Jujutsu Kaisen, the anime, is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Hokuto Sadamoto, a MAPPA Studio animator, came under fire for episode 14 of Jujutsu Kaisen’s second season.
Now, complaints about the episode initially confused me because I thought the bathroom fight between Yuji and Choso was breathtaking. Choso wanted to avenge the deaths of his younger brothers at Yuji’s hands (season 1). Meanwhile, Yuji was on a mission to retrieve Gojo from Geto’s grip before the worst happened.
Gege Akutami, the manga’s author, deserves much praise for the choreography, but the animation elevated Gege’s material. Those camera angles were insane. So, I thought the anime community was losing its mind. For context, I saw the Hokuto Sadamoto discussions a week ago. I had no idea episode 14 was out so, I assumed people had attacked Sadamoto for episode 13.
After watching episode 14 a few hours ago, I still don’t get what all the fuss was about. The art and animation are perfectly acceptable. I suppose you can blame MAPPA studio for delivering such stellar animation for 13 consecutive episodes that an average episode like 14 seems almost appalling in comparison.
But if you judge it in a vacuum, episode 14 is fine. Of course, that did not stop the anime community from harassing Sadamoto, who directed and storyboarded the episode. It does not take much to rile the anime community up. People will always complain. But then I saw a post from Hokuto Sadamoto in which he describes himself as trash because he released an episode he was just as dissatisfied with as the fans.
The man had a strict deadline, so he did his best despite the time limitations. Then he posted: “I’ll make up for it in my future work. Until then, I will live my life as the worst animator who has ruined a masterpiece.”
That was after he said to the anime community: “I’m just...I want you to leave me alone.” Those comments seemed a bit melodramatic, but the anime community had spent days harassing this man online.
This is what the internet does. It sends death threats to artists and tells them to commit suicide because they fell short of our expectations. Think about the immaturity it takes to rip Sadamoto’s work to shreds in a review before tagging him in the social media post.
I saw some backlash against Sadomoto’s comments. Some people argued that, maybe, he’s a little too thin-skinned. So what? Here’s the thing; everyone is thin-skinned. Some of you just scoffed. Why?
Because insults roll off you like water. You think you can take every form of abuse online strangers could ever throw at you, no matter how
vile. But that is not true. You can take those insults because they never hit you where it hurts.
Sadomoto can probably relate to you. He can take the abuse in any other area. But the man pours his blood, sweat, and tears into his work. If you have ever exposed your artistic endeavors for the public to critique and consume, you will understand why Sadomoto was unwilling to let the insults lie.
Surprisingly, most of the people who stomped on Sadamoto’s spirit did so unintentionally. How often do you leave a scathing remark about your favourite artist, author, or celebrity online without stopping to wonder what they feel when they see your comments?
Yes, it is not your job to worry about other people’s delicate sensibilities. But maybe the internet would be a more inviting place if we all showed more compassion.