REVIEW: ‘Jujutsu Kaisen,’ Episode 17 – “Kyoto Sister School Exchange Event – Group Battle 3

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Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 17

Jujutsu Kaisen is a horror-action anime produced by MAPPA. With Panda claiming victory over Mechamaru, Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 17 turns its attention to other confrontations. Splitting its time up, this episode follows Kugisaki as she challenges the high flying Momo, and we see an emotional showdown between the twins’ Maki and Mai.

When the series first revealed there would be an inter-school competition I’ll be honest, I had mixed feelings. While there was little doubt MAPPA would use the occasion to show off some amazing fight animation, my big concern was that it would effectively stall out the story, with no payoff beyond pretty visuals. Happily, I was wrong. While the larger narrative has indeed been put on pause, the series is using this break to expound upon its numerous side characters. And what’s more, it’s doing it with skill.

Just as the last episode’s focus was squarely on Panda, Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 17 gives viewers their first real look at Maki, and by extension, her twin Mai and a side of the larger society that has grown around the culture of jujutsu sorcery. In this episode, we learn about their experiences in their clan, and how they were judged based purely on their ability to wield cursed energy. How their reactions to their family’s attitude towards them differ, as well as how they each cope in their way. But most critically, it shows how the choices Maki makes impact Mai. Changing Mai’s life as much as her own.

It is the exploration of this interaction where Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 17 truly shines. The gaining of strength, as well as the overcoming of obstacles, is often viewed as the greatest of pursuits within the shonen genre. Where protagonists are concerned, there is usually a little downside to the advancement of this goal. But in Maki’s case, things may not be so simple. The exploration of the unintended consequences of Maki’s pursuit of strength lends the cornerstone of the shonen genre some added nuance.

Along with the emotional confrontation between the twins, Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 17 also showcases Kugisaki as she battles the witchy looking sorcerer Momo. This sequence displays both creativity in its combat, as well as its own emotional moment. While it doesn’t hit as hard as Maki and Mai’s, it nevertheless strengthens Kugisaki as a character.

The visuals in this episode do a great job of delivering just as powerfully as the narrative. With a bevy of different sorcerers making appearances in combat, there is a wide range of unique and eye-catching abilities for the viewer to enjoy. And when the action does slow, allowing the emotion to step up, the visuals do just as good a job delivering them too.

Bringing it all together Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 17 showcases a great mix of cool animation and wonderfully executed character development. I continue to be impressed with how this show manages to take what could’ve been a glorified filler arc and made it both a meaningful storyline, as well as my favorite part of the show to date.

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 17 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.

 

Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 17 - “Kyoto Sister School Exchange Event - Group Battle 3
  • 9.5/10
    Rating - 9.5/10
9.5/10

TL;DR

Bringing it all together Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 17 showcases a great mix of cool animation and wonderfully executed character development. I continue to be impressed with how this show manages to take what could’ve been a glorified filler arc and made it both a meaningful storyline, as well as my favorite part of the show to date.