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Jujutsu Kaisen Vol 1 Main

"Jujutsu Kaisen: Volume 1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by VIZ Media

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Written and illustrated by Gege Akutami
Lettered by Snir Aharon
Translated by Stefan Koza
2018, 192 Pages
Graphic novel released on December 3rd, 2019

Review:

Yuji has some trouble fitting in at school. He's super strong and fast, but doesn't want to go out for the track team. Instead, he ends up with the occult research club, sending him headfirst into a quarrel with demonic forces. School quickly becomes the least of his worries, as he discovers a mysterious power within him...by eating a demon's finger. Now he's thrown into this war of good vs. evil where he can certainly help out, but he might lose himself in the process.

Jujutsu Kaisen follows a great albeit well-tread path of a loner finding his place in the world as a chosen one of sorts. Creator Gege Akutami quickly establishes Yuji as a good yet reluctant kid, thrust into the spotlight after a series of bizarre events. All the while he's pushed along by the urge to do good, a message a dying loved one left him. That's noble, even if the way he does it is a little gross.

We learn the demonic forces preying on mankind can be traced back to one large entity trying to get its fingers back. Apparently years ago, people cut off its twenty digits (it has four arms) and each one has a tremendous amount of power. They're near impossible to destroy, but Yuji finds a way to absorb them by eating one.

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This is pretty gross on its own, but what makes Jujutsu Kaisen stand out in the horror space is how the demonic abilities manifest within Yuji. A creepy mouth will appear on his hand or face, taunting him like a demented conscience. In order to tap into this power, Yuji must give into the demon. That means losing control. That's a frightening scenario, as it's unclear what this creature will do when it's in the driver's seat.

Jujutsu Kaisen is peppered with humor to balance out the scares. Some of the situations are so utterly bizarre that you have to smile, especially as Yuji gets settled in with at his new home with his new colleagues in the demon hunting league. It takes a special kind of strange to jump into this life and in that case, Yuji fits right in.

There are a wide assortment of demons in this volume. They come in all shapes and sizes, each creepier than the last. I can see how this series could take on a “monster of the week” setup as these folks hunt down the remaining fingers and put down demons along the way.

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The monsters are met with swift action. Akutami fills these sequences with tense excitement as Yuji and the others go all out in fighting them. This is one aspect of manga that I absolutely love. The action scenes are so powerful and you feel every single moment of them. My eyes were darting all over the page as each panel delivered such impact.

Jujutsu Kaisen plants a strong foundation with this first volume. We're introduced to Yuji and this world of demons he's found himself in. There is plenty of runway for him to grow as a character and explore this new frightening path. All the while, he's learning what it takes to do good. That can be quite a mountain to climb, but it's clear he's willing to take the challenge. He's already taken the first step...err...gulp.

Grades:

Story: fourstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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