Choso realizing that Yuji is his brother after their fight during the Shibuya Incident in Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2.

There’s a Good Reason ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ Animators Are Quitting En Masse

After being overworked and abysmally paid, it looks like the animators who are working on the hit series Jujutsu Kaisen are calling it quits. This wasn’t an unexpected turn of events given MAPPA’s reputation among anime fans as a “sweatshop” and their history of mistreating and silencing workers.

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Key animators working on Jujutsu Kaisen 0 and Jujutsu Kaisen season 2 are now leaving the company en masse. The problems are not unique in theme, and it was reported by one of the animators that the schedules were absurdly compressed and that they were forced to complete Jujutsu Kaisen 0 in just four months.

Sakai Satoshi, one of the animators responsible for Attack on Titan, sympathized with the situation of his fellow animators but also noted that dissatisfaction isn’t normally aired on social media, even under extreme situations. Director Shunsuke Okubo posted a drawing of a woman on the verge of committing self-harm on her X (formerly Twitter) account. Even if there was no caption that directly took a swipe at MAPPA, the timing of the picture explains everything it needs to say. It’s a clear cry for help that not even MAPPA’s NDA could cover up.

A tweet by another director expressed that he had mixed feelings over the praise Jujutsu Kaisen season 2 was getting because it’s directly attributed to MAPPA, instead of the employees who toiled to meet the deadlines. This isn’t the first time director Tsuchigami Itsuki has expressed discontent over MAPPA’s packed scheduling, and he has often replied to others who have been unnecessarily critical of the anime’s production. Nevertheless, he hopes that those who will be involved in the next season of Jujutsu Kaisen will be working under healthy conditions.

The only silver lining to this awful situation is that MAPPA’s animators still have some sense of humor left in them. According to director Sota Shigetsugu, who goes by @Hone_honeHONE on X, the building featured in the fight between Sukuna and Mahoraga was an inside joke among the production members. The building that got wrecked was based on MAPPA by the building’s production floor plan, and many among the staff were pleased to see this. The animators and directors of Jujutsu Kaisen braved hell to bring the hit series to life, and they should be repaid with humane working conditions.

(featured image: MAPPA)

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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.