Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 episode 8 aired on Thursday giving us some action we’ve all been waiting for. While the teasing with Gojo continues, Itadori gets thrown into the fray with a giant Japanese-speaking locust and throws hands like he belongs in an episode of Dragon Ball. Aside from the development on Gojo’s end, this episode, unfortunately, didn’t leave me with the hyped feeling last week’s episode had after the Mechamaru vs. Mahito fight.
I Won’t Let it “Bug” Me
Perhaps I was over-anticipating the beginning of the Shibuya Incident arc because so far it’s just been okay. I think the majority of the Gojo’s Past arc was a lot more entertaining on many ends compared to these first three episodes of the Shibuya Incident arc. We saw Jogo straight-up slaughter innocent civilians in the subway and light them on fire as if he were roasting marshmallows, and that provided some excitement. It feels weird to say “excited” for something like that, but it was a moment that kept me on the edge of my seat, as twisted as that may sound.
And, of course, you know Gojo gets serious anytime he removes his mask. So again, the developments on that end of the episode were exciting to watch. However, on Itadori’s end, if I had taken a shot for every time I heard the word “clever,” I would’ve fallen victim to my own Shibuya Incident arc. But it was a joy to see animator Benjamin Faure’s work during this fight, especially the punches and how he described his animation process for them. Again, it reminded me of something I’d see in a Dragon Ball fight. So I’d say it was probably my favorite part of the episode and probably one of my favorite moments of the season.
Itadori didn’t have much relation to this fight like he would if he had fought Mahito. So the results of it ending with him totally dominating the fight didn’t have a lot of weight to it. Luckily, the biggest part of the fight was handled by Faure, and reading his process on how he worked on his cuts, made the scene that much better on the second watch through. It’s just unfortunate that dimming was a culprit in this episode just as it was in last week’s.
I’m kind of surprised by the flaws in this episode given the fact Atsushi Nakagawa was the episode director just as he was with the wonderfully adapted episode 5 from earlier this season. But I guess that’s the difference in having series director Shota Goshozono storyboard an episode (ep. 5) compared to Teppei Okuda, who storyboarded this episode. Okuda has a lot of wonderful key animation work, but doesn’t have quite the storyboard experience that Goshozono does (Chainsaw Man, Jujutsu Kaisen, Ranking of Kings).
That being said, everyone has to start somewhere. Storyboarding an episode for the biggest arc of one of the biggest anime in modern history probably amounts to a lot of pressure I can’t even imagine. So I hope Okuda gets more opportunities this season to show us what he can really do because I think he can do better than this. That being said, I thought the background artwork in the subways looked incredible. So much respect to the art director Junichi Higashi and his team at Studio Easter and the team at Bibury Animation CG.
Harping on the bad parts of any episode isn’t necessarily something I care to do. After all, the animators put in blood, sweat, and tears when it comes to this stuff and it’s not necessarily in our right to point our fingers and call everyone frauds for something none of us can even do on a beginner level. Even with The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2, almost every episode was a giant facepalm but I never blamed the staff for that, rather the production schedule.
That being said, when we, as fans, have to wait an entire month and receive nothing but wonderfully marketed build-up for this arc, we expect in some capacity for every episode to bring out the best in the season from an animation production standpoint. So it goes without saying that it’s a little disappointing to see anything less than solid work as we witnessed in this episode.
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 8 Wrap Up
Every episode has its bright spots and I tend to look more on positives than negatives. But keeping an objective viewpoint with this episode leads to simply admitting it wasn’t the best-produced episode of this season by any stretch of the imagination. It’s never safe to assume why some stuff turns out rougher than expected unless it’s admitted by someone on the production staff or production committee, so I leave it up to wonder. But the truth of the matter is that this episode, in a lot of parts, didn’t live up to the quality so many of us expected it would have.
Episode 8 rating: 7/10
If you enjoyed episode 8 of Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 then make sure to vote for the series in our weekly poll! The next episode will air on Thursday, September 21. The series is streaming on Crunchyroll with English subtitles.
Screenshots via Crunchyroll
©Gege Akutami/Shueisha/JUJUTSU KAISEN Project