Micah's qualifications include watching anime and watching it while eating.
Okay, so the whole point of this article is to basically gush about this amazing show. I was going to wait until it had finished airing to do a review, but it's too difficult for me to wait, so I'm going to do a review in progress.
This will take my four criteria and score each of them on a scale of 1-10. The average of all four of these scores will gives us an overall score. My criteria will look at:
Without further ado, let's bang it out.
The story for Jujutsu Kaisen, though it isn't groundbreaking, is still thoroughly engaging. The story isn't the precipice of human storytelling but the author gives you enough lore and world building to keep it fresh in each episode.
The show follows Yuji Itadori, who is a natural athlete. Upon the loss of a loved one, he's accidentally thrust into the unseen world of curses and the people dedicated to fighting them. Yuji, in the heat of the moment, does something drastic to save a classmate, resulting in him becoming somewhat of a catalyst for the rest of the narrative.
It's pretty easy to glean from the plot that this is, straight up, a run-of-the-mill shonen anime. But what Jujutsu Kaisen does, it does it well. No, not just well, it does it superbly. This is as good as shonen gets. The studio, Mappa, isn't trying to reinvent the wheel or make you see Jesus through groundbreaking anime technology. It's simply a fast-paced, beautifully animated, fist-to-fist banger.
The pacing is perfect, it tells you enough about the world and does enough with the characters that each episode keeps you engaged and attentive. I'd say that the narrative is the weakest point of the show but by no means is it a weak narrative.
Narrative = 8.5/10
At the beginning, it's easy to assume all the characters are fairly one-dimensional. And that wouldn't be totally off the mark, however, they're all extremely unique and blend well together.
In fact, I think the characters would be one of the stronger aspects of the show. As we dive deeper into the plot, they do begin to show more depth, but it's nothing that will change your life. Again it's not that the show is trying to do anything out of the ordinary with them but it simply makes all the basic character designs to superb.
Each character feels like they offer something unique to the cast, which makes watching an episode so easy and exciting. I love the fact that Satoru straight up tells Itadori that he's the strongest there is. This is a character who is your classic overpowered mentor but done really well.
There's a fighter in it who's a panda and is called... Panda. Jujutsu Kaisen has a way of taking simple shonen concepts and executing them flawlessly and we definitely see that in the characters.
Characters = 10/10
Alright, this is the Krispy Kreme of the crop. This is why you're here.
The first fight scene in this show was so beautiful that it felt like someone had whisked me away to a magical wonderland full of puppies. The artwork is so consistently good that it would be difficult to believe anyone really had hand-drawn anything. Each frame feels like Bob Ross himself made love to it. The fights are all incredibly amazing, choreographed well, and simply bring pleasure to the human eye. I cannot stop raving about how amazing the art is in this show.
When I'm watching the fights, it's like I'm gazing upon Cthulu and my mind is being maddened from the insight it shows me. Yeah, it's good.
Artwork / Animation = 11/10
I mean, can we all not agree how amazing "Lost In Paradise" is at the end? Whoever decided on that needs a promotion!
The soundtrack overall isn't iconic or anything, but it's refined and used right. It fits well wherever they're using it and all the OPs and EDs are so damn good. The music for the student life is right, the music for the fights is right. It's ALL right (heh).
I won't spend too long here but it would be hard to fault the soundtrack. If I were to get really picky, I would say that it's forgettable. This isn't necessarily a complaint though because the soundtrack only becomes unforgettable when it goes above and beyond. Either way, this isn't something that should detract from the overall score.
Soundtrack = 9.5/10
Overall = 9.75/10
In summary, Jujutsu Kaisen is an unmissable action masterpiece (thus far) that is a delight to anyone who loves the action genre. The fights will leave you bewildered, the characters will leave you in stitches, the narrative will keep you engaged, and each time "Lost In Paradise" plays, you'll boogie down.
Even if you're not a massive fan of shonen anime, please don't make the mistake of writing this one off. You'll love it.