I wish that’s all I can say in this review of Jujutsu Kaisen’s fifth volume. After dealing with some bumps along the way, Gege Akutami finds his stride again with his supernatural martial arts story. Taking up the entirety of the volume, the Kyoto Sister-School Goodwill Event gets underway, with the two schools during it out for top honors. And like a good Gareth Evans film, it doesn’t hold back its punches!
It’s hard to talk about this volume of Jujustu Kaisen without spoiling the surprises it pulls. Needless to say, some characters you looked at as mere comedic fodder might come out as your new favorites. For me, that character is Panda, someone I saw as a mere nod to Rumiko Takahashi in some fashion. And yet, he arrives and becomes a total badass in his fight with Ultimate Mechamaru, a formidable opponent for someone who has some surprising tricks under their sleeves.
Yuji and Aoi face off against one another, with the latter trying his best to find some common ground with the former. It leads to a very funny (and false) flashback between the two of them, feeling like a scene from a visual novel. But Aoi snaps back as he and Yuji pull out crazy moves that feel straight out of a classic Bruce Lee film. The level of intensity showcased between these two fighters would break any meter that could measure it properly!
Even with a flashback thrown in here and there, these fights take no legit pauses to let its readers breathe. These fights demonstrate the strengths of Akutami’s visuals, with the rough-around-the-edges style meshing with some surprisingly detailed hits. It brings to mind some of Masaaki Yuasa’s works, as the super-deformed imagery evolves into a thing of beauty. Needless to say, one should be ready to eat up every jab thrown by these characters.
Volume Five of Jujutsu Kaisen fires on all cylinders during the Kyoto Sister-School Goodwill Event. It’s bombastic with its fights, and the dialogue is cool in every sense of the world. And yet, the Event has yet to conclude, making me wonder how it’ll end. But seeing how Akutami has delivered past battles, readers can expect one hell of an explosive finale. Just...damn!
Promotional consideration provided by Gabrielle Dyer of VIZ Media