"Premature Death" arguably stands as one of the best episodes from "Jujutsu Kaisen". Overflowing with artistic mastery and resonating emotional undertones, it bids adieu to the "Hidden Inventory" arc. While the episode subtly hints at intense violence and profound loss, it tactfully veers away from graphic visuals, focusing instead on the emotional aftermath. It poignantly showcases the evolution of Gojo and Geto's friendship — one steeped in promise but torn apart by tragedy.
The opening sequence demands a revisit. It's an emotional rollercoaster, capturing the highs of Gojo and Geto’s golden days only to shatter that image with the realization that those moments are now buried in the sands of time. Geto's journey from innocent days to embracing extreme ideologies presents a somber reflection on choices and consequences.
Yuki’s insights on cursed spirits are pivotal to understanding the broader universe. She unveils that cursed spirits emerge from unchecked human energy. This energy accumulation is inevitable unless humans master control over it. The dark undertone of Yuki’s message suggests a grim solution: eliminating non-sorcerers. As the storm looms large and rain lashes against the window, Geto’s internal dilemma takes center stage.
"Premature Death" brilliantly painted Geto’s downward spiral, especially post-Riko’s demise. The consistent exposure to curses leaves him drained, a shadow of his former self. His intent to protect non-sorcerers now ironically sees them as the very root of sorcerer suffering.
The episode's animation is nothing short of a masterpiece. Atsushi Nakagawa's direction and Shōta Goshozono's storyboard effectively visualize Geto's downfall through nuanced details — be it the dreariness post a taxing exorcism or the hauntingly beautiful scene post his horrifying act against the villagers. The stark contrast in his character is further emphasized when he confronts the Star Religious Group, highlighting his newfound detachment and disdain for humanity.
Yet, this episode isn't solely about Geto. Gojo's journey, characterized by his innate abilities, is equally compelling. His nuanced reactions, be it the subtle twitch under his eye or the intensity of his grip when he learns of Geto’s actions, underline a character that’s grappling with disbelief and heartbreak. The dynamics between the two, especially in the crowd scene, mirror a pivotal moment from the previous season. Here, ideologies clash, and personal emotions take a backseat.
The episode's soundtrack, beautifully composed by Yoshimasa Terui, wraps the narrative in a hauntingly melancholic aura. The confrontation between the two friends is more than just a divergence of paths; it signifies an end of an era and the shattering of shared dreams.
Concluding with Gojo’s poignant memory, jolted by the present reality with Yuji, Megumi, and Nobara, the episode ties together the past with the promise of the future. It emphasizes that while the past may cast a long shadow, there’s always hope, change, and possibility around the corner.