Itadori Yuuji, the necessary third member of his school’s Occult Club, is a freakishly talented athlete, but he fends off demands from the track team coach because he’s done with Occult Club activities by 5 PM.
Yuuji wants to be done club as soon as possible so he can spend more time with his grandfather in the hospital. Little does Yuuji know that by requesting a certain item, his fellow club members Sasaki and Iguchi are playing with some very ancient and dangerous proverbial fire.
Unfortunately, we only get to spend one afternoon with Yuuji’s delightfully cranky gramps before he kicks the bucket. In what ends up being a dying wish, he tells Yuuji, who is strong, not to die alone like him, but help and save as many people as he can so that when he dies, he’s surrounded by those people.
When Fushiguro from “Jujutsu Tech” asks Yuuji about a certain cursed item, Yuuji only produces the box; the actual item is a finger being unwrapped of its ancient, no-longer effective seals by Sasaki back at school. Once she does, the finger attracts a horde of grotesque (and thankfully not CGI) “Curses”, or monsters.
After a fairly goofy shounen anime start with no shortage of exposition (especially from Fushiguro), we get some properly creepy monster action, as both Sasaki and Iguchi are in the process of being slowly swallowed up when Fushiguro arrives with his two wolf shikigami.
Unfortunately, Fushiguro apparently isn’t that great at exorcising Curses? He needs to be bailed out by Yuuji, who is close to death due to his grandfather’s recent passing and thus can see both the Curses and shikigami, and proceeds to blast through the window to kick the shit out of said Curses and save his friends.
Fushiguro explains a little more, then Yuuji prepares to hand over the finger, but before he can the Curse boss arrives, grabs Fushiguro, and smashes its way out of the school. It’s not looking good for Fushiguro, so Yuuji does something very stupid, yet in keeping with honoring his gramps’ wishes: he swallows the cursed finger, thus gaining its power and enabling him to obliterate the boss with ease and style.
The boss may be gone, but now Ryoumen Sukuna, a particularly evil demon who was the original owner of the finger, has hijacked Yuuji’s body. Sukuna, however, is surprised to find Yuuji is not entirely suppressed, but fighting to get control of his body back from the demon. Fushiguro prepares to exorcise Yuuji as if he were a garden variety Curse, which is a fine way of thanking the person who saved your life…
I’m an entire season and change late to Jujutsu Kaisen, the top-watched anime in 71 countries (topped only by Black Clover, which I will not be watching). I missed it when the Fall cour aired, but wanted to know what made it so popular, and I can see the appeal.
The protagonist is a likeable enough so far, the demons are super creepy and the production by MAPPA is of above-average quality. It gets demerits for Fushiguro’s excessive exposition and a silly detour to the athletic fields for a shot put competition. I also like the idea that Yuuji’s overarching “curse” was bestowed by his grandfather: the curse of helping others. I’m thinking this is worth catching up to.