I feel like I’m taking a risk with my reaction to the latest episode of Jujutsu Kaisen, why the hype? Shibuya Arc has been popular with all the manga readers I know for the past few years, but I’m starting to feel Feeling a bit overwhelmed by this plot. I know that I shouldn’t let myself get too excited by the fandom hype, but it’s been hard to ignore all the voices telling me that this whole story is going to blow my mind when, so far, it simply a perfectly fine start to the Great Battle Story. However, compared to the tight, engaging and emotionally satisfying Flashback Arc? I do not know. I was expecting more.
To be fair to “Pandemonium,” this episode does contain some material that enhances the entirety of what we’ve gotten from the Shibuya Arc thus far. Flash of violent rebellion from the Brain-Monster! Geto’s hand is proof enough that the original Geto is still there, somewhere, which makes me more interested in BM!G, as a villain. Plus, we get the return (of sorts?) of Mechamaru! Now he’s a cute little spooky headset, which is another development that makes the beginning of this arc even stronger. For one, his fatal defeat at the hands of Mahito seems less arbitrary, and it offers an ever-improved emotional connection to the battle at hand because at least we know MechaMaru more than Mei Mei’s strange childish butler, or the beanie guy playing with Nanami and Megumi. Since all the other witches will probably have to band together and fight for their lives while Gojo is trapped in that seal, the story will need to rely on the characters we have connection to sell shares of this entire battle.
However, I’m worried that my biggest problem — my lack of emotional investment in whatever’s happening right now — isn’t something JJK can fix easily. At this point, there are a lot of characters, both good and evil, and I can count on one hand the number of them that managed to capture my attention through a whole lot’s worth of gobbledygook. seasons and noisy, epic battle scenes. I also don’t know how much growth the new faces will manage in this chaotic landscape. I don’t mean to say that Jujutsu Kaisen suddenly went bad or anything. I just hope that it will be a lot better now.
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 is now streaming on Crunchyroll.
James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop culture, which you can also find on Twitter his blog and his podcast.