Welcome everyone to another week of Jujutsu Kaisen! I’m not excited about this episode, not because of any surprising production issues, it’s just a mess. Why do I say that? Let’s get started and talk about it.
Like I said, this week was fine visually. Jujutsu Kaisen is handling its behind the scenes pretty well all things considered. This episode doesn’t look great at all, there’s a lot of the same cost-cutting measures we’ve seen in a while, and some of the filming is pretty dull. But overall for a production that seems to be failing according to its own animators, this episode is not a dull affair. There were even some public tweets from the episode’s director, Naoki Miyajima, thanking the team for being positive in general. And it’s not like there aren’t any great shots, I can think of two scenes that particularly stand out during the battles. If this is the worst Jujutsu Kaisen’s production has encountered, then good for them. And by “they,” I mean the animators who are working hard to make this production a success. Treat your employees better MAPPA.
No, what upset me about the episode was how Jujutsu Kaisen treated Nobara. This girl has done absolutely nothing this entire season, has performed well in every fight she’s been in and when she finally has an opponent can she hold up well? She was killed immediately because of Itadori’s development. Does he really need another loss at this point? After seeing the aftermath of Sukuna taking over his body, after seeing Nanami die right in front of him? What will happen, hulk out… again?! It felt like Nobara’s death didn’t add much to his story and instead took away one of the few female characters I actually cared about in this show. And if what I know about the manga is right, manga fans are still angry about this!
And that’s not even the worst of it. Nobara doesn’t go out in style, in some epic battle she shows off everything she can do. No, she got touched in the face and then we had about 15 minutes of flashbacks that I honestly couldn’t care less about. Saori? Fumi? I don’t care about them, I care about Nobara! Why are you interrupting the fight now to dump all of this on me when it could have been arranged much earlier? It destroys the tension of the scene and makes most of the episode feel like a waste of time. If you remove this flashback, absolutely nothing changes before and after. The problem of her finding a family with these idiots still remains. Instead, we wasted time completely unnecessarily.
All that said, I’ll give some credit for how Jujutsu Kaisen handled Mahito this week. He continues to have fun with some great strategies. Realizing she was losing and simply running away, separating her bodies and switching places, Nobara thought she was facing a copy, not the real one. Except for Toji, who handled everyone with ease, Mahito is probably my favorite villain in the series. I quite enjoyed watching him tear apart Itadori bit by bit until there was nothing left. Of course the way Jujutsu Kaisen plays out isn’t great at times, RIP Nobara, but the end result is at least interesting. Hopefully that goes somewhere before the arc ends! hint hint.
So yeah, overall this was a disappointing episode of Jujutsu Kaisen that took a character I kind of liked and kind of… threw her away for the sake of Itadori’s development. I don’t mind her dying, if she did as well as Nanami it would really mean something. But this? I just don’t feel comfortable, I don’t feel as though this was earned and reminiscing trying to get us to care/accept it is a waste of time. And considering that was 60% of the episode, it really made me feel uncomfortable this week. Hopefully next time can be a little better.