With it being October, it seems only right to find a twisted anime like Juni Taisen: Zodiac War. However, I don’t think I was truly prepared for what I just saw.
Creator: Nisio Isin
Our assumed lead was Toshiko. She represented the Ino Family, the winner of the last Juni Taisen tournament 12 years ago. She wasn’t the original choice but with Toshiko driving her little sister Kiyoko insane, to the point of suicide, big sis had to step in. Thus leading her to, quite confidently, enter the tournament as the boar.
However, there is a reason past tense is used in the first paragraph, for Toshiko dies. All thanks to the person who represents the rabbit.
What Toshiko Set Up
It is undeniable that Toshiko was really screwed up in the head. Not just because of her father’s training and abuse, but look at what she did to her loving sister? She broke that girl down to nothing by making out with her crush, having her kill all her friends, and those she was close to and then abandoning her with a knife. She didn’t try to build her up from the foundation she cut her down to, she gave her the tool to finish the job.
That was so sick. To the point that you have to wonder what we may learn about the rest of the participants in the coming episodes.
They killed off the person we spent the entire episode with. Being that this isn’t consistently done, I feel a bit thrown off. Especially since I was becoming quite invested in Toshiko. However, unlike many shows which would be cutting their nose to spite their face, I think we could move on without Toshiko and be fine. If only because all these psychopaths seem interesting. From the monkey who seems out of place to the sheep who is an old man who likes explosives.
To say the least, for those who like some messed up shows, which feature a ridiculous amount of violence and psychology, there is something here for you.
On The Fence
So Much Talking/ Getting Desensitized
The problem with a show that is so violent, even if featuring psychopaths, is that eventually, you are going to get desensitized. There is only so many bodies you can see shot up and mutilated before you build up a tolerance. Which makes the psychological aspect and twists this show seems willing to pull what will likely help its audience from not feeling ho-hum about what happens by episode 5.
However, I must say, another issue with so much violence is that it makes the talking portions excruciating. Listening to Toshiko size everyone up and be so presumptions made me glad she was the first one taken out. Yet, again, I also was kind of getting into her story. So I do wonder if a balance of character development, violence, and progressing the story can be done in a satisfying way. This is something birthed out of Nisio Isin, of Monogatari fame, so a lot of talking should be expected.
But, the question remains, will what these madmen, and women, have to say be a welcome treat or something to present a calm before a bloodbath?
Overall: Positive (Watch This)
There is a little bit of shame in terms of how excited I am for Juni Taisen. I wasn’t honestly expecting much, for I put this on the calendar before the preview came out. However, now I do believe this may be my favorite show of the fall. Even if there doesn’t seem to be one lick of romance and there will be nothing but blood, guts, maybe some character development, and fingers crossed a whole lot of twists.