And so, just like that, Jujutsu Kaisen turns what would normally be an emotional, heartfelt reunion into a cavalcade of jokes…and I dig it. Poor Itadori wanted his friends to cry tears of happiness when he revealed that he was, in fact, not dead (you know, from when Sukuna ripped his/Itadori’s heart out?). Unfortunately, Gojo’s attempt at ramping up the surprise to a capital “s” turns Itadori’s return into…an embarrassment. Itadori was embarrassed. His friends were embarrassed. Everyone was embarrassed. It was right embarrassing. Still, Kugisaki did well up slightly; so, they do actually care that he’s not dead. Which is nice. Playing of this reunion as a joke also allowed the series to kick right into it’s next arc with minimal delay—minus the obligatory introduction of new characters. Even that flies by pretty fast, with some simple sentences and splash screens giving us the rundown of the students from Kyoto—one of whom is a robot. I don’t know what impact that has on the lore of the series, but one of them is some sort of robot. And that’s cool. Oh, the Kyoto students are also jerks. Like, mondo jerks. Two seconds after learning Sukuna’s vessel is back, they’re already taking orders from Old Guy Grumpy (I don’t remember his name) to kill Itadori. Only Toudou and Suit Girl (don’t remember her name either) seem to protest these orders: the former out of some sense of pride, and the latter because she just doesn’t want to. Not the deepest motivations, but we’re still getting to know these new characters; still exploring how much we’ll dislike them. My money’s on not liking that Kamo guy: dude had no hesitation in wanting to kill Itadori, and he believes himself to be superior due to the family he’s from…also, him saying his name made me remember it faster than Suit Girl (and she seems the least least likeable out of the bunch).
This episode also sees us check in on the special-grades that are our major antagonists. Ol’ Volcano Head has apparently regrown his body and, with it, some minute sense of humility. There isn’t even a disagreement when Mahito suggests simply giving Sukuna his fingers back, as per Goutou’s plan. It’s still played off as a fairly joke-y moment, but seeing these powerhouses realise how outclassed they are—by Gojo and Sukuna both—is an interesting development. It’s also a dangerous development: these curses can learn lessons. I know they’re intelligent, but that doesn’t always connect to character development. I’m not saying we’ll find an inherent depth in every manifestation of evil, but the humility was a surprise. As was the fact that I keep forgetting how awesome this series’ soundtrack is. That has nothing to do with the curses I’ve been talking about, I just wanted to segue into mentioning how dope the music is. So…yeah. The music is cool. And fun. That’s all; do with that information what you will.