What is going on with the ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ season 2 production?

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If you’re an avid follower of Jujutsu Kaisen and have been eagerly awaiting the weekly releases of its second season, you’ve likely encountered the growing concerns surrounding the animation quality attributed to issues within studio MAPPA. It’s crucial to emphasize that the blame doesn’t fall on the shoulders of the animators responsible for the actual production. Instead, the root cause lies within the upper echelons of MAPPA, specifically CEO Manabu Otsuka and external entities like Toho and Shueisha, who exert significant influence as producers and sponsors.

The problems stem from a systemic issue of unrealistic demands imposed on the animators. Imagine being an exceptionally talented artist handed inadequate tools and pressured to create a masterpiece within an unreasonably short timeframe—it’s an uphill battle. Despite these constraints, the animators, until episode 17, displayed incredible dedication and talent, producing captivating animation sequences. One can’t help but ponder what these immensely skilled professionals could achieve given a nurturing work environment instead of one that drains their creativity and spirit.

The troubles at MAPPA didn’t surface overnight; signs of discontent among animators have been surfacing for some time. The production of Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 unraveled due to a pursuit of ambitious goals without maintaining adequate work standards. MAPPA’s focus shifted toward churning out content in record time, using achievements like the swift completion of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 in just four months as validation, regardless of the toll on the individuals involved.

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This exploitative environment largely targets younger animators eager to establish themselves in the industry. These individuals, driven by aspirations to build their portfolios, willingly push themselves to extremes, sacrificing their well-being for their craft. The visually stunning output of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 wasn’t a result of ample time but rather the relentless dedication of these individuals, a dedication taken advantage of by MAPPA.

The internal chaos at MAPPA becomes evident when compared to studios like Kyoto Animation. For instance, while Kyoto Animation’s Violet Evergarden had 10 animation directors, MAPPA’s Hell’s Paradise boasted over 70—a glaring indicator of the disorder behind the scenes at MAPPA, particularly preceding the intense scrutiny during the airing of Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2.

The mismanagement of timeframes further exacerbated the situation. Instead of commencing work on Jujutsu Kaisen’s second season promptly after the first season’s conclusion, MAPPA diverted resources to other high-profile projects, resulting in overworked and discontented staff.

Many professionals involved in Season 2’s production have expressed their frustrations online, although some have subsequently deleted their candid remarks, likely due to fear of repercussions in an industry where speaking out is often discouraged. The discontent among staff reached a point where MAPPA reportedly required its employees to sign NDAs.

The pressure to deliver episodes on schedule stems from financial interests, affecting broadcast schedules, marketing strategies, and merchandise releases. However, this relentless pursuit of profit disregards the well-being of the staff and compromises the potential quality of the animation.

MAPPA’s CEO has openly prioritized financial gains over cultivating a conducive work environment, reflecting a concerning trend within the industry. The recent delays in episode releases hint at a compromise made by executives, maintaining broadcast times in Japan while pushing incomplete content onto streaming platforms.

Ultimately, the true casualties in this scenario are the diligent individuals sacrificing their health and well-being to produce content under intolerable conditions, leaving fans longing for a resolution that respects both the animators and the quality of the series.