Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a prequel to the very successful first season of the Jujutsu Kaisen anime. Because of that, we don’t get to see our usual main characters, and instead, we are introduced to a new protagonist Yuta Okkotsu. Yuta lost his childhood friend and fiance Rika Orimoto at a young age and after her death, she became a curse that bonded to him and harmed anyone deemed a threat to Yuta. In order to help him control his powers, Satoru Gojo of Jujutsu high enrolls Yuta in order to teach him the ways of curse energy, but Yuta is quickly noticed by someone who plans to use that power for nefarious purposes.
At first, I honestly wasn’t sure what my opinion of this movie would be. Never before have I seen an anime movie that doesn’t feature the protagonists of the corresponding anime. So while I love Jujutsu Kaisen the anime I did go into this movie having some uncertainty about it; however, that uncertainty was quickly dealt with as the supporting cast from the anime really shined in this movie and the newcomers Yuta and Rika were characters I easily grew fond of. The movie really does a great job of setting up how powerful the bond was between Yuta and Rika and just how traumatic it was for Yuta to lose his friend. The story of love and loss is one of the most heartbreaking stories to tell and Jujutsu Kaisen tells it well but of course, Rika isn’t quite gone as she comes back as a curse. Cursed Rika is an imposing character that is shown to have incredible power and the way the story uses the trauma as well as context clues to really establish that this curse is not to be messed with really adds so much to the experience. You really feel like cursed Rika is a force that should not be underestimated and that’s before you actually see how powerful she really is.
I love how the story doesn’t try to overcomplicate things and the events surrounding the plot are simple enough that it can put a lot of focus onto Yuta’s character development. The villain isn’t overly complicated as they want power and Yuta has it and they send out thousands of demons to create a war with Jujutsu high in order to get it. I was actually shocked at how little time was spent on the villains as many anime movies really highlight the new characters to at least a point where you know what their powers are but honestly, you really wind up not knowing much about any of them other than the leader and a handful of minions. I actually really liked that because the story of Yuta and Rika was so compelling the movie didn’t need other stories on top of that to divert your attention, This is the story of Yuta and Rika, everyone else is involved but it’s not the time to go deep into their stories.
Kayleigh Mckee and Anairis Quinones really do a great job bringing Yuta and Rika to life. They convey the myriad of their emotions so well and their performance makes it easy for the audience to have empathy for these characters adds to the story’s ability to do the same and combined you have a truly captivating experience.
Love is a powerful emotion that brings about the greatest joy as well as the most devastating pain. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 creates a story that embodies both of these aspects so well to create an experience that will leave you in tears of grief and joy. This movie is was a really enjoyable experience that is well worth a watch that excels in both storytelling and character development.