First Impression: Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2

Years before Itadori eats that cursed finger and even before Geto loses his battle to Okotsu, Gojo and Seto were once students at Jujutsu High. But not your typical students: they were powerful–stronger even than some instructors, as demonstrated when they, along with their classmate, Shoko, are sent to help Mei Mei and Utahime escape from an endless loop within a cursed house. Geto and Gojo are given a special assignment and their differing philosophies come to light as a result. While the former believes that the strong should help the weak, the latter just wants to get the job done without a care for who sees him or for saving those who aren’t strong. Regardless, they must protect and then “erase” a young woman who is the “Plasma Star Vessel” for Tengen-sama, who requires her to be the body to which he’ll transfer to avoid becoming too powerful and evolving beyond humanity and possibly threatening humankind. Confused? Maybe Gojo’s Digimon Adventure translation will help:

Unfortunately, the students aren’t the only ones seeking the girl. Others want her dead before the transfer can occur, leading Geto and Gojo into battle.

OH. MY. GOODNESS. While I was feeling somewhat indifferent toward the new season of Jujutsu Kaisen, episode one has turned me around completely. I’m absolutely hyped after this opening episode! While nothing much of consequence has happened yet, the episode does exactly what it needs to get us JJK viewers excited for the season ahead. The first few minutes reintroduce characters who are now senpais and instructors to the current generation of sorcerers, showing us when they were younger and cuter, in both their redesigns and their more youthful personalities. By bringing Gojo into the picture, along with future antagonist Geto and Rin Nohara mystery girl, Shoko, the show takes that initial nostalgia and raises the excitement to another level. The cherry on top is the rocking opening (as usual, the OP and ED are amazing, with the former likely to make our Top OPs of the Season list for summer 2023), impressing upon viewers that we’re in for a lot of heartache in this series with Geto’s turn to the dark side, already known because of his presence in season one and the film. The conversations and thoughts we’re made privy to in the episode emphasize this further, introducing the interesting dynamic between a Gojo—who was at the time obnoxious, unfeeling, and arrogant—and a Geto who is kind but already struggling with thoughts and emotions that will one day become more sinister and violent.

MAAPA is fantastic, of course. The animation is what really makes JJK special, lifting it a step above the typical shonen. The animators were tireless in episode one, constantly showing scenes from interesting angles, changing animation styles to convey goofiness in certain scenes, and featuring lovely backgrounds and vibrant colors (this season isn’t as dull as the first). I also enjoyed seeing the very mid-00’s stuff in the story, including older versions of Microsoft Windows and sliding cell phones. It’s funny (and a little sad) to have nostalgia for a time that doesn’t feel that long ago!

All these pluses, in addition to a storyline that may not be terribly inventive but is at least easy to embrace, have me raring to go for the remaining episodes of this two-cours season. Let’s go!

Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 can be streamed on Crunchyroll.


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