Everyone knows that Jujutsu Kaisen is one of the most popular animanga titles of the modern era and that this great series has one of the biggest fandoms within the otaku community. A blend between Bleach and Tokyo Ghoul with a visible dash of originality, Jujutsu Kaisen is still attracting a lot of attention and fans are eagerly waiting for the story to unfold. But, wait, what does Jujutsu Kaisen actually represent? What does the title of this popular series actually mean? In case you’ve ever wondered about that, we at Fiction Horizon have the answer for you.
The term ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ is written as 呪術廻戦 in Japanese. The four kanji that comprise the title literally mean “Curse Technique Round Fight”, but the phrase as a whole is translated as “Sorcery Fight”. This actually makes sense in the context of the series, as the series involves characters who use various spellcasting or magic skills to fight against demons and similar creatures.
The rest of this article is going to be divided into two separate sections. The first one is going to explain the meaning of the title, and the whole etymology, while the latter is going to give you an overview of the series’ plot, which you will be able to use to see whether the title fits the plot and the atmosphere of the series. Some mild spoilers might be present.
What does ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ mean?
The term “Jujutsu Kaisen” is, intriguingly enough, used in all languages and is not directly translated, as is the case with some manga and anime. This is why we have to consider the original Japanese meaning in order to fully understand what it means. So, first of all, we have to state that the phrase is, in Japanese, written as 呪術廻戦. It is comprised of four individual kanji that mean the following:
- 呪 – this kanji means curse or spell
- 術 – this kanji means technique or art
- 廻 – this kanji means round or revolve
- 戦 – this kanji means fight or battle
Now, this makes sense when you add it up, because all of these four kanji are connected to the story of Jujutsu Kaisen, which involves “jujutsu” sorcerers using their fighting skills and techniques to fight demons and Curses. The phrase “jujutsu” actually means sorcery or magic, whereas “kaisen” means fight. This means that the literal meaning of the title is “Sorcery Fight”, which actually fits the lore completely. But, in all honesty, the Japanese title sounds way cooler, so it makes sense that they chose not to translate it. “Sorcery Fight” would just sound lame.
What is Jujutsu Kaisen about?
Jujutsu Kaisen is written and drawn by Gege Akutami. A four-chapter prologue titled Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School was published in Jump GIGA magazine between April and July 2017, before being released as a bound volume under the title Jujutsu Kaisen 0 in December 2018. The series began publication in the Weekly Shōnen Jump on March 5, 2018. The chapters are collected in bound volumes in tankōbon format published by Shūeisha with a first volume released on July 4, 2018; 21 volumes have been released as of December 2, 2022.
The series has had several breaks due to the state of health of its author, the first time in February 2021 and a second in June 2021. Shūeisha began the simultaneous release of the English version on the Manga Plus app and website in January 2019. Viz Media released the digital English version of the first three chapters simultaneously as part of its Jump Start program. In March 2019, Viz Media announced the print version of the series in North America with the first volume released on December 3, 2019.
Two light novels written by Ballad Kitaguni are published under the Jump J-Books label. The first, titled Jujutsu Kaisen: Soaring Summer and Returning Autumn, was released on May 1, 2019. The second, titled Jujutsu Kaisen: The Path of Roses at Dawn was released on January 4, 2020. An anime series adaptation was announced in Weekly Shōnen Jump Issue 52 published on November 25, 2019.
Mangaka Gege Akutami and the main cast appeared during Jump Festa ’20 on December 22, 2019. The series’ first season consisted of a total of 24 episodes. It was produced by MAPPA studio and directed by Sunghoo Park. Hiroshi Seko is the screenwriter, Tadashi Hiramatsu is the character designer, and Hiroaki Tsutsumi, Yoshimasa Terui, and Arisa Okehazama are the composers of the soundtrack.
From episode 3, animated shorts titled Jujutso Sanpo were included after the credits, following the daily lives of the main characters. The first opening credits are “Kaikai Kitan” performed by Eve and the ending one was “Lost in Paradise” (feat. AKLO) by ALI. The second opening credits are “Vivid Vice” performed by Who-ya Extended and the end credits “Give it Back” by Cö Shu Nie.
The series aired on the Super Animeism time slot of MBS and TBS between October 2020 and March 2021 and on Crunchyroll simulcast worldwide, except in Asia. Since November 20, 2020, the American streaming platform has also been broadcasting a dubbed version of the series. After the last episode of the series aired on March 27, 2021, an anime film adapting the prequel manga Jujutsu Kaisen 0 was announced. The feature film was released on December 24, 2021, in Japan. A second season is announced on February 12, 2022, for broadcast in 2023. This will adapt the Kaigyoku/Gyokusetsu and Shibuya Incident arcs and will be broadcast for two consecutive courses, i.e. six months.
The plot of Jujutsu Kaisen takes place in a world where Curses are created from the negative emotions of Humans. Thus, to protect the places with a strong concentration of these emotions like the schools or the hospitals, these infrastructures have a relic, a receptacle of a Curse, because one can fight against the Curses only with a more powerful Curse.
These are invisible to human eyes except for a handful of people, for example, Jujutsu sorcerers. The job of a Jujutsu sorcerer is to eliminate Curses and thus protect the people from them, but this is not without risk, because these Curses can be more or less powerful. Yūji Itadori, an average high school student with superhuman strength and a member of the spiritism club, one day finds an S-rank relic protected by a seal in his high school’s weather shelter.
Sasaki and Iguchi, his friends from the club, stay at school in the evening to inspect the relic while Yūji is in the hospital where his grandfather has just passed away. The relic they found is one of the fingers of Ryōmen Sukuna, the mightiest of Curses. Thus, by releasing the finger from the seal, Sasaki and Iguchi get attacked by many Curses.
Yūji, learning of the existence of the latter, returns as quickly as possible to high school in the company of a Jujutsu sorcerer to save his friends from the clutches of the Curses. During a confrontation against one of them, he decides to swallow the relic to become more powerful and thus save his friends. By swallowing this relic Ryōmen Sukuna takes possession of Yūji’s body, but this is only short-lived as the latter surprisingly manages to regain control over Sukuna.
The Jujutsu sorcerers initially decide to sentence Yūji to death but, thanks to the intervention of the most powerful of the Jujutsu sorcerers, Satoru Gojo, they finally decide to use Yūji as a vessel for Sukuna and kill him the day he swallows all of them. their fingers. Indeed, this is the only way to eliminate Sukuna once and for all. From there, begins an adventure that will lead Yūji to become a powerful Jujutsu sorcerer to save the innocent from an undignified death and to eliminate the Curses of this world to preserve humanity.