Welcome all, to another week of Jujutsu Kaisen! This week is a fun one as Toji gets to go off and Sukuna finally makes his appearance! We have a lot to talk about so lets dive into it.
Starting off, lets talk production. Jujutsu Kaisen had a pretty rough time last episode, I don’t think anyone can deny that. So I was pretty nervous going into this episode. Luckily, as terrible as their scheduling and production appears to be behind the scenes, MAPPA pulled it together for this one. It looked great. Toji got to pop off. The only criticisms I have aren’t even MAPPA’s fault, it’s the TV station and their mandatory-by-law seizure prevention dimming and ghosting. That, more than anything else, is what held this episode back. Jujutsu Kaisen fans should look forward to the Blu-ray where that will all be gone. Animation aside, this was also one of the first episodes where I really noticed the OST. There were a lot of good tracks this week that fit their scenes well, from Toji to Sukuna’s arrival. To sum it up? Episode was a good time.
Getting into specifics, its becoming more and more clear to me that Toji is the MVP of the season. In every appearance he’s just a force of nature. Someone who shows up, dominates whatever scene he’s in, then leaves. Just look at what he did to Dagon for example! This was a Special Grade curse, someone who was bodying two 1st grade sorcerers + Maki. Yet Toji shows up and instantly turns the tables. Part of that is Dagon underestimating him, true. But he also showed us how are heroes were lacking, how to use something like the Playful Cloud to its fullest extent. And as he did this, we got to watch the rest of the cast slowly figure out just who he is and just how outclassed they were. Dagon, effectively, jobbed to remind us how over powered Toji is. And now Fushiguro has to deal with him!
At the same time, Jogo arrives the instant Toji leaves, not giving our heroes a break. This is interesting, because until now the only person Jogo has fought has been Gojo. So he’s always seemed rather weak comparatively. Yet here he is, bodying all 3 of them even faster than Dagon did, all without his Domain. It’s an interesting case where Jujutsu Kaisen effectively created a fight between 2 sets of jobbers just to setup bigger combatants on both sides! It’s kind of cool. Assuming it sticks. And by sticks, I mean that Nanami, Zenin and Maki better be, at a minimum, pretty fucked up after being burned alive. I’d prefer they all be dead, or die during the arc, because if they don’t than Jujutsu Kaisen loses all sense of consequences. But one of them surviving in a fucked up state would be acceptable as well.
Getting back to the jobbing, Dagon jobbed for Toji in preparation for the Fushiguro fight while the sorcerers jobbed for Jogo to prep for an upcoming Sukuna fight. And this… This is cool. I’ll be honest, I forgot who Sukuna fought in this arc. Putting him up against a cursed spirit though? Someone that we, as an audience, can accept dying? Just to inevitably show off how strong Sukuna is in some kind of 3-character long chain of jobbing? That’s kind of funny, and a little clever. Plus we all know that while Jogo could never beat Sukuna, the rules of the fight at least give him a slimmer of hope for victory, which is important to get us invested. I guess what I’m saying is that Jujutsu Kaisen did a good job taking a kind of meh fight with Dagon and transitioning it to two far more interesting fights.
As for Sukuna himself, I quite liked his introduction. Much like Toji, he very much feels like a force of nature style villain, not one that can really be overcome. The way he instantly takes an arm just for touching him, or how he tells them to lower their heads then immediately slices across their chest to catch anyone to slow to listen. Jujutsu Kaisen also does this cool thing with Jogo’s regenerative abilities by having him only kneel, rather than go down on both knees, showing both his own arrogance and Sukuna fully intending to follow through with killing them. Add on to that how magnanimous he acted towards the girls, just to kill them on a whim the moment they tried to barter/ask him to do anything at all. It very much sells how capricious he is, and I like that.
So yeah, all in all this episode was a step up from the previous one in basically every regard. The fights were better, the narrative was better, the characters were more engaging. Against Dagon in a 3 on 1, I never really felt like any of them were in real “danger”. Dagon wasn’t an important character, Nanami and Maki weren’t going to die to him. But Jogo? Toji? Sukuna? These are far more important characters, with far more weight behind them. Them I can believe named characters dying or being severely injured by. They can actually move the story forward in ways Dagon just isn’t equipped to. So when they show up, I’m a lot more excited to see them on screen. And I think Jujutsu Kaisen is aware of that, because it didn’t waste our time more than was necessary. Which was nice.