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Jujutsu Kaisen Magazine Review – Weekly Shonen Jump No. 26 and Chapter 150 Commentary

【149話・150話ネタバレ注意】WARNING: Contains Chapter 149 and 150 spoilers

(English follows) 呪術廻戦の週刊少年ジャンプ連載3周年突破おめでとうございます!普段は本誌の電子書籍版を読んでいますが、記念ということで今回は26号を紙媒体で購入。表紙の虎杖・伏黒・乙骨はもちろん好きですが、それよりも死滅回游編好調巻頭カラーがとても嬉しい。真希ちゃんメインのページは最高で、双子の見開きイラストも最高。「それでも絶てぬ“縛り”へー。」と書いてありますが、真希ちゃん・真依ちゃんの深い絆を感じさせます。真依ちゃんは去っていません。死んでなんかいません。真希ちゃんの中にいる、ということを改めて思いました。149話は泣けてきましたがこれで少し心が癒されるかな。美しくて額に入れたいぐらいの絵です。よかったら写真をご覧ください↓

Hmm, the term ‘magazine review’ is rather misleading since this won’t be a review of the entire magazine – what I’m going to do is pick out the Jujutsu Kaisen-related content and talk about them. So if you’re looking for something about, say, MHA or One Piece then sorry to disappoint. 

Celebrating 3 Years of JJK on Weekly Shonen Jump

Before I go on, a huge congratulations to Gege Akutami for managing to pass the three -year mark for publication in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. He’s skipped a few weeks but all in all he still hasn’t gone fully mad, and he did manage to give us Chapter 150, even if some of it was only half-baked. More on that later.

Cover with the Boys

Let’s have a look at the cover. There’s Yuji Itadori showing his fist, Megumi Fushiguro with his hands in a nue bird shikigami position, and Yuta Okkotsu with his sword.

Weekly Shone Jump No. 26 (6/14 edition)

The caption says 「死の海を游ぎきれ」shi no umi wo oyogikire or “make it across the sea of death”. 游ぐ oyogu means swim, and the verb is in the form of an order. So it’s ordering them to break through or come out of the Culling Game alive. 

Spine of the Weekly Shonen Jump No. 26

On the spine there’s Itadori’s head, and above it is “Jump famous lines in Korean” with something written in Korean. 

Sega Graffiti x Battle Ad

We open the cover and there’s this super adorable ad for the Jujutsu Kaisen Graffiti x Battle products by Sega.

Ad for Sega’s merch

Aww. Look at the first- and second-year students smearing each other in paint, along with their teacher Gojo. It says the merch will be available in early June.

Coloured Manga First Page

Next to it is one of the pages I really wanted to have in analog form. It shows the sliced-off head of Ougi, Maki’s father, and the dead Mai.

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Coloured page featuring the last panels of Chapter 149

Maki, covered in scars and holding her sword, says, 「真依、始めるよ」Mai, hajimeru yo, telling her sister she’s about to start with the destruction of their clan. This was the final scene in Chapter 149 and it’s lovely to see it in colour.

Two-page Spread of Maki and Mai Zen’in

We turn this page and find the spread I truly wanted to have, as part of my collection. It shows an illustration of the twin girls up in the clouds, like in a dream, in muted, neutral colours. Both of them are smiling, Mai with her eyes closed while Maki looks on with eyes wide open. They’re holding hands, and the caption says, 「それでも絶てぬ”縛り”へー。」Sore demo tatenu shibari he, referring to the unbreakable bond between the sisters. 

Beautiful illustration of the twins

Shibari here refers to a binding clause or a limitation, which we know is all about Maki’s lack of innate sorcery. When Mai sacrificed her life so that Maki could grow stronger, she took away her sister’s cursed energy, effectively giving her the perfected physical prowess of Toji Zen’in. This way Maki is now ‘free’ from her inborn limitation, but as we saw in the previous chapter, she made a promise to her twin that she’ll destroy everything. 

This is the new bond she has to fulfill, so effectively her old bond of not having innate sorcery is replaced with this sister-to-sister promise. They’re inseparable, these two. “I am you and you are me,” Mai told Maki in Chapter 149. We know Maki is no longer just one person: she carries with her her sister’s spirit, and we can only assume Mai won’t rest until she sees everything she hates destroyed. Whether that bodes well for the Tokyo school and Gojo we do not yet know.

