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Anime blockbuster Jujutsu Kaisen 0 hit international theaters last month. As part of the KAZÉ Anime Nights we are able to give you the following impressions.
First of thank you to Kaze for providing us a a very good quality source to review this newly released movie!
Fans of the series might already know exactly what is going on with this one. Newcomers who might be interested will likely fret “but I have not even started the series! It’s so much already and now there’s even more!”
We’ve got good news for the latter: This movie is a prequel in terms of content. Still, knowing some characters and lore might prove to be a bonus.
As so many prequel movies before, this one is perfectly watchable before you start with the actual manga/series. It leans a bit on the special side, too.
If you might know the manga and anime you may even get some very heartfelt “Ohhh~” moments out of it, but those won’t get diminished too much in case you’re new to the curse vanquishing society.
Even better, if this is your first encounter with JJK, you may even experience a reverse excitement effect with the actual anime adaption and especially the main manga later on.
Usually you get prequel movies for the fun of it, somewhere in-between chapters, be it for iteration purposes, to further the main character development or to hint at things that might happen later or that have already transpired.
But this movie is the adaption of the actual first publication of the series from 2017 of JJK, which was known as Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School. As the author then released Jujutsu Kaisen as a series, this prequel chapter was renamed to Jujutsu Kaisen 0.
And this adaption of said manga has an even more interesting twist: It includes some surprises that were not in the original version of the manga.
Though one warning beforehand: This movie is nothing for the faint of heart. There is gore, blood, death, twisted body parts, hurt people. So, brace yourselves, newcomers and veterans, to see your (future) favorite Jujutsu users fight against … … the upcoming threat! (we can’t spoil you this one after all).
This movie revolves around Okkotsu Yuuta, a rather timid student who seems to be haunted by his childhood friend due to a rather vicious accident. After a locker incident years later at school, he meets none other than Goujo Satoru, who is a very prominent special rank curse user.
Gojo then invites our protagonist to the opportunity to get his curse under control or get rid of it entirely. Else a more gruesome fate would await the boy.
A harsh, initially unwanted training awaits Yuta and throughout the course of the movie he learns something about himself, that will proof invaluable for his life and for the battles ahead.
Naturally in this story some of the popular Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School students make an appearance. It may be a huge boon for some veterans and also newcomers to get to see how and why the characters changed over time.
Sadly, there is not much to say about the story without spoiling all of it. But those who decide to look into the movie will indeed get to see some lovely fight scenes.
For everyone knowing the manga chapters – except for the special extra scenes – this is a quite well paced piece-by-piece adaption.
Again TOHO and Studio MAPPA are at the works for this including the series director Sunghoo Park. Just like with the anime, watchers can expect the utmost quality regarding the fight scenes and scene transitions. It is positively surprising that MAPPA can produce close to two hours of this in one piece. And that is no exaggeration at all.
There are no stark differences in animation quality, even if you decide to pause the movie it, is utterly brilliant. Coloration quality, choice of colors, lighting, effects, angles everything blends very well together.
The scene planning is borderline ridiculous and the amount of dedicated work that went into this adaption lead to a breathtaking quality, one we rarely see in long-running series and adaptions, due to rather terrible work conditions and constraints in Japan.
No shoddy lines, no flat colors when you don’t expect them. Movements are crisp, sharp and surprising, even in non-battle scenes.
To make this all even more of a fetching package the soundtrack is fitting, rocky-synth tunes and orchestrated ones for the battle themes. But all-in-all the OST mostly has a somber tone with the rare funny upbeat moment thrown into the mix. Every moment is well fitted with a tune for the exact situation and purpose. Some may even want to listen to it outside of the movie.
The sound effects team did give their all to make every sound stand out clear and cut in order for the audience being able to feel the tension, the hits, the pain, the twisty-turny motions of the curses wobbling over the screen. Even with heavy music blasting throughout a fight.
Those who like well-made characters woven around a well-designed supernatural environment involved in high-paced battles, will relish this movie through and through, no matter if you already fell in love with the series or if this is your very first step into the material.
The German subtitles that were provided in the screener were a good match most of the time. Characters were able to retain the personality they displayed in the Japanese original or their speech pattern quirks. Spacing and visibility were also very good. And additional information stayed on screen an adequate amount of time. No qualms here. English subs weren’t provided so we can’t judge their quality.
The Japanese voice actors also reprise their roles, so as expected there is quality in spades in this movie!
With a few simple exceptions that for example are:
Yuta, the movie’s main character is voiced by an old veteran but a Jujutsu Kaisen newcomer: Ogata Megumi. She was able to prove why her nickname is “the prince” in Japan once again. Her voice work has not dimmed in all these years, on the contrary.
You may know her from roles like Sailor Moon’s Teno Haruka or Naegi Makoto from Danganronpa, or even EVA’s Ikari Shinji.
Hanazawa Kanna takes on the mantle as Rika, Yuta’s childhoof friend. She does a spectacular job in switching up her voice. You may know her from Demon Slayer as Kanroji and she even has a role in the upcoming Season 2 of Shield Hero as Ost Hourai.
It is a joy to observe their careful back-and-forth between each other.
By the time the credits roll you will hardly notice that this much time has passed. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is so well paced that it’s even more difficult to believe you sat through all the action in one sitting.
Some of you may even want to watch it again right away and it’s absolutely understandable, if that’s the case.
With that being said, we do hope that you enjoy your wild ride through the very first chapter of Akutami Gege’s Jujutsu Kaisen 0 as much as we did.
Don’t forget if you are patient enough, there might be a slight surprise after the credits.
You can find a list of the participating cinemas screening Jujutsu Kaisen 0 in Austria, Germany and Switzerland through KAZÉ Anime Nights right here. Earlier in March the movie hit theaters in the US and elsewhere in Europe. You can find tickets through Crunchyroll Movie Night here.
In case you should be on the hunt for merch, there are Pop Up Parade Trading Arts, Nendoroids, shirts and accessories from the movie out there, aside from a sizeable PVC figure of Yuta and Rika in human form.