Spoilers Ahead. 10/10 Score.
A superb Intro to Shonen Anime!
For those that aren’t familiar Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Cursed Child is a prequel to the hit Shonen Jump series of the same title Jujutsu Kaisen. In its origins, the creator of the manga did make JJK 0 first, simply as a 4 chapter run in a monthly magazine panel but ultimately got enough love by readers to be picked up and made into a fully serialized illustrated graphic novel.
As mentioned, JJK 0’s story was technically completed, so for the full series they decided to create a new trio for the story, although still keeping majority of his original characters. Once the manga released in Japan, it gathered buzz and got picked up to become a show in October 2020 finishing in March 2021 with a 24 episode run.
With the release of the show, it became a hit worldwide, leading up to its original arc being made into an animated film. Like I mentioned the two arcs have a set of different main character(s), but the world building is the same; so here’s what you have to know.
This world is filled with cursed spirits that feed on the strong emotions of the human population. Adding that no one can see them… unless they have a special connection with cursed energy. So the people that CAN see them, see the chaos that they can create if left unmonitored and decide to create organizations to stop them. These people are also able to use said cursed energy to their advantage allowing them to harness it in weapons. Now, there are rankings of these people and at the top, aren’t what you expect, as there are people who can use cursed spirits to do their bidding… increasing the organization’s strive to stop chaos from happening.
This film focuses on the original 4 chapters, following the story of Yuta Okkotsu who was cursed with the spirit of his dead friend Rikka when the two were kids, now turned into a spirit “creature” (as seen above). Rikka protects Yuta from what she perceives as a threat leaving him with a trails of bodies behind him as he grows up. This news ends up coming into the Jujutsu Tech’s hands and left to task their best at helping Yuta become a good Cursed Spirit user. This film does a wonderful job in its animation (produced by studio MAPPA and TOHO) allowing full fledge intensity into the story. Of course, “anime” is in of itself just another different form of animation, having its specific motifs. And this film does everything in its power to create beautiful cinematography and visuals! NOT TO MENTION THE SCORE AND SOUNDTRACK! I had taken my non anime enthusiast friends to see it and they ended up enjoying the film, even starting the anime after. If that’s not a testament to how good this film is then I don’t know what is.
Like I mentioned, studio MAPPA was the one responsible to animate the characters to life. If you are familiar with their work, you know that they do an outstanding job at animating realism with a smooth colorful palate. Not to mention the flow of the cursed energy that they managed to recreate for the viewers to visualize! As you can see in the picture to the right, this is the level of animation we get when watching the film. Of course the show has a little bit more detail since they do individual episode animation, this film keeps up to it’s own pace. Having a nice bright color palate in its cheerful moments, and switching to their deeper colors when they have their more action/serious moments.
We also have to mention the music again, as it’s so good it imposes an intensity to fights, so much so that I added it to my workout playlist. Having a steady pace of orchestra and rock genre really brings everything together showing us through our ears how this world and their organization work. They need to have balance and ability to work together, like an orchestra, and yet they still have the ability to cause destruction themselves if need be, sort of how rock brings out that intense sensation of being able to break stuff if need be.
Overall, this is a great film brought to the audience and since it’s a prequel, it can be used as a gateway to enjoy other anime films or anime series in general. At the very least, it can bring an interest to this Shonen series as it’s a great watch and an even more intense read with the manga, which is apparently set to end sometime in 2023. But don’t just take my word for it, watch it for yourself in theaters since it’s still in its theatrical release, or watch it when it comes out on Crunchyroll, September 21st, 2022.