5 Issues Fans Have With The Writing (& 5 Things They Love)

The modern sensation of the shonen world, Gege Akutami’s Jujutsu Kaisen is a highly praised and universally beloved dark fantasy story that shines in countless aspects. Both the manga and anime versions of Itadori Yuji’s struggles against Cursed Spirits top most new-gen shonen series in terms of quality and popularity for a good reason. Yet, even among the people who enjoy Gege Akutami’s world and characters tremendously exist those who see the inherent problems in Jujutsu Kaisen’s writing.



Like any story of such magnitude, Jujutsu Kaisen is far from perfect. While the flaws of its writing don’t stop the fans from engaging with the series, many see the importance of addressing the things JJK executes poorly. A narrative of both incredible highs and disappointing lows, Jujutsu Kaisen remains beloved by a large international community despite its imperfections.


Jujutsu Kaisen Writing Flaws

Lack Of Downtime

When it comes to generating excitement, only a select few shonen series can compare to Jujutsu Kaisen. Keeping things moving is a sure way to prevent viewers from getting bored of the story. However, every shonen fan understands the importance of giving characters a break every once in a while and stopping the action for an occasional mundane adventure — also known in anime as a filler arc.

In JJK’s case, such moments of peace are a luxury the characters can seldom afford, and the further the story progresses, the less time its heroes have between back-to-back fights and world-altering tragedies. Unfortunately, the accelerated pacing results in both the characters and the audience never getting a chance to breathe and reflect on their journey before the next big disaster hits them.

Characters Are Underdeveloped

Toge Inumaki reveals his mouth mark in Jujutsu Kaisen anime

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10 Jujutsu Kaisen Characters Who Deserved Better

Innocent characters like Junpei Yoshino and Rika Orimoto suffer unjust and tragic deaths, highlighting the dark and unfair nature of curses.

At first glance, Jujutsu Kaisen has no shortage of incredible, unforgettable heroes. There’s no doubt that characters like Gojo, Yuta, Choso, and Toji are currently some of the most popular figures in anime. At the same time, even the diehard fans of JJK’s cast recognize that the series’ heroes are far from being well-developed.

Much of the problem with JJK’s characterization stems from a lack of character interactions, as heroes rarely have time to establish strong bonds between never-ending fights. On the other hand, some fan-favorite heroes, like Aoi Todo and Toge Inumaki, simply disappear from the story before their arcs can be completed the moment they are no longer useful to progress the plot.

Hectic Transitions Between Storylines

Kenjaku holding the Prison Realm in Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 finale

The arc structure most shonen anime follows is an incredible composition tool that allows story beats to flow into each other organically. And while Jujutsu Kaisen has no shortage of brilliant arcs, what it struggles with is the transition from one plot to the next. Jumps between arcs in JJK are often way too jarring and sudden, such as the case with the Kyoto Goodwill Event arc’s switch to the Death Painting arc.

Similarly, the arcs that do lead into each other well, like the Culling Game and the following Shinjuku Showdown arc, rush the transition process too much, resulting in lackluster arc finales that fail to address the consequences of said story beats.

Characters Get Killed Off Too Soon

A close-up of Nobara Kugisaki's face with her left eye missing in Jujutsu Kaisen

  • Jujutsu Kaisen notoriously killed one of its main characters, Kugisaki Nobara, not even halfway through the series. Nobara’s alleged death was the incident that sparked the dissatisfaction with the show’s character writing in many fans.
  • On top of killing off major characters, JJK leaves the fates of many heroes up in the air for too long. Currently, the status of such major characters as Nobara, Todo, Choso, Kenjaku, and even Gojo remains unknown.

Death is something no character in Jujutsu Kaisen is ever safe from. And while the story achieves a suspenseful, mature feel by never relying too much on plot armor, how JJK chooses to kill off its heroes is something many fans have a problem with.

From Nobara’s demise in Shibuya to Kenjaku’s downfall at Yuta’s hand, a significant number of JJK characters perish before their arcs can properly conclude, resulting in lackluster, disappointing finales for otherwise incredible heroes. And the more often JJK uses sudden death for shock value, the less fans feel affected by a character’s premature execution, voiding the purpose of treating heroes as disposable in the first place.

Many Abilities Are Underutilized

Jujutsu Kaisen features one of the most well-developed and nuanced power systems in modern shonen, and the multifacetedness of abilities its characters possess makes every fight in the series feel exhilarating. However, with such an impressive number of powerful characters, many begin to fall through the cracks and disappear from the narrative when their abilities might be the most useful.

Inumaki’s Cursed Speech and Hakari’s Idle Death Gamble are the most prominent examples of Gege Akutami underutilizing his characters’ skills. While Hakari, a known and immensely proficient Grade 1 sorcerer, sits the entirety of the Shibuya Incident out despite having the potential to aid his friends significantly, Inumaki vanishes after losing his arm to Sukuna, even though his versatile Cursed Technique has no ties to his limbs.

