ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ Volume 8

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8 concludes the confrontation with the Cursed Womb: Death Paintings, and for those who read the release of Volume 0a key detail dropped is given much more attention here. The manga series from Gege Akutami follows teen Yuji Itadori. In the act of impulsive heroism, he becomes the vessel for special grade curse Sukuna. Thrown into a world of sorcerers and curses, he enrolls at Jujutsu High and is teamed up with Nobara Kugisaki and Megumi Fushiguro. Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8 is published in English by VIZ Media, translated by Stefan Koza, and features touch-up art and lettering by Snir Aharon. It has design by Joy Zhang and edited by John Bae.

The plot of Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8 is best described as being broken up into two parts. The majority of it is a flashback, but Yuji and Nobara’s battle gets wrapped up before that. Their stunning teamwork in the last volume pays off. The Cursed Womb: Death Painting brothers exhibit emotion in the face of one of them dying, stopping the teens in their tracks. Everything Yuji and Nobara have learned about cursed spirits gets thrown out the window when the young sorcerers realize their opponents are flesh and blood. An absolutely marvelous panel sequence follows this fight. Yuji and Nobara have to reflect on whether or not they are murderers, and the way Akutami illustrates this through side profiles and long horizontal panels is brilliant. Even after reuniting with Megumi, further revelations illustrate just how close these three have become. There is something genuinely refreshing about the trio and the trust they have formed in each other.

A lighthearted chapter gives readers respite after the battle. It had this reviewer laughing out loud multiple times. Nobara and Megumi run into a girl who has a crush on Yuji and immediately must know more. Seeing even Megumi cave into the gossip is fantastic. It reminds readers that all three are dynamic, fleshed-out characters. Most importantly, though, it reminds the reader that these are kids. In between the horror, Akutami allows brief moments to let the teens be teenagers. It keeps the heart of this series beating amidst the action.

The majority of Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8 involves their teacher, Satoru Gojo. It was revealed in the prequel that he and the series antagonist Suguru Geto used to be classmates and rather close. The manga goes back in time to their second year at Jujutsu High. The two butt heads, surprising no one, but it is in how they butt heads that is compelling. The younger Geto is completely different from the one readers have come to know. He preaches righteousness and believes it is a sorcerer’s job to protect the weak and non-jujutsu sorcerers of the world from curses. He talks about keeping the strong in check. Aside from viewing non-sorcerers as weak, it is almost completely opposite to his current views. Gojo, on the other hand, could care less. He finds secrecy and having to look out from others a pain.

The storyline will likely show just what caused the shift for both of these two, and its placement in the manga is well-timed. The two are assigned a mission to escort the next Star Plasma Vessel, a teen girl, so that she can merge with Master Tengen. Even more fascinating, lurking in the shadows waiting to strike, is Megumi Fushiguro’s father. He is revealed to be a known sorcerer killer and is out to sabotage the mission and eliminate Gojo. This portrait of the past provides such a stark contrast to the present that readers will find it very compelling, even when the action mission itself is rather by-the-books.

Akutami does an excellent job with character design in Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8. The characters actually look like younger versions of themselves. On top of that, details such as Gojo using sunglasses rather than a blindfold reflect his more arrogant attitude. Even teenage Nanami is recognizable through body language, no small feat considering he has the most drastic appearance change.

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8 does a decent job following up the incredible previous installment. While the core adventures this time are pretty standard, the characters’ inevitable development will keep readers glued to the page as the story jumps back in time.

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8 releases February 2nd, 2021, wherever books are sold.

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8
3.5

TL;DR

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8 does a decent job following up the incredible previous installment. While the core adventures this time are pretty standard, the characters’ inevitable development will keep readers glued to the page as the story jumps back in time.