「懐玉－弐－」 (Kaigyoku -Ni-)
“Hidden Inventory 2”
*** The following contains spoilers for Jujutsu Kaisen S2 Episode 02 ***
Let’s talk about what Jujutsu Kaisen S2 is doing right! First of all – no recap? Color me surprised because, in a series like this, it would be easy for MAPPA to add even the smallest of recaps – it might be too early to tell. But I’m glad they aren’t taking for granted their audience and expect them to keep up with the story on their own. It’s a rare sight to see. I was even expecting a 15-second recap akin to something you would see in an American TV show. Nevertheless, it’s all praise for MAPPA for trusting their instincts and allowing the show to use its full runtime.
IT’S TEA TIME
The episode starts with Getou casually making some tea as the sounds of a disgruntled Q warrior come off in the background. It seems the action we hoped to be getting in the last episode was shown off-screen in favor of allowing the story to progress further and save some cool action shots for the end of this episode. Not that I’m complaining – but I wholeheartedly expected to see those fight scenes between Getou, Gojou, and Q assailants. With the Star Vessel sleeping soundly in the background a kissing curse envelops the Q guy, with this “Bayer” guy taken down – does that mean the Q organization is disbanded?
The episode transition with some beautiful classical music, almost seeming out of place in this episode. The fact it clashed so hard with the overall tone it made chills run down my spine. The music is melancholic while at the same time having this sort of noble architecture to it. It elevates Touji in some way. I’ll discuss him further in a bit.
Fushiguro stands in the seats as he watches boat racing and bets on his favorite. He meets with his mediator, as his job is to report to higher-ups. Promptly Touji loses the bet. And the mediator asks how’s Megumi doing.
I didn’t catch this the first time I saw the episode but here the handler must be referring to Megumi Fushiguro, our first glance at a connection with the overarching plot of Jujutsu. It’s a quick bite but Megumi must indeed be related to Touji – maybe a brother? Touji quickly dismisses it as not being able to remember who this Megumi is. Further adding that he might not even care for his own family. It only makes me more interested to know Megumi’s backstory. As it seems how things are going – Touji will play a big role in upcoming episodes.
A LARGE DOOR
Riko Amanai (Nagase, Anna) finally gets some voice lines as Misato Kuroi (Shimizu, Risa) walks in or should I say waddles in on a curse mount that is all thanks to Bang’s guy curse manipulation technique. She explains that Tengen assimilation is not a unique death but sort of a merger – her soul will continue to live on. Sort of Raphael in Tensura? Sure whatever – Getou and Gojou are bored and Goujou has a new wallpaper. Who could it be? None other than Waka Inoue herself. It seems Gojou likes those gravure idols. The types of idols who border on softcore. Inoue-san has probably also been the only idol to be in an anime as she played herself in an episode of Detective Conan. Not surprising since she worked for a time as a K-1 announcer. K-1 is a sort of kickboxing/mixed martial arts MMA thing.
Riko soon realizes it’s beyond noon and has to go to school, Gojou mentions that soon she will be held up within the confines of Jujutsu High to protect all of the barriers, so it’s okay if you let her be a teenager for a little while longer. In a creepy moment, we’re informed there’s a bounty on Riko’s head. The handler impatiently taps at his laptop as we are revealed a candid shot of Riko. Dead or Alive so it says. 250K
The next scene is probably my favorite of the whole episode. So far interactions with Touji have been pretty tame, but there’s a certain air to him that puts him on top of everyone else. He’s a carefree and charismatic guy. So far so good, right? He is the sorcerer killer – but so far it has only been teased. A great villain is one you empathize with. And so far Jujutsu Kaisen S2 has been doing a great job at building tension with him, while at the same time keeping us hooked – thanks to that tension. I’ll talk in broad strokes from now till the end of the episode.
But the scene that strikes me the most was just how little empathy he has for the world around him, even though he seems polite and charismatic. Touji bumps into a guy as he’s the type of person who won’t move for anyone else, people have to move for him. So this random guy even has his ramen bowl break and everything. Touji pays no mind and continues on his way. It’s only when the guy calls him out on it that Touji looks him straight in the eye, and the ramen guy instantly knows he could easily die if he makes Touji mad. Even so, before calling him out on it he hesitated and knew Touji was trouble.
I love this! This is such a simple way to establish him as a villain, he has this power dynamic going on with the rest of the world and it’s just superb! Plus the track that plays during this scene adds mood and tension to an otherwise normal scene. It twist’s the mood so that we’re in Touji’s perspective. Then the metaphors with the food resembling body parts – are just the cherry on top of an otherwise great scene that builds and informs on Touji’s character. It’s a great way of keeping us on the edge of our seats, without actually having Touji do anything just yet. Oh, and things seem to looking up for him thanks to the boat race. The chopsticks on the food also resemble how one would arrange them with rice for a person’s deceased shrine.
This is a villain done right!
I won’t keep you a lot longer but here are some quick things I would like to talk about – first off Getou mentions that the paper mask guy is not quite like a Shikigami – but what are they? We’ll have to divert to Japanese folklore for a moment. More importantly, let’s focus our attention for a moment on The Way of Ying and Yang aka The Onmyōdō furthermore let’s call out the onmyōji.
Similar to a sorcerer an onmyoji can create a shikigami and in turn it would show just how powerful that onmyoji is – usually represented as a bird or a child. It’s the representation of power because an onmyoji can usually control a shikigami. Getou mentions it’s not quite like a shikigami so burrowing further seems worthless, but at a surface level, it’s probably what he’s referring to. A ghost a curse user can control. Sort of Kage Bunshin no Jutsu I’m guessing. the real explanation is they’re clones and each one is the real one. That’s why the paper mask guy was able to escape from the grabby curse hands.
I was itching to talk about this – Jujutsu Kaisen S2 is not only pulling from Japanese mythology but from Western philosophy as well. Gojou gives out an explanation as to how exactly his Ininifty works. He mentions Achilles and the Tortoise, and might he be referring to the Achilles paradox? In essence, if the tortoise is given a head start, Achilles will never be able to catch up even with wings on his shoes. Same with time, light, and space, right? As we dive deeper into the cosmos with James Web – we realize that galaxies that seem further away are only just reaching their light to us now and have become redshifted. In essence, allowing us to peer at how they once were just minutes after the big bang. Furthermore, we can even dive deep into the cosmic radiation and see the universe how it was seconds after the big bang exploded in essence peering into the edge of the universe. Peering into Infinity. Looking for the paradox.
I like this stuff a lot, and Gojou explaining his Inifnity was both esoteric and scientific. He expands the paradox around him and is able to control time, when things get closer to him they slow down, but if he expands his Infinity things are able to move at fast’s speeds around him. The first season didn’t do a great job of explaining this – so I’m glad we got a proper explanation.
Nevertheless, the animation in this scene was superb, it just felt weighty and intense, and that flashback on the sun-glasses. *chef’s kiss* The way he just teleports himself was exhilarating! Not before he pulls his reverse curse technique, but comically fails at pulling it off. Maybe they wanted to keep Gojou out of killing territory?
Oh no, it seems Misato got captured! It’s the cliffhanger for next week’s episode!
Hope you enjoyed my rant/review/deep dive into the mythology that makes Jujutsu tick! See you next week.
(I won’t be reviewing Mushoku as can only keep up with one series because of work, thanks for understanding!)
Full-length images: 57