Generally speaking, an anime adaptation is considered promotional material meant to boost a manga’s sales. And a good anime adaptation is the key to maximizing the growth of a manga’s popularity.
With the “Demon Slayer” anime’s international success rapidly boosting its manga’s popularity and sales at an unprecedented rate, “Jump” reasonably seeks to recreate such figures in the “Jujutsu Kaisen” anime adaption.
However, whereas “Demon Slayer” enjoyed relatively little attention prior to its gorgeous anime, “Jujutsu Kaisen” has already seen impressive rising sales figures with each successive collected volume.
So, how does “Jujutsu Kaisen” anime hold up to the critical eye? Is it any good? The short answer: yes.
Animated by Studio Mappa, previously known for their work with popular titles such “Yuri on Ice,” “Zombieland Saga” and “The God of Highschool,” “Jujutsu Kaisen’s” anime boasts beautiful art, but nothing far out of the ordinary for the modern day.
Episode one starts off with the opening sequence of the manga’s second chapter, but then animates the entirety of chapter one, ending where chapter two picks up.
Such a move is a bit odd, but does give viewers a hook to draw them into the relatively mundane beginning, and is a promise of the insanity that soon follows.
The obvious boon anime has over a manga format is animation, color and voice acting, and Studio Mappa has done a fantastic job in all respects. From the get-go the production quality is clear, though there isn’t any unique artistic flair that sets it apart from competitors.
Furthermore, the coloring fits the atmosphere well, appearing mellow and muted just as the story dictates.
“Jujutsu Kaisen” doesn’t suffer from loud, obnoxiously voiced protagonist syndrome either, a criticism the “Black Clover” anime received and drove off many potential fans.
The cast is spot on, with all the voices so far fitting their characters to a tee. The primary protagonist, Itadori Yuji, is voiced by Enoki Junya, who has a wide range of voice credits including that of Fugo from “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind.”
Another issue many shonen anime have had in the past is unfaithfulness to the source material. Fans can be assured though, episode one is at least mostly faithful to its source. Though the opening sequence was out of order, beginning with a sort of “you might be wondering how I got here” scenario, chapter one is almost perfectly translated from page to screen.
Of course, there were some minor changes, but most of these probably won’t be noticeable unless you do a direct comparison.
What’s most significant about this anime adaptation is in how it vastly improves the artistic rendering of the “Jujutsu Kaisen” story. While some might say the scratchy art style of the manga is what makes it unique, a more critical perspective would say the scratchy art detracts from the story’s ability to convey itself.
The anime suffers from nothing of the sort. The way in which movement and combat is displayed is both crisp and fluid, and this extends to humans and the cursed monstrosities alike.
In fact, the anime does such a good job of improving the artistic depiction of the story that it effectively achieves the same thing that the “Demon Slayer” anime did. The anime improved upon the manga, rather than the more common occurrence of the anime being worse.
Not only is this huge for Studio Mappa’s significance, as they’re a relatively new animation studio, but it’s also great news for “Weekly Shonen Jump.”
The series’ first season, which is slated for twenty-four episodes, is off to strong start and fans of the manga should tune in by all means. People who haven’t gotten into the manga will be in for a great experience as well, beginning this paranormal tale at the opportune time of year.