[Review] Juni Taisen: Zodiac War(rior) Crimson – Reviewing Mercilessly…Or At Least Attempting To

I’ve been feeling rather accomplished lately. I finished three series already and while it took me a century and a half, I finally got out a review for one of these three shows. Now it’s Juni Taisen’s turn. I actually wondered if I should even review this one since it’s been so long and well, not a lot of people liked it. But I kind of wanted to “close” the show on my blog even though I’m probably going to reiterate what everyone said about Juni Taisen back in 2017 (wow! has it really been so long?!)

If anyone is curious, I did write up a rather cringe-worthy first impression on the show back when it was airing. It was one of my attempts at following some anime on a weekly basis. Suffice to say I failed epically. I mean, look at me, more than a year later, finally coming out with the review, lol! Now then, I picked up Juni Taisen for obvious reasons. One, the cover for this show was gorgeous and two, it was about fighting. Remember, action lover here.

juni taisen

When I first started watching this show I was enamored. The first episode did such a good job at making me fall for Inonoshishi, the Boar Warrior. I thought the animation was super well done, the background story so evil and delicious, and the other characters interesting. I think I’m going to need my imaginary boyfriend to dress up as Rabbit. Oof! That man be smexy. Of course, that was all a setup! The creators KNEW and they were like, let’s make the first episode epic, lure in the viewers, and then eff it, they’re here, they’ll keep watching no matter what we do. Which, well, I think many of us did (although I hear that the light novel – original source- also had the same issues as the anime so I guess it wasn’t just the anime creators at fault here)

As for what this show is about: Every twelve years on December twelfth, at midnight, a Juni Taisen (battle royale) is held with twelve participants in order to have their one most desired wish granted. These twelve participants are mainly mercenaries, some of them are experts in their field, and they all have some sort of ability relating to the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac. To throw in another twelve fact: at the start of the tournament, each participant has to swallow a black diamond filled with poison that will kill them in twelve hours. The only way to get rid of the poison is to win the Juni Taisen, return to the host, and get the antidote. In terms of the tournament, not much is known aside from it being a form of entertainment for the wealthy who place bets on who will win, that the host has the ability to grant any wish, and that there is no way around participating

juni taisen 2
oh look, my crazy boyfriends

Maybe I should have expected what we got. I mean, the plot was for everyone except one warrior to die but I think the first episode really set the bar high. I was expecting some really detailed and compelling backstories (yes, that’s how much I liked Inonoshishi’s story) and some AMAZING fight scenes. I got like 0.5 of what I wanted. Because this series was only twelve episodes long, things were bound to be complicated. We didn’t really have a central character like I believed we did, which made it hard to really care when the warriors died. Even when my boyfriends died I was like oh, guess I gotta find another boyfriend…

Aside from the really crammed tragic backstories for most of our characters, I felt like the animation really suffered as we moved along. It got to the point where I had to wonder WHY every soldier was such a bad shot (come ON, the target was standing still!) and didn’t have to worry about watching the show (just reading the subtitles) because the actual stills were static and repetitive. As for the fights, I have mixed feelings. I felt like the backstories being thrown in during the Juni Taisen took away from any feelings of excitement the battles would give off since they often had entirely different moods. One character I remember specifically was Ox and how he would narrate everything that was happening and I was left thinking, oh hey thanks for not letting me piece things together myself… (I swear I’m not that dumb)

But I did like some of the fights. At least the ones that lasted long enough to be called fights. At some point the CG started to get super obvious and even though I hate the CG look, it somehow worked for this show? I want to say it’s because everything was already a mess and didn’t flow neatly but I’m not really sure

juni taisen 3

I think the only thing about this show I was impressed about was the ending, which is also what makes me so conflicted. I had placed my bets on who would win and while I had picked them based on my bishie biases, well, it happened. It’s actually how it came about that left me really impressed! Without trying to spoil anything, at the end of it my feelings were geared towards, what was the point of this if this is how it would end? Those were my feelings as a viewer. Placing myself in their shoes, I think that was the best thing they could have asked for

Anyways, I’m glad I can finally mark this show as finished. If you haven’t watched it, uh, I’d say don’t watch it. If anything, maybe just look up the episodic summaries and then watch the last two episodes, LOL. But I’m curious, is anyone still watching this? I only realized I hadn’t finished because Kiritonarukami wrote a review about Juni Taisen recently ^^;;


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Author: crimson613

Crimson is an aniblogger on wordpress who can't seem to stop fangirling about all the lovely bishies. When not writing content for the blog (and consuming media), Crimson can be found in bed with a hot cup of tea by their side, sobbing over fanfiction (or maybe even writing it)

2 thoughts

  1. Man, I remember this show for all its faults that I completely forget how banger the opening episode was. BOAR IS STILL BEST. Anyway, I’ve already shared my thoughts with you on Twitter, so perhaps it’s best we just close this book and move on, haha. As for a review, better late than never is what I always say, so good for you for not only finishing it but taking the time to talk about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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