By Tatum Anderson
Fans of the television series “Jujutsu Kaisen” can now see a new protagonist in the world of sorcerers and curses on the big screen.
“Jujutsu Kaisen 0,” rated 4.8/5 star audience rating, with 757 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, is an action fantasy movie that takes place as the prequel to the Jujutsu Kaisen TV series. The TV series and movie were both written by Gege Akitami, a Japanese manga artist and is PG-13.
The movie was released in Japan on Dec. 24, 2021, and released in the United States on March 18, 2022. In the United States, the movie is available in both the dubbed and the subbed version.
The movie follows Yuta Okkotsu (voiced by Kayleigh McKee in English, and Megumi Ogata in Japanese), a 16-year-old school boy who has been cursed by his childhood love after she tragically passes away at the age of 10. It is soon revealed that the curse attached to him is a special grade, and is incredibly dangerous as she is difficult to control.
He is placed on a team with Maki Zenin (voiced by Allegra Clark in English, voiced by Mikako Komatsu in Japanese), Panda (voiced by Matthew David Rudd in English, voiced by Tomokazu Seki in Japanese), and Toge Inumaki (voiced by Xander Mobus in English, voiced by Kōki Uchiyama in Japanese) who are in charge of training him as a sorcerer.
The antagonist, much like the series, is none other than Suguru Geto (voiced by Lex Lang in English, and Takahiro Sakurai in Japanese). The movie shows a bit of his origins, as well as his past with Satoru Gojo (voiced by Kaiji Tang in English, and Yuichi Nakamura in Japanese).
Geto’s main goal in the movie is to get Yuta to join him in his ideal world, a world without humans. Yuta, who is very adamant about not joining him, then becomes the target of his rage.
As of right now, it is unclear whether the movie will be available on streaming services such as Crunchyroll and FUNimation; however, it is clear based on box office sales the movie will be in theaters for a bit.
The animation of the movie matches that of the anime, fluid and dynamic fight scenes, and smooth animation overall.
The music fit the fight scenes very well, offering an intense feeling every time. Although there was not much transition between the music and the rest of the movie, it sounded a bit abrupt and choppy.
This could be because the fight scenes were quite sudden and there was not always build-up needed.
The film overall served as wonderful entertainment with its colorful characters and plot twists. True to Gege Akitami’s writing, there were engaging subplots that pertained to the main plot, and a variety of characters received screen time.
There are also references to the anime such as Nanami Kento’s (voiced by David Vincent in English, and Kenjiro Tsuda in Japanese) current record of four Black Flashes in a row, which we see in real time. We also get to see how Maki obtained her weapon Playful Cloud and its true power when used by a professional sorcerer.
This film is especially great for people who enjoy characters Maki Zenin, Panda, and Toge Inumaki, all of whom get large amounts of screen time. Although they are still supporting characters, the role they play in the movie, much like the show, is major.
The movie does have a noticeable amount of fanservice, mostly used for comedic effect. While I do not believe it was truly needed and that there were alternative options, it does not ruin the movie.
It is worth noting that because the movie is a prequel to the series, all of their appearances are slightly changed to match the change in time.
The movie is 105 minutes and includes a post-credit scene. There were a few scenes where the movie felt a bit rushed, due to the plot being pretty dynamic overall. However, the rushing was counteracted by the gorgeous action scenes and character development.
The development in previously known characters and references to the show keeps the audience engaged, and allows for a wider understanding of the events in the television series.
It is hard to say what the timeline is in the movie, as we get the start date in the present time, but not much past that.
It is unclear whether the movie plot will be important to the show’s plot. While it does offer additional information into the Jujutsu Kaisen universe, there is no saying how important the movie will be as a whole.
Despite some of the shortcomings of the film, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is exciting, creative, and engaging–and well worth your time, especially if you are already a fan of the anime.