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Jujutsu Kaisen in English Meaning Explained

While many popular manga and anime properties, like Dragon Ball and Cowboy Bebop, have anglicized titles that don’t require translation for English-language audiences, one major exception is Jujutsu Kaisen. Gege Akutami’s best-selling manga series and its hit anime adaptation have retained the Japanese title for international audiences.

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Jujutsu Kaisen Meaning in English Explained

Megumi, Nobara, and Yuji are surprised. This image is part of an article about the English meaning of Jujutsu Kaisen.
Screenshot via Crunchyroll

The term Jujutsu Kaisen features two compound words in Japanese, which must be broken down into their individual components for a more accurate translation. “Ju” means flexible or yielding, while “jutsu” means technique or art. When combined, the term means flexible technique, which is the Japanese term for sorcery.

Kaisen is something of a made-up term devised by Akutami, derived from combining two different Kanji characters to create its own meaning that suits the story’s premise. In Kanji, “Kai” means to rotate or move in a cycle, whereas  “Sen” means battle. When combined, Kaisen roughly translates as circular or never-ending battle.

This means that, altogether, Jujutsu Kaisen can mean sorcery battle, but, more specifically and accurately, a never-ending sorcery battle that the Jujutsu Sorcerers and curses find themselves embroiled in. This is certainly a bit of a somber or fatalistic term to underscore the story, but as the stakes increase and losses become more palpable as Jujutsu Kaisen progresses, it certainly fits in with the overarching themes of the story itself.

Related: Toji’s Heavenly Restriction In Jujutsu Kaisen Explained

What Is Jujutsu Kaisen About?

Jujutsu Kaisen follows a group of magic users, known as Jujutsu Sorcerers, who battle sentient evil curses that feed on negative emotions from the unsuspecting public. High schooler Yuji Itadori is bonded to the malevolent curse, Ryomen Sukuna, but manages to channel its powers to help the Jujutsu Sorcerers battle other curses, who in turn help Yuji hone his developing supernatural abilities.

And that’s the meaning of Jujutsu Kaisen in English.

Jujutsu Kaisen is streaming now on Crunchyroll.


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Sam Stone
Sam Stone is a longtime entertainment news journalist and columnist, covering everything from movies and television to video games and comic books. Sam also has bylines at CBR, Popverse, Den of Geek, GamesRadar+, and Marvel.com. He's been a freelance contributor with The Escapist since October 2023, during which time he's covered Mortal Kombat, Star Trek, and various other properties. Sam remembers what restful sleep was. But that was a long time ago.