Welcome everyone to another week of Jujutsu Kaisen! This episode is basically one big fight, no big storytelling moments, no big reveals (yet), just big punches to the face. And you know what? It’s pretty good! Let’s go ahead and find out why.
To start, let’s talk about the production process. I’ve been criticizing Jujutsu Kaisen for the past few episodes. Talk about the meltdown, the behind-the-scenes stuff, all that jazz. And a lot of that is still present in this episode. Some close-ups still look terrible, the contrasting reds and blues look great in wide-angle shots but don’t work in a lot of close-ups, that sort of thing. Basically, there are a lot of good ideas but some of the implementations fail. Overall, though… God, this episode has great style. Yes, it was difficult at times, but there was clearly a vision behind it all. Shadows, fluid animations, dynamic action, chessboards, eerie POV shots. If you break it down frame by frame, you can learn more about it. Visually, though, this might be one of my favorite Jujutsu Kaisen episodes in a while.
Seriously, look at the opening of Choso and Itadori’s fight. The stream of blood cut like a jet across the environment, the look of panic on Itadori’s face when it touched him, the way the liquid splattered across the scene before peeling off the surface like dried glue. What about Choso running into the hallway in first person, hands up, or Itadori parking around the bathroom? Again, and I know I’m repeating myself but I don’t care, the movement is really rough. But the way it plays out and the pacing, the way the scenes come together, it all feels really great. This episode is the perfect example of evocative work and technical work. This episode of Jujutsu Kaisen had technical problems. But it reminded me strongly. And that’s far more valuable than clean, clinical lines or smooth movement. Yes, tldr, this episode looks great.
Naturally speaking, the fight went well. I’m glad Itadori lost, I’m always excited whenever a hero loses because in Shounen you naturally expect them to win. It also sets up Choso as a villain who could return instead of just appearing once in this arc. What I don’t like is the way he survived. What are these memories, why did Choso suddenly let him survive? Did they make him think that Itadori was part of his family, one of the brothers he cared about so much? That doesn’t make much sense, but assuming that’s the case, how did they get there? Did Sukuna plant them, were they awakened by something else, what? It came from somewhere and I don’t think it’s the most convincing way for Itadori to survive this encounter. Maybe if they were prompted properly they could work, but they come out of left field. That said, I really like the VHS effect in there. It feels like a grainy 90s cartoon. It was a great action sequence.
So, overall this was a pretty over-the-top and fun action episode. There’s not much progress in the story, but that’s okay, sometimes you just want to watch people fight. It ends on a strange note, one that I don’t really understand, but that still makes 95% of the episode an action-packed fun time. Assuming Jujutsu Kaisen returns and takes advantage of this memory, explaining what’s going on satisfactorily, I’ll call the whole thing a success. And if not? Well, we have an over-the-top action episode, perhaps the best one to date. To me, that’s a pretty good deal.
Some of my favorite photos from the show, just included for you to see with me