Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 episode 5 aired on Thursday bringing an end to the wonderfully adapted Gojo’s Past arc. Now that the anticipation for the Shibuya Incident arc starting will build up for the rest of the month, we were left with a rather calm episode. But calm doesn’t always mean worse. On the contrary, Director Shouta Goshozono did a marvelous job with the storyboard of this episode as did episode director Atsushi Nakagawa, who made his series debut as an episode director (previously worked as an assistant for episode 1 this season).
My Favorite Part
There aren’t many “favorite parts” when it comes to an episode that’s the falling action from the climax of an arc. So when this happens, the focus shifts toward the art, storyboard, and direction. We tend to realize that these slower episodes are when directors and storyboard artists can show what they’re made of. Luckily for us, there was much material to take away from this episode. For starters, look at this image below of Geto killing humans compared to how he reacted when Amanai was killed.
Not only does Nakagawa deserve a round of applause for his series directing debut, but also for his decision to throw in the sound of rain mixed with the sound of applause surrounding Geto. His work with sound director Yasunori Ebina came to the forefront of this episode and blew me away. That mix surrounding Geto had its own symbolic meaning that no fan ever could’ve envisioned while reading this part of the manga.
Geto constantly was in a tug-o-war with himself and what side he should choose. The applause and rain acted as those two roads in a way with the latter being the one that sounds the loudest — his dark impulses and views on non-sorcerers. I like to look at it as if Geto could never distinguish between the rain and applause. That both were so loud that they just ended up converging on one another and all that he could hear in the end was silence.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say Geto’s rise and fall is one of the best for an antagonist but it’s certainly an interesting one. He knew there were better ways to go about ridding the world of curses. But after engulfing so many himself, he ended up becoming a curse of his own simply to the value of life. Geto became the living embodiment of the saying “You are what you eat.” Curses have no regard for human life and now neither does he.
Wonderful Storyboarding and Directing
As I previously stated, slower episodes are when talent is truly shown in anime. Fight choreography and action animation sequences have their own place in anime history as some of the most iconic works. But how can you make the slow parts interesting? This episode was a constant state of symbolic framing and I can’t help but not talk about it.
Let’s take the two frames above for example. Notice how the two people that Geto is paying no mind to are blocked off by the wooden bars while he’s centered in the shot. Then adding more depth to it comes the black room in the very background with the doors opened. While the intent of this being a representation of Geto’s darkness seeping its way through the cracks may be going a little too in-depth, it’s also not far-fetched to say that the reason the two girls are being shown is that Geto sympathizes with knowing the feeling of being trapped.
We can’t continue to other frames in this episode where Geto and Gojo both have their faces placed out of frame behind wooden beams. While many can interpret it how they want, I like to think of it as a way that shows Geto isn’t just losing sight of who he once was but his best friend as well. Gojo’s side of the hallway being lit by the sun while Geto’s fades into darkness the further down the hallway you look is incredibly symbolic of their own paths and such a wonderful touch. Add on to the fact Gojo is wearing all white while Geto is in all black.
Take a look below at the sequence of shots below when Geto was talking to Yuki about the idea of ridding the world of curses by eliminating the very thing that causes them in the first place — humans. Notice how the entire background behind Geto goes completely white, almost like a blank canvas, then steadily goes dark as that applause noise becomes a downpour of rain and darkness.
It’s very much a small detail but the adding elements of transitioning from sunlight to low light with the symbolic rain hitting hard and his back, once again, turned to the camera as it was throughout most of the episode was almost as if it was all a build to Geto finally choosing the way he wants to go. As if this was the defining moment that led him on the path astray.
What I also loved is we got a lot of this on the opposite end with Gojo. While the lack of layers and details surrounding Gojo isn’t rightfully there in comparison to when Geto was on the screen, it’s still symbolic in its own right. Gojo constantly surrounded by light in all of the shots he was in during this episode, even in the very end, gave a lot more meaning to his character. While he doesn’t portray his views on life as vocally as Geto does, he shows it in his actions.
Gojo, for the most part in this episode, was center-framed and facing forward at eye level. Even with his back turned here, it wasn’t in a negative way like Geto’s. It was a nod to Megumi for him to catch up to him and a way for viewers to see Gojo from Megumi’s eyes at the time. Mixed in with the humor and the squishy character design of Megumi when Gojo patted his head, it really captured that “good guy” feeling surrounding Gojo that plays in perfect contrast to Geto, who killed another human in front of the girls he “saved”.
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 5 Wrap Up
This arc is very small in the overall story of Jujutsu Kaisen. But in just five episodes we received some of the best animation, soundtrack, sound design, and artwork we’ve seen since the series first aired. In just these measly five episodes, Jujutsu Kaisen took a drastic leap forward that further proves this series is a must-watch for any anime fans across the world.
Episode 5 rating: 9/10
If you enjoyed episode 5 of Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 then make sure to vote for the series in our weekly poll! The next episode will air on Thursday, August 31. The series is streaming on Crunchyroll with English subtitles.
Screenshots via Crunchyroll
©Gege Akutami/Shueisha/JUJUTSU KAISEN Project