Jujutsu Kaisen vol. 2 – Gege Akutami

4 out of 5

After the fascinating conclusion to the showdown between Megumi and Sukuna, Yuji gets some very interesting training from Gojo: partially, eh, watching movies? and partially on-the-job, watching the sensei take on some very powerful curses. But these aren’t just extended battles: Gege sets up more characters at the Jutjutsu school, as well as building up some big-bads regarding the curses with which Gojo scuffles. The author’s engaging, organic dialogue is back in full, really deepening the characters we’ve already met and also adding bite to the new ones; in Jujutsu Kaisen, usual shonen pledges of trying to protect everyone or trying to destroy so-and-so have an authentic, emotive ring to them, at least as translated by Stefan Koza. But this depth is apparent beyond the words themselves: the world-building of how curses / spells work and the interactions (whether comedic or comedic) between characters are paced perfectly to give the book this very natural, rolling flow, parsing out information with expository / scene-setting flavor skillfully. In the inbetween chapter bits, when Gege takes us aside to lay out some of the mathematical / philosophical concepts behind curses, we get a more confirmed sense that the creator isn’t just pulling this stuff out of his ass…

My criticism here is as is was before: the action, while exciting and “readable,” isn’t necessarily choreographed clearly. Like, I get the gist of what’s going on, so it’s not a big problem, but I can’t directly follow it, so much as feel out what’s apparently happening. Some clearer visual signposting in these scenes might help, unless I’m, like, the only one struggling with this.