- Yuli Jujutsu Kaisen Guide - March 22, 2023
- Azami Naruto Guide: Chen’s Granddaughter Explained - March 20, 2023
- Obora Shirakumo Guide: Kurogiri’s Previous Identity Explained - March 8, 2023
Jujutsu Kaisen is one of the newest hit manga in the world, only being a few years old at this time. Despite its relatively young age, the series is a massive one, definitely needing its own Jujutsu Kaisen history and overview already.
The series is quite serious and unique, especially compared to other manga that is published. With terrifying spirits for the main characters to take on and the fascinating abilities that each person has, it is no surprise that Jujutsu Kaisen is one of the hottest series that you should know about. That is where our Jujutsu Kaisen history and overview come into play.
What is Jujutsu Kaisen?
Jujutsu Kaisen is a manga series that debuted in 2018 and is still very much in active production currently. It is a weekly series that offers fans the chance to consume new content on a regular basis. The general plot of Jujutsu Kaisen follows the young high school student known as Yuji Itadori who finds himself thrown into the midst of a secret war that is going on in society between human sorcerers and cursed spirits.
After events force Yuji into this secret spiritual world, he attends Tokyo Jujutsu High School where he learns about how to use his powers in order to help people who are suffering from these curses. The premise of Jujutsu Kaisen is a bit more spiritually charged and, therefore, darker than most manga out there that are meant for teenagers and the like.
The series features moody visuals and creepy spirit designs that the main characters fight against. There are even times that the manga and its subsequent anime have dived into horror-like moments. While I would not categorize it as a horror series, this modern-day supernatural manga series is a hit and well worth checking out. It is known for its beautiful art style and intense action sequences.
Though Jujutsu Kaisen is still relatively young, it is already gaining ground on its predecessors with success and popularity. This is one manga series that should be on your radar if it is not already.
Jujutsu Kaisen History: Manga
The origin of the Jujutsu Kaisen manga is an intriguing one that is both similar to other great manga and different at the same time. It is quite common for a manga creator to make a one-shot chapter as testing grounds for a new series.
This is something that Jujutsu Kaisen’s creator, Gege Akutami, also did but in a unique way. Instead of just making a one-shot, he created a short series in 2017 that was originally translated into English as Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School.
Up until this point, Akutami was a relatively new manga creator and had only made one-shots. This particular manga was his first series and was short-lived, only taking place April 28, 2017-July 28, 2017 in the Jump GIGA magazine.
Much of the themes and ideas were similar to what would later become Jujutsu Kaisen, including the cursed spirits and sorcerers who attempt to exorcise them. The key difference, though, was that it followed a largely standalone cast of characters, including protagonist Yuka Okkotsu who is separate from Yuji Itadori of the main series.
With this foundation created, Akutami would then turn this idea into the full Jujutsu Kaisen series the following year in 2018. This then caused the original short series to be retroactively named Jujutsu Kaisen 0. The main Jujutsu Kaisen series began publication in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine on March 5, 2018. It is an ongoing series that is still running to this day, with more than 170 chapters as of right now.
The chapters publish almost weekly in the magazine, minus exceptions like the temporary hiatus that creator Akutami went on. Those chapters have also been compiled into 18 physical volumes and counting.
In the span of just under four years of publication, the Jujutsu Kaisen series has sold more than 60 million copies of the manga. That is an impressive amount in such a short time, putting it up there in the ranks of other great, much older series like Fairy Tail, Hunter x Hunter, and Rurouni Kenshin.
Jujutsu Kaisen History: Anime
With any popular and successful manga, it is likely that the series is going to extend beyond just being manga and into other forms of media. As such, it did not take too long for an anime adaptation to also appear.
Jujutsu Kaisen’s anime adaptation began just over two years after the start of the manga on October 3, 2020. Produced by MAPPA of Yuri on Ice and In This Corner of the World fame, the series ran for 24 episodes in its first and only season so far.
The series concluded on March 27, 2021, and was already a fan favorite for both years it was featured in. Carefully constructed to offer a visual style that is similar to that of the manga, it was greatly praised by critics and fans alike.
Jujutsu Kaisen’s single-season was understandably popular, allowing it to not only garner success but even some awards in the process. The anime adaptation was even awarded the “Best Anime” trophy in the 2021 Anime Awards that were hosted by anime streaming service Crunchyroll.
It should come as no surprise that the anime adaptation is not over just yet as the animated series was then followed up by an anime film adaptation. This was an adaptation of the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 manga that Gege Akutami originally created and was released in Japan on December 24, 2021.
At this time, a second season of the show has not been announced, even with the release of the prequel movie. That said, with the considerable success of both the film and the first season, it seems very likely that we will get another season sooner or later.
