questions the FMA answered perfectly within the foist set of episodes) Both of these shows do a good job demonstrating where the morals lie, and who decides what's good and what's bad and those who decide for themselves. Chimera vs soul manipulation.
It's hard to tell where these characters are going and where they'll end up development-wise. But I think that they all have the foundation to grow into successful personalities. None of them are purely black and white, nor are they perfect characters and what I love is that they have different drives and motivations than Team 7 (to help people stop comparing them that's like the whole point of this review lol). Naruto was a character who loved anyone and everyone and to him, no one could do any wrong. And he consistently chose to work on understanding and forgiving his enemies and he oftentimes formed pretty strong alliances because of this. But Yuji is different than Naruto, and so Megumi isn't Sasuke. To me, their appraoch to not just life, but also saving life is refreshing.
He won't kill because he doesn't want to taint his soul. He doesn't want it to be an option in his mind versus not killing because it's wrong. It's selfish, and there's nothing wrong with that. His familial relationships are kinda loosely set up. As was pointed out in a comment, his SPOILERS SORRY grandpa died weird. The timing was off and there was a moment of forced emotion there but it played off well by setting up Yuji's transfer to Jujutsu Tech with nothing tying him down.
He just wants to save people, but he does so unequally. He does it when he feels like it and lets his personal feelings affect him. He's so human. Also, the first five seconds of him looking for Sukuna's finger are what sold me on his personality. And the dogs. And his hands-
I do like how his past traumas make him more of a cautious person. Rather than rashly tying to enact vengeance on those who've done him wrong, he's using it to his advantage and educating himself so he's better prepared should that moment come. Also also should he decide to do avenge himself in the first place.
First off, I love that she has a personality and a genuine bond with other female characters in the show(low bar, yet one that's so hard for creators to meet). But I do want to talk about HER WEAPON. She could’ve had a way cooler weapon. But nooooooooo they gave her a fucking hammer.
"Dude, do you mean a sledgehammer?"
I wish, but no. It’s a fucking Handy Mandy hammer and to top it all off, this lil hunk of metal has a power limit that solely depends on how many goddamned nails Nobara’s got on her at the time. If this continues, I will personally buy her a Mary Poppins bag that’s directly tied to a steel nail manufacturer.
So after seeing the finale, I do want to say that I have less complaints about her hammer because now I can see what her cursed technique can really do. But I still want to see her swinging something with a bit more reach y'know?
The female characters in this show have next level characterizations. The way they grow throughout the show and challenge the stereotypes placed upon them is so inspiring and it gives me hope for future portrayals and representations of strong women. I think it was episode 17 where Nabara and Momo were fighting about the ideal expectations of a female sorcerer and how one should act in order to be fully accepted. It wasn't a necessary argument, it was written so naturally and I could see meaning behind both sides of the argument. It really added to their personalities and also to the way I see women in the JJK world and their struggles to fit into this male dominated society.
I wouldn't marry this man, but I would be his bestest friend in the whole wide world. And we would bother Nanami Kento together. He also tends to play off his bigger emotions with a mask of indifference and he usually doesn't let anything show past intrigue. He's a lot like Shigure from Fruits Basket, the only thing being, his ulterior motives aren't as opaque or manipulative. He tends to be the one to shed light on situations and he's very open with his students in regards to what he deems relevant to them.
NANAMI KENTO - OMG MY HUSBAND-
~I want to apologize for the energy I'm about to create~ When I say I want to marry this man, I don't think you understand. I would marry this man SO HARD and then I'd divorce him just to marry him again. This man is so fine for no reason. He's personality FIRE, his looks MY TYPE, he wears a suit YES PLEASE, HIS GLASSES OMFG. I appreciate his dedication, or lack thereof, to his work. He's so normal and chill about it that he becomes easily the most relateable character. He's not some freedom fighter off to save the world, he's just trying to pay the bills and LORD HELP YOU if you make him work overtime. MMMMMMMMMMMMmmm. Thank you.
This anime is not that good to me. It's pretty much about curses and there are people called jujutsu sorcerers who are supposed to stop them. A boy named Itadori Yuuji joined it to get some fingers or something. Here is my review.
Story:4/10: The plot is not very interesting and seems kind of basic. The things that happen with this are kinda repetitive with curses being seen every episode without very much background. The way they portray curses is pretty boring. They just show people's abilities by curses but nothing else. It doesn't give any other explanation of someone's ability. They only portray it with curses which makes it boring.
Animation:10/10: The animation on this is remarkable. The animation is great in all the episodes I've seen. The little details are great. When it's somewhere dark it has an ominous feel to it. When it's somewhere colorful it has a bright and vibrant feel to it. If we're seeing this good animation I can't wait for what the anime genre has in store next!
Sound:7/10: The sound is so-so. I'm not a huge fan of all the sounds but some of them are really good. Some of the battle scene music is not that good but some are like Gojou vs that volcano guy. Some I didn't like was Sukuna vs that guy who can bring out animals.
Characters:4/10: The characters are very basic. I don't like most of their development because it mostly makes no sense. Like the animal guy doesn't have good character writing. Like think about it, you don't know what he's doing in the beginning and he seems nervous and cares about people. Then after he turns into a loner. Not a good character development for him. To be honest I was pretty nice with this one. I could have put 2/10 if I wanted to.
Overall:6/10: To conclude this is a pretty bad written anime with many flaws but has great animation.
P.S This is only my opinion and my point of view.
People who doesn't like this show prob into gay anime or romance the one's who think they'll ever get a partner in real life hahahahahaha.
