by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Jujutsu Kaisen ?
When last week's episode of Jujutsu Kaisen ended with Gojou getting ambushed by the volcano-headed curse, Jogou (haha), I knew we weren't going to see Gojou get knocked down for the count, or anything. Though I wouldn't be at all shocked if a tragic death was in store for the guy eventually, Gojou has simply been built up too much to be taken out by a schmuck like Jogou. Jogou's companions agree, as it turns out, with Getou even warning Jogou that he doesn't stand a chance against the lackadaisical instructor. Jogou later claims that he only sought to scope out Gojou's power, half in jest, but when he is confronted with Gojou's staggering strength, the stakes are raised to deadly levels.
And really, we should clarify what kind of episode this is, because Gojou isn't just powerful enough to take on a Special Grade Curse like Jogou by himself, he doesn't even come close to breaking a sweat. His Curse Technique is called Infinity, and though I don't think the explanations of how Gojou can “bring the infinite space in between things into reality” make all that much sense, it doesn't really matter. The end result is what counts, and that result is that Jogou literally cannot touch his opponent, and Gojou can widen that gulf from the length of molecules to miles in a matter of only a few explosive seconds. If you're wondering whether Sunghoo Park and the MAPPA Crew are able to make this showdown look as goddamn impressive as all get out, here's the shocking reveal of the week: They totally can.
Normally, I find episodes that are completely devoted to flexing an overpowered character's beastly skills to be somewhat redundant, but Jujutsu Kaisen overcomes this hurdle by exploiting two key factors. The first is that aforementioned production value, as it has been proven that even irredeemable trash like The God of High School can be made bearable by looking really freaking pretty, and Jujutsu Kaisen is a good story that is getting the MAPPA treatment. The other secret ingredient to “Assault's” special sauce? Gojou is just an incredibly entertaining character. The perfect balance of whimsy and menace that he sports at any given moment is one of my favorite tropey concoctions of characteristics.
Case in point: Right in the middle of this fight, Gojou spirits back to Yuuji's basement hideaway to interrupt his viewing of The Lord of the Rings for an impromptu field trip. Yuuji is entirely too weak to be of any use during this fight, but he offers some welcome comedic relief, and his presence gives Gojou an excuse to drop more exposition about Domain Expansions, curse powers, and whatnot. Even when Yuuji is used as bait by the curse Hanami when Jogou is in need of rescuing, it serves as a good occasion for Jujutsu Kaisen to give its crew of baddies some much-needed personality.
The absolute highlight of “Assault”, though, is when Gojou finally rips off his blindfold for a lesson on how to beat Domain Expansions with even bigger domain expansions, revealing…a pair of fully functional and incredibly pretty eyes. As you might have expected, Gojou's blindfold was not meant to hide any disfigurement or anything; rather, his eyes work too well. His very gaze is able to expand his Infinity Domain to such a degree that anyone trapped within it is subject to experiencing all possible permutations of reality all at once, which really means that they are capable of experiencing nothing at all, save for an agonizingly slow crawl towards “peaceful” death.
The trippy direction of this sequence, combined with Gojou's characteristic nonchalance, is just supremely badass, and the biggest takeaway of this entire episode. Getou and Co. might be scheming up some kind of nefarious plot to usurp mankind as the “new humanity”, but if Sukuna's powers weren't enough of a threat, Gojou is going to prove a monumental obstacle for the forces of evil to overcome. Yuuji's weird training regiment is about to get stepped up a notch, but for right now at least, I'd say he's in good hands.
Odds and Ends
• A small but funny joke is how Yuuji has absolutely no idea what the upcoming Exchange Tournament is about, on account of, you know, being dead when that plot point got covered.
• The post-credits scene this week involves Getou, Hanami, and newcomer Curse Mahito playing soccer on the beach with Jogou's head. Not only do I appreciate Jujutsu Kaisen's total commitment to animating even the stupidest scenes, but the playful banter between the Curses makes them as endearing a cadre of ruthless murderers could possibly be. Also, there's just going to be a deluge of saucy fanart for this guy, isn't there?
Jujutsu Kaisen is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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