Shonen Jump knew it had a hit on its hands when Jujutsu Kaisen was released, but the publisher had no idea the series would turn into a full blown phenomenon. Thanks to Studio MAPPA, the supernatural story has been given a world-class anime, and its first season paved the way for a top-earning film. Along the way, the stars behind Jujutsu Kaisen have been there supporting their characters each step of the way, and ComicBook got the chance to chat with the English dub cast during Crunchyroll Expo.
It was there Kaiji Tang (Gojo), Anne Yatco (Nobara), and Adam McArthur (Yuji) sat down to unpack their favorite moments with the franchise. From celebrity crushes to shonen tropes, the dub cast touched on everything Jujutsu Kaisen fans want to know, so you can read the full interview down below:
QUESTION: First, I want to know from the three of you, what has it been like experiencing the show's popularity up to this point so far?
Kaiji Tang: It's been great. First of all, it was amazing when the movie came out – that was spectacular. I'm married to a fan of the show, so she really likes it. I have like Gojo's face a lot now in my home which is a good and bad thing, right. So like, you know, you walk into the bathroom and Gojo is there. It's been tremendous – the fans' reactions have been wonderful and I've gotten so many wonderful, positive uplifting messages from fans about this show.
Anne Yatco: I had a feeling it was gonna be a popular show because I'd already seen the manga go up. I was like, "This is good. I think people are really gonna like it." When it like exploded, I was like, "Oh, that's what it means to be that popular." I've been so overwhelmed with the fan response and everyone has been so lovely about it. My husband also loves the show and he finally caught up on the manga and now we can talk about it.
Adam McArthur: I think for an actor you want a meaty, fun project to do. That's exciting and all that stuff. But the icing on the cake is when the fans actually also like it and respond to the stuff we do. So, Jujutsu Kaisen specifically is super unique in that not only has the fan response been amazing but we're getting to enjoy meeting people who are genuinely excited about our work and the show
QUESTION: I wanted to ask you Anne about what specifically intrigues you about Nobara's character and why do you feel like she resonates with audiences regardless of their gender since she's such a fleshed-out character?
Yatco: I think what resonates with everybody is that Nobara is a person who is fully realized. She walks in already fully comfortable in who she is. I think that speaks to people because it is like she is saying and doing the things that we wish we had the courage to do on an everyday basis. So she's my hero. I wanna be like her when I grow up and be like that. And for women specifically, she is outside the usual mold of what a shown in female protagonists. I think that sparks an interest with women and girls because they realize this is what I can be. This is what we all can be. It's such an honor to be able to play a role that is so interesting. And she's so all over the place, just like a real teenage girl is. She talks like a teenage girl and she's kind of one of the guys but also very much a girl.
QUESTION: Now, Adam, what I wanna ask you is what do you feel like Yuji's biggest charm is for audiences that are really familiar with shonen heroes and feel like they have met every kind there is. What do you think Yuji brings to the table that's different?
McArthur: I mean, he is kind of a golden retriever. I really do think there's something so charming about that. His whole motivation of doing things is to make sure his friends are okay and protect the people around him. I think he's not doing it for himself himself or doing it to be the strongest person in the room. He's there trying to help others and doing it in a kind of an innocently dumb, naive ways and figuring it out as he goes which I also think is charming. And in a way, Yuji could be part of the audience, right? He's just a normal dude even though he has these crazy athletic abilities.
QUESTION: So side question, I need to know specifically, what do you think Sukuna's finger tastes like?
McArthur: Like, let's say you were on a hike and you were in the middle of the woods in like Colorado. You found stick on the ground. Ah, and it had just rained recently. You pick it up and it's like a little bit moist, and it has dirt and some moss on it. Just something earthy, really earthy and kind of like hard but also kind of soft from the rain.
QUESTION: Kaji, I want to know from you – obviously, Gojo has a mascot for the anime community in a lot of ways. It's ridiculous on TikTok, like it's so funny. I want to ask specifically, what is something about the character that has surprised you?
TANG: I think when you get kind of beneath this veneer of him being all powerful – the super OP character of the show – I think he's like the loneliest person in the show. Which is really surprising, and if you get really deep into the series, there's a reason why... That's been the most charming aspect of his character. It's not in his strengths, Gojo actually has a fairly large number of weaknesses as a person. I think that makes him a far more interesting character than if he were just some guy who was very strong.
QUESTION: When it comes to anime, there are massive hits like Demon Slayer, and there people are looking at shows like Chainsaw Man coming up. Jujutsu Kaisen can go blow to blow against these huge shows because it is that good. I want know what you three think is the special thing that separates Jujutsu Kaisen from the industry's other big titles on air.
Yatco: It's dirtier and it's messier, right? It obviously more contemporary and I think that that speaks to people as it feels closer to home in that way. I think in a way, the danger and monsters feel more present than most series in general. And as to someone who just recently caught up on the Chainsaw Man manga, I think – and this is just my opinion – Jujutsu Kaisen is more of an ensemble show than show. It's a very strong ensemble show.
QUESTION: And as my final question, it is no secret that Yuji has a crush on Jennifer Lawrence. I want to know specifically what date he takes Jennifer Lawrence on? And also, what sort of celebrity crush does Nobara and Gojo have, who are they crushing on?
McArthur: Okay. So, Yuji would ask Nobara for some advice on what he should do. He would say you're a girl, so what do girls like... and then she'd say spend a ton of money. Yuji would spend hours trying to figure out how he was going to get enough money to do whatever he wanted to on that day. They'd probably do some kind of like shopping dinner extravaganza. He would do all of these things, but like, he'd be sweating and nervous and make a total fool of himself. At the end she'd probably be like, "That was really fun. Thanks so much." And he'd like like, "Alright, bye," and run away as fast as he could. Yuji would wonder why he ran away later for the rest of his life.0comments
Tang: For Gojo, there would be an outward answer and for him, maybe an inward answer in his mind. I think he would try to appear trendy enough to be like, "Hey, did you see like this new girl on TikTok? She's got like a million followers, so she's so great." But in his personal life, he's old enough to have an old-school celebrity crush.
Yatco: I think Nobara would say that she wants a celebrity that is rich, powerful, handsome. But you know, but also young and hot like Harry Styles. But then she's secretly also really into Tessa Thompson.