Manga is something I want to be better about reading, so I figured I’d sign up to read Jujutsu Kaisen, which seems to delight people that I like. Does this make me want to use the Shonen Jump app and pay for it so I can read everything?
Mmm. Kind of. I did open it and read some of the first chapter, and I liked it, probably enough to keep reading it! But, it’s not so much on the strength of this, as much as it was to know how this is a “zero issue” at all.
Which, the thing is, I stupidly tried to start at zero, but that’s not really how zero issues work, and I know that! Typically, a comic series doesn’t start with zero, it starts with one, you go back to zero to give some context to stuff later on. Most of the time, some parts of the actual series elevate the zero story, and inform it. Do I know this is the case with Jujutsu Kaisen 0? No! I don’t!
While that was frustrating (and my fault!), this comic still rules, actually. You’ve got this school, and they learn how to beat up ghosts, and they all have special ways to beat up ghosts. Which is rad! And it’s a fun, good story, if a little basic as far as manga goes. It has all the hallmarks of a Big 3 manga, but gets to those big moments in four chapters instead of like 20.
I honestly don’t have as much vocabulary to really talk about manga art as it relates to manga, but the decisions here are so much fun to see. In typical manga style, the art ranges from very detailed to bubbly and cartoony. The lines go “whoosh” in my head when people fight, and I love it. A real highlight are the character designs, especially the ghost ones. Delightfully creepy!
But, back to the plotting. What I like is that this does feel like a self-contained story. It almost could be a standalone OGN if I squinted and forgot there are over one hundred other chapters in this story. But if I did do that, I can see how this is strong on its own. My problem is that it doesn’t have that strong of a hook to get me into the rest of the series, which isn’t something I hold against it so much, but I was hoping that it would really put my foot in the door of the series, but instead it kind of feels like I’m missing out on some of the jokes. Which, yeah, kind of gets my foot in the door, in a roundabout way.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 feels like a book that I’d like more if I had been following the series, but I’m not sure if that’s true, because I’m not following the series. So, I’m gonna read the series to know if I should have read it before I read it.
If you’re following the series, you’ll probably like this! And if you’re not following the series, maybe don’t start with this, or maybe do, and be like me, racked with confusion. Either way, it’s some good manga, so read this, and then join me next month-ish when I read the rest of the series. I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.
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