The anime adaptation of the hit Weekly Shonen Jump manga, Jujutsu Kaisen blasted onto screens this past fall and continues in the winter with the Goodwill Event Arc. With stunning action and visuals by studio MAPPA, mangaka Gege Akutami’s art and story have been translated to the screen in a fantastic way. At the heart of the show is protagonist Yuji Itadori, who gets pulled into the world of curses and sorcerers one fateful day at school. His heart and heroism tie him to Special Grade curse Sukuna, and he begins his training at Jujutsu High.
Voice actor Adam McArthur is best known for playing Marco Diaz in Star vs. the Forces of Evil, but you can also hear him in other animations such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2011). Jujutsu Kaisen is McArthur’s first time voicing in an English dub for an anime series. We got the chance to speak with McArthur about his experience playing the energetic hero, and what it has been like playing Yuji Itadori’s rollercoaster ride into fighting curses.
BUT WHY THO: What is your favorite part about working on Jujutsu Kaisen?
ADAM MCARTHUR: Jujutsu Kaisen is my first foray into voicing a character in anime! I have a lot of favor parts so far – the cast is amazing, so it’s a total pleasure to be in such talented company, the show itself is SO good, and it’s also a new acting challenge for me, which I always love.
BWT: Yuji has quite the introduction. We meet him grieving one of the most painful losses one can imagine. What was it like to play such an emotional moment for the first episode?
ADAM MCARTHUR: I’ve said the same thing to all my friends asking me about the show; It goes 0-60mph real quick! It’s the same for what was required of me acting-wise. The minute I set foot in the booth to record episode 1, it was intense. I’ve shared a very similar death experience to Yuji, so I was able to pull from that experience and hopefully bring something real to the moment.
BWT: As Gojo says, everyone at Jujutsu High has to be “a little crazy.” How do you translate that for Yuji?
ADAM MCARTHUR: I think initially, Yuji’s crazy comes from his naivety. He has a pretty simple motivation and he tries to stay true to that. The problem is, the stakes are a lot higher in the world around him and he has to catch up. Our energetic, happy guy, has to face some really intense stuff early in his journey and I think we start to see him evolve and develop his brand of “crazy” pretty quickly.
BWT: Yuji shoulders a lot at a young age. What do you hope audiences take from watching him grow?
ADAM MCARTHUR: I hope everyone takes away that we’re all on our own heroes journey, just like Yuji. We all have to face things we might not be ready for and we’ll be called to step up and handle it. No matter what happens, sometimes you just have to rise up and do it. And you can. And so can Yuji. And so can I.
BWT: If you could use any cursed technique from the show, which would it be?
ADAM MCARTHUR: Well so far, any technique of Gojo’s is the right choice. I’m pretty sure they made the greatest character in anime… ever… with Gojo lol. So I’m for sure saying Limitless – The Gojo family technique.
Adam McArthur may be new to voicing an anime character, but his skill shines playing Yuji Itadori in Jujutsu Kaisen. It was fantastic to be able ask him about how he connects to this hero and world that has captured the imagination of many fans this anime season. The original manga by Gege Akutami is published in English by VIZ Media, and all chapters are available digitally via the Weekly Shonen Jump subscription.
The English dub of Jujutsu Kaisen is out now, with new dubbed episodes airing weekly on Fridays.