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Close-up shot of an animated young man with pink hair in this image from MAPPA
Yuji Itadori (Junya Enoki) is the main character of “Jujutsu Kaisen.” (Image: MAPPA)

“Jujutsu Kaisen” is an anime for those looking to indulge in stylish character studies and gut-wrenching punches. I simply can’t get enough of the frame-by-frame-worthy action — the dynamic, fiery fistfights that make for a satisfying binge. If you haven’t watched the show but want to learn more before investing time in it, I’ve put together a comprehensive guide to get you started — and hopefully get you to stay.

Who Created ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ and What’s It About?

An animated young man wearing white with his back to the camera in this image from MAPPA
The world of “Jujutsu Kaisen” is full of supernatural events in Japan. (Image: MAPPA)

Based on the manga of the same name that is written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, “Jujutsu Kaisen” exists within a gloomy haze dense with themes of death, rebirth, recurring loss, and sacrifice. At a glance, Yuji Itadori’s (Junya Enoki) life is simple, mostly because he prefers it that way. He would rather spend time investigating supernatural matters with the occult club at his high school than feed his superhuman speed, strength, and popularity through sports. But when he discovers an ancient talisman containing the spirit of Ryomen Sukuna (Junichi Suwabe), known as the King of Curses, within, his fate will be altered and sealed in its stead.

The show’s deeply complex characters wield varying levels of gravity, each reflective of their unique inner turmoils when left to throw hands with a deadly curse. On the surface, it might seem obvious who the protagonists and antagonists are, but then the compound ethical dilemmas within “Jujutsu Kaisen” pressure the viewer to accept the grim nature of right and wrong.

Who Are the Main Characters in ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’?

Animated high school characters take a stroll down through a shopping district with their backs to the camera in this image from MAPPA.
Every shonen anime has a trio. (Image: MAPPA)

True of heart in their desire to exorcise the curses haunting Tokyo (though some slightly less noble in how they go about it), jujutsu sorcerers — those who are trained to combat cursed spirits through cursed energy or cursed tools — serve as the heroes of this story. True success lies less in their exorcising the curse and more so in the difficult choices they must make in order to survive.

Yuji Itadori

An animated young man harnesses advanced cursed energy to land a powerful blow in this image from MAPPA.
Yuji Itadori (Junya Enoki) is a likable protagonist who possesses the King of Curses. (Image: MAPPA)

The main protagonist and epitomical-sacrificial hero, Yuji has an unfathomable responsibility of sacrificing his body as a vessel to house the malevolent Sukuna — condemning himself to death. As host to a special-grade curse, the principal at Jujutsu Headquarters has ordered Yuji Itadori’s execution; allowing him to live if and until he consumes all of Sukuna’s cursed fingers — at which point he must accept execution anyway.

Megumi Fushiguro

An animated young man pauses for a beat mid-fight in this image from MAPPA.
Megumi Fushiguro (Yuma Uchida) is the counterpart to Yuji. (Image: MAPPA)

Brooding, mysterious, and reserved, Megumi Fushiguro’s (Yuma Uchida) motivations for being a jujutsu sorcerer aren't always clear. His hatred for curses is personal and his skill level is brimming with immense potential. Despite his introverted personality, Fushiguro will always fight to the death to protect those he cares about.

Nobara Kugisaki

An animated young woman prepares her cursed energy in this image from MAPPA.
Nobara Kugisaki (Asami Seto) uses a hammer and nail to fight against cursed spirits. (Image: MAPPA)

Nobara Kugisaki (Asami Seto) is as strong as she is sweet. She seizes the opportunity to leave the countryside for the hustle and bustle of a more lavish and exciting Tokyo lifestyle under the condition that she would attend Tokyo Jujutsu High and hone in her cursed energy abilities. As annoying as she might find both Yuji and Megumi, Nobara creates a space in which she cares for them deeply — despite struggling with painful memories from her time in the countryside.