Commentary on Jujutsu Kaisen Chapter 150

The latest chapter is incredible in its action scenes as well as dialogue. We learn all about the Zen’in clan and how its members are organised. It’s revealed that Maki trained under a troop of men lacking innate sorcery, they are the foot soldiers and lowly privates. They surround Maki in order to apprehend her so she can be killed by their leader, but Maki finishes them off, in what seems to be a heartbeat. They’re easy pickings for someone of Toji’s calibre. 

Before she goes on her killing spree, Maki has a flashback of her twin asking her why they didn’t simply become humble servants in their own home, living boring, unremarkable but relatively safe lives. In a fit of remorse, Maki apologizes to her dead other half. If she did just keep her head down instead of having ambitions, Mai would still be alive. It was such a painful and heartbreaking scene. 

The powered up Maki in action

And then the more powerful platoon, born sorcerers, try to take her on but she destroys them as well. Now only their leader, Naoya (the dead family head Naobito’s son) is left standing. “Haven’t you got a human heart?” he asks, facetiously. 

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What a rich thing for Naoya to say! Here’s a guy who personally plotted with Maki’s father to have the twin girls – his own cousins – murdered, and now he has the gall to point out her apparent heartlessness.

Unperturbed, Maki replies in the negative. No, she hasn’t got a heart anymore, as it’s been taken away already, by someone. She uses the term あいつ aitsu, an informal, gender-neutral term that could refer to a he or a she. In this context we can assume she is referring to Mai. When her sister took away her cursed energy, she took her heart along with it. We can think of it as Mai now holding her twin’s heart in the palm of her hand. I am you and you are me. They no longer have separate hearts, but one heart, and it is bound to Mai’s wish.

Animation Will Be Dope

I absolutely cannot wait for this chapter to be animated. Badass Maki in her boundless form is like seeing a female version of Toji, who was so perfect as a non-sorcerer that sorcerers faced him with the greatest of fear. This chapter is Maki’s Kill Bill moment, as she sets out to avenge her sister’s death as well as their inexcusable treatment by their own clan. 

My one worry, though, is that Maki will end up insane and will just blindly kill anyone and everyone. I truly hate it when ambitious, power-hungry girls and women are turned into mad witches in the end, by their creators who are only capable of viewing females as appendages to a male protagonist. Those that stray from this proven and male gaze-sanctioned path are given a horrific, less than heroic ending. It’s as if having hopes and dreams beyond kissing the male protagonist (or pining to become his girlfriend/wife) is a crime, and punishable by insanity. 

No More Killing Off Ambitious Girls

I’ve seen this type of storyline a few times not just in manga/anime, but also in YA and fantasy novels. I’ve lost count of the books I’ve rolled my eyes at because the ‘heroine’ spent 80% of the story mooning over the male protagonist. Apparently that’s a girl’s main job: making googly eyes at some boy (or man if she’s lucky). Those girls who dream of big things, who seek to rule kingdoms, who want to be in positions of great power, end up having an untimely death. If not, they’re most likely left with a blah ‘domestic bliss’ SAHM position at best, or simply going completely insane, at worst. 

Ah. I’m hoping Akutami-sensei is better than that, otherwise the message of the manga will be that girls with ambition get shafted in the end. That’s not what we want to hear from a woke millennial in the 21st century. 

I’m wishing with all my heart that Maki will be more than a psychotic killer or mindless assassin. The big difference between Maki and Toji is that, while the latter was alone and isolated, Maki has friends. There are her peers that like her, the first year students that look up to her, the school teachers who did value her more than her own family ever could. So here’s hoping Maki can meet up with these friends of hers and – with her mind fully intact – get on with the business of ending the Culling Game, and eventually end up at the pinnacle of an all-new, fully-reformed Zen’in clan.

Alright, enough with *my* hopes and dreams for the manga. Let’s move on to the rest of the magazine!

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Sketch Controversy

Here’s a pic of the pages getting all the (negative) attention.

