At the end of 2020, the broadcast of one of the new behemoths of the manga: Jujutsu Kaisen. Edited as shônen, Gege Akutami's manga would have been much better had it been considered seinen.
Jujutsu Kaisen is one of the most popular manga and anime of recent years. The manga is so popular that, proportionally, it managed to surpass the sales of another manga giant, My Hero Academia, reaching 65 million copies sold at the end of March. Adapted into anime by famous MAPPA studio, Jujutsu Kaisencontinues to grow in popularity, especially following the theatrical release of the film Jujutsu Kaisen 0.
For many of us, JujutsuKaisen, published in France by Ki-oon, turns out to be an excellent franchise, whether in manga or anime. Taking up a lot of shōnen codes like the classic power of friendship or the use of teenagers as heroes, the series would however have been much more impressive if it had been treated as a seinen alongside titles like Berserk, Vinland Saga or Tokyo Ghoul. Here are 10 reasons that prove it.
10. The philosophy present in Jujutsu Kaisen would have had more importance
Regardless of the genre of manga or anime, there are many who tackle a fascinating philosophy. Nevertheless, the seinen has the reputation of going further, of better appropriating it. Examples abound, such as the notions of revenge or fate present in Berserk, Askeladd’s reflections on the functioning of the world in Vinland Saga or war in < strong>Kingdom.
Currently, Jujutsu Kaisen offers us a beautiful evolution that would allow him to have a philosophy worthy of the greatest seinens. However, this could alienate shonen readers from the franchise. Still, with a similar approach to Vinland Saga, Gege Akutami's manga could explore some interesting themes in a less superficial way.
9. Scenes could be more gory and realistic
Some seinens have a reputation for being particularly gory or trashy, which may turn off some manga readers. Nevertheless, one could say that the lack of filters in these titles only makes them more attractive, especially for older readers. And although Jujutsu Kaisen already offers us spectacular fight scenes, moving the series to seinen could encourage the mangaka to ignore certain barriers. Thus, the very dark atmosphere of Jujutsu Kaisen would be present down to the smallest detail.
8. Use adult main characters
This is a prominent feature in shōnen. The heroes, or at least the protagonists, are often teenagers. Why ? Because it allows the target audience to better identify with the characters. But even under these conditions, that does not prevent some manga readers from reading shōnen and finding it redundant to always have the same type of hero. This is why making Jujutsu Kaisen a seinen can be interesting.
Indeed, unlike shōnen, seinen offers more possibilities in terms of heroes. Imagine we pick up the beginning of the story of Jujutsu Kaisenwhere Yuji is just a freshman. One can very well imagine Gege Akutami continuing the story and ending it with an older, more experienced Yuji in his mid-twenties. The story could be all the more interesting and gripping.
7. Yuji could actually become one of the most complex and interesting anti-heroes
If the shōnens are used to appealing to adolescent heroes, the seinens tend to offer relatively complex anti-heroes like Guts from Berserk or Thorfinn Karlsefni from Vinland Saga. Nevertheless, not all seinens protagonists are as violent and brutal as these two examples. However, the seinen allows the mangaka to work his hero more deeply, to go beyond what is expected of him and thus to offer a much more human and convincing character than the hero of shōnen who fights to save his friends. .
Currently, the character of Yuji perfectly matches what is expected of a shōnen hero. But if Jujutsu Kaisen were to become a seinen, his character could really evolve, both physically and mentally. We can very well imagine a Yuji broken by violent defeats, consumed by resentment and potentially becoming a master of plagues, like Suguru Geto. Then, after sinking, we could see Yuji doing everything to get out of it and find his way back to being a real exorcist. This path could make him more human.
6. There would be less hesitation in killing certain characters
story. Attack on Titan is the best example of this. Many popular characters, like Erwin Smith, died in excruciating pain. Nevertheless, shōnen tends to be very protective of the main protagonists. This way, young viewers or readers don’t have to watch the teenage hero die.
The seinen, on the other hand, applies very different rules. Indeed, the hero is rarely protected by the story and characters can more easily die, disappear, or even be mutilated, if this brings something strong to the story. By using the characters in this way, the mangaka increases the stakes and the tension already present in the story. Such a narration could be a real added value for a manga as dark as Jujutsu Kaisen.
5. Characters like Kento Nanami could unfold their full potential
When we take a step back from the character of Kento Nanami, we realize that the exorcist is far from blending in with the crowd. Indeed, Kento Nanami could very well be a seinen character who almost by mistake ended up in Jujutsu Kaisen. Nevertheless, Kento Nanami allows some older readers and viewers to enjoy the series more, now having a character close to their age.
Much like some seinen viewers and readers, Kento Nanami turns out to be a bitter, jaded man both about exorcism and the modern working world (at least, the office world). Yet that will never stop him from taking responsibility and fighting while criticizing the world around him. Kento Nanami thus offers us a glimpse of what Jujutsu Kaisen could be as a seinen.
4. Jujutsu Kaisen might have a real love story
We're not going to lie to each other, all genres of manga can offer a beautiful romance, especially shōjos and joseis. Nevertheless, there is one romance that particularly stands out from the others: Romance in the Seinens. Indeed, in the seinens, we find characters old and mature enough to have a real serious relationship, which is already more complex than a teenage love story that begins with a note left in the shoe locker. /p>
The best examples are certainly the relationship between Guts and Casca in Berserk or that between Ken Kaneki and Touka Kirishima in Tokyo Ghoul. Now imagine Yuji and Nobara in their early twenties, facing all sorts of horrors that only Seinens know and finding solace only in each other’s arms.
3. The script rhythm would be more interesting
Traditionally, the storyline pace of shōnen has been known to be quite fast, with the main characters launching into a new battle or training almost instantly. Bleach and Naruto are prime examples. For their part, the seinens have a film-like approach and have a lot less of that rushedside as we currently find in One Piece.
Despite their brutality, the seinens manage to space out the scenes of confrontation in order to allow the characters to form real relationships, to reflect, etc. Berserk, for example, doesn’t actually have as many fight scenes as one might think and many chapters don’t feature any fight scenes at all. This allows for a more airy and mature story.
2. The story would be less predictable
When analyzing the story of Jujutsu Kaisen, we realize that it turns out to be quite stereotypical and predictable. Fortunately, this does not spoil the pleasure that we take when reading the chapters or watching the episodes. Also, while Jujutsu Kaisen is predictable, the storyline contains a lot of new ideas. And going seinen would allow Gege Akutami to unlock the full potential of the series.
By turning into a seinen, Jujutsu Kaisencould break away from the classic codes of shōnen where l’ story often ends with the traditional “and they ended up happily ever after“. Such a code change could allow the series to shock or surprise readers and viewers with a cliffhanger, which would be more in line with the themes of the story.
1. The language would be less childish
Adding profanity does not always improve dialogue, it sometimes even has the opposite effect. However, a brutal, scary and emotional story like Jujutsu Kaisen could have real added value with less childish and more direct language. After horrific events, such as Junpei's death caused by Mahito, it would make sense for Yuji to explode in rage, letting out violent language that would much better convey his feelings at this precise moment.