This might not be that big of a surprise anymore, but I’m a pretty big fan of anime. While I’m relatively new to the genre (I wasn’t watching it from childhood like some people), I’ve been consistently viewing it for the last ten years – maybe even beyond if you count all the Pokemon shows. I have seen the rise of new ones such as Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer, and of course, what we’re going to be talking about today, Jujutsu Kaisen.
But while I could go on for hours about it and how it’s one of the perfect shows to start you off on an anime path if you want some fantasy, today we’re going to talk about it’s prequel, Jujutsu Kaisen 0, a film that was released in the United States in early 2022 and is just now appearing on Crunchyroll for everyone to see.
And, let me say, this film is one of the best anime prequels I have seen in a long time. To be honest, I feel like it’s one of the best anime films based on a show, as well, but those are for other reasons we can't talk about here. If for some reason you’re a fan of the series and you haven’t seen the movie, I’m here to tell you why Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is one of the best anime prequel films, and why you should definitely give it a chance.
It Gives Effective Background Information On Characters We Already Know
Something I really like about Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is that it dives deep into the characters that we already know from the series. While it doesn’t do a lot of deep diving with many of the other characters, it focuses on a couple and really gives them a more effective backstory and adds personality that we haven’t experienced before.
Like, for example – when watching the show, I have to admit, I was not the biggest fan of Gojo.
I know, I know, everyone simps for this man and loves him because he’s so powerful and yes, I understand, he’s very handsome, but he just didn’t do it for me because I felt he was really arrogant in a certain way and put his students in danger way too often. The only saving grace he had was that it seemed he cared for Yuji Itadori, but at the same time, even some of those moments didn't feel super likeable.
However, in the prequel, I actually started to find myself caring for Gojo more because we got to see his heart in a way I hadn’t seen in the anime. When helping Yuta try to harness the power of Rika into the katana and to find a way to free her of her curse, you can see that he really does care about the kid and wants her to succeed, which is something I feel like we don’t get to see a lot of in the show, besides him being a badass. It’s a nice change of pace.
Side Characters Have The Chance To Shine
While these aren’t really “side characters” in the original series because they certainly steal the show in more ways than one, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 really gave them a chance to shine and more.
A big side character that got a lot of attention in this film was Maki, who was given the shot to really show off her ability not only as a sorcerer but a fighter as well, and preview her friendship with Yuta that we don’t get to hear a lot about in the show.
We also get a whole lot more from Toge, someone who can’t even speak normally, and yet his personality shines so much more. While Maki was already one of my favorite characters, this movie made me love her even more, and the same with Toge.
It Introduced Interesting Characters That I Want To Learn More About
When I say “introduced,” I more or less mean that it feels we are given so much more story on these characters than before, as if we are properly introduced to them instead of having a few flashbacks and appearances in the anime before. For example, Yuta is barely seen in the first half of Season 1 of the series, and seen a couple of times in the second half, but other than that, we know nothing about him.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 was a great way to show off his character and give us his backstory that we have been aching to learn – and now, I can’t wait to learn more about him in the show, exactly what a prequel should do an excellent job of setting up. Another character I seriously enjoyed being better introduced to is Suguro Geto, the main antagonist.
He was such an interesting counterpart to Gojo and so ridiculously powerful and I absolutely loved the contrast between him and the rest of the Jujutsu sorcerers. His ending was interesting and set up so many plotlines for the rest of the series, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Both The Dub And The Sub Rock
There has been this ongoing debate for so long over what is better, dubbed anime (as in voiced by English voice actors) or subbed (voiced by Japanese voice actors, but subtitled for non-Japanese speakers). I have always personally preferred dubbed just so I can fully focus on the animation and all the cool stuff happening, but I understand why some prefer subbed as well.
However, I watched both in subbed and dubbed, and wow, everything was just done so perfectly. I felt the emotion in both versions, and they were both able to express the feelings of all the characters in the best way possible. Nothing felt as if it was left out or lost in translation. It told a great story both ways and I’m super, duper impressed. It almost reminded me of Howl’s Moving Castle because the sub and dub for that film was outstanding as well.
The Animation Is Done In A Brilliantly Cinematic Way
Last but not least, I need to give credit where credit is due, and say wow the animation was freaking amazing in this movie.
That’s not to say MAPPA doesn’t normally knock it out of the park, because they do. I saw Attack on Titan Season 4, I’ve seen the entire Jujutsu Kaisen anime and can’t wait until Season 2 – I know what they are capable of, but this film felt like it was on another level for animation.
It truly felt like an anime film rather than just episodes of show stitched together to make a film. For example, I saw Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train in theaters and while it was great, it sort of just felt like the show was taken from TV sets and put into the theaters. The animation didn’t feel starkly different from the series.
While I’m not looking for animation to be different from the show, I’m looking for it to be enhanced to a cinematic level, and that’s exactly what Jujutsu Kaisen 0 did. It felt as if I was back in the theaters watching it for the first time on the big screen and seeing all the intensity all over again, because the animation was beautifully done and created some visually stunning sequences that I didn’t normally get in the TV show. That’s what made it so good.
When it comes to anime prequels, you really can’t get any better than Jujutsu Kaisen 0. Fans of the show have to see this prequel. I mean, if we’re being honest, you don’t even need to have seen the original series to enjoy the film, which is what makes it a fantastic prequel for anyone. Until Season 2 comes out, I’ll just keep rewatching Season 1 and this movie over and over again on Crunchyroll.
Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!
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