With the masses gathered at Shibuya Crossing for a Halloween celebration trapped and demanding Satoru Gojo (Yûichi Nakamura) appear, the stage was set for a massive confrontation in Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 8. But even as the central drama prepares its opening act, another battle begins as Yuji Itadori (Junya Enoki) and Mei Mei (Kotono Mitsuishi, Neon Genesis: Evangelion) face a fight of their own when a second barrier is discovered over the Meiji Shrine Subway Station.
This episode opens with a brief check-in with Gojo as he begins to ascertain the situation in Shibuya. The critical element in this sequence is how well it establishes to the viewer how many people have been trapped in the area, and how ill-equipped the space is for so many bodies. People are packed in like sardines, as Gojo is forced to float over the heads of those crammed into the space’s confines to move around. It feels weird seeing a sorcerer use his abilities so openly in front of so many people, as that sort of attention has always been avoided in the past.
After this brief set establishment, we join Itadori and Mei as they begin their confrontation with unknown forces at the Meji Shrine station. While this sequence does help viewers get a feel for Mei, a character that has only been seen largely in passing previously, the central focus of this sequence is Itadori. While we got reintroduced to Itadori the Clown a couple of weeks ago, Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 8 reminds viewers that he is an immensely capable combatant as he goes into the station to confront his newest foe.
When we see our protagonist face off with a locus curse, we see him at his best as the goofy facade falls and he takes his opponent out with a destructive precision that is nothing short of impressive. Itadori’s moves are perhaps more basic and grounded than others we see, but MAPPA nonetheless makes sure to impress upon the viewer just how effective these more efficient maneuvers are as he dismantles his foe.
The only element of Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 8 main fight sequence that I don’t love is an interlude that happens as the battle spins up, which gives viewers a moderately thorough explanation of why loci are a plague when they swarm. While informative and as concise as can be, I wish it wasn’t there to break up the episode’s pacing. While I have no doubt that there are many who won’t know the information given, I’m sure if they were curious they could google it.
Once Itadori’s fight is finished and he catches back up with Mei, Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 8 returns to Gojo as he prepares to face off with Hanami (Atsuko Tanaka, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) and Jogo (Shigeru Chiba). This fight is less about flash and more about setup as the story repeatedly breaks away from the action to jump to the past when Jogo and Suguru Geto (Takahiro Sakurai) were planning out the confrontation. The painstaking detail with which the duo discusses how to force a fight with Gojo in the worst possible space and circumstances once more emphasizes just how powerful the Special Grade Sorcerer is.
Unlike the interruption in the episode’s previous battle, this one feels completely necessary, not only to understand the curse’s approach to the battle but to grasp why Gojo suddenly feels less capable than he has in the past. Without these asides calling into focus how the situation hampers Gojo’s abilities, it would be easy for the viewer to think the series was neutering his powers for narrative purposes. These moments of exploration into the hows and whys alleviate that possibility while also reinforcing that while jujutsu sorcery is a form of magic, it must obey some of the limitations of space and time.
With the opening salvos fired in what is sure to be an epic showdown, Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 8 leaves viewers with the final striking shot of Gojo slipping his blindfold off, revealing those eyes that both captivate with their sparkle while heralding a beatdown for whoever has forced their reveal. What comes next is sure to be a spectacle that only MAPPA could orchestrate.
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 8 is streaming on Crunchyroll, with new Jujutsu Kaisen episodes every Thursday.