We all know that Jujutsu Kaisen is an enormously popular manga and that the anime series has attracted a global fandom. Now, with the first season of the anime over, the fans have eagerly waited for the release of the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 prequel movie, which premiered in December 2021. Now, some time after its release, we are going to discuss the possibility of the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 movie being released in American theaters.
No release date for the American theatrical run of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 has been given. The movie, seeing how popular it was in Japan and how popular the whole franchise is, is a likely candidate for (at least) a limited theatrical release in North America but we don’t know when or if that is going to happen. Knowing how it worked with other movies, it will be at least half a year or a year after the Japanese premiere.
The rest of this article is going to further discuss the possibility of a North American theatrical release of Jujutsu Kaisen 0. We are going to give you all the official information we have, as well as the practice involving similar releases of other movies. We’re also going to give our estimates based on our knowledge of the industry.
Will the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Movie Be Released in Theaters in the United States?
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 premiered in Japanese theaters on December 24, 2021. So far, as of January 2022, the movie has only been released in Japanese theaters and nowhere else, which makes perfect sense, seeing how much money the movie earned at the Japanese box office. MAPPA, the studio behind the adaptation, made a good call by giving the movie an exclusive theatrical release as it made the movie a true blockbuster.
Now, so far, there have been no official news regarding any further releases of the movie. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is certainly going to be released worldwide, so fans don’t have to fear that, but it might be a while before people outside of Asia actually see the movie. As for the North American theatrical release, we don’t actually know if that will happen, but knowing how things work – it is highly possible.
Jujutsu Kaisen is enormously popular and has an enormous fanbase around the world; in fact, the franchise’s fanbase is among the largest of the modern-day manga and anime series.
Franchises that have a much smaller global following have seen its movies released in North American theaters (albeit in a limited capacity, but more on that later), so we have no reason to believe that Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is not going to get (at least) a limited theatrical release. When? Keep reading to find out.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Movie’s North American Release Date
As of January 2022, no information has been given about a North American release of Jujutsu Kaisen 0. We don’t even have confirmation that a release is going to happen, so we can only speculate about the date using our knowledge of the industry and our experiences with prior cinematic releases.
Now, knowing how the industry functions, the movie might start its global theatrical run in Asia a couple of months after the Japanese premiere. About six months after that same premiere, Japanese home releases might start hitting stores, which is usually a good sign, because it means that the global distributors will get a chance to sub and dub the releases. But, what about a theatrical release?
Well, knowing how things stand, a theatrical release seems to be very, very far away. Namely, North American and other non-Asian theatrical releases usually come about a year after the Japanese premiere and in a very limited capacity; these movies usually get released in a very small number of cinemas and only for a couple of days or weeks at most.
This means that if you’re planning on seeing the movie in your local theatre outside of Asia, you’ll probably have to wait until late 2022 or, which is even more likely, 2023 to do it.
What is the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 movie about? It is actually a prequel story that is focused on Yuta Okkotsu is a shy 16-year-old high school student who is haunted by a cursed ghost.
It is Rika Orimoto, his childhood friend who died six years ago, as they both promised to marry when they grew up. Whenever Yuta is harassed, Rika comes to his defence and violently attacks his attackers. In November 2016, Yuta meets Satoru Gojo, a jujutsu wizard, under whose guidance he joins the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School to control Rika.
There, Yuta meets the sorcerers Panda, Maki Zenin and Toge Inumaki, who try to exorcise Rika but are easily stopped by her. Wanting to control Rika, Yuta starts training with Maki, who teaches him swordsmanship and teaches him his energy to become like one of them. During a mission, Maki motivates Yuta to fight if he wants to be accepted. This causes him to briefly control Rika to destroy a cursed spirit.
Over the course of three months, Yuta becomes more skilled, is able to control Rika, and grows closer to his classmates. On a mission with Toge, he is discovered by Suguru Geto, a powerful enemy wizard who used to be friends with Gojo. Geto wants to eliminate all non-magicians, which Yuta disagrees with.
While Yuta and Maki continue to befriend each other, Geto invades the school to kidnap Rika by force. Fearing for his safety, Gojo sends Panda and Toge to the school. Together with Maki, they clash with Geto and are seriously wounded by Geto. Angered, Yuta releases Rika and promises to give her his soul if she helps him defeat their enemy.
As a result, Geto is severely wounded, loses an arm and flees. He is found by Gojo, who thanks him for deliberately sparing the students. As both reflect on their old friendship, Gojo kills Geto. After the fight, Yuta is surprised to find him still alive. Gojo explains that Rika did not curse Yuta.
Instead, when Rika died, Yuta accidentally cursed her with his hidden energy inherited from the character Sugawara no Michizane, forcing her to stay by his side. Rika passes peacefully into the afterlife and asks an apologetic Yuta to live a full life. Yuta continues his work as a magician with his friends, still wearing Rika’s engagement ring.
Why Is the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Movie Released in North America so Much Later?
Now, to address the issue at hand. Anime movies based on popular anime series usually have a very hectic release schedule when it comes to international markets. This has been the case with a lot of previous titles as well. From our own experience, we can give you two examples.
The first one is Psycho-Pass: The Movie, which was the first cinematic outing of the Psycho-Pass franchise. The movie had its Japanese premiere on January 9, 2015 (so, around the same time as Jujutsu Kaisen 0). It was released on home media in Japan in July of the same year but it wasn’t until March 2016 – i.e., more than a year after the premiere – that the movie got a limited North American theatrical release.
The second example is the Digimon Adventure tri. film series. A total of six movies were released as part of the series, and out of the six, five of the movies had their North American premieres roughly a year after the Japanese premiere. Only the final, sixth movie (but that was a marketing thing) had its American premiere just three months after the Japanese one.
This goes to show that it’s simply an industry standard and that fans will certainly have to wait at least six months, but more likely around a year before they see the movie in North American theaters.