Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

How ‘Jujutsu Kaisen 0’ sets a new standard | Indiana Statesman

How 'Jujutsu Kaisen 0' sets a new standard | Indiana Statesman
Written by publishing team

“Jujutsu Kaisen” is an anime that everyone’s been telling me to watch. I’ve watched the first episode but never watched any further into the show due to my expansive entertainment backlog.

I liked what I saw, but I needed a reason beyond “it’s really good” for me to put it further up on the list on what to watch next.

Anime that has movies based on them range in how much they matter to the overall story that’s presented in the shows.

For example, “Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn” alongside every other “DBZ” movie up until “Battle of Gods” are not canon to the main story and can be viewed on their own.

Others like “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” can cover short arcs that haven’t been adapted from the manga to bridge the gap of story between seasons.

When I was told about a prequel movie to “Jujutsu Kaisen” called “Jujutsu Kaisen 0,” I was skeptical about going to see it. What if I wouldn’t get some of the references in this movie and be left out of the hype my friends who’ve watched the show would feel?

First off, “Jujutsu Kaisen” roughly translates to “Sorcery War.” Curses are given physical embodiment in this series, and the people who can see them are aware of their existence dispatch of them by using Jujutsu Sorceries.

Some of these sorceries can come in many forms, such as objects like a hammer and nails, or the sheer ability to destroy things just by looking at them.

The film centers on Yuta, a troubled kid afflicted with a curse that embodies his dead girlfriend.

After an incident where Yuta’s curse kills a group of people bullying him, he’s quickly retrieved by series regular Satoru Gojo and integrated into Jujutsu High to help fight other curses with his own.

We see many other characters that appear throughout the series and what role Yuta has played before the events of the main series.

First off, this movie is absolutely beautiful to look at. It’s animated by Studio MAPPA, which is a relatively new studio yet oversees industry giants like “Attack on Titan” and the upcoming “Chainsaw Man.”

The impressive visuals are complemented by an impressive story and flashy fight scenes that really show off the diverse set of powers that this show has to offer.

As someone who hasn’t seen the show, my main concern was being left out of the hype of certain references like character details or general lore on how things work in this world.

It’s set a mere year before the events of the show, so I assumed a lot of story info could be spoiled for me. I went in thinking I would be getting a less-than-complete experience.

This movie completely subverted my expectations. Not only was it a great movie by itself, but it also kept the main story details and references to a minimum, thus I never felt left out of the hype.

It showed off this diverse cast of characters, each with awesome powers that explained themselves through action, which I greatly appreciated.

The movie accomplishes what all my friends wanted: it got me into the series. “JJK 0” is thankfully very beginner friendly to new viewers of the series, and it set the stage for the general world that is present in the series and the people that reside in it.

After the movie, I felt a tighter grasp of understanding for the world and the characters residing in it.

I think the most notable thing that “JJK 0” accomplishes is how it proves you can make an anime movie that both fits into the overall storyline of a show yet is fully accessible to newer viewers.

I felt like I missed out hard on “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” since I wasn’t caught up by the time it hit theaters, but that’s partly on me. It also didn’t feel like I was watching a one-off movie that won’t ever be referred to ever again like the early “DBZ” movies did.

Overall, I highly enjoyed “Jujutsu Kaisen 0,” and I felt just as much of a fan watching it as my friends who actually watched the series.

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