Welcome all, to… to the same fight we’ve been watching for a while. Oh god it just keeps going. And going. Why? Oh god he has another form. And his buddy showed up to help. At least Todo is doing something! Oh gosh. Well this is going to be a fun week to talk about, someone is going to get mad at me. So lets rip off the band aid and dive right into it!
So in case it wasn’t obvious, I’m tired. I left this episode feeling fatigued. We’ve been doing this same fight, this same conflict, for so many episodes now. Every time it’s about to come to a close new powers, new strategies, new allies, new ass pulls occur to keep it going just a little longer. I can accept a few, it’s the genre, have fun with it. But much like Wano and the current My Hero Academia arc dragged on, so too has this fight. There comes a point where it’s simply to much, where you want the fight to end and the story to move on. And right here, right now? Jujutsu Kaisen has reached that point. Because every time something cool happened, every time Todo appeared on screen, every time I had fun, I was then reminded we have the same fight to get back to.
It wasn’t all bad, Todo continues to be an absolute chad, the MVP of the past few episodes. Every time he appeared on screen, I smiled. He doesn’t pull out random bullshit we didn’t know he had, nothing that actually affects the fight at least. Instead he’s simply always down to clown, using his power in incredibly inventive ways to gain the upper hand. Clapping against Mahito’s palm to activate his ability after losing his left hand? Fantastic! Proclaiming applause is something that comes from the soul, both metaphorically praising Itadori from the bottom of his heart and faking out Mahito with one of the best bluffs I’ve ever seen? Then admitting Boogie Woogie is dead, telling us it wasn’t a bullshit power spike? Absolutely incredible. I love this man and everything he brings to the series. And that’s not even mentioning what I totally would have accepted as the best domain expansion of the series!
That’s right, I’m talking about the imagination sequence. This was hilarious! The necklace falling and revealing Itadori’s picture inside, right next to the Idol he loves so much, confusing the absolute shit out of Mahito? That leading into an imaginary domain expansion where he beats the shit out of him side by side with Takada-san, his crush? All the while his own theme song is playing? Seriously, this was my favorite part of the entire episode. It was just fun. No stupid edgy “I am you” metaphors that don’t make any sense, none of what I’ve criticized for so long. Just… Some honest to goodness fun. And it was bloody brilliant. Maybe I only love it because it broke up an otherwise exhausting fight, I’ll never know. But what I can say for certain is that Todo will forever be the best character Jujutsu Kaisen has.
As for Mahito, normally I like him. His metaphor with Itadori is stupid, it still makes no sense with how they’ve been characterized. But this episode saw him get his final “power up”, taking on a whole new form, his true form. And it looks absolutely terrible. It’s such a stereotypical “Cursed Spirit” design. One that loses all of the expressiveness and character of his original one. Now his discolored eyes and manic smile are replaced with a flat sheet of armor. His patchwork clothes and skin, a dull blue-ish sort of color. Everything that made him interesting to look at is gone. It’s a rather apt metaphor for this fight, and arc as a whole, to be honest. Of what it has become. And suffice to say, I’m not terribly interest in where it’s going.
Finally we come to Itadori. Once again, there really wasn’t much story progression here. You’d be forgiven for thinking the fight had wrapped up, that Itadori had won, but with Geto showing up who the fuck knows anymore. About the only interesting thing was Itadori rejecting the traditional shounen mindset of “I will not kill, I can save everybody”. That was nice, him just giving in to everything that’s happened and accepting he has to throw away his own principles to protect people. It would be really meaningful if Mahito actually embodied, actually mirrored, him like Jujutsu Kaisen claims. As it is though you’re left wondering why he didn’t do this a while ago, considering we have no evidence of a single “non-evil” cursed spirit. Oh and I guess that wolf hunting the rabbit scene was kind of cool, some nice visuals there. To bad we didn’t get it 2 episodes ago.
So yeah, all in all this episode was simply tiring. I want to enjoy Jujutsu Kaisen, I really do. And I know it’s possible, Hidden Inventory was basically perfect, hitting everything I want. Gege can write when he wants to, when he’s allowed to tell succinct arcs that don’t overstay their welcome. But this? Jujutsu Kaisen hasn’t earned this sort of overly long, single ongoing battle sort of arc. Especially not with how it treats so many of its characters as nothing more than emotional stepping stones for Itadori. This isn’t about time, I’m not saying its “to soon”. Hell, My Hero Academia hasn’t earned this, and it’s doing it right now in it’s huge big battle finale. No, it’s about the characters, and how well developed they are. Nanami? Great, got a lot of good stuff, perfectly positioned for this sort of arc. That’s why his death feels earned, why everyone loves him and will remember his role. Same with Jogo. But Nobara? Maki? Hanami? Dogon? Literally everybody else? They weren’t ready for this. And it shows in the final product.
This was great. Loved this.