The only problem is when exactly that may happen. If it were to release in 2022, it seems likely that we would already know about that by now. Because of this, there is a chance that we will not see a possible second season until 2023 at the earliest.
It is possible that the busy schedule at production studio MAPPA could be to blame for this. There are already three anime shows coming in 2022 from MAPPA plus a few movies that were previously announced.
Cursed Energy Explained
The crux of Jujutsu Kaisen is the cursed energy that is essentially the basis for the “superpowers” in this series. Cursed energy is exactly what it sounds like: the energy that is derived from the curses that exist in the supernatural realm.
These curses can take the form of various objects, spirits, and more, and so can the energy that is taken from them. This energy is powerful and allows spirits and people to use magic-like abilities.
For example, there are characters in the series who are able to channel this cursed energy to summon companions to fight alongside them, use powered-up fighting moves in physical combat, or enhance other aspects of their bodies.
There are even some living creatures and people that are altered by this cursed energy into something new, such as the talking and fighting Panda sorcerer who is one of the main character Yuji’s classmates. Just as this cursed energy can be used to assist in fighting against the cursed spirits, it, too, is used by those same antagonistic spirits to cause mayhem in the real world.
This cursed energy comes from the various negative emotions that exist in the world and feed off of it. As such, every person on Earth has cursed energy inside of them and can cause more of it to appear.
However, the distinct difference is that not every person is able to physically see this cursed energy manifest itself in the form of objects and spirits. That is why the world of sorcerers is a secretive one that is only known to those who have the ability to sense this cursed energy.
Through training and understanding of how this energy works in practice, a naturally attuned sorcerer is able to channel that energy and control it for various purposes. Each cursed energy user’s way of handling it will differ.
Jujutsu Kaisen takes place in present-day Japan, so nothing too fantastical or different about the setting. What sets it apart, though, is the fact that there is a hidden supernatural realm that is taking place all around us. Not every person is able to perceive the cursed energy and spirits that are roaming around at all times, even when they are standing right in front of the person.
The story begins in Sendai where Yuji Itadori is from but quickly switches over to Tokyo for a large part of the manga as the main protagonist enters the Tokyo Jujutsu High School. There are other locations that the main characters visit, though, throughout Japan, like during the Kyoto arc and more. Being that this is a high school-set story, there is a little bit of time that is spent actually at the school.
However, these are not the average manga high school students as they are training to become professional sorcerers to fight against the cursed spirits. Because of this, the missions that the heroes go on send them all around and keep the setting fresh with new locations to visit.
Main Characters: Cursed Users
When it comes to the main characters in Jujutsu Kaisen, the story centers on the aforementioned Yuji Itadori. The young high school student grows up in Sendai and is raised by his loving grandfather.
While attending school, Yuji’s friends come across a cursed finger that belongs to one of the strongest cursed spirits to ever exist: Sukuna. Through a series of events, Yuji consumes the finger to save his friends and becomes one with the cursed spirit.
This chain of events lead to him being ushered into the world of Jujutsu sorcerers and led to Tokyo Jujutsu High. Through this, he embarks on a journey to not only find out more about the curse that is inside of him but also consume all of the fingers that Sukuna left behind.
He is joined by his fellow first-year classmate Megumi Fushiguro that is introduced early on in the story. Megumi becomes friends with Yuji and is a quiet, reserved, and talented young sorcerer.
Megumi commands the ability to summon spirits to assist him in battle while having his own defenses to use in fights. Much of the past regarding Megumi is kept secret, but it is clear that some tragic events have led him to this place in life.
The final main first-year at the high school is Nobara Kugisaki, a high school girl with a strong personality and does not take anything from anyone. She wields a straw doll and hammer with which she is able to manipulate the bodies of others and herself using the cursed energy that she employs.
The teacher of the three main characters is Satoru Gojo, one of the most powerful sorcerers in the world and a young one at that. With a calm, cool, and collected personality, it is clear that Gojo is always one step ahead of everyone and also at odds with some of the faculty involved with the high school.
There are two other years of students that attend the Tokyo Jujutsu High School and they are also main characters that assist in missions and events that happen during the course of the manga.
Readers are also quickly introduced to the sister school in Kyoto where it has its own three years of high school students training to become sorcerers. While they are all on the same side, there are competitive events and friendly rivalries that pop up between the heroes of the story.
Cursed Spirits and Antagonists
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the villains who are the enemies of the Jujutsu sorcerers trying to keep the innocent civilians safe from the harms of the negative cursed energy. Chief among them is the greatest cursed spirit of them all: Sukuna. Much of the backstory and secrets of this antagonist are kept secret in much of the manga as an ever-present source of evil.
