With one wish, what would you wish for?
I’m sure there are many things we wish for, but what would we do to get it? In Juni Taisen: Zodiac War, there’s not much of a choice in what you have to do. Twelve clans send their chosen participant for a tournament style battle to retrieve the most jewels at the end of the night. The conditions? The jewels are swallowed by each participant, and they only have twelve hours to live before the poison in it takes effect. Of course there are various ways to get a crystal out of someone’s stomach, but it seems the easiest is to kill them.
They have a whole city to themselves to fight to the death.
Now for this “zodiac war,” that’s the most interesting part. Each participant represents one of the Chinese Zodiac and have a special ability of their own. Boar, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Rat, Dog, Rooster, Sheep, Horse, Snake, Dragon, and Monkey. All with their own fighting style and tumultuous upbringing. Everyone has their own struggle, from parental abuse to never-ending war. You’d think they’d try to relate to each other, but not all want to be tied down. Everyone gives it their all as they face off in ways reminiscent of tournaments in video games. Ever wonder how you’d introduce yourself to your enemies? Take notes from these guys.
This anime would flourish if allotted more episodes. Only given 12 episodes for the whole tournament, we are left with more and less than bargained for. On the more side, episodes are packed with monologues and flashbacks that rival Naruto’s “Talk no Jutsu” and long-winded backstories. On the less side, while some characters give backstories others do not. It might just be me, but I love a good backstory for the antagonist. It’s also difficult to grow attached to a character, because the next thing you know they’re killed of Game of Thrones style. Because information is presented in such little time span, things can feel a bit predictable. But, it’s worth it witnessing it all until the very end!
With so little time, kill or be killed are the only options to make it through the night.