A young man with black hair dressed in school uniform posed in fighting stance with pale-white demon.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie (2022)

Watching anime is exhausting when juggling multiple shows. The number of entertaining shows increases daily. In the early 2000s, a handful of programs dominated pop culture. Millennials thought of anime as another cartoon with little to no knowledge of its origin or language until reaching maturity. Since then, streaming services continue to fight for exclusive licenses to as many manga-based properties as possible.

A young man with black hair wears a scared expression on his face while standing in the belly of a monster.

One of these properties, written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, is Jujutsu Kaisen 0 The Movie. Directed by Seong-Hu Park, the story follows a high schooler named Yuta Okkotsu (Kayleigh McKee), who commands a powerful demon named Rika Orimoto (Anairis Quiñones). Yuta is recruited by a Satoru Gojo (Kaiji Tang), a sorcerer who wishes to help Yuta control his power. While training to master his new abilities, Yuta makes a few friends with their own “gifts” called curses.

Three sorcerers stand prepared for battle. A talking panda, a woman with a spear, and a boy wearing a scarf over his mouth.

As far as prequels go, this is an incredible introduction to the anime series. The world is rich with unique characters. From talking Pandas to malevolent spirits that eat children. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 The Movie is bizarre storytelling, with supernatural beings who possess techniques Western comics can’t fathom. What makes them so cool is how they’re presented. Vibrant colors, dynamic animation, and a mixture of different art styles make the fight scenes stand out from the usual color-coded projectiles seen in anime.

An angry man with an injured face stares forward through clenched teeth, his long black hair flowing in the wind.

The creature designs in Jujutsu Kaisen 0 The Movie are high quality. Some are run-of-the-mill monsters, while others stood out for their alien appearance. One of the main protagonists, Rika, resembles a white Xenomorph with snake fangs for teeth. Not the kind of creature one associates with “the good guys.” Therein lies what makes Jujutsu Kaisen 0 The Movie such a delight, its subversion of expectations for character archetypes.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 The Movie explores themes of grief, childhood trauma, and the dangers of bigotry. Don’t worry, this isn’t a lecture or preachy film, the messages are woven into the narrative. There’s a great deal of action, mythology, and character development. With so much material to cover, it’s no surprise the story utilizes a few time jumps. However, it’s nothing that distracts viewers. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 The Movie boasts an arsenal of special weapons, attacks, and supernatural abilities. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 The Movie gets an 8.5 out of 10.

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