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変身」 (Metamorphosis)

All right let’s get into it! Apologize for the late review blabla you don’t care I don’t care. It’s here – deal with it.

This episode was just fantastic! Normally fights have tension to them – the thrill of not knowing who will come out on top makes our hearts skip a beat. This episode was the perfect show on how to do fight scenes. Not only because the series has to get to one specific moment in the manga – it might feel like it’s rushing along. But it’s still pretty much beat-by-beat. That tension is usually dispelled through dialogue. Anime has been doing this for centuries. Think back to any Naruto fight scene and how suddenly they would stop and have a chat. Usually, writers would try and do their best to keep that tension up through the said dialogue, and the fight continues. In this case, the dialogue served a purpose! To advance the story and then the fight scene continues. Mahito finally found his true essence of soul and transformed into it. Sort of like a final form of a boss. What I meant to say is that there was no dilly-dallying here, every frame a painting – every frame a purpose. Gotta appreciate that. Where Yuji and Mahito could have stopped to lengthen the show time – they start running towards each other and the music picks up again. Great going!

However, the series has been carrying this motif, even more prominent in S2 – that Mahito and Yuji are natural enemies. Even Choso acknowledges this. That all culminates in a release of tension so perfect it deserves a chef’s kiss. In the manga, it’s something similar except it’s around one or two pages. Here they managed to adapt it into a full-fledged sequence. Homing in on the motif that Mahito has become so frail he is akin to a rabbit with a broken leg. And Yuji has become so powerful he’s akin to a white wolf. I love that the wolf even had his face scarred pushing the idea further. Making sure you as the viewer got the ideas this scene was trying to represent.

It’s many things – Mahito losing the fight at this point, Yuji’s heart losing all empathy – in essence becoming a cold snowy landscape, where nothing survives for long. And in my headcanon – wouldn’t this be something similar to Yuji’s domain expansion? By nature Yuji can’t have a domain expansion – so maybe this is a little nod to what it would be. Something that never was. That’s why even just a simple snowy rock hitting his head breaks the illusion of the landscape. But Yuji is quick to turn his eyes back on his prey. I love how Mahito goes from being this strong-looking curse to becoming so frail. I liked how they animated him there. Then there’s the fact Yuji’s shadow became longer and had red eyes. Ever since Sukuna left him in front of the massive hole he left behind. Yuji hasn’t had a moment to let his hair down. And who also has his hair up like that but none other than Sukuna himself. At that moment Mahito started to fear what Yuji would become in the future. I fear Yuji is slowly becoming more and more like Sukuna. Can’t help but wonder what is his future here.

Okay – let’s get it out of the way. There’s a moment that’s so out of the blue, but it’s perfect for JJK. When Todo drops his pendant that holds a picture of Yuji and his favorite idol – a J-Pop song starts playing and Todo starts imagining his favorite idol battle alongside him. It’s a funny moment but perfect for JJK because it has never actually held itself too seriously. The lights the flashes everything was just perfect and definitely, all this fighting and metaphors are starting to get deep. So a little thing like that is fun to have around now and again. Seriously this episode just went off. For some reason, the snowy scene was so perfectly done it started to bring tears to my eyes. Then of course finally Geto shows up and offers Mahito some help.

On a side note, don’t you guys think that Mahitos VA (Shimazaki, Nobunaga) just ate this episode!? Like seriously I was thinking to myself about all the little details he added like the little giggles while Mahito was headless running and when he smiled – all the little onomatopoeias felt like they were exacerbated to eleven. Nobunaga-san just did an amazing job in my opinion. It felt like this is one of the last episodes he’ll be in, go for the home run! And he delivered! Or at least they wanted to give him more stardom since this is the big fight!

Oh well – two more episodes to go – and honestly I’m a little scared because let’s just say the manga doesn’t do a great job at wrapping this arc. Hopefully, MAPPA will do a better job at it – but so far the adaptation has been great. So I have hope.

Full-length images: 57.

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