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Jujutsu Kaisen S2 – 16 [Thunderclap]

Welcome all, to another episode of Jujutsu Kaisen! This week was a bit of a banger with 2 fights concluding and villains slowly getting taken off the board. One by one characters are going down leaving us to wonder who will be left by the end. There’s a fair bit to talk about so lets dive in!

Starting off, let’s talk production. As a whole, I would say this was one of Jujutsu Kaisen’s most memorable episodes. The Jogo vs Sukuna fight looked fantastic, heavily stylized in ways I imagine some might not like, but for me fantastic. I love it when animators are allowed to do whatever the hell they want with a scene, and that feels like exactly what we got here. As was mentioned by one of our readers in the discord, Kimjosh, this episode, as well as the Choso one, was apparently done outside of the usual production cycle. This means that, by my understanding at least, they were most likely started earlier and given more time than is usual. Regardless, the effect on the episode was obvious. Literally the only bad things I can say about it, visually, is that Jujutsu Kaisen was once again cursed by Japanese TV anti-seizure laws. Damn you Porygon, damn you…

Getting into the details, it should obvious that the big payoff of the episode was the Jogo vs Sukuna fight. The entire episode was leading up to it, it was the spectacular finale, everything else was sort of just tying up loose ends. But its not as if the fight was only animation. There were a lot narrative and character focused bits in there I enjoyed as well. Stuff like Sukuna trolling those caught in the crossfire, forcing them not to move until the last moment, how just how much he taunts Jogo. It’s not enough to just tell me that a character is an asshole, you need to show me as well. And that’s exactly what Jujutsu Kaisen is doing. Add on to that Junichi Suwabe’s performance, and man does he have range cause he’s doing a lot of characters this season, and you end up augmenting the fight really well.

And it’s not like it stopped there! Even with all the taunting, all his gruffness, Jujutsu Kaisen managed to give Sukuna a genuinely touching moment. Sure, it was one mass murderer complimenting another. But when you parallel it to Jogo’s interaction with Gojo in Season 1, how he was called “weak”, and see how much it meant to Jogo now? It works quite well. My only real concern with it all is that Jogo’s death sort of marks the end of his quest. Sure Mahito exists, but he doesn’t seem to really care about it beyond his own personal enjoyment. Maybe that’s what Sukuna meant when he said Jogo needed to give it all up and burn it all down to become truly strong, but it still means the end of his dream. It’s quite a sad way to go when you think about it.

As for the rest of the episode, there wasn’t to much here. The only other thing of interest was the conclusion of the Fushiguro vs Toji fight and I was rather unimpressed by it. Visually it looks fine, some great movement. I think the speed/pacing of it was a bit much. Toji as a character wants speed in his movements, that’s one of the defining factors in how he fights, but it made some cuts a bit hard to follow for my taste. Still, it was a fun fight and I’m really just nitpicking visuals there. Narratively is where I start to really get conflicted.

You see, in case it wasn’t obvious, I love Toji. I think he’s cool and intimidating, a great thing for a villain to be. So it was kind of disappointing for me when he “died” in such an anticlimactic way. Yeah, he killed himself rather than kill his son, that’s a great idea in a vacuum. But Toji is so stoic in his appearances that his feelings for Fushiguro don’t really get explored enough to make the scene work for me. Had he broken that stoicism a bit, giving us a bit more emotion when meeting his son all grown up bearing his mother’s name rather than Zen’in, it would have been a lot more effective. Stoic characters don’t need to be stoic all the time. In fact I think that’s what makes those rare moments of emotion all the more effective. It’s a small thing yeah, but it’s the climax of his fight, so I was looking for a bit more there.

You wanna know who didn’t need more though? That blonde kid! You would think he would leave after getting absolutely demolish by Nanami, but no turns out he has the survival instinct of a lemming. And wouldn’t you know it? Ambushing and knocking out someone who summons/binds spirits as their primary combat style might be a bad idea. I have no idea what it is that’s woken up with Fushiguro’s collapse, maybe something put by Sukuna since he expressed interest or some kind of trump card, I don’t know. But whatever it is, it’s clearly strong enough to terrify this kid and is probably about to be our next major threat. Does it feel weird for a new threat to pop up this late in the game? A little bit. We still have Sukuna, Mahito and Choso left to deal with so we don’t really need another. Still, maybe Jujutsu Kaisen can make it work. We’ll have to find out next week.

So yeah, I think this episode of Jujutsu Kaisen was solid. The fights were good, though Jogo vs Sukuna was clearly more of an event than Fushiguro vs Toji, both narratively and visually. Jogo got a solid sendoff for the villain who has been with us the longest after Sukuna, with an especially nice callback to his first fight with Gojo. As far as Shounen spectacle goes, I’m having a fun time with Jujutsu Kaisen. I’m not super invested in it, I’ll admit. A lot of these side characters I just don’t care about and I’m not yet convinced Jujutsu Kaisen will actually commit to killing off some of its heroes, taking away some of the danger of what is meant to be happening. Yes I remember Maki/Nanami, I’m just not convinced they are dead yet because bait-and-switches are just what Shounen do. It also feels like we’ve strayed a bit, using Gojo’s capture more as an excuse to have a bunch of fights rather than an actual objective. That’s fine, like I said it’s fun and the fights are cool. But it doesn’t make for an emotionally investing conflict the same way say… Marineford or Alabasta or the Pain saga did. I expect that to change, Jujutsu Kaisen has 7 more episodes left to make me care. Right now though? Pretty lights go brr.

The post Jujutsu Kaisen S2 – 16 [Thunderclap] appeared first on Star Crossed Anime.

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