With Yuji consuming Sukuna’s finger and surviving, he now inhabits the body of Yuji and occasionally makes his appearance known. His motives are currently a mystery outside of trying to fully take over Yuji’s body. The relationship between the hero and Sukuna is complicated, with each one being both enemies and living within the same body.
Though Sukuna is a villain that is mostly in the background of Jujutsu Kaisen, there are other cursed spirits that appear a lot more often. Chapters of the manga will typically focus on standalone spirits in one mission before moving on to the next one, but there are some recurring antagonists.
Mahito is one of the primary villains in the series who has gathered a group of cursed spirits together in order to destroy all humans. With an unnerving human-like appearance and a chilling personality, he is unpredictable and powerful.
Mahito is joined by several other cursed spirits and even some evil Jujutsu sorcerers as a group that is constantly causing problems for the main characters.
Where to Read and Watch Jujutsu Kaisen
If you are sold on checking out Jujutsu Kaisen for yourself, there are a few different places where you can consume this series. For the manga, it comes down to whether or not you prefer digital media or physical copies. If you do not mind reading manga online, then the best place to start reading it is Manga Plus. This website and service are owned by Shueisha who happens to be the publisher for Weekly Shonen Jump.
The problem here is that the licensing issues mean that you are only able to start reading the first few chapters of the manga or the most recent ones; none of the ones in between. The great thing, though, is if you catch up on the series, you can read the most recent ones here for free.
Otherwise, you will need to read the manga on the Viz Media website where all of the previously released chapters are available digitally in English. You will be able to read the online version of the manga on both of these services on whichever platform you prefer, including computers, smartphones, and tablets.
On the other hand, if you prefer reading physical books of manga, you have plenty of options available to you here as well. Major online retailers like Amazon sell the most recent volumes of Jujutsu Kaisen that you can order and it will ship to your home.
There are also brick-and-mortar bookstores that may sell the manga volumes, too, like Barnes & Nobles, that you can visit in person if you want to get it as quickly as possible.
The disadvantage of buying the physical versions of the manga is the fact that it is compiled into volumes of several different chapters. It takes time to release these volumes, so they are typically multiple chapters behind the simultaneous weekly chapter releases.
For those who wish to start watching the Jujutsu Kaisen anime adaptation, the best place to do this in English is going to be the Crunchyroll service. Some of the episodes can be watched for free, but this requires ads to be turned on.
If you want to watch all of them ad-free, you will need to have an active subscription to Crunchyroll. Unfortunately, the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 movie is something that is not included in this service right now.
The film is only currently available in Japan and no plans have been announced thus far for distributing it in the rest of the world. Fans will need to wait sometime in order to experience this pivotal prequel tale, or pick up the original manga version and see what it is all about.
List of Current Manga Story Arcs
With 170 chapters and counting in the manga for Jujutsu Kaisen, this means that there is quite a bit of content for readers to dig into if they are a newcomer. To help with this, the community has divided up the various chapters thus far into respective story arcs to represent the different locations and storylines that have happened so far.
You can find the full list of the different Jujutsu Kaisen story arcs below, including the chapters in which they take place. Please be aware that there are some possible light spoilers for the names of these arcs, so avoid looking at them if you are wanting to not know anything at all about where the story might go.
- Introduction Arc (Chapters 1-5)
- Fearsome Womb Arc (Chapters 6-9)
- Cursed Training (10-18)
- Vs. Mahito (19-31)
- Kyoto Goodwill Event (32-54)
- Death Painting (55-64)
- Star Plasma Vessel (Gojo’s Backstory Arc, 65-79)
- Shibuya Incident (80-136)
- Extermination (137-143)
- Perfect Preparation (144-158)
- Tokyo No. 1 Colony (159-Present)
At this time, Akutami does have some planning already in place for the end of the manga. It is currently unknown how much more content and arcs are left, but we do know that he has already decided the ending.
However, the path to the ending is what needs to be filled in, and that could take some time. There is a chance that there are up to two years still left in the manga for now, which could indicate that it could possibly go upwards of 300 chapters or so before finishing.
How to Start Reading the Manga After the Anime
For some fans of Jujutsu Kaisen, the anime adaptation might have been your introduction to the world of cursed energy. The problem with anime versions of ongoing manga is that you typically have to wait until the manga keeps going to get new seasons of a show if you ever get another one.
With no official announcement of a second season of Jujutsu Kaisen (even though it is likely to happen eventually), you might want to start catching up on the manga in the meantime. While you could start out from the very beginning of the manga, the anime adaptation was fairly faithful and it would be fine to just pick right back up from where the first season of the show left off.
If that is you, the best place to start reading the manga would be to pick up with Chapter 64 of the series that is titled “It’s Like That.” Even though it is the final chapter in the Death Painting Arc, it was not fully covered in the anime.