Satoru Gojo

An animated man reveals his beautiful crystal blue eyes in this image from MAPPA.
Satoru Gojo (Yuichi Nakamura) is the strongest jujutsu sorcerer. (Image: MAPPA)

Undoubtedly the most skilled jujutsu sorcerer, Satoru Gojo is as elusive and self-motivated as he is unrelenting with cursed energy. Gojo is often off-screen in earlier episodes as he attends to more secretive assignments for the jujutsu higher-ups. When present, he’s as protective of his disciples — Yuji, Megumi, and Nobara — as he is ostentatious. Those wanting to understand Gojo’s character early on should grab friends or a significant other and begin with the prequel film, “Jujutsu Kaisen 0,” before starting the original show (more on this later).

Who Are the Villains in ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’?

Two animated figures with wide-mouth laughs haunt a young man in this image from MAPPA.
The villains in “Jujutsu Kaisen” are menacing and merciless. (Image: MAPPA)

Fear, anger, and regret — these emotions are innately part of the human experience, something everyone is vulnerable to at one point or another in their lifetime. Predatory entities known as “curses” feed off negative human emotions, harnessing their negative energy to deepen their strength. Areas that harbor concentrations of pain and remorse, like graveyards and prisons, are prime hunting grounds for these curses. Anyone unfortunate enough to be caught alone in a place like this can expect a gruesome end.

Curse users are jujutsu sorcerers who are on the side of evil. Meeting one of them means your life is forfeit. So, who should you be wary of?

Ryomen Sukuna

An animated man looks down arrogantly in this image from MAPPA.
Ryomen Sukuna (Junichi Suwabe) (Image: MAPPA)

The King of Curses, Sukuna, has long awaited reincarnation — another chance to revel in his cruel pleasures as he preys on women and children. He is loyal to no one and will just as readily exorcise any curse as he would kill any human who gets in his way. His only flaw: being thwarted by Yuji, who’s powerful enough to contain Sukuna’s power. Yuji allows Sukuna to surface only when necessary while preventing him from fully taking over.

Suguru Geto

 A close-up shot of a mischievous animated man in this image from MAPPA
Suguru Geto (Takahiro Sakurai) was originally a jujutsu sorcerer and Gojo’s best friend. (Image: MAPPA)

Cool, calm, and collected, Suguru Geto (Takahiro Sakurai) is as dangerous as they come. A skilled jujutsu sorcerer turned dark, his in-depth knowledge of jujutsu training and procedure poses a serious threat. Leader of a ring of malevolent curses, Geto has created a devious plan to eliminate Gojo and free Sukuna.


 A disturbing close-up of a man with his mouth open and hands performing signs in this image from MAPPA.
Mahito (Nobunaga Shimazaki) is another villain in the show who’s in a league of his own. (Image: MAPPA)

Mahito (Nobunaga Shimazaki) is a viciously misleading and manipulative cursed spirit. Born from humans’ hatred for one another, he fosters cursed energy and power by tricking and preying on the weak, who feel lost and alone. His early recognition as a special-grade makes Mahito a deadly force of cursed energy for any jujutsu sorcerer.

How Many Episodes Are There in ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’? Where Can I Watch It?

A man reveals his eye from under his mask in this image from MAPPA.
If you watch one episode of “Jujutsu Kaisen,” you’ll soon find yourself watching the entire series. (Image: MAPPA)

After the end of Season 1, which was 24 episodes, the prequel “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” was adapted and released in theaters (first in Japan, then internationally). Despite the anime technically releasing first, there is no correct order in which to watch these. Even after watching the theatrical release of “Jujutsu Kaisen 0,” I prefer and recommend starting with the series on Crunchyroll. Season 2 is also currently simulcast (airs in Japan at the same time as on Crunchyroll) this fall season. With enough dedication, you will be caught up before it ends in December.

Do I Need to Read the Manga Before Watching ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’?

Someone holds up a phone and snaps a selfie in this image from MAPPA.
Anime-only watchers shouldn’t have a hard time keeping up with the story. (Image: MAPPA)

Reading the manga (Japanese comic) isn’t necessary, as “Jujutsu Kaisen” is incredible on its own as an anime. There’s no confirmation for Season 3 at this time, though it’s speculated to be released sometime in 2026-2027. If the wait feels unbearable at the end of your binge, I highly recommend picking up the manga.

One thought on “A Beginner’s Guide to ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’

  1. AnimeKing says:

    One of my all-time favorites…animation is top-notch

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