Jujutsu Kaisen just dropped ‘Episode of the Year’ but animator burnout might cancel rest of the season

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulNov 17, 2023 | 15:11

Jujutsu Kaisen just dropped ‘Episode of the Year’ but animator burnout might cancel rest of the season

Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 17 has left fans in awe with its intense storytelling, spectacular animation, and monumental battle sequences. But it might just be the last bit of JJK we get for a while.


The fight between Megumi and Shigemo takes a surprising turn when Sukuna, the King of Curses, intervenes to confront a powerful creature unleashed during the confrontation. 


The ensuing combat unfolds with lightning speed, as the two combatants wreak havoc on entire city blocks in Shibuya. The episode masterfully builds tension and scale, culminating in Sukuna's use of his domain expansion technique - Malevolent Shrine - resulting in a terrifying image of Shibuya in ruins.

'Episode of the Year'

The Shibuya Arc's climactic battle unfolds with a stunning fusion of dynamic movements and meticulous detail, thrusting viewers into a visceral experience that encapsulates the chaos and intensity of the massacre. 

The animation seamlessly navigates between intimate, hand-to-hand combat sequences and sweeping, city-wide devastation, evoking a sense of both peril and awe. 

With a masterful blend of fluidity and raw power, MAPPA's animators breathe life into every frame, elevating this episode to a pinnacle of artistic achievement in the world of anime, leaving audiences spellbound and clamouring for more.

Internet reacts

Social media has erupted with enthusiastic reactions to the episode. 


Fans express astonishment at the animation quality, with some declaring it among the greatest they have ever witnessed. 

The dedication of the MAPPA animators is acknowledged, with comments emphasising the evident effort, passion, and talent poured into each frame of animation. 

Some viewers even go as far as to suggest that the episode deserves a theatrical release, hailing it as the “Episode of the Year”.

However, all good things come at a cost.

Trouble at MAPPA

The deplorable conditions faced by MAPPA animators working on JJK Season 2 have become a growing concern, raising doubts about the future episodes of the highly anticipated anime.

Despite the initial success with the adaptation of the Hidden Inventory arc, the situation took a downturn after the Shibuya Incident arc, not in terms of animation quality, but due to the alarming discontent among the production staff.


Japan's overwhelmingly demanding work culture often discourages individuals from speaking out, but animators have been risking their jobs to shed light on their working conditions, primarily through X (formerly known as Twitter). 

Animators revolt

Reports indicate that animators are facing worse conditions than before, with the possibility of substantial delays in the production of this second season.

The animators' dissatisfaction is rooted in the intense workload and short production schedules imposed on them by MAPPA. Numerous industry veterans and animators have expressed concerns, suggesting genuine issues within the animation studio, particularly regarding how episode schedules are planned and executed.

Fans who enjoyed the latest episode now fear that upcoming episodes might be rushed and compromised due to the animators' struggles.

Prominent figures in the industry have taken to their social media accounts to voice their concerns, highlighting the overwhelming pressure faced by the animation team.

Animator Honehone played a pivotal role in bringing attention to the issue, stating that higher-ups at the company prioritise the end result over improving staff conditions. 

Director and Storyboard Arai Kazuto revealed that the staff had requested a delay, but it was denied, and episodes were being animated mere hours before airing, exposing the flawed production planning.

Anxiety among animators is palpable, as evidenced by tweets from Barikios, who received "bad news" about the schedule, and Amphibi, who simply stated "Owarida" (It's over). 

Episode directors and animators, like Ookubo Shunsuke, have resorted to expressing their frustration through concerning self-deprecating images and artwork, reflecting the defeated state of the animators at MAPPA.

The future

The recent meltdown has raised serious questions about the future of JJK Season 2.

The reputation of the studio, tarnished by the ongoing issues with JJK Season 2, is expected to linger for some time, casting a shadow over the industry's treatment of its animators. The possibility of further delays and even the cancellation of subsequent episodes is now a real concern for fans and industry observers alike.

Last updated: November 17, 2023 | 15:13
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy