Panda is one of the most entertaining characters in anime series Jujutsu Kaisen. Prequel anime movie Jujutsu Kaisen 0 gives us a bit more of the lovable bear but brings us no closer to an explanation of what he is. In an interview for the animated movie, the cast explained they aren’t too sure either.
“There’s a humour to the way the manga is written, and it’s definitely coming through in the in the anime, where panda is a joke, right?” Matthew David Rudd, who voices Panda in the dub of Jujutsu Kaisen, said during a roundtable. “He’s there to help set up humour, and he’s there to be an enigma and himself and all that sort of thing. And every time you think you’re gonna get an answer, there’s a joke that happens where you don’t get an answer.”
“It’s kind of the humour behind every time the three of them are introduced,” Allegra Clark, the voice of Maki Zen’in, added. “It’ll be like, this is Maki Zen’in of the Zen’in clan, this is Toge Inumaki, he has curse speech, and that’s Panda.”
“I don’t know that he is a bear, and I think that’s the point. We don’t know what he is,” Rudd continues. “He talks about his older sister being in his body as well. I have no idea who that is. I hope I get to do her voice.”
As Rudd and Clark say, we don’t have much background on Panda for now. In the parlance of the show, he’s a cursed object, and he appears to be some form of anthropomorphised teddy bear with super strength and a witty intellect. After that, we just know that’s generally very chilled out, and it seems like it’s something that creator Gege Akutami wants to tease out over time.
He’s prominent in Jujutsu Kaisen 0, a prequel that adapts the manga that precedes Jujutsu Kaisen. It takes place some years prior to Yuji Itadori’s arrival at the school, following Yuta Okkatsu’s introduction to the world of Jujutsu. You can watch the full roundtable, which also included Toge Inumaki voice actor Xander Mobus, via Big Gold Belt Media.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is in theatres March 18.