I don't think I've ever been so gripped and engaged by an anime series so quickly. I started to watch it on a whim, and I found myself completely obsessed. I couldn't wait for the next episode and spent an entire night without sleep because I was so excited and hyped up. So, what makes Juni Taisen: Zodiac War so amazing? Well, I'm about to hit you up with those spicy facts, so sit down, buckle your god damn seatbelts, and get ready for a storm of intense fangirling because sweet baby Jesus crying tears of blood I love this show.
Now let me start by saying that the series was not very well represented for what it actually is. The promotional video released by Crunchyroll gets the main theme across, but it doesn't capture the thrill of the action. I wrote it down on the list of series I would take a look at, but I can't say it was my top pick.
What even compelled me to write Juni Taisen down is the premise. Essentially, twelve warriors representing the animals of the Chinese Zodiac were picked to fight to the death in a battle royale, all for the sake of making a single wish.
Sound a little familiar? It reminded me of the Fate series (which I'm a huge fan of), Future Diary, and Deadman Wonderland. I have a major soft spot for those sorts of action/battle type anime, as you can tell. The premise of Juni Taisen was what attracted me, but what really got me hooked was the intensity.
Honestly, the only way I can describe it is intense. The first episode was executed perfectly and grabbed the audience's attention so forcefully. The first episode, and all of the following episodes so far, are so deep. I'm getting overwhelmed just thinking about it. The animation, especially for the battle sequences, are flawless. There hasn't been a lot of intense fighting yet, but from what has been shown so far things look promising. The gore in the series is also done very well, not all of it is explicitly shown, but what is animated is chilling in a good way.
I also really like the character designs. I know, I know, it looks like it oversexualizes female characters, but what anime doesn't? Even if some of them are a bit revealing, I don't think it takes away from the show at all. If anything, it makes it more appealing because all of the characters look so pretty. They also sound really nice as well, they picked great voice actors that seemed to really portray the characters.
The character development is possibly the best I've ever seen for short bursts. By short bursts, I mean character development that is done in a single episode rather than the overarching series. I won't reveal too many spoilers, but basically, each warrior has an episode dedicated to them, shows snippets of their lives and motivations. We get a small glimpse into who they are, and what made them into the person they are. A lot of things aren't directly explained but left up to viewer interpretation, which is much more satisfying than having everything about the character handed to the audience on a silver platter. The characters also end up much more complex, as we see them as warriors in the battle, but also as individuals who have a life.
Only four episodes are currently out, and a lot has happened already. I'm eagerly waiting for the next episode, and I can definitely say that this is on my list of top five favorite anime series. I sincerely recommend this to anyone who likes action or fast-paced anime, just watching the first episode will get you hooked.