You wouldn’t be blamed for forgetting how fantastic the Jujutsu Kaisen anime is on a regular basis. After all, it’s been nearly three years since season one debuted, and two since the franchise’s mediocre feature. Season two, which debuted this summer and is currently airing, reminds us that Jujutsu Kaisen is a distinct shonen entry that is as engaging as any action series marketed at that demographic. Jujutsu Kaisen: The Official Anime Guide: Season 1, a companion book released by VIZ Media on September 26th, serves to keep viewers excited about the series while also helping those like me, who have forgotten much about the season, remember what happened and why it was so cool.
The finest aspect of this book is the unique content it contains, particularly the behind-the-scenes elements. For example, while seeing the “Juju Stroll” parts visually described is wonderful, reading the director’s annotations on these sections is even better. The same can be stated of other commentary on the first season episodes.
The concluding section of the book, which comprises lengthy staff interviews, is truly the most entertaining aspect of the book. These pages include a wealth of information. For example, in an interview with music composer Akiko Fujita, he revealed that Jujutsu Kaisen’s mangaka, Gege Akutami, warned him that Gojo is “a man of resignation.” The series composers’ interview was equally fascinating, as they detailed their approach to the series’ musical aspects, which included an attempt to merge ancient and modern Japanese instruments. Following that are further enlightening interviews.
However, aside from staff interviews and remarks, the majority of the guide is packed with photos from the series. The mini-arcs are divided into “chapters” throughout the book, which help to recap what happens and introduce the characters. Most characters, including minor characters, have profiles; the more essential people in the plot get longer spreads. Favorite episodes and situations, such as the baseball episode and Todo and Itadori’s AU “best friends” sequence, are also given extra attention.
If there is a flaw, it is that many of the pages, particularly those presenting visual summaries of the episodes, are amateurish. The typeface appears to be from a fairly common array used by normal people in word processing, and the scenes are put over each other in extremely mediocre collages; it simply appears to be some dude’s Photoshop job. It’s nice when a friend does it for you, but not so good when it’s published. I also wish there were more than a couple of pages about Jujutsu Kaisen 0, despite it appears that this guide debuted in Japan in October 2021, two months before the film’s release.
Despite its flaws, Jujutsu Kaisen: The Official Anime Guide: Season 1 is an outstanding companion book to the series. Its capacity to serve as a collector’s item, a remembrance of season one for moderate fans of the series, and a hype book for super fans all at the same time makes it a worthwhile buy for many viewers. In that sense, it’s far superior to what a seasonal guide should be. A clever tip on an amazing anime.
Jujutsu Kaisen: The Official Anime Guide: Season 1 is published by VIZ Media. It releases on September 26th.