One thing that (fighting) shounen anime can do so well is stretch a fight (or a contest) over several episodes – and Jujutsu Kaisen fits that bill for me, and yet my favourite episodes were probably the more self-contained ones.
Jujutsu Kaisen (2020)
And so the drawing together of the main cast, the investigations and especially Nanami’s episodes stood out most for me.
I loved the premise too, especially as a fan of supernatural stuff, and while the action sequences were ace, I do have a few niggles to report. While the ‘bro’ joke oscillated between amusing/overplayed/all the way back to maybe amusing again, I do find myself growing weary of a trend that seems to exist within and beyond anime: the zero progress per season.
Okay, I’m exaggerating.
But I’m referring to the huge battle at the end of every season that doesn’t come close to defeating even the first Big Bad, no matter how visceral or satisfying the actual scenes or blows themselves are. (That same Big Bad usually can’t manage to defeat newbie heroes either… but that’s a trope for another review :D).
And in a way, once you buy in to the series, that sort of thing never matters.
And in time too, I tend not to care too much, because I’m more interested in seeing the main characters grow and succeed.
And there’s a great deal of growth, usually accelerated, for the leads and in particular for Yuji. And he has that lovable goof vibe which is fun too. Actually, as the series continued it was interesting to see the writing team rope in Nobara to a similar role.
(Just quickly also, having hammer and nails as weapon caught my eye, certainly not something I see a lot of in anime).
Another double-edged blade I guess, would be Ryomen Sukuna.
I finished this season with the sense that he and Yuji did not have enough screen time together.
Of course, there needs to be stuff left over for future seasons. But still, I felt that only allowing them a few scenes together, or at least limited interaction, both weakened the central narrative (as it had to take a few long detours to introduce the wider cast) and at the same time, also heightened mystery.
Basically, I wanted more, because those scenes held the most tension for me.
But that also means that I now have something else to really look forward to – keen for another season!