Following the resounding success of the 2020/2021 editions Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is the next animated film to make an international splash. The film was also released in cinemas across the west to critical acclaim, with much of the praise going to its outstanding animation, charming characters, and genuinely moving story.
As expected, online viewers were thrilled with the film, with Redditors sharing several highlights that made them happy with this prequel film. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 satisfies both longtime fans and newcomers alike with its clever and tasteful callbacks to the main series, while also being an incredibly user-friendly starting point for everyone else. There’s a lot to love, which could hopefully bode well for the future of animated film releases internationally.
The most accessible animated film to date
The genre can certainly be shocking and/or intimidating to those watching from the outside, but Jujutsu Kaisen 0 proved to be ideal for both newcomers to the series and anime newbies in general. This film is based on the prequel manga of the same name from series creator Gege Akutami, which naturally makes it a new welcoming ground for those arriving fresh. However, some of this accessibility also applies on a literal level. Editor WumpaFP applauded the film for several things, one of which was “noting that this is the most easily accessible animated film near my home”.
The critical success of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 has a role to play in this accessibility, and the fact that the film is widely distributed internationally shows the enormous advances that animated films have made in recent decades. Years ago, it was hard enough for fans to get their hands on TV shows – subtitled or dubbed – which made movies even rarer. With the success of this film, as well as demon slayerthe future looks bright for the distribution of animated films.
See Nanami’s Black Flash
Although it is a recognizable shonen anime, Jujutsu Kaisen was applauded for avoiding blatant tropes. That being said, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 certainly contains the anime movie trope of bringing the “greatest hits” cast of characters into the final act. New fans may be lost, but the film generally manages to make the appearances of these supporting characters irrelevant to appreciating the film’s strong stand-alone story. For longtime fans, however, there were several delicious cameos and Easter eggs that satisfied those who came from the series and/or the manga.
the same Redditor exclaims that they “really enjoyed it and got really excited every time Nanami would be shown! Then he even shows the black flash disk? Hype.” Nanami is a fan-favorite character in the franchise, and the Night Parade in the film’s final act gave fans a glimpse of her famous Black Flash record referenced in the main series. The move is a rarely performed technique where the jujutsu wizard applies cursed energy to their physical attack in a millionth of a second. Nanami here set the initial record of four consecutive Black Flashes.
Original anime scenes
Similar to Ufotable mentioned above Demon Slayer: Mugen Train movie, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 was adapting a small piece of the series as a whole. Ufotable and MAPPA believed that instead of slowing down the TV series with a brief arc, they expanded it into a movie format to start the next season after these events. at Akutami Jujutsu Kaisen 0 the manga is quite short, so filling a movie with original scenes was inevitable.
As for this original material, Redditor genesis1v9 was impressed with the creative team, saying that “MAPPA did very well with what they received. I always found volume 0 to be the weakest part of JJK”, and that “the original moments from the anime definitely elevated the movie.” Anime “filler” is feared by the community, as it was overused in several series years ago to poor effect. However, the film gave the impression that its original anime scenes were complementary to the source material.
The exceptional animation of the MAPPA
This highlight comes as no surprise to veteran fans, as MAPPA animators are among the elite anime studios. Their different series — like Jujutsu Kaisen, The attack of the Titans season 4, Hajime No Ippo season 3, and Dorohedoro – are dripping in visual quality, and a theatrical film brings an even higher expectation.
Thankfully, fans generally agreed that Jujutsu Kaisen 0 met and exceeded those expectations. Editor CyberJokerWTF praised the studio, saying, “I think Mappa has gone crazy about animation and they can do really well if they have enough time and money.” There were several great showcases of their animation skills, with virtually every major fight scene included. The Night Parade of 100 Demons and Yuta’s fight with Geto were remarkable sights.
Gojo & Geto
Even above Nanami, Gojo Satoru is perhaps the undisputed character for fans of the franchise. Its simple yet elegant design, in addition to its fun charm, overall aloofness, and genuine compassion easily make it a hit among the fan base. And when it comes to Jujutsu Kaisen 0Gojo’s supporting cast was one of the most notable.
It was fun to watch him be one step ahead of everyone almost all the time, with Redditor OjiikunVII saying “Gojo’s mastermind is something to behold. He had everything planned to bring out the best in Yuta” and that “Geto feels like a great ex-best friend turned villain to have on the show.” Along with Yuta’s emotionally resonant character arc, the film gave a captivating insight into the dynamic and history of Gojo and Geto together. It’s the best look yet, and it will surely serve as additional context for the show’s second season.
Yuta and expansion on Maki
Yuta eventually appears in the main line Jujutsu Kaisen manga series, but 0 brings its origins to the fore. That’s part of what made this film adaptation a good move ahead of the inevitable second season premieres. High school anime series are in spades, but this franchise manages to be one of the most polished shonen of this style, with even Yuta being a worthy protagonist despite only being one in a prequel.
He is indeed likeable and working Maki in his origins has proven to be a strong dynamic. Editor FierceAlchemist stated that “Yuta is a great protagonist and I like that Maki has a lot of focus.” This also falls under the “original anime” point, as his mission partnering with Yuta was not in the source material. In addition to complementing the young protagonist with this scene by introducing him to more of his classmates, it also did so while maintaining Maki as a fully realized character in his own right.
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