Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 gave fans everything we could have hoped for and more. Just when we thought one episode couldn’t top it, the next episode miraculously raised the bar. Even though the animators claim there’s still a lot of unfinished business, especially with this week’s episode 17, there’s no denying that what we’re given this episode is nothing short of an action anime masterpiece .
When I think about animated movies, I take into account not only the common features from the movies such as aspect ratio (text box/black bar), great depth of field (subject in focus/background matte) and high quality ingredients. While episode 17 of Jujutsu Kaisen Part 2 had almost all of the above throughout, this episode was a combination of many that created a specific, indescribable feeling, along with adrenaline and surprise.
Sitting here for the third time watching the episode, nothing about this episode has lost its appeal. Transitions may be common in anime, but great transitions are rare. Starting the episode with Itadori’s grandfather talking to him about being a protector immediately transitioning to Sukuna standing on the rubble of his own destruction was fantastic. It’s simple, but the meaning behind it and the contrast that comes with it is excellent direction and script writing by Itsuki Tsuchigami.
Not only do a few simple seconds have an impact on multiple levels of writing and character motivation, but the episode ends with Sukuna leaving Yuji to his own devastation with nothing but the windy echoes of a deserted city is haunting. There are no colors to make it look flashy. There’s no more crazy animation or awesome soundtrack underneath it. It is a crater of darkness that begins to swallow Itadori, followed by the chilling words “you are my special one” to kick off the opening theme to end it all. I couldn’t help but think that this was what the Shibuya Incident part was about—terrorism in its worst form.
I think Tsuchigami did the best thing anyone could’ve done with the ending of this episode and tried to really capture the feeling of an innocent person looking at the murder and destruction being done with their own hands. Not only Tsuchigami himself but also Junya Enoki was faced with the difficult task of capturing that feeling specifically as Itadori’s voice actor—and he succeeded.
It goes without saying that my favorite recent and notable production of Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 comes from the script and color design. Basically, the entire episode is flooded with desaturated colors to the point of being almost monochrome (grey/white/black) while keeping everything a vibrant red as just one of the additional layers adding more elements makes for great action. Not only is the script and color design beautiful, but the ability to keep it consistent throughout the entire episode gives the action in this fight a completely different meaning and feel.
Would the emotions and consequences of this war have been the same if it had shown the full Shibuya lights we’ve grown accustomed to throughout this season? The simple answer is no. The action might still be as great as it was, but if I saw Sukuna slash Moroko with karaoke lights shining from a hole in a building it wouldn’t be the same. With its gruesome lust for death, this episode isn’t just made to sit back and enjoy some action. It was created to be as evil as possible. When all the destruction is over, the black bars fade away as a symbolic way to show that the veil of evil has finally been lifted.
While some may think I’m putting too much emphasis on this fight, I beg to differ. Fight scenes aren’t just flashy animations and explosions. As I said at the beginning of this article, there are common transitions that you might forget, the same goes for fights. Memorable things are things that are supported by many things but the main one is writing. If a fight doesn’t have some kind of good writing attached to it, it ends up being nothing more than a short-lived adrenaline rush. Luckily, this time we don’t have to worry about that.
The little things
The color red itself can be a symbol of many things. Usually, it symbolizes power, evil or even both at the same time. Tsuchigami’s wish is to maintain this evil feeling around Sukuna with the help of Harumi Yamazaki and Hakuyu Gowho is also the director and storyboard artist for this episode, continues last week’s episode with continuous skeleton-like shots of Sukuna’s face backed by one of the best voice actors in the business —Junichi Suwabe.
Suwabe deserves the spotlight as Sukuna. Even though we’ve had his moments from the first season, Suwabe hasn’t really been able to express himself like Sukuna this time. With evil laughter flying in the air and the emotions of enjoying a mortal battle, Suwabe gave one of the best performances of his entire career and I can say that he is the reason That’s why many fans love Sukuna so much. was a villain from the start, despite essentially being the embodiment of evil.
Although series creator Gege Akutami deserves credit (duh) for writing Sukuna the way he does, it was Suwabe, the animators, and artists who brought a new meaning to the evil for his character. This episode doesn’t simply give us an incredible action masterpiece filled with sakuga and a stellar team of animators, but also a message sent from the deepest depths of hell. Below Shibuya, a red sea one moment and a dark abyss the next. A giant crater of nothingness was the perfect way to end Sukuna’s awakening—leaving no trace of life behind.
The creativity surrounding Megumi was initially scrutinized for obvious reasons. But let’s not ignore the fact that he turned his back on death, smiled and said, “I will let death take me first.” I think in his constant state of calm, we tend to forget the Toji-like attitude that seems to surface when Megumi leans against the wall. Some people might argue that Megumi is the biggest badass in the series and I honestly wouldn’t even argue with that.
And, once again, the theme of darkness surrounding Sukuna and Itadori is not only apparent in this episode but also revolves around Megumi as well. What’s darker than death itself? Seeing Megumi as basically a simple spec on a black screen surrounded by his shinigami like they were tombstones, yeah, just adds another layer to the endless wave of darkness that gathers This film squirts out from every possible crevice.
The last point
If you, as an anime fan, sit back and think about all of your favorite fight scenes, chances are they have a lot of deep meaning behind them. Sure, you remember them for what they were, but the layers underneath them are what make them even better. Creative touches from the director and animator. Final decisions come from the color designer and color writer. The story is written by whoever is the series creator and whoever is handling the script and series layout for the anime. These are the elements that can make for a good fight and a great memorable fight.
The mountain that episode Number 17 of Jujutsu Season 2 had to climb after last week was, to put it mildly, a challenge. Tsuchigami-san not only handled part A of the episode (before Sukuna and Makora fight) and the final scene with Itadori, but he also left part of the episode to Yamazaki-san, who debuted the script scene from this week’s episode. of the great war. I can’t even imagine the pressure she was under in what is now considered by fans around the world to be the best action episode of the year.
I sit here and giggle in amazement because there are comments that the episode hasn’t “ended” like many of the staff wanted it to. Seeing it “could be better” left me speechless and wondering what a finished product would look like. If what I saw wasn’t even the “finished product” considered by some to be the finished version, then is the finished version one of the best anime battles of the past decade? 20 years? When? I’ve never said this in my years as an anime fan but I’m eagerly awaiting the Blu-ray version of this episode because right now I can’t even fathom how much better it could be .
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 17 Recap
The Shibuya Incident arc is doing its job of keeping millions of anime fans around the world waiting for Thursday. The hype for this installment is warranted and it has delivered in excellent style since it began. While some may argue that it got off to a pretty okay, or even slow, start, there’s no denying that the Shibuya Incident arc will ultimately be defined by its incredible action with episode 17 going. head. Now we also only have one Nanami Cliffhanger left? Couldn’t ask for more. Thank you to everyone who made this episode possible.
Episode 17 rating: Perfect
Episode 18 of Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 will be released on Thursday, November 23. Be sure to vote for episode 17 in our weekly poll! The series is streaming on Crunchyroll with English subtitles.
Screenshot via Crunchyroll
©Gege Akutami/Shueisha/JUJUTSU KAISEN Project