When creator Gege Akutami first started the dark fantasy series, it did not have a large following. However, its popularity grew over time, especially after the animation studio MAPPA adapted it into an anime series.
The anime brought many more fans to the Jujutsu Kaisen world. Now, it is one of the most followed and viewed manga and anime series out there. But it could have faded into obscurity early on if not for a smart decision by Akutami.
It’s so hilarious to think that Gege drew this spread of Gojo looking absolutely stunning early in the story to help avoid cancellation, then paid the price by requiring he look hot at all times from here on out lmfao pic.twitter.com/8dDfTpQgan
— Lightning (@lightning446) January 29, 2024
In the beginning, Weekly Shonen Jump, the famous manga magazine that serializes many hit series, considered dropping Jujutsu Kaisen due to its low readership.
But Akutami created a clever plot twist that grabbed people’s attention and saved his series from cancellation. This kept Jujutsu Kaisen going long enough to build its current huge fanbase.
How an Illustration Saved Jujutsu Kaisen from Cancellation
Despite its high quality, Jujutsu Kaisen was initially at risk of being canceled by Weekly Shonen Jump magazine early on in its run.
For unspecified reasons, the dark fantasy series was on the brink of losing its coveted spot serializing chapters in the popular manga anthology.
However, creator Gege Akutami made a clever move to drum up interest and avoid his series getting axed.
He released an impressive illustration depicting the powerful sorcerer Gojo Satoru unleashing his full abilities during a fight.
It specifically showed the long-awaited reveal of what lies behind Gojo’s iconic blindfold.
This visually stunning scene electrified fans and built major hype around Jujutsu Kaisen. It confirmed that there were epic moments still in store for the series.
In the end, this illustration was likely instrumental in convincing Shonen Jump to continue running Jujutsu Kaisen. So Gojo essentially saved the manga that later blossomed into a hugely successful anime adaptation.
By tantalizing fans with this display of sorcerous might, Gege Akutami bought his creation more time to build an invested readership.
What started on unstable ground is now a pillar of today’s manga and anime landscape.
Jujutsu Kaisen’s Journey in Weekly Shonen Jump
To provide some context, Weekly Shonen Jump is a popular Japanese manga anthology that has been published weekly by Shueisha since 1968. It features various shonen manga series across different genres.
As part of the magazine, Shueisha holds annual competitions for emerging manga artists to create one-shot pilot stories. These are judged by veteran manga creators, with the best awarded special recognition.
Jujutsu Kaisen, a shonen supernatural action series, is one of the current manga being serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump.
Originally, manga author Gege Akutami penned a Jujutsu Kaisen one-shot prequel story back in 2017 called Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School (later retitled Jujutsu Kaisen 0).
After a positive reception, the main Jujutsu Kaisen manga began serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump in 2018. It quickly built up an invested readership drawn to its dark storylines and dynamic sorcerous battles.
Now several years into its run with over 100 chapters released, Jujutsu Kaisen has enjoyed massive success as an anime adaptation and pillar series of the magazine.
But its road to prominence was unstable early on, as previously discussed. Fortunately, creator Akutami made smart decisions to salvage his creation.
More About Jujustu Kaisen
Yuji Itadori, an extremely athletic high school student, lives with his grandfather in Sendai, Japan.
On his grandfather’s deathbed in June 2018, he imparted two key pieces of advice to Yuji – always help people in need, and be surrounded by loved ones when you die.
Soon after, Yuji’s Occult Club friends inadvertently attract dangerous Curses by unsealing a severed finger that was used as an occult talisman. To protect fellow student Megumi Fushiguro, who is secretly a Jujutsu Sorcerer, Yuji swallows the finger.
This act makes Yuji the host of Ryomen Sukuna, an immensely powerful and evil Curse contained in 20 fingers from Sukuna’s original body. By protocol, Jujutsu sorcerers like Megumi must immediately exorcise Sukuna’s vessel to eliminate the threat he poses.
However, Megumi’s mentor Satoru Gojo sees that Yuji still has control over his body with Sukuna dormant inside him.
Gojo proposes to his superiors at Tokyo Jujutsu High School to keep Yuji alive and train him to harness Sukuna’s power until all 20 fingers are collected.
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