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Hurt Not the Trees – Jujutsu Kaisen (Episode Eighteen) – Season’s Writings

Violent things can happen in the woods.

In this stage of our weekly roundup of what Jujutsu Tech students done fight who, Fushiguro and Arrow Guy rock the scene (and no, I’m still not very good with remembering these people’s names). Surprising absolutely no one, Arrow Guy uses a bow and his namesake to fight. However, he also infuses them with his own blood, a medium which he is able to manipulate due to his bloodline curse technique—an irony he himself notes. This technique allows him to kick physics to the wayside and have his arrows bend it like barbarian Beckham and hone in on his target. It’s pretty cool. On top of that, the dude’s strong. Like, punch-a-tonfa-in-half strong. It’s pretty scary. That being said, the reason behind his raw power is a tremendously creative utilisation of his technique: doping. By controlling his blood while it’s still in his body, he can manufacture the effect that is a no go in the world of sports. Simply put: the dude makes his blood carry more oxygen to his muscles, and this boosts his muscles. Sure, Fushiguro learnt how to summon an elephant that fires torrents of water that’s style makes Demon Slayer‘s legal team twitchy, but the creative application of an ability always impresses me more. So, good on you, Arrow Guy, dope away.

Moving away from that morally dubious statement, this episode also contains the slightly dramatic plot element of derailing the entire inter-school competition. Yes, those loathable special-grades are back and boy do that want to kill everybody. Mahito, as always, seems to be the instigator of conflict, enlisting the help of a sorcerer who is most probably definitely a serial killer. Seriously, all the dude talks about is turning Gojou into a coat rack…that’s messed up. On the flip side, the manifestation of nature (a.k.a. the special-grade what’s missing an arm and has branches for eyes) simply wants nature to heal…by giving it some time where humanity is dead. It’s a valid motivation, humans aren’t exactly the nicest to nature; still, they’re probably not going to take too kindly to being genocided. To their credit, Branch Eyes does acknowledge that some humans are kind to nature, though they also note how there aren’t enough of them to offset the damage and pain already inflicted. It’s a small detail, but it goes a ways to showing that not all of these special-grades are evil for the sake of evil; some have decently thought out motivations…that all involve murder. Still, the arrival of these villains means that what’s left of Jujutsu Tech can now band together and kick some serious butt. Which is nice. Also, the jerkbag principal has an electric guitar…and it annoys me how cool that is.

P.S. I love that Gojou’s ego is one-hundred percent founded, seeing as the villains devised a barrier that focuses solely on keeping him out, whilst having no effect on literally anybody else. In addition to showing off the mechanics of cursed techniques further (increasing power based on specificity, jack-of-one-trade and master-of-that-one style), it also shows us that, yes, Gojou really is that damn cool. Maybe the special-grades just get all distracted by those baby blues of his. I think he may legally have to wear that blindfold, to keep all of Japan from swooning.

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