Jujutsu Kaisen: 0 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Jujutsu Kaisen: 0 – Gift of the Curse: Welcome to Jujutsu High

There is something I repeat (in most) of my reviews.  No matter what kind of film I watch, one thing that never fails to impress is the escapism.  With each viewing, I always find a pathway to walk upon and live the story (being told).  That escapism will be varying in degree, but with every catalyst (medium) it’s the journey that bring worth to the experience.  In this review, I look at the latest anime film in the popular Japanese franchise: Jujutsu Kaisen.  Set in a world of cursed entities, this prequel takes you on a journey of power and purpose.  With rehashing elements of the medium, Jujutsu Kaisen: 0 is an anime gift in a cursed world.

The story follows a young high schooler, Yuta Okkotsu (Voiced: Megumi Ogata), who comes into possession of a powerful Cursed Spirit.  Having no place in the normal world, he enrolls in Jujutsu High School.  Under the tutelage of Satoru Gojo (Voiced: Yuichi Nakamura), he will understand that the power of curses … can also be a power to help.  In the beginning, you are thrust into this world through the drop-in method, witnessing an incident that introduces Yuta, the colorful antics (of the anime) and a glimpse of a cursed spirit.  After a series of plot driven devices, Yuta ends up at the high school (mention earlier).  After his enrollment, the unfolding purpose (of the narrative) is introduced through conversations and situational methods.  Yuta (and the audience) get an understanding of three things: What is a cursed spirit, the variety of skills used to exercise curses, and his unique position in this world.  This bare explanation provides a position to build up relationship between characters and the ensuing conflicts caused by various cursed spirits.  As you watch Yuta grow into his own (with the other students), combined with the visual aesthetics of the animation, it provides a journey influx with character dynamism through the hardiness of the medium.  There are obvious foreshadowing elements, but the stylings that melds the innate fixture of anime action, comedy and drama provides emotional reverie to the fast-paced direction.  Through scenes of witty dialogue and unique animation (of powers), the cliché elements are lifted because of the fragility of Yuta’s reactions to this world.  His innocence provides a catalyst to dangers (all around), providing an emotional girth that is riveting to fans (of the anime/manga) and newcomers (to the series).

As Yuta begins to evolve within his understanding (of the cursed spirit within), things turn dire for the school.  With the fate of the world hanging on a thread, Yuta (and the school) is thrust into an all war for power and control over the cursed spirits.  With everything on the line, elements of the genre come to the forefront, putting on display (through animation) the powerful nature of certain characters.  Through over-the-top combat, outlandish power display and unique character designs, we head into a third act of adrenaline-fueled action and emotional tension.  As Yuta faces the ultimate foe, this leads to a consequential climax and a full circle epilogue.  Jujutsu Kaisen: 0 is an anime that takes you on a fun journey of escapism.  If you are fan of the series, anime or fantastical escapes, this is one for you.  It is available on streaming, but this would have been fun to watch on the big screen.

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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