Mon. May 23rd, 2022

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is out March 18 in theaters via Crunchyroll and serves as a prequel to the wildly popular anime series, Jujutsu Kaisen. It introduces Yuta Okkotsu, a new student at Tokyo Jujutsu High School as he struggles with his curse, and sees many regulars from the anime show as well.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 follows Yuta Okkotsu, a nervous high school student, who enrolls in the mysterious Tokyo Jujutsu High School under the guidance of Satoru Gojo after being haunted by the curse of his childhood friend,” says the synopsis. The film is based on Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (Jump Comics/Shueisha), a prequel manga to the smash hit supernatural adventure series from Gege Akutami.”

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Jujutsu Kaisen 0 voice actors Kaiji Tang and Lex Lang about their roles as Satoru Gojo and Suguru Geto in the film.

Tyler Treese: Kaiji, at the beginning of the film, Yuta has really shut himself out and Gojo recruits him. Can you speak to just the potential that Gojo sees in Yuta and his real knack for being a mentor that we’ve seen throughout the series?

Kaiji Tang: Well, right off the bat, we know that Gojo has access to that crazy eye jutsu he has, right? The inborn eye power. So he would very obviously be able to tell that Yuta has this incredible potential within him to accomplish a lot of stuff. So I’m sure that just having him executed was just off the table for him right off the bat. [laughs] So, whether or not you consider him a good teacher is neither here nor there. He got a certain way with people, right? He’s great at recruiting people onto his side. He’s charismatic in a certain way, right? So, I felt like even though he has a very unique style of education, he’s able to sort of lead these younger kids into becoming better versions of themselves and that he very much cares about these kids and for them to be able to continue to be kids for as long as possible. I think that speaks to his character beyond all the weird “isms” he has and the arrogance. I think, deep down, because we see that he cares about these kids so much, I think it really speaks to his character. And I think the way Yuta develops throughout the film kind of shows that his method, however weird, kind of works, more or less.

Lex, I thought Suguru was such an interesting villain because, at the core, this conflict is really a difference of ideals and how these sorcerers play into here. What have you found most interesting about playing him and what really connects you to this character?

Lex Lang: Well, I’ve heard the term villain a few times and I don’t necessarily think of him as a villain. I think of him more as someone who has some flawed characteristics, whose ideology was put to the test and he became extremely disappointed as a result. What connects me to that is I’m just like any other human, we all have our own flaws. I believe that he has good intentions in general. But this thing that we can’t really talk about that happened as part of his story really changed him on a deep level. So he decided at that point that humanity’s next stage of evolution was really gonna be sorcerers only. And so, I think he relegated regular humans to having been valued for only two things, money and curses basically. And so, I think that as far as a character goes, he has a lot of depth and that as an actor allows me to connect to it on a lot of levels.

Kaiji, Gojo has this essence of cool about him. How long did it take you to really find your voice for him to really get that personality across?

Tang: I did a lot of homework on Gojo before, before the show started. So, I watched as much as I could, I read as much as I could, and props to the manga artist, he was able to portray Gojo’s personality so clearly in the manga and the storytelling was so on point that it made my job for doing homework and research that much easier. Every illustration of the character is so vibrant, and every illustration of both Suguru and Gojo were so expressive that it helps you in a sense where it’s like the manga artist is there to show you almost like a second director. It’s like, look, this is the character. This is how he behaves in a very clear and concise way. To me as an actor can just basically take a look at several issues of the manga and get his personality down pretty well. He’s just such a fun character that it’s a joy. When the character is really a joy to play, I feel like it makes the actor better, too. So, I love everything about his personality. I love how, even though he’s so strong, he’s got so many human weaknesses. I think that’s the most interesting thing about Gojo.

Lex, there’s this brutal scene where you let this businessman die from his curse. Are you ever surprised at just how wild the deaths can be in the show?

Lang: Well, I love the, the combination of horror in the show, besides the fighting and all of the other stuff that’s going on. I love the fact that they just kind of throw that little dash of horror in the animation, in the music, in the relationships, there’s a lot of that that goes on as an undercurrent. It’s not necessarily surprising, but it is something that you take note of. It makes you feel something while you’re watching it, and so I love that about it.

Kaiji, Gojo has been such a fan-favorite character from the start. Can you talk about how the support from the fandom has been? You’ve played some other great roles like Ichiban in the Yakuza series that are just so beloved, so how does that compare to some of the other roles?

Tang: Well, as for Ichiban, he’s a very different character in that he has so much heart. He’s almost all 100% earnestness and heart, whereas in Gojo, he hides a lot of stuff, you know? There’s a lot of darkness in him that he has to cover up, but as for the fan reaction, it’s been incredible. Every con I go to, there’s a lot of Gojo fans and I’ve been gifted so much, like really beautiful fan art. That’s been my favorite part. I love fanart. Though, I will say now that the show has happened, people have gifted me so much Gojo fanart that I have to look at his face, like everywhere. Like every time I step out of this door, I just see his face. And I don’t know how to feel about that, but I’m slowly getting accustomed to life, just like every three seconds I turn and I see Gojo’s everywhere in my house. It’s been interesting.

Lex, fans are just so excited to see the Night Parade of a Hundred Demons animated, and it looks so fantastic in this film. Just seeing it as such a spectacle onscreen as this major piece of the movie, how satisfying is it when you see this animation and this whole project just come together like that?

Lang: Well, it’s extremely satisfying. It’s extremely satisfying. I mean, Suguru is a very powerful sorcerer and so he’s got the curse manipulation technique where he can just, all the curses are at his disposal at any time. And so it’s really amazing to see when he decides to let them loose, just how they arise and are part of his attacks and everything. It’s really very cool. I mean, I went as far as going in, not frame-by-frame, but like an ultra slow-motion to watch some of the curses doing their thing and rising up from behind them on a few of the scenes. And it’s really spectacularly done. I mean, like I said before, it makes you feel something when you’re watching these scenes. And I think that’s really a great achievement on behalf of the animators and the music supervisors and the director of the animation.

Tang: I can’t wait to watch it in theaters. It’s going to be so good. Surround sound, like a big open space, the soundtrack with the action scenes. Awesome.

Lang: Yeah. The colors, the sound, and everything.

It’s definitely going to be an experience in theaters. My last question, Kaiji, Gojo has shown so many powers so far and it kind of feels like he can do anything he applies himself to. Do you see a limit on his potential? Or how do you view his powers?

Tang: Well, I’ve had this conversation with my wife, every once in a while: Who can beat up Gojo in anime? So we’ve determined that Gojo, the limits to his powers are that I feel like he can’t live in space, right? So if you blow up the planet he’s standing on, you’re going to defeat Gojo. But, in any other lesser case, it’s really hard to think of a way to. I mean, his power is called limitless for a reason. He’s using calculus against people, it’s not fair, you know? So I’m…I really am trying to think of something that, within the scope of the world that we inhabit, right? So the Jujutsu Kaisen world, I’m thinking of something other than extremely niche situations where he would have a limit on his power. And I think really, the only weakness he has is that he’s still more or less just a person, right? He’s an arrogant person. He’s, what’s the word? Spoiled. He’s a spoiled kid, but he still has a heart. He still cares for people. And that is something that is inherently leverageable if you are a bad enough person. So yeah. I feel like power-wise, it’s very difficult to find a limit on Gojo, but as a person, he has any sort of weaknesses, any of us would have.

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