One of the best new anime on the block that has many people fluttering and talking is called Jujutsu Kaisen. A story about a teenage boy that is sensitive to spirits being possessed by a demon, and then going to an academy to learn how to control his new powers, and how to overcome the monster within. However, is this story about the inner demons or the fighting techniques that the character and his friends are using and learning?
Jujutsu does not refer to martial arts in the sense that we are used to, in Jujutsu Kaisen there is no martial arts training taking place, it is not about Jiu-Jitsu. The fighting in the anime does involve some grappling, punching, and kicking, but this is not expressly taught to any of the characters. Instead, it relies on the training of spiritual powers and energies for each character to become stronger.
Understanding what the anime is about will help to clear some of the confusion about the name, knowing what type of training is in the anime, and how each character is expected to develop is important. Many people have assumed that the anime will be about fighting and techniques in the same way that Dragonball was, however, it has gone down a route that is more similar to modern Shonen anime.
What Is Jujutsu Kaisen About?
The anime and manga are about the main character Yuji Itadori who has some natural ability to sense and see supernatural things. In the first chapter or episode, he eats a cursed finger that was part of a larger and stronger demon. This awakens greater power in him, but also allows him to be possessed by the demon that now resides inside him.
After doing so he is taken to Tokyo Jujutsu High where he is being taught by some of the best Jujutsu masters in the world. This leads to him facing off against other jujutsu users and demons while being trained on how to control the powers that are now welling up inside him.
It is important to note that while he does not receive extensive technical training in any martial arts, he does already know how to fight to some capacity.
This is the basic premise of the series and has helped it become extremely popular as it is easy to follow and with a short recap anyone can read it.
As the characters in the show have become stronger and stronger there are new techniques and fighting styles are introduced. Which has meant that some unique moves can be linked directly to fighting.
What Does Jujutsu Kaisen Mean?
The literal meaning of Jujutsu Kaisen is sorcery fight, which is why it does not touch on any real martial arts being used. The anime and manga purely follow the occult world of what is available in Japan and the beliefs they have about controlling the energy within oneself, then using that to battle others or even defend them.
Training in the series is not about repeatedly doing a technique of martial arts until you master it, instead, it is about a combination of natural talent and learning how to use something you already have interestingly.
This is why the series should not be considered a good starting point for martial arts as the techniques used in the series are usually a bit more reckless and do not involve actual hours of training.
As the series has progressed and become more popular people have noticed that the artist is working on creating some more flow and pulling a few moves from popular media for his main characters. With a few martial artists in the world commending the artist for picking some of the less knows forms to draw inspiration from.
What Martial Arts Do They Use In The Anime?
As Jujutsu Kaisen has grown more and more popular some martial arts have been added to it, with many of the popular Judo forms of fighting being integrated. Further, many of the supporting characters each have a defining technique that can be traced to other forms of fighting such as ninja arts, archery, and pure wrestling.
However, the main character of the show Yuji has most recently used the Taido Martial Arts in his fighting, utilizing a few special kicks and moves to help him fight against opponents much larger than him. This has led to him becoming a loved character by those in the martial arts world as the artist chose to use moves and techniques for his fighting style that are rarely seen in the anime world.
It should be noted that they do not explain where the techniques he is using comes from and that many of the abilities he has shown receive extraordinarily little practice.
This is why you will usually find that people do not refer to anime or manga as a martial arts series. Instead, it is about the mystical arts and all the things that surround them.
When Were The First Martial Arts Used In The story?
The first time that a specific move from Taido Martial Arts was used in the series was only in chapter 121 when Yuji was facing another, larger human opponent. The move is called the manji kick and involves the user coming from a low-down position, placing both hands on the floor, and kicking the opponent in the head or chest.
The move was spotted by Taido Martial Arts artist Tesuji Nakano when it was published in the weekly shonen jump. It was the first time that the artist explained where the move comes from, what the martial arts is called, and what the core movements of the martial arts require. This move has been the only time that a specific move set of martial arts was explained in the series.
However, it must be said that for the popularity of both the manga and the anime the series is still relatively new. Starting publication only in 2018 it is considered quite a new kid on the Shonen block and only started becoming much more popular when the anime show was announced. This is why you should be able to quickly catch up to the series if you want to read or watch it.
What Should You Learn From The Series?
The main takeaway for martial artists to learn from the series would be that using what you know becomes more effective when you use it creatively. The main character in the show is very rarely the strongest person and has had to face opponents that were far above his skill level. Instead of shrinking away from these fights, he analyses what he can and cannot do.
Choosing to avoid a fight when he does know he would lose and seeking help from others to practice the spiritual abilities that he has. This has allowed him to rapidly grow more skilled and get in control of the moves that he has. Most of the time you will see that he tends to ask for help from the demon within.
The others in the show are also willing to constantly help Yuji on his journey, not shying away from teaching or explaining new techniques to him. This has allowed everyone to grow in skill level as they are all working to become more and more skilled in what they know they can do.
This is why you will see that people assume the series is about martial arts as many of the panels do focus on how to train yourself and become more skilled through hard work.
Jujutsu Kaisen is unfortunately not about any specific type of martial arts, it does, however, focus a lot on the spiritual arts and how to train them. Like all Shonen stories, it is very dramatized with the main characters able to survive a significant amount of damage and heal within hours. When you are watching it, it should only be for the joy of the character’s journey, not for any tips on how to fight.
Always remember though, that newer Shonen anime tend to favor action instead of adventure, so you may find yourself reading something with constant fights and little to no story elements.