• The anime adaptation of Jujutsu Kaisen has added extra elements to Riko Amanai’s story, making it even more heart-wrenching and intense.
  • Utahime and Mei Mei’s mansion adventure provides more screen time for these characters and showcases Utahime’s capabilities, adding depth to their roles in season 2.
  • The battle between Mechamaru and Mahito is visually stunning in the anime, with improved animation and emotional impact compared to the manga.



With the second season of Jujutsu Kaisen going strong, fans can safely say by now that Mappa did a stellar job with the adaptation. Once they found their footing Mappa did such a high-quality job of adapting the breakneck pace, style, and flair of Jujutsu Kaisen. And, fans of the original manga know where season 2 is going to go, and this is where Mappa needs to really show their horror-based credentials.

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However, between the anime adaptation and the manga in general, there are a few noticeable changes, revisions, or additions that Mappa seems to have made. So, let’s go over some of the most prominent examples.

Updated September 19th, 2023 by Jacob Buchalter: At the time of writing this, Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 is still well underway and the terrifying ‘Shibuya Incident’ Arc has just begun. But, even though the main course of Season 2 hasn’t fully kicked off yet, there’s still plenty that the anime has either added or just directly changed from the source material. So, let’s take another look through all the changes to see exactly why those changes were made.

Jujutsu Kaisen - Riko Plasma Star Vessel

Disclaimer: Massive spoilers for the first few episodes of Season 2 ahead.

Riko Amanai’s story in the ‘prologue’ for JJK’s second season is so incredibly heart-wrenching. The unfairness of being born as the next Star Plasma Vessel is an unfortunate situation that’s only trumped by what eventually happens to Riko as a result. And for manga readers, that moment where it all seems like it’s going to be alright, only for a single explosive sound to tear everything down, has only become an even harder moment to watch thanks to the anime team pulling the rug out from under its viewers.

The shot composition, the ending song being used as a feint, and the sound design all make it that much tougher to watch the big moment underneath Jujutsu High. Truly, the adaptation team took a look at this moment in the manga and thought “How can we make this hurt even more?” and then managed to do just that. Thankfully, the moment of Gojo using the ‘purple’ variant of his technique a bit later on Toji Fushiguro is some truly satisfying revenge.

15 Utahime & Mei Mei’s Mansion Adventure

Jujutsu Kaisen - Meimei and Utahime On A Mission

It’s always nice to see more of Utahime and Mei Mei in general, and this is especially true for Utahime as she’s barely ever given any substantial screen time. So, when the JJK anime proceeded to actually deep dive into the mansion incident that caused a bit of a scandal thanks to Satoru Gojo, it was a nice bit of fluff.

Not only does this give fans a bit more time to get used to the idea of Mei Mei being a big part of season 2 (as she’ll appear a lot more in the Shibuya arc), but it’s also a great way to show that Utahime isn’t helpless and actually knows what she’s doing. Sadly, Utahime just wasn’t blessed with a natural talent for Cursed Techniques or born with some inherited technique.

14 Mechamaru Vs Mahito Is Basically A Gurren Lagann Battle

Jujutsu Kaisen - Mechmaru Anime Vs Manga Comparison

Yet another scene that brings on the waterworks, Mechamaru’s big fight against Mahito is so absurdly well-animated in the adaptation. The original manga did a great job with the paneling and overall choreography of this fight, but the anime only improved on it.

Whether it’s the extra attention given to Mechamaru’s Pigeon Viola attack, the added scene of the last-ditch cockpit Mechamaru’s holding off Mahito, or the framing of Miwa’s tragic confession that she wants to visit the real Mechamaru, it’s all been improved upon to be even more bombastic and even more tragic.

13 Volume 0 Was The Original ‘Pilot’ For The Series

Jujutsu Kaisen - Cover Of Jujutsu Kaisen Vol 0 Showing Main Cast

Jujutsu Kaisen was initially planned as a short story or single publication but the immediate popularity of Volume 0 is what caused it to become a full series. An easy way for fans to figure this out is through the fact that Volume 0, featuring Yuta Okkutsu as the main character instead of Yuji Itadori, was originally titled Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School, but was then changed to Jujutsu Kaisen 0 long after the fact. After being fully picked up, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 was then written as a prequel to the events of Jujutsu Kaisen.

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But, for readers of the manga who didn’t know all that, reading Volume 0 first just felt like an introduction to the third years (especially fan favorite Maki Zenin) before Yuji appeared, and it was a relatively natural progression. However, the Jujutsu Kaisen anime chose not to adapt Volume 0, starting at Chapter 1 instead. Overall, this was an inoffensive change, as fans just lost out on some extra characterization of the third years. But then, they came out with the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 movie, and the production of this blew the original manga chapter out of the water.

12 There’s More Line Detail In The Manga

Jujutsu Kaisen - Example Of The Detailed Lines In Manga On Stark White Background

There aren’t many anime adaptations that manage to translate the same or a similar amount of line detail as their source material manga had, it’s just too much work for any animation studio to do. Mappa already does a stellar job translating the unique artstyle of Jujutsu Kaisen into an anime format, but it’s not perfect.

