The anime tells a modern action story with modern humanity
Jujutsu Kaisen starts off like an anime that we have seen a million times by now. The protagonist is Yuji Itadori, someone in possession of great power but equally clueless, and has a heart of gold. Out of nowhere, Yuji gets drawn into a strange world where people with powers like his are fighting dangerous spirits called Curses.
Our boy happens to eat a cursed finger (unexpected) that causes a massive power surge in him which isn’t his own, and now a powerful spirit named Sukuna is possessing him. So he’s Naruto at this point and he goes off to a mystical academy to put these new powers for the greater good. He meets a stoic no-nonsense dark-haired classmate (nope, not Sasuke) and a fiery rough around the edges heroine (not Sakura either) and a mysterious mentor who is occasionally silly, has white hair and has a mask (not joking here).
Why it’s different
Here’s where things feel different and refreshing. There is no power of friendship that saves Itadori. Instead he gets his hands ripped off, gets his spirit broken before the spirit takes over. Sukuma is not a sad, misunderstood demon fox, but a bloodthirsty sadist that tries to torture and kill his friends before killing Itadori himself. They successfully made us believe that we knew how things would turn up before the big twist.
Itadori is a combination of Naruto, Midoriya (MHA), Yusuke (Yu Yu Hakusho) and Ichigo (Bleach). He has two simple, yet straightforward principles given by his grandpa: “Help people whenever you can” and “everyone deserves a proper death.” In an attempt to save his friends, he himself falls to the dark side and now Jujustsu sorcerers are after him. The show acknowledges that saving the world is impossible and sometimes saving yourself without causing harm to others is as big a task as any other.
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