REVIEW: ‘Jujutsu Kaisen,’ Episode 9 – “Small Fry and Reverse Retribution”

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Jujutsu Kaisen Epiosde 9

Jujutsu Kaisen is a horror-action anime produced by MAPPA. As teased at the end of the last episode, Itadori is set to investigate what looks like a new curse with the help of a new teacher. But, in Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 9, this new enemy puts a twist on its victims, leaving some questions about what it truly is and why it seems to have taken an interest in a troubled young man.

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 9 opens a bit differently than previous installments in the series. The first several minutes follow a new character as he is bullied by some of his school peers, and then runs into them again at a nearby movie theater. There, an encounter with a curse drives the boy’s life in a whole new direction.

This opening delivers a hard-hitting beginning to the episode. Witnessing this young man’s horrible mistreatment is uncomfortable and difficult. His reaction to his encounter with a curse reflects where he is mentally. While the places this episode takes this new character aren’t particularly new, they are well-delivered. I’m curious to see where this young man will ultimately end up.

After establishing its new personalities, Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 9 catches up to where Itadori was seen in the last episode as he and jujutsu sorcerer Nanami Kento investigate a grisly scene at a local movie theater. Kento provides a different perspective on both jujutsu and training inc comparison to Itadori’s usual training at the hands of his mentor Gojou. Kento’s humorless disposition and curt attitude make him initially come across as cold, but as the episode goes on he is shown to take his duties seriously and his concern for Itadori feels genuine.

During their investigation, the duo run afoul of a couple of curses they decide to dispatch. This scene delivers both the gorgeous fight animation MAPPA is known for, albeit briefly, as well as giving viewers their first look at the fruits of Itadori’s recent training. But the fight gets cut short as Kento’s deductive mind notices something different about these curses.

The strongest aspect of Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 9 for me is it’s handling of the shifting tone. Moving from the heavy moments of the episode’s opening to the usual quirkiness of the series characters could easily create a jarring feeling, making the humor of the show feel out of place. Happily, the heavier moments are given their fair chance to breathe before the humor comes along. This gives these serious moments their proper weight.

As previously stated, Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 9 once again delivers MAPPA’s trademark art style wonderfully. We finally get to see Itadori begin to utilize his budding jujutsu sorcerer powers. This combined with Kento’s own unique combat visuals makes the brief fight sequence here thoroughly enjoyable and eye-catching.

When all is said and done, Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 9 provides a strong start to a multipart story. This episode was definitely a positive step back after my lackluster feelings for its predecessor. I hope the current story will utilize the groundwork this week’s installment sets up.

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 9 is streaming now exclusively on Crunchyroll.


Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 9
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 9 provides a strong start to a multipart story. This episode was definitely a positive step back after my lackluster feelings for its predecessor. I hope the current story will utilize the groundwork this week’s installment sets up.