REVIEW: ‘Jujutsu Kaisen,’ Episode 16 – “Kyoto Sister School Exchange Event – Group Battle 2“

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Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 16

Jujutsu Kaisen is a horror-action anime produced by MAPPA. With Itadori’s showdown with Toudou continuing, the rest of the Exchange Event battles on. With Kugisaki confronting the Kyoto school’s air support, Panda must watch her back and face off with the full of surprises Mechamaru. But there may be more to Panda than meets the eye. Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 16 delivers a lot of hits, twists, and surprises this week.

Even though Itadori’s current battle seems far from over, I’m glad this episode didn’t continue to focus on his continuing confrontation. And not just because it involves Toudou. Shonen animes have a long history of dragging out single confrontations in their storytelling. And while we’ve gladly come a long way from the infamous 20+ episode Frieza fight in Dragon Ball Z, it is still a problem shonens often struggle with. It nice to see Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 16 show some awareness of how even the best-executed fights can become stale if run too long and decide to change it up by focusing its narrative on others the battle.

After a brief visit with Itadori as he and Toudou prepare to enter the second round of their clash, we are sent off to follow Kugisaki and Panda as they confront some of the other members of the Kyoto School. However, they are caught off guard by a surprise attack from Mechamaru, forcing Panda and Kugisaki to split up with Panda facing the challenge presented by Mechamaru. This confrontation becomes the focus of Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 16.

Along with the battle itself, this episode also takes time to fill in the viewer on the special circumstances surrounding Mechamaru and Panda’s nature. This was an unexpected surprise for me. And a most welcome one. Ever since Panda’s introduction, I have been curious about how a talking Panda became a Jujutsu Sorcerer. This episode delivers all the information I was hoping for while delivering several surprises along the way. The nature of Panda and the way he maintains his usual positive spirit in the face of Mechamaru’s attitude toward what he is only helping to cement my already growing fondness for the unusual looking mentor figure.

While this episode focuses on different fighters, it also shifts the combat style it brings. Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 16 always moves from the more skillful strikes and parries of the last episode and settles into the more traditional shonen fare of big flashy super attacks and cool looking transformations. This isn’t a problem, as I enjoyed the variety in the approach. The ability to nail the ever-changing combat styles just goes to further cement MAPPA’s excellent grasp on all aspects of fight animation.

When all is said and done, Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 16 delivers a packed story. With lots of character background and cool flashy combat, this episode brings more of what has been the best of the series while keeping the series feeling fresh by shifting its perspective to less explored characters. With the final moments hinting at yet another shift in focus, it looks like the variety will keep coming next week as well. I love to see it.

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 16 is streaming exclusively on Crunchyroll.

 

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 16
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 16 delivers a packed story. With lots of character background and cool flashy combat, this episode brings more of what has been the best of the series while keeping the series feeling fresh by shifting its perspective to less explored characters. With the final moments hinting at yet another shift in focus, it looks like the variety will keep coming next week as well. I love to see it.