The wait is finally over. ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ is finally in its second season. Episode 1 tries to swiftly cover Gojo’s Past arc and a major chunk of the Shibuya Incident. Gege Akutami’s ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ manga series has already mapped these events in vivid detail, charting the trajectories of the beloved characters as they experience near death, entrapment, and deep personal loss. Season 1 ended on a cliffhanger, where Gojo Satoru and Jujutsu High higher-ups were on the verge of discovering who the mole might be, while Geto Suguru and his Cursed Spirits were gearing towards a dastardly plan to trap Gojo on October 31st in Shibuya. Considering how absolutely traumatic and devastating the Shibuya arc is, the animated series is bound to embrace darker elements without any true respite.
Contains spoilers for Jujutsu Kaisen’s Hidden Inventory and Gojo’s Past Arc.
The Gojo vs Geto dynamic is an interesting one — two sorcerers who used to be closed friends at Jujustu High evolve into adults with completely opposing worldviews, the love that they once held for one another being buried under the weight of chaos. The Cursed Spirits harbor a plan to rid the world of humans once and for all, as they intend to rule freely without being hounded by sorcerers or having to hide from humans. The only real obstacle in their path is Gojo Satoru, whose strength can only be overpowered by luring him into a trap and keeping him sealed. This births the Shibuya incident, and season 2 ventures back to the past to better explain the Gojo-Geto dynamic for us.
Jujutsu Kaisen (Season 2) Episode 1 Recap:
Hidden inventory, a special vessel, and two friends
While we have seen Geto machinating behind the scenes in season 1, there has been little insight into his motivations so far, except for some aspects revealed by the end of Jujutsu Kaisen 0. Geto used to be a Jujutsu High sorcerer after all, held in high esteem by his peers — what might have possibly happened to spur him on such a dark, dangerous path? Episode 1 opens with Geto talking about his method of exorcising Cursed Spirits, where he purges the Spirit but absorbs their cores using the Cursed Spirit Manipulation. No wonder Geto got promoted to a Special Grade Sorcerer pretty quickly, as the ability to summon vagabond curses during battle is one heck of an arsenal during times of crisis.
We journey back to the past, where a younger Utahime and Mei Mei investigate a haunted mansion, sensing the presence of a Cursed Spirit inside. After some back and forth, they realize that they are trapped in a barrier that simulates an endless corridor. Right when they think they have broken the barrier, Gojo appears, exchanging playful banter with Utahime. Their semi-serious rivalry has clear roots in the past, and Geto appears much more laidback, and honorable even. Shoko Ieri is also present, and Gojo messes up the mission after he forgets to cast a curtain to shield the public from what occurred, earning a bonk on the head by Masamichi Yaga, who is not the headmaster yet.
Gojo and Geto are handed an important mission – secure Riko Amanai, the Star Plasma Vessel, and kill her eventually to help Master Tengen maintain his Art of Immortality. Two groups hound Riko – Curse User group Q, and a religious cult named Time Vessel Association. Gojo and Geto discuss the specifics of the mission with Yaga, who explains that Tengen needs to merge with the vessel in two days and that the duo’s mission is to keep her safe until then. While Geto takes the matter seriously, pondering over the implications of immortality, Gojo, being Gojo, makes a Digimon reference.
The survival of the fittest and the inevitability of change
The most important aspect of this episode does not lie in the appearance of Cursed Spirits or the tense altercation at the end. Rather, it is a rather laidback basketball match between Gojo and Geto, where the duo express their worldviews about protecting the weak. Surprisingly, Gojo is the one to assume a more cruel, exclusionary worldview, believing that the weak should not survive, as strong sorcerers like him are exhausted of saving them from some danger or the other every day. He looks down on weakness, and the sense of righteousness associated with protecting them, while Geto argues that sorcerers exist to protect non-sorcerers and that the weak are integral to societal hierarchy.
This is an interesting inversion as one would expect Gojo to hold Geto’s stance, as he grows into a man who guides his students to protect as many people as possible and tries his best to be a responsible mentor (despite his shenanigans). It is jarring to see Geto support a more inclusive worldview, as he eventually grows up to be someone who detests humans and sorcerers alike and goes to extreme lengths to accomplish a world riddled with Curses. Despite their innate differences, they work well together: it is almost heartbreaking to see their playful back and forths and genuine camaraderie, as it is only a painful reminder of what is to come. Even at the end of the world, the chances of these two seeing eye to eye are nigh impossible.
Jujutsu Kaisen (Season 2), Episode 1 Ending, Explained:
We’re the strongest; after all
The duo heads out to retrieve the vessel, and Geto runs into an explosion, walking right into a trap by the Q group. The vessel, Riko, is seen falling from a high building, and Geto swiftly evades attacks and rescues her from death. The Q members challenge him, and he smirks, daring them to get closer whilst midair. Elsewhere, Gojo casually thwarts attacks on him and mocks one of the Q members when he asks Gojo to prove he is the strongest. While the episode ends here, it lays a solid foundation for the fight that will unravel between the two and the Q group, allowing them to display their abilities.
And then, there’s the official introduction of Toji Fushiguro, a hired assassin who is approached by the Time Vessel Association to kill Riko in exchange for money. Toji accepts, smirking cruelly as usual, and this will launch an enmity between him and Gojo, leading to a climactic face-off by the end of the arc. Toji is Megumi’s father, who abandoned him right after he was born and even tried to sell him off to the Zenin family, and it was Gojo who took Megumi in (sort of) and trained him to be the sorcerer he is today.
While Megumi is capable of reaching into his inner darkness, he is not cruel like his father and seems to silently cherish his friendships while trying to appear aloof. The Toji arc might have implications for the present day, which will usher in a lot of bloodshed during the Shibuya arc.
Needless to say, the animation in Season 2 looks clean and expertly crafted, melding varying styles to convey humor and thrill so far. We can expect things to get more mirthless as time passes, as the carefree smiles on Gojo and Geto’s faces will inevitably fade. It’s time to gear up for some unending trauma.
Episode 1 of Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.