The first volume of Jujutsu Kaisen proved to be a delightful surprise to this reader. Rocking up to the already crowded Shōnen table with something to prove, Akutami delivered an entertaining and intense introduction to the world of Curses and Jujutsu Sorcerers which was every bit as hilarious as it was action-packed. However, the difficult second album (or volume, in this case) is always a possibility. And the last volume certainly left us with one hell of a cliffhanger to chew on. It’s time to see if Jujutsu Kaisen volume 2 can continue to impress and if it’s still worth reading!
Let’s go all out!
As I mentioned, we left volume 1 with our favourite Jujutsu Highschool first-year trio in a bit of a cursed pickle. Going up against a Special Grade Curse that was well above their weight class. However, the sudden return of a major antagonist in the form of Ryomen Sukuna threw a curveball into the brawl.
Volume 2 picks up right where that high octane action left off. While seeing Sukuna go to town on an increasingly desperate Fushiguro is intense. The real treat of there early chapters come with the meaty chunk of development dished out for him.
Megumi certainly made a strong first impression for his stern attitude and Shikigami summons in the last volume. What I wanted to know a bit more about, was what made the guy tick? Turns out the kid had a pretty rough upbringing, and life wasn’t very fair to him or those he loved. As a result, he wants to use his power as a Jujutsu Sorcerer to bring a little more fairness to life.
In what turns out to be quite an emotional encounter. He explains this while opening up to Sukuna at the climax of their battle. Revealing why exactly he decided to save Itadori at the beginning of the series. It’s a testament to Akutami’s strong character writing that they’re able to tug at the heartstrings so effectively at such an early point of this series. I was praising Itadori’s charm and likability last volume, but Fushigiro really steals the show here.
Jujutsu Kaisen volume 2 spoilers
That’s not to say protagonist Itadori doesn’t get his moment to shine. In the aftermath of the face-off with Fushigiro. Finding himself in a unique situation with Sukuna. Itadori handles negotiations to win back control of his body from the uber-demon with as much subtlety as you’d expect from the athletic hothead. Yup, it turns into a fight. Considering how much of an impact Sukuna has had on his life, we’ve had precious little interaction between them. So the words shared in between the blows were pretty interesting.
Sukuna has some stake in things to come, so he’s inclined to help Itadori return to the land of the living. But the Binding Vow he sets up between them ensures he can take control from Yuji whenever he desires. As Itadori now has no recollection of this conversation, it will be fascinating how Sukuna plays his cards in the future.
I’m gonna reset this crappy Jujutsu world!
After grabbing our attention with that dramatic opening, Akutami drops down a few gears. Delving a little deeper into the world of Jujutsu Kaisen in the process. A lot of this is brought on by the return of Satoru Gojo. He was quite the intriguing character last volume. Like with Fushiguro, there was an urge to learn who the man behind that funky blindfold really was. A fairly pissed-off man, it turns out.
Gojo is furious that the higher-ups at Jujutsu high sent his first years on a suicide mission while he was away. We get the idea that the politics between high command and Gojo aren’t stellar. Especially when he begins to express interest in tearing down the current system. Wanting to build something better with the aid of the students under his tutelage. We know that he’s a powerhouse that could probably pull this off too, but more on that later.
When Itadori is back in action, Gojo immediately takes him off the field for some one-on-one training. Lucky for him, as he gets to learn from the best, and lucky for us, as we got to learn a little more of the intricacies of the Cursed power system! Cursed energy is utilized to activate a Cursed Technique. Apparently, the secret behind Cursed Techniques is, in fact, intrinsic. Meaning the unaccustomed Itadori won’t be able to pull off a Cursed Technique level of even his fellow 1st years. However, by training to control his emotions to channel Cursed energy properly, he’ll be able to pull off some rough but effective attacks. The method Gojo picks for Itadori to train is both amusing and strangely logical. As trouble arises, it looks like Itadori might be getting a few practical lessons too!
It turns out Gojo isn’t the only one with his heart set on shaking up the Jujutsu world. Throughout the volume, we meet several shady individuals setting themselves up as antagonists to our heroes. Under the leadership of a man named Mahito. These guys want to get rid of humans, believing that Curses birthed from the negative thoughts and emotions of human beings are the most authentic life form. Of course, to achieve this, they’ll have to get rid of that pesky Jujutsu Highschool and Gojo. Who they obviously recognise as a significant threat.
These guys are no pushovers themselves, as a sinister roasting in a small restaurant proves. Racking up their collective intimidation factor in the process. The resident hothead in the group (in a quite literal sense) thinks he has what he takes to take on the teacher, leading to a pretty bombastic battle. We see both opponents showcase their power with some monumental splash pages. Giving a little more insight into the genuinely staggering power levels of Gojo. Remember how much of a monster we thought he was in the last volume? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
What type of girls do you like?
When we’re not following Gojo, we’re catching up with Itadori’s fellow first years, Fushiguro and Kugisaki. While Gojo trains Itadori solo, these two are left to mourn alone. A little harsh. Sure, they’re a couple of hard cases, but it’s clear they’re also taking Itadori’s premature passing hard. The pair throw themselves into their training, preparing for the upcoming Goodwill Event with the High School’s sister school in Kyoto. Anybody else smell a potential tournament arc cooking? Delicious.
They’re helping out the current second years. Or rather the second years are helping them out with all these training sessions. This new trio of 2nd years are a colourful and quirky bunch, sprinkling some of that humour that I was so fond of in volume 1. They also have some very unique Cursed Techniques that left me hungry for more. I mean, one of them is literally a talking panda. What’s that about?
Friendly rivalry among classes is one thing. But before the volume wraps more trouble for our dynamic Jujutsu duo arrives. This time in the form of two troublemakers from the sister school. Guess they didn’t want to wait for that Tournament Arc to finish in the oven then! They immediately make a crummy first impression (insulting a recently deceased friend isn’t the classiest move, that’s for sure).
Then the pair follow up with one of the oddest declarations of war I’ve ever seen in a manga. Second-year Aoi Todo has a vitally important question for Fushiguro. One that a future without him getting beaten up might very well depend on! At least Todo fills us in with his need to know… proclivities before the volume’s end. Between the stunning cliffhanger of volume 1 and the bizarre turn of events here, let it never be said that Akutami isn’t keeping us on our toes!
Is Jujutsu Kaisen volume 2 worth reading?
Heck yeah, it is! After finishing volume 1, my biggest wish for the series was a little more insight into the characters of Fushiguro and Gojo. I was also hoping for some more explanation of the Cursed power system. Looks like Akutami granted my wishes with this volume! On top of that, I was impressed with the number of heartfelt moments in this volume. Proving Akutami has the range beyond all those comedy moments (which I’m still enjoying). I can’t forget that intense Gojo battle to satisfy our action quota. Finishing with a very wacky ending that certainly has me intrigued for what’s next. Looks like this second album is shooting right up the charts!
You can enrol in Jujutsu Highschool yourself by purchasing this volume physically via the links above. If digital is more your style, and if you’re a member of Shonen Jump, you can also read the series through the Jump Vault. Though there is still a gap between chapters as Viz is filling the backlog between volume releases. Here’s hoping they get caught up soon so I can binge the rest of these chapters fast!