Gege Akutami’s Jujutsu Kaisen has skyrocketed in popularity since the anime released last October. This shounen is a perfect mix of dark fantasy and horror that leaves fans wanting more.
According to Oricon, on Jan. 13 2021, the series sold over 20 million copies. That number has only gone up since then. It also won “Anime of the Year” at the 2021 5th annual Crunchyroll Anime Awards. With the boom of interest in Jujutsu Kaisen, many are left wondering what exactly attracted so many devoted fans. Luckily, we’ve got a few reasons why Jujutsu Kaisen is so well loved for those not in the know (without spoilers of course).
What’s It About?
In the world of Jujutsu Kaisen, there are beings known as curses. These curses are practically evil personified. To combat these creatures, jujutsu sorcerers manipulate curse energy. The struggle between these two groups are unknown to the world at large. Highschool student, Yuji Itadori, finds himself in the thick of this conflict when his classmates stumble upon an ancient artifact that attracts curses to their school. Left with no other option, Yuji swallows the artifact in order to stop curses from gaining more power.
Unfortunately for him, the artifact was actually a finger that belonged to an extremely powerful curse named Sukuna. Sukuna fights Yuji for control over their now shared body. While Yuji wins, jujutsu sorcerers see him as a danger and a liability. Yuji is almost executed until a plan is made for him to find and eat the rest of Sukuna’s fingers so that the curse can truly die with all the pieces in one place.
To achieve this goal, Yuji becomes a sorcerer alongside his two new friends Megumi Fushiguro and Nobara Kugisaki. What follows is an action packed series that’s sure to keep your attention.
Shounen Always Wins
At its core, Jujutsu Kaisen is a shounen series. It doesn’t do much to subvert the genre, but that isn’t exactly a bad thing. We see many of the tropes we see in other shounen series here: a trio of friends, tournament arcs, strong enemies and more. These tropes are so ingrained in the genre because they work well. Jujutsu Kaisen does an amazing job of putting them at play.
No Need To Pick Up The Pace
As mentioned above, this series doesn’t shy away from typical shounen tropes. However, unlike most other shounen, Jujutsu Kaisen dives right into the action. From episode one, we immediately get into the thick of things. There’s some moments of peace but they are few and far between. There’s a sense of the stakes always being incredibly high – it’s great for fans craving non stop excitement.
The twist with this series is that it doesn’t shy away from horror elements. It’s on the more mature side of shounen and is pretty generous with its use of blood. The curses can be monstrous in both appearance and morality. Some scenes are brutal and fight scenes have their fair share of violence.
Loving These Characters
If there’s one attraction to this series that stands out among the rest it’s the cast. The main trio is fantastic – each with their own motives and personalities. Even the characters that make less of an appearance make their mark in the series. Akutami has a talent for giving us just enough information to make us even more curious and invested. Fans have clearly taken to it well. The absolute outpour of love for the sly Gojo and fierce Nobara is proof of that.
But… Nothing Is Forever
Yeah, those characters we love so much? They might not stick around. One of the first things we learn in the series is that people die and not everyone gets a “good death.” This is something that haunts Yuji and influences how he acts later on. He wants people to pass on in a painless, good way but it’s soon obvious that this can’t always be the case. There’s not too much that can be said here without spoiling, but even really important characters can die. It ups the ante and makes viewers wonder who is next.
Jujutsu Kaisen is a great manga and anime. Mappa’s phenomenal animation and Akutami’s story has recently charmed a slew of new fans. From the mature fight scenes to the characters, it’s easy to see why the series is so popular. It’s definitely worth trying to get into the series, especially with a movie projected for winter of this year.
Sign up to get news, announcements, and other fun stuff straight to your inbox.
Featured image credit: MAPPA