Jujutsu Kaisen 0 took its time coming to the United States, but its arrival has come at long last. The movie made an impressive splash in theaters during its opening weekend, and fans were quick to scope out the much-loved film. After all, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 gives some major background info on the main anime, and Gojo’s arc is one fans cannot afford to miss. After all, the prequel contextualizes all the drama between Gojo and Geto fans want to know, so ComicBook.com made sure to ask about it during our recent chat with the movie’s English cast.
You can check out our full interview with Kaiji Tang (Gojo) and Lex Lang (Geto) below:
ComicBook: I have to say you’ve probably heard this a million times, but Gojo literally is the coolest sounding character. He’s just so freaking cool. And obviously Jujutsu Kaisen 0, he’s a little younger here, not too much but he still has that same gravity to him. However, in this film, we get a little bit of a more nuanced approach to his character given his relationship with Geto as we’ve seen. I wanted to ask you, did you face any challenges in voicing Gojo in Jujutsu Kaisen 0, given all of the extra relationship drama that was happening in the film that ultimately leads to a rather upsetting ending?
Kaiji Tang: “Yeah. So like you said, in this movie we get to see a lot more of that relationship with Geto that we really didn’t get to spend any time with in the original first season of the show. I think it’s of the utmost importance to show the relationship between these two characters because of how many story plots that happened out of their relationship. Almost everything in the show stems from this breakup almost, between these two men. It’s a really great look, especially into Suguru’s character, because if you are just a anime watcher, you may not have known where his character was coming from when you were watching him in the series. But now with this film, there’s so many flashbacks and little hints to his ideology and what happened to him in the past that made him change almost 180 to the person he is today.
And all of that, I get to experience as an actor almost for the first time because I didn’t get to interact with him the first season. It’s been a really big blessing. It’s a great perspective shift as an actor to have that additional information. So I wouldn’t call it a challenge. I would say, I got to do this and it was great. And now Gojo has a much more filled out sort of personality in my mind, with a more filled out history, a more filled out relationship index with other people. Yeah, this entire movie was a very useful as an actor.”
CB: You just said Gojo’s relationship index has expanded. And we have obviously the Gojo, Geto relationship and breakup that is heartbreaking. But we also have the relationship that’s just as important between Gojo and Yuta. How do you feel Gojo’s relationship with Yuta in Jujutsu Kaisen 0 kind of helps set him up for Yuji’s arrival in season one?
Tang: Yuta obviously is such a crazy powerful being and it speaks to Gojo’s comfort as a “teacher”. I say quote unquote, because he’s not your traditional instructor.eah. But it speaks to his ability to take people under his wing that he saw something like that. And I was like, “Hmm. Yeah, I could do that.” I feel like when Yuji came onto the scene, even though his storyline is so important to the Jujitsu Kaisen world, I almost feel like Yuji is almost a breath of fresh air and a little easier to handle than Yuta was. So all this practice with Yuta and all this stuff with Rika, I’m sure gave him enough experience to handle Yuji and his particular set of nuances, shall we say with Sukuna’s fingers and all that stuff.
So yeah I think as an event, it was very helpful to teach him how to… I hesitate to say, teach him because he already seems very comfortable in the position. So I guess more so reinforce his ability to wrangle these crazy McGuffin teens into some sort of growth and help steer or them into a brighter, better path for themselves. Yeah.
CB: Geto feels completely new in this film, even to fans of season one in Jujutsu Kaisen 0. I wanted to ask you, what were some of your highlights bringing this kind of version of Gato to life in Jujutsu Kaisen 0? And did you have any challenges along the way?
Lex Lang: Well, he definitely has more life to him. He’s more of like the authentic Gato in this. You get to really see him from his origins more or less, when he was at Tokyo Jujitsu High with Gojo. And you get to see how he had such a good friend in Gojo and how they had this relationship and they bounce ideas off of each other. And they were going through life together and then I won’t do a spoiler, but then the film reveals that a couple of things happen. It completely changed his ideology about the world and about sorcerers and non-sorcerers. And I think what happens is he becomes guarded and he loses faith and he starts to put up a lot of walls in front of what was more authentic.
So what happens is you get to see a side of him that is inauthentic and you get to see a side of him that is rooted in more evil deeds, let’s say. But I think behind all those walls, and this is why as the film gets into the third act of the film or whatever, it’s moving because you can see behind those walls that he’s put up himself is still his heart. He still has a heart and he still has a connection to Gojo. And so through it all, that hasn’t disappeared. It’s just been masked by so many walls of bitterness and anger and disappointment and all that. So as long as I approached it with that knowledge, then I think the scenes worked out beautifully because they were written well and the animation was beautiful and the music supported it so well.
I think rather than it being a challenge, it was like a breath of fresh air, a door I could go through where I could express all the different levels and colors of this character. Lots of things happened that are very integral to what happens next. And so it was really nice, it was a breath of fresh air for me to be able to go back in time and really establish all the different motives for how this character evolved.
CB: To both of you, if you were able to in your own head cannon, be able to give them a reconciliation or be able to go into an alternate universe where Gato and Gojo never did have to have that breakup. Where do you see the two friends being now in that universe?
Lang: I think that if they had been able to align their beliefs and their own ideologies together and work in parallel with one another, they would’ve been a force to be reckoned with. I think there would be no better teachers. There would be no better examples of sorcery and curse using and all that. I think that it was tragic that they sort of split off the way they did. But if some miracle had happened where they were able to get together and run parallel, I think they would’ve been just a dynamic duo big time.
Tang: If the two of them just like sat down with a therapist for a little bit, I think it would’ve worked out better, but in a world where they had never sort of interacted and how that might have… I don’t know what it would’ve been like for Suguru, but I know for Gojo, his friendship with Suguru was such an important part of his life. I can’t imagine he would’ve been the same character almost. Because the circumstances of his birth are so outrageous, he’s been more or less removed from the world at large because of his standing because of the power he was born with. And Suguru has been his only friend.
He’s been the only humanizing force in his life. He learned to protect weak people from Suguru, from his original ideals. I mean, if you remember, Gojo was anti those ideals when he first floated them to him, he was like, “Suguru, what are you talking about? That sounds dumb. Who would do that? Why would you protect weak people? That just sounds like a waste of time.” And then of course we’d go to the movie and by then they almost juxtaposition each other. So without Suguru in his life, I think Gojo would’ve been a way worse person. He would’ve probably been the antagonist of the movie at that point.
Have you checked out Jujutsu Kaisen 0? How hyped are you for the anime’s second season to go live? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.