As we collectively bid 2020 a much-welcomed goodbye, there was still a slate of fantastic anime we were able to enjoy. From the anticipated return of Re: Zero to WEBTOON's Tower of God adaptation, few garnered as much buzz as relative newcomer Jujutsu Kaisen. The supernatural horror series found itself near the top of Crunchyroll's most popular anime list, beating out some major titles as it became one of the platform's most-viewed new releases.
According to Crunchyroll's end of year infographics, Jujutsu Kaisen was a fan favorite in 71 counties and territories -- more than Boruto: Naruto Next Generations (32 countries and territories) and My Hero Academia (23 countries and territories) combined. While this doesn't include TV ratings for Japan, considering it's a Crunchyroll exclusive, those figures paint a fairly definitive picture of the series' popularity around the world.
Jujutsu Kaisen Tops Crunchyroll's North American Chart
Jujutsu Kaisen, based on the popular manga by Gege Akutami, began in October and is currently only partway through its inaugural season. This impressive run -- though only just starting -- was enough to top Boruto, which has been airing all year, and the ever-popular My Hero Academia that has four seasons to its name. With the weight of animation studio MAPPA and well-received source material behind it, Jujutsu Kaisen has the opportunity to make a lasting name for itself among the shonen greats.
The dark series follows Yuuji Itadori, who becomes the vessel for the infamous Sukuna after swallowing a cursed, rotting finger. While this ultimately marks Itadori for death, now enveloped into a world of sinister Curses and the Jujutsu Sorcerers who fight them, he joins Jujutsu Tech with Megumi Fushiguro, Nobara Kugisaki and Satoru Gojou. Regardless of his own fate, Itadori is determined to use his newfound Cursed Energy to help people have a chance at a proper death.
Itadori's Dark Clash Against Curses
While the monster-slaying subgenre has been a staple in Weekly Shonen Jump for some time, its recent renaissance and surge in mass popularity are evident from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and Chainsaw Man's acclaim. These action-packed adventures feature darker, horror elements as they excitedly wade into the macabre. Heroes like Itadori come up against various creepy creatures who aren't afraid to rip your heart out -- literally.
With just under half of Jujutsu Kaisen Season 1 remaining, fans should continue to be excited about where this series can go. Given how well it's already stacking up against other anime that released before it and are already established, the Crunchyroll exclusive set a solid precedent with impressive, widespread global viewership. While not getting too carried away, the speculation that Gege Akutami's Jujutsu Kaisen could one day reach the heights of Jump's Big 3 might be justified as its excellent anime adaptation continues.
Jujutsu Kaisen's first season began October 2nd. New episodes premiere every Friday on Crunchyroll.