There’s just no way (most of the time) to fully translate every single line from a still page to moving frames without exponentially increasing the budget of the anime or trading something else in return. This is all to say that there are a lot of moments in the manga where the sheer amount of linework really adds to the gravity of a scene, and the anime just achieves a similar feeling using different methods (sound, color, music, etc).

11 The Anime’s Usage Of 3D & Camera Movements

Jujutsu Kaisen - An Example Of The 3D And CGI Used In The Anime With Mahito

This next one applies to many different anime adaptations of popular manga series, and it’s the fact that an anime can play around with the camera a lot more than a manga typically can. This is because there are ways in various animation/VFX software for the user to place an imaginary camera and then move it around a scene. Granted, the times Mappa uses 3D for this show are exceedingly small, but when they do they also try to maximize the camera angles and perspective in those moments since the opportunity presented itself.

That said, the 3D in Jujutsu Kaisen’s anime adaptation is a bit hit or miss. In particular, the scene where Mahito has a gusher of blood spilling out of him at the end of his fight with Itadori and Nanami looks pretty rough once viewers take an extra look at it.

10 The Anime Adaptation Changed Some Character Visuals

Jujutsu Kaisen - Comparing How Gojo Looks In Manga And Anime

Coming up next is by far the weirdest change, and that’s the fact that Mappa ‘prettied’ up some of the characters in Jujutsu Kaisen. Certain characters like Satoru Gojo or Nobara Kugisaki had their facial features modified just a touch. In Gojo’s case, they made him look a bit more stereotypically ‘feminine’ with thinner eyes, a longer nose, and sharper features. And with Kugisaki they sort of just gave her a bit of lip gloss, made her eyes a tad larger, and added some more noticeable eyelashes.

It’s a shame because both of these characters had this very passive ‘unhinged’ look to them that isn’t really there in the anime anymore. And, given what both Nobara and Gojo have been through, this takes away from their characterization in the anime just a bit.

9 The Moments Of Sudden Violence Are A Bit Softer In The Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen - Yuji As Sukuna Looking Very Crazed At The Sight Of Blood

The Jujutsu Kaisen anime made a few characters just ever so slightly more “stereotypically” pretty. Another change was that its violent or horrifying moments don’t give viewers quite as much whiplash as they do readers of the manga. When something happens from one manga panel to the next, and it’s something drastic, there are a lot of ways to make the reader ‘feel’ that impact. For example, if a character is talking in one panel and then in the next, their entire head is gone, the manga can make that transition feel exceedingly quick.

The reader in these scenarios usually has to take a moment and typically feels like they missed something, which can really add to the gravity of certain moments. For the most part, the Jujutsu Kaisen anime translates these moments wonderfully. But, the anime adaptation is A+ overall, they do suffer a bit from not having some of these moments hit quite as hard, whether its because they aren’t putting as much focus on the stark contrast of a violent moment, the gore itself, or the sudden tone shift.

8 Itadori’s Act Of Eating Sukuna’s Finger Is Radically Different In The Manga

Jujutsu Kaisen - Comparing How Yuji Itadori Eats The Sukuna Finger In Manga Vs Anime

Finally, it’s time to talk about story changes rather than slight visual modifications. The initial few episodes of the Jujutsu Kaisen adaptation made many microscopic changes, with each new episode getting closer and closer to a 1-to-1 translation of the manga. The first episode, in particular, had the most noticeable divergences. The biggest change, at a glance, is of course the way Itadori consumes the first Sukuna finger as it’s almost entirely different in the anime.

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In the manga, Megumi mentions Itadori would need to possess Cursed energy to kill a curse, so Yuji immediately eats the Sukuna finger in response without thinking much of it, surprising Megumi before he can even process what just happened. In the anime, he’s about to be crushed in the jaws of the Curse and has to eat the finger in a last-ditch effort to survive, with Megumi watching him as it slowly falls into Yuji’s mouth.

7 New Visual Flair For Cursed Techniques In The Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen - Itadori Using Divergent Fist In The Anime

Communicating the properties of something that’s supposed to be ‘unnatural in reality’ is so much easier using sound, motion, and a mix of different visuals than it is with pure linework. That may sound obvious, but people don’t seem to give mangaka the credit they deserve for managing to communicate the weight, feel, or power of supernatural effects with just their artwork alone.

In Jujutsu Kaisen, mangaka Gege Akutani uses heavy blank ink and flowing lines to portray most Cursed Techniques in the setting. But, in the anime, they use much thicker lines to show that these powers are very different from everything else in the natural world. It’s a smart change on Mappa’s part, as with Itadori especially, the Cursed Energy around his fists look so radically different in terms of style that viewers can’t help but see the energy as ‘otherwordly’.

6 Fewer Cultural References Across The Anime Overall

Jujutsu Kaisen - Ninja Warrior Reference From First Chapter Of Manga

Honestly, there are a lot of little references to games, shows, and other media spread throughout all of Jujutsu Kaisen. Now, Mappa did keep a lot of these references in, but not all of them. One of the funniest ones (once again) happens in the first chapter AKA the first episode. In it, Itadori is introduced as the supernaturally strong boy that he is, and he’s up against the track-and-field coach in a competition with the stakes being Yuji joining the track team as the prize once the coach ‘assuredly’ wins.