Unfinished drawings

Obviously the drawings are unfinished. We all know Akutami-sensei is super busy given the pressing demands on his time from all kinds of advertisers and collaborators, but these half-finished pages are a travesty. We’re paying money for this level of work? Harrumph! 

Don’t tell me this was deliberate or anything along those lines. They’re half-assed drawings and everyone knows it. Get your act together, manga-ka, get an (additional) assistant or two, or something. 

Honestly, though, I don’t really mind, as they are action scenes without much dialogue, and all that linework makes the action come alive. I’m being generous here, though. Let’s hope Akutami-sensei doesn’t fall sick again, from all the stress he’s getting from being a massive success, and that when the corresponding manga volume gets published the drawings are in their polished form.

7-Eleven Collaboration Ad

There’s a coloured page advertising JJK’s collab with the convenience store 7-Eleven, and they’re offering merch from plastic sleeves to pinback buttons to acrylic keychains. If you purchase a certain amount (JPY 700 tax incl) using the store’s app, you’ll get a raffle ticket for a chance to win a bunch of prizes. 

Ad for 7-Eleven campaign

There are also in-store giveaways. Two packs of jelly drinks will get you a plastic sleeve or clear file folder (June 3 to 16). Then there’s the one where if you buy three bags of snacks, you get one pinback button or tin badge (June 10 to 23). Two bottles of beverages will get you a keychain (June 17 to 30). It’s similar to the FamilyMart campaign I wrote about before

In the 7-Eleven online store you can purchase JJK-themed teddy bears, mugs, bags and other merch. 

Volume 18 and 19 Special Editions

Another coloured page features an ad for the upcoming special volumes of the manga.

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Ad for upcoming special edition Vols 18 and 19

Volume 18 (December 25, 2021) includes a desk calendar and 32 key chains, costing JPY 3850. Volume 19 (April 4, 2021) includes five pieces of merch such as Sukuna’s finger and Gojo’s Prison Realm box. It costs JPY 4620. They’re both made-to-order so you’ll need to make reservations at your nearest bookstore.

Will I buy them? No, I’m fine with the regular volumes, thanks! xD

Other JJK-related Pages

Ads for Jump comics

In the upper right hand corner of this coloured page is an ad for Volume 16 of the manga. 

Reader favourites

There’s a poll of readers’ favourite characters, wherein you can vote by sending a postcard. The 2019 Top Three were Itadori, Fushiguro and Gojo, in that order.

The latest volumes

This spread is an ad for the latest volumes of ongoing Jump Comics manga. JC readers will be able to identify all the characters in one glance!

Overall Impression

I loved this Maki-centric chapter, and the illustration of her and Mai are worth the price of the magazine alone. I’ll add it to my shelf dedicated to Jujutsu Kaisen!

Availability

Available at bookstores across Japan. If you can’t buy from your local bookstore, you can get a printed copy from Amazon Japan or a digital copy from the Jump Bookstore.  It costs JPY 290 (less than 3 USD).

That’s about it, hope you enjoyed this look at the Jujutsu Kaisen part of the Weekly Shonen Jump No 26 (6/14 edition).

Thank you so much for reading! Please take a moment to share a thought or two in the comment section below. Your comments give me life and are a real source of encouragement. xoxo – hana

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kriss

Don’t tell me this was deliberate or anything along those lines. They’re half-assed drawings and everyone knows it. Get your act together, manga-ka, get an (additional) assistant or two, or something.

am sure he can afford a couple but maybe hes one of em control freaks who have to draw every single line themselves n cant stand the thought of others helping them out

kriss

There’s a poll of readers’ favourite characters, wherein you can vote by sending a postcard. The 2019 Top Three were Itadori, Fushiguro and Gojo, in that order.

surprised its not gojo on top good to see the main boy holding his own lol

kriss

No More Killing Off Ambitious Girls

preach sistah i totes agree w everything u said here drives me mad the way its always boys be ambitious but not the other way round there rly is more to life ogling some boy thats what im trying to teach my girls

Last edited 14 days ago by kriss
kriss

wow that was fun didnt know jjk was in the cover this month good of u to collect it

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