The hellish production schedule for JJK Season 2 has been documented quite well over the past week, with numerous animators speaking up about the dire situation they were working under at MAPPA.
Despite that, Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 episode 17 which aired on Nov 16, 2023 was hailed as a masterclass by the fans of the series, as they thanked the staff members who had given their all to animate the spectacle.
Now, a recent post by animator Enrico Nobili, who worked as an animation director and emergency ‘sakkan’ (correcting key animation and drawings) on the episode, revealed that JJK S2 episode 17 which aired, was not a completed version.
Because of the tight schedule, the staff could only complete 30 percent of their intended vision for the episode.
“Episode #17 of JJK S2 is not finished. I am happy so many people are liking It, but I wished the staff was able to finish it. As it stands right now, what is present on screen is 30% of the intended [vision],” the animator wrote in their post on X (formerly twitter).
Nobili expressed their frustration at not having enough time to complete more scenes. The animator added that they were not able to enjoy the work, as there were too many errors in the episode.
“I am so frustrated over it. I wish there was more time to finish more scenes…as it stands right now, there are too many errors for me to find any enjoyment in the episode,” the post read.
Nobili worked on their cuts until a day before the episode aired.
“I worked on those cuts until yesterday…I wished I was faster and could have done a better job…thank you for the kind messages…”
J-Mulli, a key animator who worked on multiple episodes of JJK Season 2, also chimed in saying that episode 17 should never have aired the way it was. He claimed that the conditions under which the production proceeded were extremely impossible, and yet the staff pulled it off.
The animator praised the heart of the staff who worked on episode 17, even if it was “flawed and extremely unfinished with tons of ideas that were never fully realized.”
This reveal by the staff members came as quite a shock to the viewers and fans of the anime, who had thoroughly enjoyed the latest offering of the series.
While animator Sota Shigetsugu, who worked on the episode, praised the incredible experience he had while working the anime, he gave a better context into the production timeline of the recent episode. According to his post, he was working on the animation of episode 17, and he came to MAPPA office everyday for two months.
“I was working on this around Episode 41. I came to MAPPA every day for about two months, and it was incredibly enjoyable! Thanks to Mr. Tsuchigami’s excellent corrections, it turned out great. Thanks to everyone who took care of me! Truly, thank you very much!”
Speaking of Shigetsugu’s work on One Piece, he had once revealed that he storyboarded and worked on an action sequence of three and half minutes, for half a year. Shigetsugu was currently working on parts of the Mahoraga vs Sukuna fight in the recent episode, an action sequence that was atleast 30 seconds long.
The timeline for which Nobili was working on episode 17 is not specified. However, the animator had also worked on episode 12 of season 2 as an emergency sakkan, and they had finished their work in “slightly more than three days”.
Dorian Coulon, who also worked as a key animator on the episode, said that he was not satisfied with what he did. He apologized for not being able to manage to do his cut, probably because of the tight schedule, but added that he was very honored to work along with the likes of Itsuki Tsuchigami.
Tsuchigami on his side, once again, talked about the schedule of the anime being stretched too thin, because of which the work couldn’t proceed smoothly and that it ended up causing inconveniences to various parties involved. He added that he would consider working on the future instalments of Jujutsu Kaisen if the production schedule was healthy.
“Although there was a production period, the work didn’t proceed smoothly, and we ended up causing inconvenience to various parties at the last minute. I apologize for that. The efforts of the production side towards the completion in the final stages were tremendous,” Tsuchigami wrote in his post.
“As of now, my involvement in the work for Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 will end with this. If there are further continuations, I hope to be involved if the production system is healthier, and if I have the opportunity to be approached. That’s what I am considering,” he added.
Vincent Chansard, another prominent animator who worked on JJK S2 episode 17, said that this was the last time he would be working with MAPPA studio. He was apprehensive of working with them since a couple of years ago, however, he was convinced to change his mind by the current episode director Hakuyu Go.
“2 years ago i said [I] would never work for [MAPPA] again. Hakuyu Go-san was the only one who made me reconsider, but this was the last time,” the animator mentioned in his tweet.
Based on the recent staff outbursts and the information about the incomplete episode, fans are worried that the anime’s quality is undeniably set to suffer in the upcoming episodes, starting from next one. A delay of Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2, as many viewers are calling for, however, is not on the cards apparently.
Jujutsu Kaisen season 2 episode 17 was storyboarded and directed by Hakuyu Go, Itsuki Tsuchigami and Harumi Yamazaki.
Jujutsu Kaisen season 2 cour 1 aired from July 6 to Aug 3, 2023, and cour 2 started airing on Aug 31, 2023.
Tatsuya Kitani performed the opening theme song “Ao no Sumika”, while Soushi Sakiyama performed the ending theme song “Akari”.
Jujutsu Kaisen is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Gege Akutami. It is currently being serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump since March 2018. The Jujutsu Kaisen chapters are collected and published by Shueisha, with 23 tankobon volumes released as of July 2023.
Season 1 of the anime adaptation by MAPPA aired from October 2020 to March 2021.
A movie adaptation of Jujutsu Kaisen prequel, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 premiered in Japan in December 2021.