Jujutsu Kaisen Writing Merits

Fights Are Dynamic

If there’s one aspect in which Jujutsu Kaisen never disappoints, it’s the gripping, tense, and exciting battles. As one of the show’s central focuses, fights in JJK exist not just for the spectacle but also to develop characters and move the story forward, which results in such iconic showdowns as Mahito vs. Yuji and Todo, Maki vs. the Zenin Clan and Gojo vs. Sukuna.

Gege Akutami excels at creating unique, entertaining battles and setting unlikely opponents against each other, making even such ridiculous face-offs as Takaba vs. Kenjaku or Hakari vs. Kashimo read as intense. Studio MAPPA’s brilliant treatment of Akutami’s source material elevates the manga’s impeccable fights even further, adding new dimensions to the series’ dynamic showdowns.

Plenty Of Memorable Heroes And Villains

  • Despite the common assumption that Satoru Gojo is Jujutsu Kaisen’s most popular character, the Weekly Shonen Jump’s popularity polls for Jujutsu Kaisen saw Yuji Itadori winning the first one in 2019 and Megumi Fushiguro taking the first place in the following two in 2020 and 2023.
  • Fans’ love for JJK characters manifests in various impressive ways around the world, such as the fan-made Nanami Kento shrine in Kuantan, Malaysia, the Satoru Gojo memorial in the subway of Santiago, Chile, and even two stars named after Gojo and Geto.

While Jujutsu Kaisen doesn’t always nail properly developing its characters, there’s no denying that the series’ cast brims with unforgettable heroes and villains. Much of the show’s popularity rides on how attached the JJK fan community is to the series’ characters, some of whom inspire so much fan content and discourse that their influence reaches far beyond the anime fandom.

Gege Akutami excels at creating eye-catching designs and bestowing his characters with flashy, memorable personalities, resulting in both heroes and villains of Jujutsu Kaisen gathering considerable fanbases.

Realistically Grim World

Yuji angrily staring down a smug-looking Mahito in Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2

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15 Times The Jujutsu Kaisen Manga Broke Our Hearts

The recurrent theme of suffering and death in Jujutsu Kaisen makes it, more often than not, extremely heartbreaking.

Contrasting the mostly lighthearted shonen of the past, the genre’s new generation aims for a much darker feel. Standing at the forefront of this trend, JJK puts a lot of emphasis on the bleakness of its world, which makes the show feel mature and realistic despite the fantastical nature of its setting. Unlike most conventional shonen works, JJK rarely avoids disadvantaging its heroes.

Outside of Special Grades, like Gojo and Yuta, few characters can feasibly survive an encounter with a high-level Curse such as Sukuna or Mahito. Not only do the characters of JJK consistently suffer permanent damage and die during key plot events, but their world at large is an unwelcoming, hostile place ruthless to jujutsu sorcerers and civilians alike.

Detailed Power SystemKenjaku uses Curse Manipulation to absorb Mahito in Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2

  • When creating Jujutsu Kaisen, Gege Akutami was greatly inspired by Hunter x Hunter, a shonen icon commonly praised for featuring the best power system in the genre.
  • The Cursed Energy sorcerers use to fight manifests from negative emotions, and is present in most living beings, and even certain objects. What differentiates sorcerers from regular people is the ability to control and manipulate their Cursed Energy.

Few aspects of a battle shonen are as crucial as a well-developed, compelling power system. Jujutsu Kaisen’s Cursed Energy might be one of the best and most nuanced magic systems in modern shonen, allowing the series’ to pull off myriads of creative, intense battles. While JJK borrows elements from the canons of battle manga power structuring, Cursed Energy has just enough uniqueness and variability in its manifestation to let it stand out.

Powers in JJK vary greatly from straightforward hand-to-hand combat enhanced through Cursed Energy, like what Itadori uses, to unhinged reality-bending abilities, like Takaba’s Comedian. Yet, JJK’s power system also has strict rules every Cursed Energy user follows, which adds realism and stakes to confrontations even between the verse’s strongest fighters.

Well-Handled Emotional Highs

Sukuna looks at Gojo's body in Jujutsu Kaisen

An outstanding battle shonen is not only defined by how it executes its fights but also by the emotions it carries and how well the series is capable of engaging the audience on a level deeper than superficial entertainment. A dark and cruel story filled with profound moments of emotional devastation, Jujutsu Kaisen often plays with the fans’ feelings.

Yet, its emotional highs are always executed flawlessly. From Yuji’s breakdown upon seeing the damage Sukuna caused in Shibuya to the tragedy of Satoru Gojo’s death at Sukuna’s hand, JJK never fails to make its fans feel for the characters when the story reaches powerful crescendos.

Itadori and Sukuna in Jujutsu kaisen manga cover art poster

Jujutsu Kaisen

A boy swallows a cursed talisman – the finger of a demon – and becomes cursed himself. He enters a shaman’s school to be able to locate the demon’s other body parts and thus exorcise himself.

Release Date
March 5, 2018

Author
Gege Akutami

Artist
Gege Akutami

Genre
Adventure , Fantasy , Supernatural

Chapters
221

Volumes
22

Adaptation
Jujutsu Kaisen

Publisher
Shueisha, Viz Media

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