NCG Watches: Juni Taisen: Zodiac War

I am never usually quick to pick up a seinen series, but I’m glad I got a chance to start Juni Taisen.  Maybe it’s my obsession with killing games (since Battle Royale happens to be one of my favorite series) or it’s my obsession with plots that feel unpredictable.

Based on a light novel by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Hikaru Nakamura, Juni Taisen takes place in a city where 500,000 citizens have been evacuated so the deadliest killing game can take place. The tournament happens every 12 years and the winner will have a wish granted to them.  Each character is a warrior with a fighting style and name based on the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals.  In order to ensure the battle is quick, each warrior must swallow a black gem that will kill them in 12 hours.  Their goal is to retrieve all other gems before their time runs out.

What I enjoy about the series is how unpredictable it feels.  We start off following the Boar, assuming the story will follow her.  However, the series takes a quick twist when she dies at the end of the first episode.

Not only is the series unpredictable, but there’s a variety of characters.  Each character has a unique, almost inhuman ability that gives them an advantage over their opponent.  It is fun watching the battles play out wondering who the winner will be.

That said, I recommend checking this series out to anyone who doesn’t mind violence and prefers a more mature story line.

I will admit that I do worry about the ending.  I’ve noticed that some series with strong openings tend to fall flat in the end.

Have you had a chance to check out this series? What do you think of it so far? Let us know in the comments!

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