This post is one big spoiler…
This fall I was the most excited to watch the anime Juni Taisen. It is from the same creator as Future Diary which I also really enjoyed and is one of my favorite anime. The things I enjoyed about Future Diary were not in this anime which became very predictable. However, I did enjoy the backstory of each character, but the fact of how it was organized ruined the surprise of who would die next. Yes, I guess we never knew how they would die but by then it was usually a let down.
First off I want to say that after the first episode I was so excited. It was extremely good and the shock of Boar getting the huge set up only to die right away was just awesome. When I watched I was like, “Yes, this is the ride I want full of surprises” then came episode two…
We got Dog’s backstory and right away I knew he would die. Did the brilliance that led the first episode to being awesome ruin it for the following episode? In a way yes, from then on we could predict who would die next based on whose backstory we heard. This was a major failure with the organization since the backstory wouldn’t let us get attached to any character.
Don’t get me wrong each backstory was actually amazing but if fell flat with the viewer already being in the mindset that that character was going to die. It is unfortunate to have so many awesome unique characters and we couldn’t appreciate the sadness of their deaths or even cheer for our own zodiac because by then it didn’t take long to figure out another failure with the organization of the anime… The closing theme.
After about 2-3 episodes a viewer could see that the order of the zodiac in the closing theme matched the order of the deaths (except for snake) that was the truly disappointing thing about this anime. From the beginning you already knew that Rat would win. I don’t know why they did that, that seems like a stupid way to give away everything and it made me sad since I’m year of the Ox and I wanted him to win haha.
I was truly proud of my zodiac character and honestly he was pretty badass. His and tiger’s backstory was so sweet also and still the thought that I knew he was going to die wrecked the feelings I was supposed to have at the death of tiger and ox.
With their backstory they had more interaction with each other and I would have like to see more of that in the other characters. They knew OF each other but ox and tiger where the only two who had a movement before the Juni Taisen where he rescued her and she had a goal to one day fight him.
I think it would have been interesting to see the conflict of more characters facing people who they actually knew before they had the Juni Taisen. That would have even given more depth to their backstories.
The explanation of why rat won and his struggle for the wish was actually pretty nice. However, his power was a bit OP for this and seemed like a cop out for why someone who slept though everything would win. I think it would have been better if the others knew his power so they could try and find its blind spots (like they did in Future Diary) then it would have made it more interesting. Everyone was more concerned with rabbit than to notice the rat. Rabbit was enjoyable to watch even for just his awesome outfit ha.
When the main threat of rabbit died it was a bit disappointing but then the necromancy let it to drag out a bit and had a few surprises there, but again we all knew by then that rat was going to be the winner.
All in all I like the backstories and the way they had to introduce themselves before every battle.
However, it is too predictable so it lost those heart wrenching moments that we want from an anime like this. Also I would have like to see some fallout for the people who were betting on the battle. What was their deal? The warriors just let this keep going? I feel like if ox won he would have killed them :D.
Hope you all are enjoying the new year (year of the dog) and Happy watching!