The Anger of a Gentle Man – Jujutsu Kaisen (Episode Twelve)
That Mahito’s a real jerk, isn’t he? Like, the kind of jerk you want to punch so hard in the face that his nose becomes an innie. Well, good news: Itadori hits him a lot. Like, a lot. Dude is pissed. Rightfully so, might I add, because Mahito up and idly transfigured Yoshino into a grotesquery, forcing him to fight Itadori. Oh, also Yoshino dies: not because of Itadori, but because Mahito was “a little rough” when forcibly altering the shape of the poor kid’s soul. So yeah, Itadori hits Mahito. And kicks Mahito. And headbutts Mahito. And throws him. And vows to kill him…which is a pretty big deal. Itadori’s own narration of the moment he snaps notes how his rage is so powerful, so primal that it makes his entire being up until that point feel like a lie: that’s some serious fury. I know we’re meant to understand that Itadori is in a rather dark place at the moment, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t satisfying to watch Mahito bleed. The dude straight up giggles after betraying and contorting Yoshino—and that’s terrible. Fun fact: Itadori can make Mahito bleed. Something about understanding the shape of his own soul due to housing Sukuna’s in addition to his own. I’m sure it’ll be very relevant as the series progresses; for now, it means Itadori can punch Mahito—and that’s wonderful.
Speaking of Sukuna…he sucks. Like, a lot. Jerk straight up laughed when Itadori asked for his help in saving Yoshino: yucked it up with Mahito. It’s definitely a move that makes you want to also punch Sukuna in the face, but it’s currently Itadori’s face; so, we’ll put a pin in that one. Brutally confirming that he isn’t a trump card Itadori can play also probably had something to do with the aforementioned existential fury of our protagonist, whilst also reminding us of the secret pact Sukuna has in play to assume direct control. Sukuna doesn’t really need Itadori at this point: it just remains to be seen what Sukuna will do with his minute of control when he claims it. Still, jerkness aside, it was pretty sweet to see Sukuna completely no sell Mahito’s Idle Transfiguration. I know Mahito has the “innocence” of a child, but seeing him chastised like one was pretty funny. The fact that Sukuna didn’t outright kill Mahito because they both made fun of Itadori is also delightfully petty, in a twisted sort of way. Regardless, Nanami rocks up right in the nick of time to back Itadori up—promising us quite the fight for next episode. His appearance also gives us a nice reminder that he is quite the professional—immediately noticing that Mahito was bleeding, whilst also thinking to question when the injury occurred—and gives him a reminder that Itadori is a selfless dude—having immediately explained the state of the dead and unconscious students on the premises, without even mentioning his own injuries. It’s a nice moment, and I’ll take any nice moment I can get in this series: they’re few and far between…because of all the brutality and wanton murder.
Ride the Lightning – Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai (Episode Twelve)
As we rapidly approach the end of the 2020 fall anime season, Dragon Quest: Adventure of Dai is barrelling ahead to the climax of the Hyunckel Arc. We begin with Dai and Popp being treated by the old man that saved them at the end of last week’s episode; as it turns out, he is a swordsman in the employ of Princess Leona—who we learn is safe and has been waiting for Dai to come and save the day.
Dai and Popp reflect on what we had just learnt about Hyunckel in the last episode—in regards to his father’s murder at the hands of Avan—with Dai again showing he is more thoughtful and contemplative than your standard Shonen protagonist, remarking that he completely understands Hyunckel’s feelings and, being raised by monsters himself, would have followed the same path as Hyunckel had somebody killed Grandpa Brass (his adoptive father).
Popp, however, isn’t as sympathetic to Hyunckel as Dai, commenting that no matter how much of a sob story he had, it doesn’t excuse decimating and destroying the entire Papnica Kingdom at the behest of the Dark King Vearn. Which is a fair point and raises the question: where exactly does this lust for vengeance end for Hyunckel? With Avan dead, he is directionless, having been robbed of the revenge he so seriously desired. Instead, he has lost the little boy he once was in his quest to avenge his father’s death.
After finally agreeing that Hyunckel is too far gone with his vengeance, Dai works with Popp on a plan to defeat him. Popp remarks that most of their magic spells failed on him due to his armour, but if they could collaborate together and combine their magic abilities they may be able to perform a high-level thunder spell called Zapple—which should be able to deliver quite a shock to the metal armoured Hyunckel.
They train all day before finally mastering the technique, and decide to set out to save Maam and defeat Hyunckel. Curiously, the fate of Crocodine is left a mystery. Dark Lord Hadlar rocks up at Hyunckel’s castle questioning if he has seen Crocodine, as he has gone missing from his medical pod. Rather than reveal Crocodine’s sacrifice last week, Hyunckel plays dumb about the whereabouts of Crocodine, and we learn that Hadlar has been against the inclusion of Hyunckel into the legionary generals since the beginning.
Eventually, Hadlar leaves and Dai and Popp storm the castle and engage in battle with Hyunckel. It is an intense skirmish to be sure, with Hyunckel giving little room to breathe for our heroes. In the meantime, Maam—being the badass chick that she is—manages to free herself and, whilst escaping the castle, finds a mystery treasure chest. What is inside, however, is something we will find out next week.
The episode concludes with Hyunckel drawing his sword after being unable to finish Dai off, which is the perfect opening for our heroes to perform their collaborative Zapple spell—which sends a monstrous thunder bolt crashing down onto Hyunckel, who falls to his knees. The episode cuts to credits right there. Something tells me it won’t be that easy and, with one more episode left for this cour, I think we are yet to see the final battle between Dai and Hyunckel.
All in all, this was yet another strong episode from Adventure of Dai, and one that really set the stage well for the climactic ending to the series’ first cour.