Now that Sukuna (Jun’ichi Suwabe) is back, the situation is more dangerous than ever. With Jogo (Shigeru Chiba) attempting to land a single blow on Sukuna to claim his aid, the magma-wielding curse is being put to the test. Meanwhile, Megumi Fushiguro (Yuma Uchida) must survive a clash with Toji Fushguro (Takehito Koyasu) in Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 16, “Thunderclap.”
The episode opens with the battle between Megumi and Toji. While at first glance one might think Megumi would have the advantage here due to his use of summoned proxies allowing him to stay outside Toji’s reach, his powers barely manage to help him stay one step ahead of the ridiculously powerful Toji. As Megumi unleashes herds of martial arts-wielding rabbits and other tricks against his attacker, Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 16 captures the chaos and panic of the character as he desperately tries to keep ahead of his foe. But despite his best efforts, Megumi is unable to keep himself from finally being caught by the powerful Toji.
It’s in the final moments of this conflict that this episode stumbles. With Megumi gravely wounded and open to attack, the story steps away from the present for a moment, going back to when Toji sold Megumi to the Zen’in Clan. This moment feels like an attempt to lend emotional weight to what comes next, as we return to the present to see Toji stab himself in the head, sparring Megumi and departing the body he’d been inhabiting.
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 16 presents the moment like an emotional hit that should shake the audience as they see Toji take his own life but it doesn’t land well. Megumi’s only reaction is one of bewilderment because he doesn’t know who Toji is. Since the audience has little sympathy for the brutal killer himself, the moment doesn’t have nearly enough emotional weight as much as the scene tries to deliver, leaving an awkward narrative residue on the episode as it moves on from there.
From here, we cut away to Panda (Tomokazu Seki, Ooku: The Inner Chambers) and Kusakabe as they search Shibuya Station for survivors. While Panda grows restless with their search, we learn that Kusakabe is intentionally stalling heading towards where Gojo has been sealed out of fear for his life. While this obviously isn’t a great look for Kusakabe, the visual presentation and animation, along with the character’s dialogue, do a great job of making it clear that the character’s motivations are based purely on fear. This terror felt by Kusakabe is a reasonable response to the unraveling situation in Shibuya. And it’s only about to get even more understandable as the chaos continues to unfold.
While trying to avoid the carnage all around them, Kusukabe and Panda run headlong into some of Geto’s followers. While the two groups stare each other down, Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 16 jumps away from the present to look at how the people who originally followed Geto feel about the ongoing situation and their individual motives since Geto is no longer himself. Before much can happen between the opposing groups, however, they’re all engulfed by a larger struggle.
The last major element of this episode is Jogo and Sukuna’s battle. As two special grade curses, the pair begin to rip the city apart. Their brawl threatens to overwhelm those nearby them like “two elephants tap-dancing over ants” as Kusakabe puts it when he and Panda are nearly caught in one of the countless explosions caused by the clash.
This clash is where MAPPA goes all out in this episode in terms of visual presentation. Along with some of the most gorgeous animated fire I’ve ever seen, MAPPA delivers the panic and frenzy of Jogo’s desperate fight brilliantly. Utilizing rougher lineart than usual, MAPPA crafts certain shots that are imbued with Jogo’s mounting terror of Sukuna. As the situation grows more dire, so too does the art fracture in moments, further augmenting the emotion, while never leaning into the abstract elements of the presentation so much that it becomes hard to tell what is happening.
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 16 delivers a ton of action and brief character exploration as it continues to escalate the chaos that is unfolding. Save for the one minor fumble, the episode accomplishes everything it seeks to, even bringing new players into the mix in its final seconds, leaving even more questions about where the story will go from here that are sure to have fans eager for what comes next.
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 16 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 16
Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 16 delivers a ton of action and brief character exploration as it continues to escalate the chaos that is unfolding.