Jujutsu Kaisen belongs in the category that began with Demon Slayer: Anime series that are carried almost entirely by their movie-quality animation. Despite the constant lies a lot of hyperiders are saying about it being a deconstruction or a subversion, or whatever meaningless platitudes they will say for making views and money, the plot and the cast are nothing you haven’t seen before. They simply look gorgeous and if colores bonitos is all you care about then you will be dumb enough to think a patchwork of stuff you have already seen in other shonen is the best shonen ever.
Let’s dig into what is wrong with it and why it’s not as good as they make it sound, starting with the character chemistry which is completely phoned in. Everyone meets and befriends each other in a matter of minutes, thus there is no gravity behind their friendship. It’s one thing to spend months with someone before you can call him an ally or a friend, and a whole other to bond in mere minutes. Basically every Jujutsu sorcerer in the show gets introduced and instantly becomes part of the team, thus it never feels like these characters care deeply about each other.
Character motivations are another lame thing, since they are ridiculously simple. One wants to help people because his grandpa told him to do it, another wants to find her childhood friend, and a third wants to be kind like his sister. It’s one thing to expect something less than trying to be the best sorcerer in the world, and a whole other to want close to nothing. There is nothing inspiring or grand in whatever they want. Naruto was instantly grabbing your attention because he was very sad on the swing, and Deku did the same by crying after being bullied and was told he will never become a hero. There is no such thing here. And it doesn’t help how passive they are the whole time. They fool around, then a mission happens, and they go to the mission. Their motivations don’t play a part in the plot in the least.
Special mention must be made for the female characters, which are often praised for not existing as fan service and for being strong and independent. It’s not much of a positive trait when they come off as unlikable feminists who are too busy bitching about first world problems and their role in society, while in battle they are still far weaker than the men. Especially Nobara, who fails at almost everything she does, has to be constantly saved by the men, and yet the audience is supposed to praise her as a strong and independent woman. She’s just there to be bitching, yelling, and being obnoxious, this is not a well presented female character, why’s everyone acting like a simp over such an obnoxious person?
Anyways, the sole reason for anyone to watch this anime is the fighting, which is super duper well animated and choreographed. Just don’t expect it to be deep or something.
-Most supposed tactics are silly at best since they come down to a character having broken juchubruchu powers that nobody can defend against.
-The characters will also have to explain their juchubruchu powers in the middle of the fight. On one hand it’s lame infodumping that stops the fights. On the other hand it’s a lame excuse for their juchubruchu abilities to work. That’s right, if their opponent doesn’t know what hit him, he won’t get affected by them. How stupid is that?
-The ending of the fights is also anticlimactic most of the times, because it’s left inconclusive. A good guy, usually the protagonist, will be butting in right before a conclusive strike, the bad guy will be running away, and nothing will be resolved. It will be leaving you with blue balls since it’s not satisfactory. All this flying and shooting and screaming will amount to absolutely nothing. It’s sakuga for the sake of sakuga, there is no catharsis at the end.
-There is also a good guy who is so powerful, no bad guy stands a chance against. The only way a good guy will bother to fight is if there is a lame excuse for why Reverse Kakashi is not present for ending everything in a few seconds. Which is why he will be often mysteriously away on a trip, or a barrier specifically designed for him will be keeping him out of the fight. Just lame excuses, since he kills all the tension and the stakes the moment he appears. What a big mistake; you never make someone so strong and expect the audience to give a shit after awhile.
-Oh, and there is a tournament arc at some point, because there can’t be a shonen without one, and it’s easily the most boring part of the show. There are zero stakes in the fights since nobody can die, and don’t tell me you were actually worried even for a second about someone dying. It’s all just an excuse for showing a bunch of flashbacks regarding the support cast. Too bad none of that matter since these people have no chemistry and never feel like they are a team. All that flashy animation goes down the drain because they are not only uninteresting, they are also not important. As stated by the very bad guys, the only two people that matter are the protagonist and the blindfold guy. What a way to fodderize the entire cast right from the beginning of the show. It’s like the guy who wrote this didn’t learn from the mistakes of My Hero Academia.
Another thing is how the show is full of permanent deaths, many of which are outright gruesome. They make it seem like anyone can die in the story and just in every other show that wants you to think that, it applies only to unimportant characters. There was someone important who died as well, but he was so stupid he almost deserved to die. That idiot thought some school bullies killed his mom, and not a mass murdering monster. The main character in specific can resurrect whenever he feels like it, and then jokes about it before his grieving friends (who have no chemistry and therefore are not much of friends). There is no tension regarding him surviving or not during the fights and it’s also a motivation killer since his friends wanted to get stronger while they thought he was dead.
And now for a few more things that bug me.
-The comedy is mostly miss. I was hardly laughing during the comedic moments, because the jokes are all very weak in delivery and are written for toddlers.
-What’s the point in having a monster hierarchy? There are difficulty levels when it comes to the monsters when the major characters can defeat the strongest grade right from the first season, effectively making the chart completely obsolete in the same episode it was introduced.
-There is never an explanation for how they cover up the destruction caused by the monsters. There is no gas explosion excuse like in Fate Stay Porn, or an invasion from the north excuse like in God of ten chapters per episode. The barrier they set up doesn’t prevent the victims from seeing the monsters, and buildings are constantly blowing up during the fights. So why doesn’t the public know about the curses when they are not hidden?
-And finally, training is a joke. Nobara trains to get stronger by being thrown at the ground repeatedly. Itadori masters ki control by sitting down, eating chips and watching movies. I am sure this is far more relatable to the average modern viewer than the days when shonen characters were training in lethal martial arts over a pit of lava.
So yeah, Jujutsu Kaisen is yet another run of the mill action fest that does not deserve its popularity and it’s certainly not reinventing the wheel when it comes to shonen.