Among the whispers, the Occult Club president mentions that there’s a rumor that Itadori is a previous winner of the iconic Ninja Warrior series. It was a hilarious reference, and it gave readers a reference point of how everyone else in the story saw Itadori’s natural abilities. But, in the anime, this reference is nowhere to be found.

5 Jogo’s Diner Scene Is Elongated In The Anime

Jujutsu Kaisen - The Super-Violent Cafe Scene In The Anime

Next up, let’s talk about the Special-Grade Cursed Spirits that show up partway through Jujutsu Kaisen’s first season. Namely, Jogo, Mahito, Hanami, and Dagon. Early on, Suguru Geto meets with these Cursed Spirits in a diner to discuss their plan (which is hilarious because only Geto is visible to the average person). But, as Jogo gets more and more annoyed throughout the course of the conversation, he starts to expel a lot of heat.

Once the topic of discussion is over, Jogo decides just to slaughter everyone in the diner as a way of ‘showing’ Geto that he can fight Satoru Gojo. In the manga, this scene happens quickly and is an easy-to-understand way of showing how absurdly strong Jogo is as a curse. In the anime, they elongate this scene, making it intentionally uncomfortable to even watch, which actually does a better job of showing the viewer that these curses (and Geto) place no value on human lives.

4 The Animated Fight Between Sukuna & Megumi Is Exaggerated

Jujutsu Kaisen - Comparing The Sukuna Vs Fushigoro Between Manga And Anime

Now, in terms of exaggeration, the Jujutsu Kaisen anime does it a fair amount. Usually, it’s pretty subtle or small, but in the case of the fight between Megumi and a Sukuna-possessed Itadori outside of the Juvenile Detention Center case early on, they sort of turned it into a Super Saiyan battle rather than a fight between Jujutsu Sorcerers.

In the manga, Sukuna launches Megumi high into the air and then spikes him down into the apartment complex. But, in the anime, Sukuna punches him so hard that he skids off two different rooftops, and then gets punched through what looks like five separate concrete walls. The end result is the same, but the anime implies that Megumi has some absurd durability when that’s always been Itadori’s thing. Cursed Energy can only do so much, and five concrete walls seem like a bit of a stretch as far as protecting someone.

3 Junpei Standing Up To His Bullies Is Anime-Only

Jujutsu Kaisen - Junpei Standing Up To His Bullies

Junpei Yoshino is by far one of the more interesting characters in the first season of Jujutsu Kaisen. His outlook on life is unique, his story is tragic, and his death impacts Itadori in a big way. Manga fans knew this character wasn’t long for this world, but the anime did its best to hide or lie about that fact. They included Junpei hanging with Yuji, Megumi, and Kugisaki at the school in the intro as if to imply that he would eventually become a Jujutsu Sorcerer, which was just cruel.

And, they also gave Junpei an extra scene where he first stands up to his bullies when they try to take over his club room. It’s minor, but this anime-only scene of Junpei standing up for himself gave fans a bit of a look at how brave the kid actually was and the potential he had. But, sadly, Jujutsu Kaisen isn’t exactly a happy story, and not every character can make it to the end.

2 Anime Combat Is A Bit Over-The-Top

Jujutsu Kaisen - Nanami Getting A Beautifully Composited Curse Kill In The Anime

The combat in the anime adaptation is so incredibly well done. The combat scenes, for the most part, are masterfully well-composited and animated. When people are fighting hand to hand, it looks like martial arts, and then when they use their Cursed Techniques the shot composition gets a bit more over-the-top.

The dynamic camera, the extra moves, the added flair, it’s all stuff that was mostly added in the anime, and it all works so well. Sure, sometimes Mappa exaggerated the damage a character would do to another in comparison to the manga (such as when Idatori fights the Curse Humans with Nanami at the batting cages), but honestly, it’s worth it for how eye-catching all these battles end up looking.

1 The Manga Is Somehow More Cruel

Jujutsu Kaisen - Comparing The Intentionally Messy-ness Of The Manga And Anime

One thing that is incredibly hard to translate from still frame to motion is the ‘roughness’ of the mangaka’s art style. This is different from the entry talking about linework vs. animated art. Gege Akutami is a fantastic artist, there’s no doubt about it, and a big reason for that is that he absolutely excels at using messy lines, blotches, or purposely ugly expressions to convey his intentions. For example, in the scene where both Mahito and Sukuna are mockingly laughing at Itadori right after Junpei’s tragic death, there’s such a big difference in how ‘unhinged’ Sukuna and Mahito are while laughing at Itradori.

This contrast makes that moment so much stronger, and while the anime replicates it well and even adds color, it’s not quite the same. That’s just one example of course, but there are examples of it all over. The Jujutsu Kaisen anime is beautiful, masterfully made, and clean, but those traits hamper it a tad when they’re compared to the linework and visual language of the manga art.

Jujutsu Kaisen is available to stream on Crunchyroll.

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