First Listen: The music of Jujutsu Kaisen<span class="wtr-time-wrap block after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">6</span> min read</span>

No need for an intro. This post is quite lengthy as is. In case you can’t wait, though, and insist on me spoiling my own article, here you go: the music is seriously good.

The Opening Theme. This season’s earworm. “KAIKAIKITAN” by Eve

Discover more on Eve’s YouTube channel.

As per usual, Eve starts strong with interesting and intriguing music ideas. Jujutsu Kaisen is one of the anime that asks for electronic distortion both in the instruments and the vocals. Eve, who is characterized by his clean shouta-like voice and his vocaloid type vocals fits in like a glove. Some time ago, I did his profile (for the sake of ease, you can find it here too), and I mentioned that most of his tracks start off dynamically but due to their development, they turn into something that once was a good idea. It’s as if each song has a lot of good yet contradicting music phrases thrown in there but there isn’t enough time or space to elaborate on each one. Heavy, I know.

CGI for Eve's picture, black background, tilted hat sitting on 3 concentric circles, text "Eve"
Illustration for Japanese singer, Eve (source)

However, in most of his songs, I felt that there was an evident lack of development that didn’t do the initial idea justice. “Kaikaikitan” is one of his tracks that showcases his unique sound, yet features a good amount of complexity. He took it up a notch. It’s as if this OP is a more soft-core kind of electronic music which I like. I like how it falls right into the anisong genre, how it features both rougher and lighter textures and how its pre-chorus and chorus sections are dynamic enough to make it a nice track but not too much to turn it into an unnecessarily loud OP. And the visuals make it shine. Machigainai [Certainly].

Find Eve here:
Official Website // Official Webpage on Toy’s Factory // Twitter // Twitter (Personal) // Instagram // YouTube

OST first impressions. by Tsutsumi Hiroaki, Terui Yoshimasa, Okehazama Arisa

First things first. Tsutsumi Hiroaki is the composer of the Dr. Stone OST (I’m a Dr. Stone fan, that’s why he’s the first one I mentioned. Senku’s the man). Terui Yoshimasa is the guitarist of the alternative rock band haisuinonasa. Okehazama Arisa is the composer of The God of High School OST. Nice trio, don’t you think?

man, wearing black, short hair, looking at camera, poses in front of wall
Composer, guitarist Tsutsumi Hiroaki (source)

The soundtrack does an excellent job in setting the mood. Now, don’t go all “well, duh!” on me. I know that that’s what it’s supposed to do. I’ve watched quite a few anime thus far and I can quite confidently say that the worst soundtracks I’ve come across are just plain mediocre but not bad. I mean, there’s a plethora of OSTs, right? So, worst case scenario, you could just follow the footsteps of a composer who did a good job, right? Yes and no. From what I’ve gathered, perhaps the worst thing you could do with an OST is use it incorrectly. It’s better to have an average or mediocre OST and use it well rather than have something unique that doesn’t fit the visuals.

So, the Jujutsu Kaisen OST is effective as it covers a good range of emotions, settings and scenes. But first and foremost, it urges the viewer to become interested in what he’s/she’s watching from the very first scene. Then it makes a nice contrast with the light and upbeat instrumentation and phrasing of the second scene, where everything is still peaceful and stuff. And that’s nice.

female, brunette, short hair, smiling, white top, over-ear headset, GOH background
Composer Okehazama Arisa (source)

Honestly, I like both the soundtracks that rely on the big, serious and powerful sound of a full symphonic orchestra as well as the soundtracks that utilize more modern and groovy instruments and VSTs. Both approaches have different uses and create different moods. The way I see it, Jujutsu Kaisen asks for that ‘newer’, fresher and lighter approach.

But the question is what happens during the fight scenes. ‘Cause in this anime, it’s not only about the action; it’s about the mystery, the supernatural, the horror. In the first episode, the OST of the fight scene starts off smoothly, as if the composers and the director don’t want to draw attention to the music. As it is usually done, it’s like the music is ‘hiding’ behind the sound effects and the sound effects are what break the silence. So the music has the role of creating a build-up and providing the viewers with a rhythm, not just an atmosphere. Great fight scene. Great track. I can’t even describe how much I enjoy tracks like the one that starts off around the 20-minute mark. It works so well. Can’t wait for the rest 23 episodes. Oh, yis. Jujutsu Kaisen is a big one. Sh*t’ll go down.

Find Tsutsumi Hiroaki here:
Official webpage on Miracle Bus // Twitter

Find Terui Yoshimasa here:
Twitter

Find Okehazama Arisa here:
Twitter

The Ending Theme. Is this the sound of paradise? “LOST IN PARADISE” by ALI ft. AKLO

Listen to the full song and discover more on ALI’s YouTube channel.

Talk about luck, right? Their first tie-up was Beastars and now Jujutsu Kaisen? Even if they aren’t the best anime series of their corresponding seasons, they definitely are popular. Beastars announced their second season (have a look at our news article with the key visuals here) and Jujutsu Kaisen appears to be a production of high quality. Bravo, Crunchyroll. You always start off dynamically. And Alien Liberty International want that dynamic start, don’t they? I can’t blame them as they are a newly established band and are still in the process of working things out.

ALI members, 4 standing up, 3 sitting down, grayscale
Funk/jazz/rap fusion band, Alien Liberty International (source)

The way I see it, this is the best they can offer as they are now, with their new members and so on. Yet again, the visuals do this ED justice. I like how we see all those characters with chic clothing and smug expressions. I like the song; although by no means original, it’s good. I like the animation and the rough sketching style. I like the vibrant colours. So, what’s not to like?

Find Alien Liberty International (ALI) here:
Official Website // YouTube

TL;DR

  • Very promising music-wise and anime-wise.
  • Eve was a great choice as the OP artist. “Kaikaikitan” is one of his best songs.
  • High-quality OST.
  • Very good ED.

Score

9/10★

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