Japanese Title: Juuni Taisen
Aired Date: October 2017 – December 2017
Season: Fall 2017
Episode Count: 12
Every 12 years, mercenaries who possess the highest caliber of brute strength, cunning wit, and deadly precision gather to participate in the Zodiac Tournament. Each warrior bears the name and attributes of one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. With their pride and lives on the line, they engage in vicious combat until only the victor remains.
The 12th Zodiac Tournament begins in a desolate city, devoid of any evidence of the half million people who recently lived there. To raise the stakes, each warrior ingests a poisonous gem, thus setting a time limit on the tournament—and on their life. With one wish for the victor up for grabs, the Zodiac Warriors start their cutthroat battle for survival. Source: MAL
** Contain Spoilers **
2017 bring us a lot of good animes, and some other just decent enough to be watched. It’s the case of Juuni Taisen: Zodiac War. However, if I had the choice, I will probably not watch it again. Juuni Taisen is one of those anime that seems quite promising reading the synopsis or watching the promotional video, but the actual product just fell flat. My main problem with the series was the fact it was predictable and that is an understatement.
First if you know the order of the Chinese zodiac from Rat to Boar you know the order each character will be killed since it’s the logic they are following, the only time this doesn’t apply it’s when the Snake died since he is the first to lose this very predictable battle royal.
Then you have the fatal backstory, normally being able to see the backstory of each characters, even if the lifespan is quite short, it’s give a bit more dimension to character, but here not only it doesn’t really bring more to the character, but it also announce the imminent death of said character, again we have only one exception, the Rabbit die, but we have no clue where he come from. From the twelves warrior, the Rabbit is the one character I was curious about the background, but nope beside knowing he is a psychotic necromancer, we know nothing about him.
If the writer would have gave me a reason to care about the characters, maybe I you had teared up a little and be sad about the death of some, but I didn’t care about any of the character, plus when you already have a good idea about how it will end, you are less thrilled about the series right? And don’t expect some kind of plot twist, the plot is linear without any sharp turn.
That being said, the show have some good elements that made me finish the series instead of dropping it.
One is the animation, not always good, but it was good enough for me to continue to watch it, it has some nice and fluid action scene well choreographed.
Second, the overall design and feeling of it, the show is not a happy walk in the park filled with rainbows and unicorns, the show colors are dark and gloomy, the event happen during the night and even when it’s daytime, during the flashback, the colors are not flashy, but not fade either, just the right colorization to go with the rest of the series. I like the visual, I like was I was seeing. I was maybe not looking forward how the series was going, but I was still interested enough to watch the fight scene and still a little bit curious about how that big mess will end, even if I already have my idea on the winner of the event.
Juuni Taisen could have been a great series if some twists were added to the story, if they would have written the character in a way we will care for them and be sad when one of them die even if they all die excepted for one. Having a real villain would have probably helped to, yes the Rabbit was probably the close character that could held the title, but in the end he is like the other, he want to win, he is just more violent than the other, he is violent but not stupid, he is psycho, but he can plan strategy and I have to say that with the Rat and the Ox, the Rabbit was probably the strongest and made thing a bit more interesting. However, even if the Rabbit was an interesting character, I can’t say I really enjoy the series, it was decent, tolerable, but it could have been a lot better. When the best part of a show is the opening, it say a lot about the show itself.
Would I recommend the series? Nope, unless you have a lot of time to waste.
~ Thank you for reading ~
See you next time!!