The prequel movie of the hit shounen series Jujutsu Kaisen — Jujutsu Kaisen 0 — is finally showing in Philippine cinemas on June 22nd! Directed by Sunghoo Park and animated by MAPPA studios, the movie focuses on a different character given its nature as a prequel. It first premiered in Japan back in December of 2021, and after six months, it is finally getting a PH cinema release.
Was the movie worth the wait for anime fans? Here is our spoiler-free review of Jujutsu Kaisen 0!
A Prequel with a Plus
The movie is about a 16-year old boy, Yuta Okkotsu, who becomes a special-grade sorcerer in Jujutsu High, seeking to control and deal with the powerful cursed spirit of his long-dead childhood friend (and sweetheart), Rika Orimoto. With the help and guidance of his mentor, Gojo Satoru, and fellow Jujutsu High students Maki Zenin, Toge Inumaki, and Panda, Yuta expands his skills and knows more about the sorcerer world while trying to rid of the evil of curses that plagues humanity.
For someone who has fully read the prequel manga, I have expectations on what should appear in the film, so I was highly anticipating how the movie would have translated the scenes. I am happy to say that the movie delivered what the manga has been and more. It is highly refreshing that the movie managed to expound the scenes from the manga that I thought were quite simple and straightforward into something more emotional and exciting. I definitely find the movie a lot—meatier-–with the content, so to speak.
If I felt like I had a decent snack reading Volume 0 (due to its few 4 chapters), the movie definitely treated me to a nice hearty, delicious meal complete with dessert in the form of an after-credits scene (so make sure to stay until after the credits roll). The fight scenes were gorgeous—the characters brought to life well like the animated series—and the storytelling was enjoyable.
However, I gotta say that it might be a little overwhelming for new anime fans who have no idea about Jujutsu Kaisen due to the (easter-egg) appearances of a lot of characters which weren’t introduced fully in the movie. These appearances might make a lot of viewers curious and maybe a tad confused because the appearances seemed very sudden and out of the blue. Nonetheless, I think it is a way for new fans to pick up on the series itself—a preliminary bait to get one hooked into the mysterious, action-packed world of curses and sorcerers that is Jujutsu Kaisen. And believe me when I say that it’s a highly recommended series to get immersed in.
A Fantastic Movie Experience
Having watched it in IMAX Theaters at SM Megamall during the fan screening, I can’t express enough how impressive the overall cinematography, music, and visuals have been in such a setting. It has been my first time watching an animated movie in such abig creen and I seriously recommend it to have a full-blown action packed experience.
The creative camera pans and fight scene animations have been a feast to the eyes in a widescreen IMAX theater complete with well-crafted music and surround sound that you can feel straight down to your seats. Seeing a well-crafted animation sequence by the well-renowned studio MAPPA which made Yuri on Ice and Attack on Titan (Final Seasons) on the big IMAX screen will definitely set a great benchmark for your future movie experiences.
The movie did not skimp on the beautiful environmental render and the surroundings are such a treat—getting the viewer to immerse themselves in the ambience and the landscape foliage. I myself was caught in awe at how the movie portrayed the countryside setting and architecture which were not really expounded in the manga and it definitely made me more appreciative of the worldbuilding of Jujutsu Kaisen.
The character renditions have also been highly remarkable throughout the movie, especially during their funny skits and dialogues. Those moments were truly precious and cute, fetching a fun crowd response during their jokes and banter. The movie also produced emotional buildup on the dramatic scenes through its intense closeups and amazing choice of music and sound effects.
Speaking of closeups, though, I gotta say that they had paid a lot of attention (and probably budget) in getting the silver-haired mentor Gojo Satoru’s lips incredibly glossed and shiny all the darn time despite looking so threatening and ready to exorcize the crap out of curses ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). That’s apart from the blessed rendition of his powerful blue eyes, of course. It’s just—very riveting to look at, believe me, and I’m certainly not complaining at how consistent the whole rendition has been. *chef’s kiss*
If you’re looking to enjoy a well-directed, visually appealing animated dark fantasy movie with good humor, mystery and twists, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is well worth watching. For longtime fans of the series, it’s worth the wait to watch on the big screen with your fellow fans and friends. I know, we had half a year to wait (excruciatingly amidst all the spoilers), but it’s definitely worth your while—and the rewatch, too, if you want to see more screentime of your character biases!
Aside from series fans, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a good watch for anime fans and moviegoers alike who want to pick up something new—a touch of mystery, dark fantasy and action. With its impressive array of fight scenes, dramatic flashbacks, and slapstick humor, the movie will surely hook you up into the series to learn more about its world-building and the myriad of characters shown.