Director: Sunghoo Park
Writer: Hiroshi Seko
Starring: Megumi Ogata, Kana Hanazawa, Mikako Komatsu, Koki Uchiyama, Tomokazu Seki, Yuichi Nakamura, Takahiro Sakurai
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a prequel film to the anime show Jujutsu Kaisen, and is also based on the prequel manga of the same name. It works as both a standalone film for newcomers to the series as well as for fans of both the anime and original manga.
Everything changes for Yuta, when his curse murders four children who had been bullying him at school. His life is spared, and he is taken by Satoru Gojo to be trained at Jujutsu High. While in the school Yuta learns about curses and teams up with his classmates to save people and destroy curses. The power that Yuta holds in his own curse is immense, granting him special rank straight away, but at the same time draws attention from unwanted enemies who want the power for themselves.
The story follows the manga pretty closely, padding it out a little in places to make the feature length running time, but still a beat-by-beat adaptation. It’s completely accessible to people who’ve never even heard of the series before, with everything explained to Yuta as he enters the school. It’s also an essential part of the story for fans of the anime, and deepens the lore of the world of Jujutsu Kaisen.
The animation is sleek and great to watch, especially during the fight sequences. It’s exciting and tense, with crisp animation and you’re always completely sure what’s happening. The fights are big, but they never seem too chaotic or messy. Adding to that is the simply amazing hard rock soundtrack that accompanies the action. It’s intense and completely grabs your attention.
While there is a lot of fighting and action, with the last half hour being one long fight, there’s also a lot of room for characters. Yuta is an interesting character, you feel the guilt he feels over the bullies deaths at the beginning. His curse is the manifestation of Rika, his childhood friend who died in a car accident. After her death she becomes a curse and joins Yuta to keep him safe. The other characters in the school also have their own interesting back stories and are all really well written. Inumaki has the power to kill with his voice, and only speaks in onigiri ingredients. There’s a panda, who is fun and scary. There’s also Maki, who Yuta teams up with early on. She’s hesitant at first, but grows to like Yuta during the journey.
Overall, the film is fast paced and completely captivating. Whether you’re familiar to the world or completely new to it, this is a must-see film. There’s so many great characters, the action is simply flawless, and the music is intense.
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