The record of the bloody battle between the twelve proud warriors—
The 12th Twelve Tournament that gets held every twelve years... Twelve brave warriors who bear the names of the signs of the zodiac fight each other for the lives and souls. The participants are twelve very strange warriors: "Rat," "Ox," "Tiger," "Rabbit," "Dragon," "Snake," "Horse," "Goat," "Monkey," "Rooster," "Dog," and "Pig."
The victor of this tournament gets to have one wish granted, whatever the wish may be. The one wish they want granted—
Juuni Taisen is an anime about 12 scumbag mercenary's named after the Zodiac signs or whatever the fuck, fighting to the death for one wish.
There's 12 characters and 12 episodes and since all but one of them has to die by the end of the anime... They kill someone off every episode, and to give the characters a little depth before they die the writers shove 15 minutes of exposition down your throat before killing the character said exposition corresponds to with an obsessive level of violence effectively wasting your time because you just learned the backstory
of cannon fodder.
Are you worried about your favorite character dying? Well don't be I assure you that every backstory is written in a way to guarantee that the viewer will hate the guts of any character that gets one.
Each of the fights are dynamic and interesting, but the charismatic characters, over the top action scenes, and its complex commentary about how war changes people in different ways ultimately fail to make this show anything more than a predicable death game with little more to offer than a stripper bunny and blood shed.
Watch it...If not for the near mindless gore watch it for the bunny.
Also it has a decent into madness type vibe so there's also that.
It's unbelievable how terrible this anime is. The premise of the show is that these 12 "badass" mercenary warriors each representing a zodiac animal are pitted against each other to fight to the death for the victory to be granted any wish much like that of the Fate series. The battle that takes place every 12 years (like the zodiac calendar) is supposed to be a war that replaces all other wars in the world to prevent the unnecessary loss of life, but yet the show constantly flashback to each warriors history of years of war experience. This completely contradicts the whole premise.
the concept seems like it'd be fun to watch a bunch of people killing each other, the story telling aka plot progression completely ruins any enjoyment. It starts off with a interesting character you think is the protagonist by telling you the backstory and then kills them off. What a twist right? Then the show proceeds to replicate this formula for EVERY single character for the whole show. It's so predictable that there's no reason to even guess who's going to die next. Also these heroes are constantly dying in the dumbest ways to the point that each build up become anti-climactic.
I don't know how anyone would think this was worth making into an anime. There's no character development and there's no concept of storytelling.
This is an extremely fast-paced show so if you are the type of person that likes deep character development and to bond with the characters in a killing game story this might not be for you. If you are the type of person to like nonstop action with a small amount of character development you've come to the right place. Every episode we learn the short backstory of a character then we watch them fight. The story itself is about 12 people representing the zodiac killing each other to retrieve a poisoned gem from each other bodies and then getting the one inside you
taken out upon victory. Somehow we have pacifists in this competition but that's not important. We don't know exactly why people showed up for this tournament but maybe we will learn. I do like any killing game plot and this is no different but I like character development also so I have a love hate relationship with this show maybe you won't.
The art is amazing as shows like this need good art because there is so much going on and people will drop janky and bad art like a sack of rocks. They have nothing to hide behind with this show and I appreciate the effort.
The music is also pretty nice and fits everything the show needs well. You know what you're getting just from the music used when it shows up. The voice acting is also pretty good.
Like I said before we get a short backstory every episode for each character then we don't learn much more about them. I don't mean that as a bad thing though. So you can't make bonds with everyone except for maybe the pacifists if they live long enough. What I will pick out is the powers. Every character has an ability related to their zodiac even if it may not seem like it. the chicken can control birds, the boar holds ammo like a pig does it's slop with endless reloading so she never has to stop firing her gun as long as she has ammo like a pig never stop eating as long as they have food. The rabbit has necromancy so the people he kills does his bidding for him with their powers intact I don't know how to compare that one. The dog can control poisons I guess because dogs can sniff them out and etc.
I like the way they balance this powers out so no one is too overpowered even though all the dog has to do is sit around until everyone else dies since he is immune to poisons.
Overall I'm loving this anime and can't wait for a new episode every week especially since we have so many duds this season. I'm somewhat liking everything about this show and hope it keeps it up. They even keep you on your toes by throwing you things you may never expect.
To be honest, I was amazed at the aesthetics of the show, and could see how easily this alone would be one of the underdogs for the Fall season.
To the setting is just like the Chinese Zodiac, where the 12 animals pit themselves against each other in a battle royale for the supreme, where the last animal/human representative standing would be granted a wish of any kind (oh, and also obtain the poison gems).
Right from the start, this show embodies folklore with the oh-so-exact replicate of the order of the animals, so the order of assassination goes backwards (spoiler predictability) or that the creators choose
to have a twist in the order. It's all in the eyes of the beholder.
As you would expect with the zodiac wars, all 12 supernatural humans are treated similarly to their animal counterparts, each with their backstory, traits and their intention of killing. Some are interesting, some will have turnoff, and others are so-so. So with each episode every character has the spotlight in the order above (as mentioned) so it's no surprise.
What DOES surprise me is the art and animation that Graphinica has put into making this show shine in the aesthetic department. For a show that's purely based on action, you would have wanted good art along with consistent animation, and it has done its course (though Ep 4 wasn't the best of the starting bunch).
And what better way to support the show than to give an impressive soundtrack, at least IMO. "Rupture" by Panorama Panama Town is easily one of the best OPs to air this season, and both the ED and OST are of no slouch, helping to develop what I hope will become better as the series progresses.
Verdict (after Ep 4):
A double blue-tick for a series that while is ongoing, it shows promise and delivers it outright with some of the best action shows we had in quite a while. Will definitely watch this towards the end, so for now...