ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Jujutsu Kaisen,’ Volume 6

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Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 6

After a bit of a plateau in the last volume, Gege Akutami’s Jujutsu Kaisen attempts to pick up the pace once again in Volume 6. It doesn’t entirely succeed, but it gives readers some solid action to bring this arc to its climax. This Shonen Jump series is published in English by Viz Media. Volume 6 is translated by Stefan Koza and features touch-up art and lettering by Snir Aharon.

Mercifully for readers, most of the infighting from the last volume caused by the Kyoto students trying to assassinate Itadori is wrapped up in favor of team-ups to defeat much larger foes. Mahito has brought a group of special grade curses and curse users to wreak havoc. A barrier goes down across the area, specifically designed to block Gojo from providing aid to his students.

The team-ups between the students allow for some pretty exciting battles. Kamo and Fushiguro’s fight gets interrupted due to spirit Hanami rampaging towards Inumaki. Hanami proves to be a formidable foe, and the three boys team up and use their specialties in a fight that favors tactics over brute strength. It was also satisfying to see Toge Inumaki’s cursed speech be given a bit of spotlight in this volume. I find it to be one of the most intriguing abilities in the series.

Hanami is such a formidable foe that he goes through multiple tag-teams of students this volume. We get to see Maki take the spotlight briefly as well when she jumps in to assist the boys. Ultimately, the big fight is between Hanami and Itadori, and Itadori has been taught a new move by Todo that he attempts to use in standard protagonist fashion.

Jujutsu Kaisen set the bar high in its early volumes, so while these fights are dynamic, regrettably much of this volume fails to hit the emotional highs that we’ve seen from the series in the past. The brief moments that were present, such as Fushiguro reflecting on the last time he left Itadori alone in battle, made the lack of emotional weight elsewhere all the more noticeable. The action is stellar, but it felt a bit emptier, likely due to jumping right into it last volume upon meeting the new cast.

Tonally, Jujutsu Kaisen treads an interesting line. Even amid all the body horror and rather gruesome civilian murders, the series doesn’t take itself too seriously. There is a talking panda named Panda (who isn’t a panda), and in this volume, an old man fights with an electric guitar. More often than not, this humor is endearing and appreciated. There are a few times, however, where a bit of tonal whiplash occurs and the tension is sucked out of the moment. I personally felt the gag between Todo and Itadori already referring to each other as “brothers” was thrown in a little too many times in the fight scene.

Jujutsu Kaisens art is a constant charm. It matches the series well. Lines are edgy and chaotic in fights, and Akutami isn’t afraid to use deep pools of black on characters’ clothes, or even when Fushiguro is summoning his shikigami. Scale is utilized well: fights will move rapidly, and then suddenly a wide page spread is used to illustrate just how big a spirit is, or how powerful a blow hit.

In the end, while Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 6 doesn’t hit the emotional highs of past volumes, it delivers solid action sequences and great art that will keep readers coming back to see what happens next.

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 6 will be available on October 10th wherever books are sold.

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 6
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TL;DR

In the end, while Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 6 doesn’t hit the emotional highs of past volumes, it delivers solid action sequences and great art that will keep readers coming back to see what happens next.