Start with this transitional, wrap-up chapter and you can then jump into the next arc, which tells the story of Gojo-sensei when he was younger. This Star Plasma Vessel arc is considered to be the very best part of the series for many fans and is a great place to find out more about one of the best characters, too.
Question: Why Did Jujutsu Kaisen Go on Break?
Answer: Jujutsu Kaisen went on a temporary hiatus for a period of time, due to some health issues that Gege Akutami was going through then. This was announced and effective immediately in early June 2021, with the manga taking a break.
This hiatus, though, did not take too long in the end as Akutami returned to creating new chapters less than two months later in August 2021. Since then, the manga has continued its standard production cycle and seems to be back on track.
Question: Why is Jujutsu Kaisen So Good?
Answer: While this is not a review, but rather an overview of the manga, I will give you my own shortened thoughts on why the Jujutsu Kaisen series is so good. For me, personally, I am not quite as gung-ho about the series as some are, but it is definitely a great series, indeed.
When it comes to both the manga and the anime adaptation from MAPPA, the art style is so well done and interesting. There is a level of flexibility and naturalness to the drawings that harken back to the hand-drawn days of animation.
Then there are the characters, with standouts like protagonist Yuji, his friend Megumi, and their teacher, Gojo. While I’m not a fan of most of the other characters, I think that these three, in particular, carry much of the story on their own.
Perhaps the best part about the series, in my opinion, is the twists and turns that it has. It is a brutal series and one that does not hold back in its villains and creepy visuals, which are rather unique at times.
In this way, it peaks quite early on for me with the opening couple of arcs being the best part thus far. It did dip some in quality after that, in my opinion, but quickly got into a nice groove and has been improving consistently in the manga since. This consistency helps to elevate the series and have it stand out amongst the other popular shounen series.
Question: Who is the Most Famous in Jujutsu Kaisen?
Answer: When it comes to the most popular character in Jujutsu Kaisen, there was a poll that was created and released by Weekly Shonen Jump magazine where the manga is serialized.
This poll occurred in 2019 back when the manga was at only Chapter 65. In it, there were more than 160,000 respondents, giving a decent idea of who the Japanese readers think are the best characters in the series.
Here is the list of the top 20 characters in the series at the time, based on those votes:
• Yuji Itadori: 21,735 votes
• Megumi Fushigoro: 21,193 votes
• Satoru Gojo: 16,923
• Toge Inumaki: 12,088
• Kento Nanami: 11,644
• Nobara Kugisaki: 9,590
• Yuta Okkotsu: 7,934
• Aoi Todo: 7,791
• Junpei Yoshino: 7,481
• Sukuna: 5,860
• Kasumi Miwa: 4,923
• Maki Zenin: 4,245
• Takada: 3,945
• Panda: 2,508
• Suguru Geto: 1,840
• Rika Orimoto: 1,802
• Gege Akutami (yes, the manga creator himself): 1,767
• Waiter: 1,606
• Bakery girl: 1,500
• Jogo: 1,437
There were 84 characters in total that were part of the popularity poll and those were just the top 20. From that, it is clear that, at least at that time, Yuji and his friend Megumi were the two most popular characters in the series and likely still are at this point a few years later.
Question: Is Jujutsu Kaisen Scary?
Answer: This will be, ultimately, subjective to the reader themselves, but it is worth noting that Jujutsu Kaisen impressed me in how creepy its visuals can get at times that borderline on horror occasionally.
The general art style is dark and moody, a stark contrast to the colorful nature of other Weekly Shonen Jump manga. This alone makes it feel more mature and disturbing on its own.
However, then when you get to some of the cursed spirit designs, it can teeter on the edge of being considered actual horror. The twisted faces and intense monster creations can be quite surprising sometimes.
Given that Weekly Shonen Jump is geared towards boys around the teenage years or perhaps even younger, I would, personally, say that this is one series that may not be for everyone due to its sometimes gory nature.
If you are a parent, this might be one manga series that you will need to read some and judge for yourself as to whether or not you wish for your child to read it because every family dynamic is different.
For fans out there of Jujutsu Kaisen who are interested in more similar manga to read, I recommend checking out My Hero Academia as it is also published in Weekly Shonen Jump. While it is a bit more lighthearted at times and colorful, it has its own mature and serious moments, especially in the more recent chapters.
There is also Attack on Titan, which is not necessarily meant for children but has a similar vibe and mood to Jujutsu Kaisen. Though it does not take place in the modern-day, it contains some of the gore and twisted surprises that fans of Jujutsu Kaisen will appreciate. Be sure to check out our breakdown of the Attack on Titan characters for more info on that series.