12 of the most lethal warriors with the names and attributes of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals are pitted against each other in the 12th Zodiac Tournament which takes place every 12 years. During this rendition, each of the 12 warriors is asked to swallow one of 12 poisonous gems, which will begin take effect after 12 hours. In this epic battle royale, the winner must retrieve all the 12 gems from the other 11 competitors before the deadline. If they can achieve this great feat, the lone survivor will be granted any one wish of their choosing.
Nisio Isin wanted to make 12 unique characters that would stand out among the hundreds that we already know and love. Isin accomplished this by giving each of the combatants a tagline as well as a “super move”. Chikashi Kadekaru did an outstanding job fleshing Nisio’s 12 Characters. Each one had a unique art direction from their counter parts (minus the twins of course). The character development of Eiji the Ox and Kanae the Tiger gave them a sense of purpose which in turn would normally make them my favorite, however, even with Usagi the Rabbit being one of the least developed characters in the show he was easily my favorite. Straight savage!
The overall animation of Juni Taisen was average and in line with most shows of it’s caliber from this year. Most of the fights in the show were short-lived but it’s clear that a lot of the budget went towards making the battles the highlight of the animation.
With popular anime like Mirai Nikki and Fate/Zero already perfecting the battle royale genre, the idea of trying to come up with a unique take seemed like an uphill battle. The show went from pure flames to a surprisingly mundane story. It had promise towards the end but the last episode left me feeling confused and unfulfilled. Not a must watch but not a throw away. I’d say if you have no other shows on your list then it’s worth your time.
611/1000 Paths of Nezumi-san