Paramount Pictures released the first trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, the new animated movie based on Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s iconic martial arts superhero franchise, last week. While the film’s dazzling Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse-inspired art style certainly left a glowing impression, it was the trailer’s brief visual nod to Jujutsu Kaisen, one of the most popular anime in recent years, that got our attention and proved that no matter what, Donatello is still the lovable nerd he’s always been.
Shortly after the trailer was released last week, eagle-eyed viewers spotted Donatello sporting a sticker resembling Satoru Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen on his signature bō staff. The fan-favorite character (and Sports Grind Entertainment-certifed anime crush) is not only the mentor to series protagonist Yuji Itadori, but arguably the most powerful Jujutsu sorcerer alive.
Twitter user @alvinlaurentt even shared recently leaked concept art for the movie in order to confirm Gojo’s teeny tiny cameo in the upcoming TMNT movie.
It’s a charming little Easter egg, and one that only makes sense given that the film reimagines if the turtles were to exist in today’s world. I mean, they’re Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, after all; of course they’d be fans of director Sunghoo Park and studio MAPPA’s massively popular supernatural martial arts anime series, which is due to return for a second season this July. We didn’t spot any other major or minor anime Easter eggs in the trailer, but rest assured, we’ll have our eyes glued to the screen when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem debuts later this year.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is set to be released in theaters on Aug. 4. The animated film is co-directed by Jeff Rowe and storyboard artist Kyle Spears (The Mitchells vs. the Machines), and produced by Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express, The Fabelmans).