HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Jujutsu Kaisen" - Volume Twenty-Two

MANGA REVIEW | "Jujutsu Kaisen" - Volume Twenty-Two

MANGA REVIEW | "Jujutsu Kaisen" - Volume Twenty-Two

You know, Jujutsu Kaisen has had quite a lot of things. There’ve been wild curses, a robot puppet, a Panda who isn’t a panda, and even plenty of exploding monsters. But I felt like something has been missing from Gege Akutami’s series. Thankfully, in its twenty-second volume, Jujutsu Kaisen delivers the very thing this series has been lacking: a sumo-loving kappa!

This whole thing starts with the Sakurajima Colony area of the Culling Game. (Alas, there’s nary a bunny girl to be found here!) Maki and Kamo are fighting a behemoth of a curse, one who reveals her true identity to the second year of Jujutsu High. The massive curse winds up being a lot for Maki and Kamo to handle, which is why the former goes deep into some last-second training. How she completes it is in a way that’d make the Saiyan race proud.

A Culling Game is as one would imagine it would be. The strongest fighters basically beating the ever-loving Christ out of each other, with the mightiest left standing. And it would appear that both Maki and Kamo have bitten off more than they can chew. But Akutami isn’t the kind of writer who backs his heroes into a corner; they’re the kind who hides Jujutsu Kaisen’s fighters’ best skills in said corner!

Of course, it requires some outside help. A katana-crazed old man enters the ring, flinging his sword at the curse like butter. This is but a temporary distraction for the curse, as the old man isn’t able to fully defeat it. That’s when the help Maki needs enters the ring. He’s buff, he’s green, and he loves cucumbers!

On one hand, it seems odd having a kappa in Jujutsu Kaisen. (In fact, he looks like a certain mayor from Arakawa Under the Bridge took steroids!) But the kappa winds up being one hell of a sparring partner for Maki, who enters the ring and fights one thousand matches against him. What she learns isn’t just physical strength, but also mental and spiritual. It leads Maki to learn what could be the most important part of fighting: the freedom one feels when they can sense all and do all.

Thus we return to the main fight on-hand. And it’s a true smackdown on the eyes and ears. Akutami’s art shines with grotesque style, as behemoths and humans tear into one another. It builds towards a climax that not only puts Maki in a much better light, but also shows why her skills are actually second to none. And then…break time?

Yes, this volume of Jujutsu Kaisen ends on a strangely calm note. But it’s not all green grass and puffy clouds. There’s still plenty of questions needing answers. How will the sorcerers come out on top? Will Gojo finally be freed? What sort of punishment might Yuji and Megumi receive when they disobey the rules regarding Gojo’s imprisonment? Just what exactly is—

…right. Anywho, with these last few volumes, it’s clear that Jujutsu Kaisen is back on track. It’s exciting again, thanks in part to it no longer being stuck in an awful story arc. The Culling Game has delivered what many scientists would classify as “the good shit”, and this twenty-second volume shows that the goods are coming in large supply.


Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)