Jujutsu Kaisen 0 movie review: Ass-kicking action-packed anime

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 movie review: Ass-kicking action-packed anime

Jujutsu Kaisen was one of the biggest anime of 2021, but does its prequel movie deliver? We gather our Cursed Energy and jump into the fray…

We’re huge fans of Jujutsu Kaisen. One of the biggest shows of 2021, this full-on shounen kicked all the ass, and we placed it sixth on our list of last year’s best anime.

Set in modern-day Japan, in the world of Jujutsu Kaisen there exist Curses, horrific creatures brought into existence by negative human emotions. While ordinary people can’t see most of them, they can still be affected by them; do you feel an inexplicable weight on your shoulder and have nightmares about being choked? It’s probably a curse that’s attached itself to you. As for the more powerful curses, they’re terrifying monstrosities that will happily capture and eat humans whole.

The only way to fight curses is by using Cursed Energy, and the only people capable of wielding this are Jujutsu Sorcerers. To learn how to use their powers, they must attend a Jujutsu school, and it’s the students and teachers of Tokyo Metropolitan Jujutsu Technical High School who form the core of the anime.

Jujutsu Kaisen delivered a strong story, a diverse cast of fascinating characters and topped it all off with some eye-popping and dazzlingly creative fights that were truly top tier. It’s easy to see why both the anime and its manga source material have proven so popular, and now fans have got the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 movie to enjoy while they wait for the arrival of the show’s second season in 2023.

Set before the events of Jujutsu Kaisen, 0 introduces high school student Yuta Okkotsu, who has been affected by an incredibly powerful Curse. Yuta is taken in by Satoru Gojo, a teacher at Tokyo Metropolitan Jujutsu Technical High School (and the man with the sexiest eyes in all of anime), to help him learn to control the Curse’s power. That’s easier said than done, especially when you’ve got the incredibly powerful and incredibly evil sorcerer Suguru Geto to contend with. Determined to get his hands on Yuta’s curse for himself, as well as intending to start an all-out war against the other sorcerers using his army of Curses, he’s bad news all-round.

Fans of Jujutsu Kaisen and supernatural shounen in general will have a great time with 0 as it serves up what we love about the show, just in movie form. While it might be set before the events of the show, it does an admirable job of attempting to explain the basics of its world, meaning newcomers won’t feel completely out of their depth.

Helping Yuta understand his power and how to use it are familiar faces from the show. These include cursed weapon user Maki Zenin, cursed speech user Toge Inumaki (who has to speak in rice ball ingredients to avoid hurting himself or anyone else), and Panda, an, um, giant talking panda… Fans will also appreciate several cameos from other characters during the movie’s grand finale, fleeting though they may be.

0 zips along at a fine pace – it’s certainly not short on action, with multiple thrilling fights across its runtime. It also looks and sounds as good as ever, and it delivers the same blend of comedy and emotional moments that the show does so well.

However, it feels like it spreads itself a bit thin, and there’s a lot it tries to cram in throughout the one hour and 45 minutes it has to work with. While it feels like it devotes a good chunk of that time to its finale, the final act also has to cover a lot of different things happening simultaneously, and because of that, it perhaps doesn’t feel quite as climactic as it could have done.

Overall, though, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a lot of fun – it’s action-packed, entertaining, and while it’s not quite as good as the show, it gives JK fans even more JK, and that’s never a bad thing.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 will screen in UK cinemas on March 18 2022