Some Serious Thought Went Into Animating Jujutsu Kaisen's Domain Expansions

Out of all the shonen anime available to watch right now, "Jujutsu Kaisen" stands out thanks to its creative and visually captivating fights. Between all the blasts of cursed energy and fists thrown, there's an occasional change of pace in the anime's fights that blows all others out of the water. Domain expansions involve jujutsu sorcerers manifesting their innate domain, forming a dome and using it to trap their opponent in a space that amplifies the cursed technique of the one who created it. The high-concept move is seen as a last resort in the fights of "Jujutsu Kaisen," making it so that every time it's used in the show, the stakes are raised.

The visual elements of a domain expansion were essential to Studio MAPPA, the animation team behind the manga adaptation. Each character in the series has its own visually unique domain, making it a challenge to bring to life in the anime. Whether imagining the technique being used in a three-dimensional space or deciding how to colorize it, a lot of thought went into the difficult challenge of animating the domain expansions of "Jujutsu Kaisen."

Making each domain expansion unique

In an interview with Anime News Network, series director Sunghoo Park talked about domain expansions and the thought process that went into bringing them to life:

"What was especially difficult to create were the "Domain Expansion" scenes. Obviously, manga is drawn in black and white without motions. Therefore, we really had to think about how we would construct a three-dimensional space, like what it would look like, what color it would be, etc. This also required lots of detailed discussion with Akutami-sensei and Shueisha."

It's hard to remember that the kinetic and well-choreographed fights of "Jujutsu Kaisen" started as black-and-white illustrations on a page. Thankfully, the static drawings on a manga page lend themselves to all sorts of creative liberties. Moreover, the lack of color on manga pages also creates a need to fill in the gaps. It's easy to forget how much work goes into adequately adapting a manga. The dark reds of a domain expansion like Sukuna's differ significantly from the bright and galactic feel of Satoru Gojo's domain expansion. Every detail makes each domain expansion unique, leaving fans eager to discover what the next sorcerer's expansion will look like whenever they use them.

Bringing 'Infinite Void' to life

In a separate interview with Crunchyroll, Sunghoo Park pointed out that Gojo's domain expansion, in particular, was the most challenging:

"I mentioned this before with my answer about scenes that were fun to animate and scenes I'd like people to watch, but the domain expansions were also difficult to animate... we had to consult the author, Gege Akutami, to outline a more detailed image for us. I remember Gojo's domain expansion, 'Infinite Void,' was especially difficult to produce."

the most creatively challenging because of its need to demonstrate Gojo's limitless power. Thankfully, Studio MAPPA got series creator Gege Akutami to go into more detail about each domain expansion and its implications. "Jujutsu Kaisen" is a perfect example of staying true to the source material while also expanding on it, collaborating with the original creator to remain faithful to the spirit of the original story. The end result is a truly great anime with engaging fights that allow viewers to really take in the visual splendor of domain expansions, bringing to life a complicated but entertaining manga.