Jujutsu Kaisen – Episode 11 Review: Narrow-Minded

My brain is a mess of static, I’m jumping between so many reviews and top ten lists right now that I’m struggling to keep my brain straight about what I’m talking about. It’s really a pain that some of the best T.V. I’ve watched all year is coinciding with my busiest blogging and working time of the year. Seriously, all the best stuff of 2020 has been packed into its final two months.

Oh well, I guess there are worse problems to have.

Kento begins this episode by shooting down my prediction for the conclusion of this fight with a hilarious amount of nope. We get a fantastically animated little battle between him and Mahito before Kento flattens his opponent under some rubble and beats a hasty retreat. In my previous entry, I was making gags about Kurapika’s Nen pacts from Hunter X Hunter, although it appears there might be more to that gag than I first thought based on some lines about pacts from the scarred up guy.

Even with his power boost though, it doesn’t appear that Kento has enough strength to take the curse creature out in a single blow as he needs to. So backs off for now.

Jujutsu Kaisen - Episode 11 Review: Narrow-Minded

The bulk of this episode actually follows Itadroi and Yoshino, as they get to know one another after just meeting in the previous episode. There’s an aspect of the writing for this show I’m pretty impressed with, and that’s how the narrative seems to be aware and is taking into account the tropes of the genre when it’s developing its story.

I talked about how good natured Itadori is, and how he’s easily (and unconsciously) able to sway people over to his side. Like any good Shonen protagonist, he very quickly makes friends with Yoshino and the pair seem to get on like a house on fire. The twist being that this course of events seems to be exactly what our bad guys have been planning from the beginning, taking advantage of Itadori’s nature and using it against him.

Thanks to Itadori’s movie marathon training, him and Yoshino are able to bond over their extensive knowledge of monsters movies. Helped significantly by Itadori’s natural charisma and ability to get pretty much anyone he meets to like him, including Yoshino’s mom, who shows up moments later.

Jujutsu Kaisen - Episode 11 Review: Narrow-Minded

There’s something about Itadori’s almost aggressive ability to make friends wish someone he just met super endearing to me. After so many episode of pain and battle, it’s nice to return to the Itadori of the first episode, the ultra empathetic kid who turns away from personal matters to spend time with his dying, curmudgeonly grandpa. He immediately gets invited around for dinner by Yoshinoi’s mom and becomes the life of the party without even trying.

After Yoshino’s mom drinks herself unconscious, Yoshino confronts Itadori about his position as a Jujutsu Sorcerer, something he absentmindedly confirms without thinking. We learn that Mahito told Yoshnio to befriend any sorcerers he encounters, despite the fact that they’re his enemy. At which point he questions Itadori about if he’s ever killed another person.

To this, Itadori gives his personal philosophy about taking human life. He explains that he never wants to have to do it because if he were to take a life, he might become accustomed to it. And if that were to happen, his own value of human life might become warped, meaning he might lose perspective of why he cares about the lives of his loved ones so much in the first place.

Jujutsu Kaisen - Episode 11 Review: Narrow-Minded

It’s nice, there are so many characters in media who have a “no killing” rule, but it’s refreshing to see someone actually expand upon their philosophy behind that reasoning, giving a level of perspective most characters don’t usually bother getting into beyond “killing = bad”.

Upon hearing this, Yoshino’s worldview is kind of shaken. He’s convinced himself that everyone in the world sucks, because it helps him cope with the horrible treatment his peers and his teachers give him every day at school. Realising the falsehood behind this makes him realise how closely he’s been spiralling despair and depression all this time. While this might have been the darkest point before the dawn for him to pick himself back up, this is where Mahito’s plan comes into effect.

Later at night, Yoshino’s mom wakes up at the table where she was left to sleep off the beer she’d been drinking. Upon waking up, she picks up one of Sukuna’s fingers from the table, while a curse monster looms in the darkness behind her. This moment really made my stomach drop. The episode so far had done a really great job of making me really like Yoshino and his mom. Their relationship was sweet and she was really understanding of the troubled he was going through.

Jujutsu Kaisen - Episode 11 Review: Narrow-Minded

Cutting to later, when Kento describes the gruesome scene Yoshino walked in on in the morning is heart-breaking. To which Mahito seemingly shows up to “save” Yoshino from the curse and pin the blame on the bullies at his school. Thus taking advantage of the kid when he’s at his absolute most vulnerable.

The episode ends with Yoshino entering his school and attacking the bullies using curse powers. He questions them as to why they killed his mother, but hardly seems to care about their response. He’s angry and filled with pain, at this point it’s all bubbled over and he is just lashing out at the same people who made his life miserable, regardless of whether or not they had anything to do with the death of his mother.

In the end, Itadori crashes through the doors to the gym, shouting out to Yoshino who is seemingly on the verge of killing the bully who just got an award for someone else’s stolen homework. I honestly have no idea where this is going, but am eager to see where it goes.

Jujutsu Kaisen - Episode 11 Review: Narrow-Minded

Yoshino is truly a tragic figure. He’s spend all this time quickly taking the abuse and trying to get on with his life, but even now, where he feels like he is lashing out and trying to take some amount of control back in his life, he’s ultimately still just a pawn without even realising it. His final tragedy brought around just to try and put Itadori out of commission. I feel really bad for the kid and hope he can get some kind of happy ending out of this.

But Juju has proven to be a pretty bleak and dark show at times, so I really could see it going in any different direction. With the scene of him in the opening being a total misdirection.

Jujutsu Kaisen - Episode 11 Review: Narrow-Minded

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