Jujutsu Kaisen exploded onto Crunchyroll and quickly gained a fan base. Based on the manga by Gege Akutami, each episode had the perfect blend of heart, action, and stunning animation. After the first season, fans awaited a second season. Although we have to wait till 2023 for the second season, Studio Mappa released a prequel film directed by Sunghoo Park, Jujutsu Kaisen 0. I love this movie. From the animation that shines brighter to the characters, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 gives fans more of what and who they love.
A Prequel That Introduces New Viewers To Jujutsu Kaisen
Yuta’s story is canon from the 4 part manga Akutami created, Tokyo Metropolitan Cursed Technical School. Thanks to that, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a standalone film yet provides delicious tidbits for fans of the series. I was hysterical seeing my favorite characters from the series, but you do not need the anime series to understand the movie or love it.
When they announced the film, I felt excited and nervous. After all, one of my favorite characters, the main protagonist from the series, Itadori Yuuji is not present. This takes place before the series events, and I worried I would not be able to connect with the new character. Personality-wise, Yuta Okkotsu (voiced by Megumi Ogata/English voiced by Kayleigh McKee) differs from Itadori. Yuta is quiet, hesitant, and looks miserable. Of course, anyone plagued by a curse of that caliber would not be singing in the rain.
New Protagonist Meets Beloved Characters
Yuta is initially condemned to death by the group that wanted to kill Itadori in the series. But teacher and cursed user, Gojo (Yuichi Nakamura/Kaiji Tang), steps in and convinces them to allow Yuta to attend Jujutsu High School. Yuta want to gain control of the cursed spirit, childhood friend Rika Orimoto (Kana Hanazawa/Anairis Quiñones), he has with him. Thanks to his classmates and Gojo, Yuta goes from wanting to live in seclusion to being determined to figure out how to break the curse. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 has some pacing issues as it lulls in parts, but that felt essential to have viewers care about Yuta and everyone else.
Gojo demonstrates that it is the jovial ones you need to beware of in his usual goofy yet deadly manner. He is not the only comedic presence, since Gojo’s antics bring out the students’ annoyance. We get to learn about the students and the larger world of curse users. The story reminds me of X-men because having abilities that are different from the majority can be alienating or downright dangerous, depending on where you live. So I understood and sympathized with all of the various characters’ motivations.
Amazing Fight Sequences, Animation & Music
Bouts of action are interspersed with comedy and drama. The only thing is some of the stakes are lowered because we know characters alive and well in the series will be fine in the battles. Still what makes the series dynamic is the animation, which follows into Jujutsu Kaisen 0. Action sequences are vibrant, riveting, and just gorgeous to see. In fact, the entirety of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 somehow surpasses the series in animation and I did not think that was possible. Jujustu Kaisen 0 is nothing short of a spectacular, animated visual feast.
If that was not enough to love, the music stands out too. The opening song for Jujutsu Kaisen hooked me before the story even unfolded. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 also has bops throughout the film. They are each playlist worthy. I know a song is good when I can play it on repeat or easily visual a scene from the film or series and this movie has that!
A Must See Prequel
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 delivers a phenomenal prequel filled with heart, laced with comedy and dripping in action. The film reels in new viewers to the world of curse users. It also whets the appetite of already established fans waiting for the next season on Crunchyroll. Deeper themes of belonging, community and the murky line between villain and hero add to Jujutsu Kaisen 0’s brilliance. Recommended, and then some, plus be sure to stay for an after credits scene!