Tuesday, January 14, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: JUJUTSU KAISEN: Volume 1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

MANGAKA: Gege Akutami
LETTERS: Snir Aharon
EDITOR: John Bae
ISBN: 978-1-9747-1002-7; paperback (December 2019); Rated “T+” for “Teen Plus”
192pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 U.K.

Jujutsu Kaisen is the debut ongoing manga series from Gege Akutami.  It has been serialized in the Japanese manga magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump, since March 2018.  VIZ Media is publishing the series in English as a series of graphic novels under its “Shonen Jump” imprint.

Jujutsu Kaisen, Vol. 1 (“Ryomen Sukuna”; Chapter 1 to 7) introduces Yuji Itadori, a first year student at Sugisawa Municipal High School in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture.  Especially fast and strong, Yuji should be an athlete, perhaps a member of  the school's track-and-field team.  However, Yuji chooses to be a member of the Occult Research Club.

He and the other two members, Sasaki and Iguchi, have gotten their hands on a “sealed cursed object.”  They don't know it, but their lives are in danger.  And Yuji is about to be introduced into the world of “Jujutsu Sorcerers” and a conspiracy involving a legendary and feared demon, “Ryomen Sukura.”

[This volume includes bonus manga.]

The Jujutsu Kaisen manga is perfect for me.  Demons, man-eating demons, demon fighters, curses, cursed objects, and secret societies of warriors:  it is all right up my reading alley.  Plus, I recently had to say goodbye to the excellent but short (five-volume) series, Black Torch, from creator Tsuyoshi Takaki.  So I need a new source of hot demon action.

Jujutsu Kaisen Graphic Novel Volume 1 rushes the reader into it world of Jujutsu Sorcerers and “special-grade cursed objects.”  Vol. 1 seems to offer two volumes worth of characters, plots, settings, and internal mythology, and creator Gege Akutami makes it all of it so exciting.  Jujutsu Kaisen is like a combination battle manga and horror comic book.  The comic book offers gruesome monsters and plucky monster-fighters, featuring a goofy, but charming young hero.

Stefan Koza captures the battles and the horror and transforms them into a seamless whole with his English translation.  Letterer Snir Aharon highlights the series' surprising sense of humor without denying the edgy action and drama.  I have to recommend Jujutsu Kaisen; I think the series has only scratched the surface of what it can offer, so it should be a fun reading journey.

8.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.


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