ARC Review: Jujutsu Kaisen, Vol. 1 by Gege Akutami

Jujutsu Kaisen, Vol. 1Jujutsu Kaisen, Vol. 1 by Gege Akutami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yuji Itadori is resolved to save the world from cursed demons, but he soon learns that the best way to do it is to slowly lose his humanity and become one himself!

In a world where demons feed on unsuspecting humans, fragments of the legendary and feared demon Ryoma Sukuna were lost and scattered about. Should any demon consume Sukuna’s body parts, the power they gain could destroy the world as we know it. Fortunately, there exists a mysterious school of Jujutsu Sorcerers who exist to protect the precarious existence of the living from the undead!

Yuji Itadori is high schooler who spends his days visiting his bedridden grandfather. Although he looks like your average teenager, his immense physical strength is something to behold! Every sports club wants him to join, but Itadori would rather hang out with the school outcasts in the Occult Club. One day, the club manages to get their hands on a sealed cursed object, but little do they know the terror they’ll unleash when they break the seal… 

Warnings: body horror, death of family member

Jujutsu Kaisen starts in a typical shonen way – an ordinary but unique boy gets tapped for a big responsibility, and accepts it. Itadori Yuuji’s misfortune comes through a cursed object he finds on his school’s premises, the same cursed object that jujutsu sorcerer Megumi has been sent to retrieve. Yuuji is freshly grieving from his grandfather’s demise when Megumi tells him that the cursed object, which is currently in possession of the former’s classmates, needs to be retrieved ASAP. They are a bit delayed on that front, and the curse is unleashed, and despite Megumi deploying his jujutsu against it, they are in such a hopeless situation that Yuuji then makes a risky move. Now, he is of prime importance to the society of jujutsu sorcerers, who decide to teach him instead of killing him outright, and thus starts his life as a jujutsu sorcerer.

Training him is Gojo Satoru, who claims to be the strongest jujutsu sorcerer (which could very well be true TBH), and alongside Yuuji in the first year class is Megumi and the countryside-transplant Nobara. Pretty soon, Yuuji and Nobara test out against a curse – what is important here is that while the plot is progressing at a breakneak speed wrt Yuuji’s training, these moments do give us a lot of information about the world-building and the magical canon. Even when the three first-years are sent in to save people from a high-level curse, the story establishes that all of Yuuji’s shonen-protagonist-powers still have limitations. The plot, while fast-paced, also establishes the direction and tone of the story. And with a lovable cast of characters (like, I love these three and Gojo already), the story is quite engaging even with so many tropes. The artwork is a bit of a miss with me – it is standard fare, though I have things to pick about anatomy and proportions at times. But anyway, the story is quite good, and yes, I am watching the anime, so I am already invested in the series!

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Viz Media LLC, via Edelweiss.

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Buy links

The Book Depository | Wordery

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