Jujutsu Kaisen Anime Expo Panel: Live Blog

It’s time for Yuji to take his rightful place at Anime Expo! After its successful first season, all eyes are on Jujutsu Kaisen following its theatrical debut and upcoming second season. Now the series is bringing special guests to the stage to celebrate our favorite jujutsu wizards. And of course, ComicBook is here to bring you all the juicy updates live!

Live Updates (9)

For the latest posts, the team gives comments on what to expect for the new season of JJK. Manabu takes the mic first, saying he wants to share everything but there’s not much he can do. It is regrettable! But the CEO says the staff are doing their best and working hard on some very interesting material. The team then addresses the fans here, telling the group as a whole their appreciation. Manabu says he’s really happy to come to the United States because it’s been a long time. They are making some really interesting material for us, and we will be back next year.

Seko then gives his own message, saying he’s never been to an event like this, but meeting everyone was great. For the second season, we are preparing a variety of things, so please wait! It happens! And finally, Hiroaki is on. The producer is happy to meet everyone here. They are happy to do this show and take on Gege-Sensei’s vision. Specifically, he’s grateful to be here, but many of those working on the project are back home. So we also want to pass on their thanks and love for the fans!

The team reveals their favorite JJK characters:

Hiroaki: Nanami
Seko: Megumi
Manabu: Toge

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Did the fan reaction to JJK influence his journey with Season 2 in any way? Manabu is the first to speak, and he says that’s not necessarily how it worked. The popularity didn’t sway the direction but helped get season two to land an order from MAPPA. He goes on to say that from the beginning, we considered the reaction of manga fans. Then we go with the anime, but now we also want to cater to overseas fans now that it’s so popular. Seko says her answer is similar. The reaction they have at the studio is to serve all the fans whether in Japan or overseas. So for season two, they’re looking forward to even flashier fights. Hiroaki chimes in with his own comment, saying he wants to keep the show exciting and make it even more so with season two.

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The team is asked about the JJK film and its reception. Manabu is the first again, saying he was very surprised. It was just a huge hit in Japan and the numbers overseas were also impressive. And regarding Seko, the writer said that when movies come out in America, we look at the box office numbers and see that it’s a huge hit. It was very surprising for him and his team. Hiroaki says he’s worked a lot with foreign teams to get a sense of the reaction there, and we were amazed to see him in person here because it encourages us. And the fact that Todo is so popular, we really like it. Hiroaki goes on to say that Todo is even popular in Japan, but the fact is even more popular than Gojo, shocked us in a good way.

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The group then sees another clip from JJK 0 where Yuta has his final battle with Geto. Manabu is the first to talk about it, saying the music and action were important here. He credits these two things for impressing fans the most. This scene wasn’t in the original script, Seko admits, but they were able to include the original and feel it works well. The writer says his team received instructions from Director Park to be impressive as a highlight, and so we were able to do it for him. And for Hiroaki, his memory of that scene was to make sure everything was balanced.

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The team is now looking into specific scenes to discuss animation. We watch Yuki at the end of the first season as Nobara takes on his own enemy. The pair go wild as we know it, so Manabu is asked about the fight in particular. The CEO says the first thing he considered in this scene was the action and the timing of the music. It was tough because that scene was from the final episode, so we wanted to end the first season with the best action possible. Seko admits as the writer that he had to work with everyone to include the best elements of this fight in terms of the dialogues from the manga. And for Hiroaki, the producer says he needs to think about how the action plays out here because the manga focuses a lot on monologues. He had to work with Seko on the extent to which this moment is moved with words rather than actions.

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A video from the director of JJK 0 and JJK season 1 is released. Director Sunghoo Park says hello and is happy to see the influence he has had overseas. The production was a huge challenge, but he’s happy to see that the great film has been loved overseas. He is thrilled to see how big Todo is with overseas fans. Fans overseas are very passionate about bromance, and Park is a huge fan himself. MAPPA also shared a special video for us. And of course, season two is confirmed for 2023.

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In Seko, she is asked how JJK is adapted from a manga to an anime storyline. One thing is that when reading manga, you have the words and the pictures. It’s quite an experience when anime arrives through movement and music. Seko says they need to think about how to fit the job. The manga may have some context that the anime doesn’t have in a certain chapter or page, so that needs to be worked around. And for Hiroaki, the producer is asked about his work. When they do JJK, the team has to think about how to make the anime look real. And from a marketing perspective, how well do we market it and to whom. You need a commercial sense and a creative sense. We are the bridge between Gege-Sensei and the fans.

When asked if they saw JJK and his popularity coming, Manabu replied that they had an expectation because we knew Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba was huge. He felt there were similarities, but Manabu was very grateful for the potential of the hit. They weren’t aiming to make it a hit, but it just became one organically. Seko agrees, saying that KNY’s success was crazy and that they thought they could do something similar given the anime market at home and abroad. The writer also notes that JJK was going to be loved overseas, but not how much. This made everyone very surprised and very happy. And of course, Hiroaki felt the same. They were aiming for a hit because JJK was a hit overseas but even that level surprised them all.

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Asked about the show’s success, the crowd goes wild. And I mean wild! The team is asked how they worked together. Manabu says he is helping the whole team come together to merge their roles into one product. As for Seko, the writer says he is involved in taking the manga and adapting the storyline there and in an episode storyline. Hiroaki is focused on working with the production committee to move the series forward. Specifically, I’m on the creative and business side of pushing the production forward. Manabu is asked how JJK is for MAPPA. He says before COVID he went overseas a lot with JJK as his title in JUMP. This impressed him a lot, and then based on the success, he worked on the TV series team to make an entire anime. And here we are.

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The panel begins with Crunchyroll’s outgoing host. The team promises to share some behind-the-scenes content and studio staff are coming out now. Manabu Otsuka, CEO of MAPPA, is here with screenwriter Hiroshi Seko. Hiroaki Matsutani, the producer of Toho, is also present. And of course, the translators receive a round of applause. Manabu is the first. He waves to the crowd saying he’s involved in the production of JJK and it’s his first overseas trip in a long time so he’s happy to see people. As for Seko, he says he’s nervous to speak in front of so many fans, but he’s ready to meet all of us. And for Hiroki, he’s here from Toho and a little nervous but finally ready to go.

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