‘Jujutsu Kaisen: 0’ is an international success

Japanese anime and manga makes it onto the big screen.



Theatrical release poster for “Jujutsu Kaisen:0” (2022).

Stephanie Arreola, Staff Writer

Anime has become a trending topic in these past years and has become more mainstream. Western media has begun putting more attention on Asian culture in general with the rise of Anime as well as K-pop in the states and Japan has been taking notice. More and more Anime movies are being shown in movie theaters across the U.S. and have been met with a lot of attention from avid anime watchers. A movie that was highly anticipated was “Jujutsu Kaisen: 0 The Movie.” 

“Jujutsu Kaisen: 0 The Movie” was released in Japan Dec. 24, 2021 and had its international release March 18. The movie debuted at No.1 in Japan and earned $23.5 million in its first three days, while here in the U.S. and Canada it made $17.7 million on opening weekend. The film as of March 2022 has earned $108 million and is the 20th highest-grossing box office release in Japanese history. This film deserves every penny that was poured into it, as its director, Sunghoo Park, and MAPPA studios have outdone themselves. 

The film, inspired by the manga comic, is a captivating story about a boy named Yuta Okkotsu and how he deals with the death of his friend, Rita Orimoto. In the universe of Jujutsu Kaisen, humans become “cursed” after negative thoughts are placed onto them by others or themselves. The negative thoughts and emotions manifest themselves into “curses” and take the form o​​f grotesque-looking monsters. 

There are humans who possess the ability to see and harness “curse energy” and help aid those who have been cursed. They are called Jujutsu Sorcerers and the most elite of them attend or work at Jujutsu High. Okkotsu is contacted by the high school after an incident occurred that involved him harming students at his school. The high school offers him two choices: die, or join Jujutsu High. 

Okkotsu joins the first-year students at Jujutsu High and is met by his sensei Gojou Satoru. Okkotsu has the ability to see cursed spirits as he himself is cursed. The spirit of his dead childhood friend Rita had manifested into a cursed spirit and attached itself to Okkotsu and has been looming over him for six years since her death. The movie shows his journey of becoming a jujutsu sorcerer and harnessing the power of his curse to help others. Okkotsu makes incredible friends along the way and as well as his fair share of enemies. 

The animation style of the production studio MAPPA is stunning and visually-captivating. The fight scenes are top-tier and the voice acting in the Japanese version is amazing. The soundtrack is beautiful and is perfect for setting the tone of the movie.

 The story of a young boy who sees his friend die in front of him is traumatic enough as it is but seeing how the trauma manifests itself into a monster that latches onto him makes one stop and wonder. The portrayal of our thoughts and trauma becoming something more is a good example of how traumatized people can become after certain situations. It opens up conversations about mental health and how important it is to talk to others and have a community around you that lifts you up in your time of need but also helps you fight your battles. The film is incredible and definitely worth your time.