Although Yuji Itadori looks like your average teenager, his immense physical strength is something to behold! Every sports club wants him to join, but Itadori would rather hang out with the school outcasts in the Occult Research Club. One day, the club manages to get their hands on a sealed cursed object. Little do they know the terror they’ll unleash when they break the seal…
Okay so... I do not fall under the standard demographic for shounen but regardless I've been reading shonen manga for a while now. I'm only up to chapter 80 or so and even though more than that has been published, I'm more than halfway through what's come out but I could no longer resist writing a review. I've enjoyed other shounen more tbh but this is the first time I've ever itched to write a review. So... the art is fantastic though I really don't like body morph as a general rule which is the only reason I gave the art a 9. The expressions, body language and character traits come across quite thoroughly through the art. Character progression is slow and steady yet you constantly feel like there's another layer and something you are missing. Even a minor crush from middle school days that pretty much has nothing to do the plot connects with the reader because it's just so human. Storywise it follows a fairly standard shounen format. I'm not mad. What works works so long as you don't do it terribly. I do feel the rivalry is slightly forced between yuuji and megumi but perhaps it's just a translation issue. Idk. Now onto the main reason I felt I absolutely needed to write this review. The themes. Them themes bro. Like I cannot express. It delves into those dreges of consciousness that none of us want to admit that we have contemplated(Megumi and Mai and Getou and even early Gojo). It also completely blows past such basic concepts as good and evil. It is established pretty much from the get go, through megumi, that this isn't the sort of story where the good guys are the type that want to save everyone and the bad guy are ones who kill. Yuugi is the standard shonen protagonist in that aspect but not to the point where it holds him back, he is capable of making the decision that goes against the broad notion of morals and acceptability when compared to what he actually wants to achieve. This isn't so much a story about morals but about the nature of humanity and how quickly it can change based on what you strive for and the things you have experienced. There is so much deeper you can go into the themes. I've fallen into an endless thought spiral and that doesn't generally happen with shonen. Like at all. The most I usually think is like 10 or 20 minutes. This manga has had me contemplating for at least two hours and I see no clear end. I wanted to write this review in the middle of binging the series to make sure I gave it the proper amount of thought it is due while also telling others that there is so much more to this manga than the surface premise would lead you to believe. Please give it a shot.
This is one of the few mangas I've ever binged from start to current chapter (~127 as of this writing). There's something oddly addictive about this series. It could be the pacing of the story, or it could be the whimsical nature of the characters. Each character has unique qualities about them that make them deeply interesting. I find myself curious to learn more about even the side characters. Nothing feels wasted in this manga. The conversations with curses always reveal some kind of deeper philosophical conflict and each fight scene is paced and fits perfectly with the story. There's just enough action and character development without either dragging on for forever. The art is a bit different. It's not super crazy unique, but it's different enough from the typical moe/pretty style that it really lends itself well to the overall mood of the story. The only reason the art rating wasn't higher was that occasionally the perspectives and proportions were just slightly off. But it's not egregious or bad by any means. I learned about Jujutsu Kaisen because of the anime (which by the way does the manga pretty good justice - it's a very good adaptation). I just had to jump into the manga and keep seeing what happened next. I don't regret it, and I don't think you will either.
At first read it seems pretty standard and nothing less of a stereotypical shonen with the stereotypical plot devices and character tropes that come along with it (other than the peculiar yet gripping premise). Now having stereotypes isn’t bad at all, it's how you execute and utilize these stereotypes/tropes to fit in with your story without it lacking luster. Gege Akutami takes advantage of these tropes and creates unique as well as interesting characters out of all them while simultaneously giving the audience the impending death of the main character. This is all a breath of fresh air to combat the clicheness that was evident in the first chapter. Akutami was able to single handedly pull off these stereotypes without losing individuality and depth to each character. As you continue to read the facade of Jujutsu Kaisen being stereotypical peels off revealing an eccentric, humorous, and enthralling manga. Jujutsu Kaisen deserves all the hype it is given. One thing I love about this manga is the art style, it seriously reminds me of Chainsaw man but with more detail. Speaking about Chainsaw man the whole freaking manga reminds me of it. I mean the main character being able to practically eat anything and is strange but has good intentions reminds me of Denji but Yuji morally is superior. Also Chainsaw Man and Jujutsu Kaisen also talk about “the crazier the better” when it comes to people who want to work in their organization. What I love about Yuji is his stereotype of the empathetic hero. I love this stereotype and every manga/anime that I have read/watched has that character trait in it I adored because the creator pulled it off amazingly. Yuji himself is adorable, he is really quirky, easy going, and easy to make friends with. He retains a normal moral standard but with heightened resolve from the death of his grandfather and his last words being “always help people” and “die surrounded by people”. I want to praise Akutami on is her fantastic writing (as well as art) in Gojo’s past arc. It deals with questions of sense of self, morality, righteousness, doubt, and reflections of one’s self. Satoru Gojo is an amazing character with lots of depth in contrast to his easy going exterior. Initially when I started Jujutsu Kaisen I thought the characters were going to be fairly shallow because the manga itself seemed like a light read. But I was pleasantly suprised as well as wrong. Upon reading more I saw the characters develop and their backgrounds being exposed to the audience. Many of the characters have gone through lots of traumatic events in the past due to their shaman background. I absolutely loved this aspect to them because it takes away that one dimensal steretotypical feel to them. If they had a fairly normal life like Yuji did the characters wouldn’t be as interesting as they are now. It aslo turns the tables on the expectations of the audience (including me) which is really enjoyable. The first couple volumes are very different compared to the later volumes in terms of themes and character development. It slowly evolves the light hearted first couple of volumes into more mature later volumes. The villains are written so well especially Getou and Mahito. They were my favorites because they brought these deep questions that intertwined with the coexistence of shamans, non shamans, and curses. These were all upon the basis of morality, instinct, and duties. Overall Jujutsu Kaisen will definetely go on to be one of the most interesting and enjoyable new gen shonen. I predict the anime adaptation once its finished will be a big hit too. I can't wait for the final volumes created and then adapted.
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