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’Jujutsu Kaisen’ review: “Pandemonium” reminds us Yuji is a great protagonist

By September 30, 2023October 1st, 2023No Comments4 min read
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 10 Pandemonium

Thank god for Yuji Itadori. While it remains to be seen just how much of his spirited demeanor will be squashed, for now, there remains a valiant vigilance in fighting the good fight with optimism. Following Mechamaru’s message from beyond the grave about Gojo’s current predicament, Yuji is on a one-man mission to get the news to the other sorcerers who are residing within the four veils of Shibuya Station. Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 10, “Pandemonium” is something of an odd reprieve as Yuji further descends into the fight that’s going to have more than one potential threat seeking him out. 

It really all boils down to one scene. Yuji standing atop a building, bellowing out to Nanami as a way to share that Gojo has been sealed. His power is immense and part of his ongoing charm is how he is decidedly to the point. There are no frills, no guards that he keeps up between him and others. What you see is what you get and his kindness and empathy make him more than just a battering ram of a character. It’s also what makes these less than subtle or delicate means of communicating all the more hilarious because it’s so suitable to the character. And, one might point out, effective, as it certainly gets his message across and helps rally the troops in record time. 

It’s funny because, for an episode that’s largely about setting up the next big face-off, there’s a lot of strong character work done in moments like these. But stronger still is how other characters react to those such as Gojo and Yuji make it stand out. Gojo reflects on his perceived failures while sealed, languid, and lounging in the prison realm with the decayed bodies around him serving as footrests. But because of the infinite nature of his power and the knowledge he harbors, Geto is unable to move the box for a certain period of time. It’s one of the moments if we’d already forgotten after last week’s rampage, that further proves Gojo’s might and will. 

But the biggest moment in this relatively slight episode is how Mahito, Jogo, and Choso all deliberate on handling Yuji. Jogo wants to feed him more of Sakuna’s fingers to force him out and into control over Yuji’s body, despite understanding that Sakuna is as likely a foe as he is a friend. Meanwhile, Chose and Mahito want to kill him. The level of impact that Yuji has made, not just because of Sakuna, in his brief existence as a jujutsu sorcerer is immense, evident by how many of the antagonists prioritize him as a target. Mahito, who so easily lays to waste anyone who stands in his way, is intrigued by Yuji, even if he’s looking at the proposed killing as a mere game. 

It’s a powerful moment and one that highlights the pervasive threats of this world. When even Geto’s soul is working against the body that’s been taken over, there’s a clear sense of doom following them. We’re told repeatedly that if Gojo is in fact actually sealed, then it’s game over. Gojo wasn’t just trying to look out for the youth of today, the youth who were handing over their lives for the sake of an unstoppable threat, he also was literally protecting them from the horrors of the world, creatures that stayed in the shadows when they knew Gojo would be around. Now that Gojo benched, those hidden threaten to emerge. 

Jujutsu Kaisen “Pandemonium” doesn’t quite live up to its name, especially following last week’s action-packed, and kinetically animated production that upped the ante for what we can expect from the show. That said, it’s solid in how it depicts the characters scrambling to reassess their situation. Better still is how it handles the characters and those who wish to see them dead in an episode that captures the mounting dread — even if Yuji and co., don’t quite realize just how dire it’s all become just yet. 

Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 is available now on Crunchyroll

Featured Image Courtesy of Crunchyroll/MAPPA

  • Rating - 7/10
Allyson Johnson

Based in New England, Allyson is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of InBetweenDrafts. Former Editor-in-Chief at TheYoungFolks, she is a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and the Boston Online Film Critics Association. Her writing has also appeared at CambridgeDay, ThePlaylist, Pajiba, VagueVisages, RogerEbert, TheBostonGlobe, Inverse, Bustle, her Substack, and every scrap of paper within her reach.

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