Jujutsu Kaisen stands out as one of the top action/adventure anime series currently airing, rivaling popular titles like Demon Slayer and My Hero Academia. The anime excels in multiple aspects, from its captivating main characters to its captivating blend of horror, fantasy, and comedy. With the arrival of Season 2, Jujutsu Kaisen introduces a new element into the mix: puzzles.

While most encounters with curses in Jujutsu Kaisen involve intense shonen-style battles, such as Yuji and Aoi's clashes with Hanami or Kento Nanami's fierce confrontation with Mahito, Season 2 establishes that violence alone isn't always the solution. In the first episode, teenage Utahime Iori and Mei Mei showcase their intellectual prowess by outsmarting a puzzle trap, ultimately saving the day. This addition of puzzles not only distinguishes Jujutsu Kaisen's second season from other shonen series but also sets it apart from its own first season, adding a fresh and intriguing dimension to the storyline.


Puzzles & Traps Enhance Jujutsu Kaisen's Combat System

JJK S2's Puzzles & Tricks Make Combat More Interesting_0

The inaugural season of Jujutsu Kaisen successfully introduced the fundamental aspects of its dark fantasy combat system. Curses, born from the negative emotions of humanity, coexist with curse sorcerers like Yuji Itadori and Nobara. These sorcerers harness their own negative emotions to generate curse energy, engaging in battle against the curses. Typically, curses haunt specific buildings or locations and rely on sheer force to defend themselves or claim victims. In response, sorcerers retaliate with equal aggression. While the fight scenes in Jujutsu Kaisen have been notably imaginative and memorable thus far, such as Satoru Gojo's utilization of his infinity domain expansion against Jogo, these confrontations have mostly centered on raw power, lacking the element of puzzles or strategic maneuvers. However, Season 2 is set to change this dynamic.

Undoubtedly, Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 will continue to feature thrilling combat sequences similar to the aforementioned examples, as hinted by the climactic sequence in Episode 1. Nevertheless, the opening scene of the season effectively introduces a fresh dimension to Jujutsu Kaisen's combat system, challenging Utahime and Mei Mei not through sheer strength but through a battle of intellect. In a flashback sequence, a teenage Utahime Iori and Mei Mei enter a haunted mansion to confront a local curse. They quickly realize that the corridors are distorting, making it impossible to escape even after walking for hours. Utahime employs her keen observational skills and clever thinking to decipher the curse's trap. Together, she and Mei Mei dash in opposite directions, exerting strain on the curse's trap until it shatters, freeing them both. Mei Mei commends Utahime for her astute mental acumen and encourages its further development. Neither of them even considers using force to escape because it proves unnecessary in their situation.


This was a first for Jujutsu Kaisen, and ideally, Season 2 will keep that up, making the combat system feel fresher, deeper, and more unpredictable than "my domain expansion is better than yours." Sheer force has its place here, but it may feel repetitive or predictable after a point, and clever traps, puzzles, and tricks will keep both the main characters and viewers on their toes. Other shonen action series use puzzles and traps to great effect too, challenging the heroes to use their wits and find resourceful solutions.

For example, the eternity devil in Chainsaw Man trapped Denji's team on the 8th floor of a hotel, and the heroes used both their wits and sheer force to escape. Stand battles in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure are also famous for emphasizing resourceful, creative tactics over brute force at least half the time, setting a new standard for shonen action. Now, Jujutsu Kaisen may do the same, and it's off to a promising start.


Puzzles in Jujutsu Kaisen May Backfire On Curses

JJK S2's Puzzles & Tricks Make Combat More Interesting_1

Curses in Jujutsu Kaisen are supernatural creatures with all kinds of powers and abilities at their disposal, and they can confuse, capture, or kill humans in all kinds of ways, including mentally. Jujutsu Kaisen's new episode added a new dimension to human vs curse combat, with curses taking a cue from the eternity devil and trapping humans both mentally and physically in their traps. This psychological warfare can be highly effective, such as with the dander, panic-prone Kobeni, or the decidedly non-clever Power in Chainsaw Man; likewise, some Jujutsu Kaisen characters would also struggle with that infinite hallway trap. Such traps and puzzles could induce despair and fear in unprepared sorcerers, destroying their will to fight and sparing the curse of the danger that fighting that sorcerer in person.

However, these puzzles and tricks can have consequences for both sides involved. Firstly, certain sorcerers, like Utahime and Mei Mei, possess the intellect and composure to navigate and overcome such puzzles independently, unlike Kobeni from Chainsaw Man. This ensures their survival. However, for curses that lay these traps, the outcome could potentially be even worse. Jujutsu sorcerers draw upon their negative emotions, including personal experiences, to fuel their curse abilities. But it's not just their memories that empower them; they can also draw strength from their immediate surroundings. If a puzzle-oriented curse ensnares a sorcerer in a seemingly hopeless situation, aiming to wage psychological warfare, that sorcerer may tap into their frustration, fear, and despair to enhance their sorcery.

The key lies in harnessing those negative emotions without succumbing to them, and some sorcerers are better equipped to accomplish this than others. Suppose curses employ infinite hallways or other tricks against sorcerers. In that case, they must exercise discretion and carefully select their targets, as certain sorcerers will channel their frustration and unleash incredibly potent techniques to forcefully break free. Judging from the story of Jujutsu Kaisen thus far, it is likely that determined heroes like the protagonist, Yuji Itadori, and his tsundere companion, Nobara Kugisaki, would undoubtedly utilize their frustration and fear within a puzzle to blast their way out. However, other characters such as Maki Zenin, who lacks her own curse energy, or a less aggressive individual like Yuta Okkotsu, would struggle and may be prone to surrender. As curses are intrinsically tied to the human mind, being born from emotions, they must play to their strengths and target a sorcerer's psyche effectively, or their efforts will backfire.