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YMMV / Juni Taisen: Zodiac War

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  • Anvilicious: War is bad and no one wins from it.
  • Ass Pull: Played With. Rat's special ability allows him to experience one hundred possible futures (based on his decisions) at once and then pick the one that will become reality. However, the only future where he wins requires a nearly-impossible series of coincidences (Sheep challenging Tiger and leaving his grenade behind, Horse shutting himself in a safe, most of the participants underestimating Rabbit etc.). In spite of that, every improbability required for Rat to survive does actually happen, allowing him to capitalize the others' fighting and walk out the winner. Fans are divided whether this was a cool way to subvert expectations, or a straight example of this trope.
  • Awesome Music:
    • One the things people seem to find positive about the show, is its absolutely banging opening theme: Rapture.
    • The ending theme, Keshin no Kemono is just as good.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Rabbit. On the one hand, you have people who love him due to his unhinged personality, his weird, but in a strange way cool design (which some people find attractive), his cunning despite his mental instability and his powerful ability, things which make him the most popular character in the series, and he was even featured alone in the first key visual for the anime. On the other hand, there are other people who hate him for considering him a weirdo without any remarkable quality other than his insanity, who ends up killing characters more interesting than him. It doesn't help that he also killed Monkey, who was a fan favourite, nor that, unlike other participants, he never has his backstory revealed, leaving him as a one-dimensional monster who wasn't fleshed out.
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    • Rat. Fans either love him for his carefree nature and for being something of a nice guy (at least compared to the other warriors) or hate him for being just a Ordinary High-School Student with little combat experience that lacks an interesting backstory to make up for it. Also, his special ability is either one of the best twists of the story or an Ass Pull.
    • Ox. Some like him for his cool and attractive design, incredible badassery, and being one of the most sane characters in the cast. However, others find his The Stoic personality relatively dull compared to his counterparts, and think he doesn't have much else going for him. Even when his past with Tiger is revealed, it doesn't really help much; most of their backstory is explored through her eyes instead of his, and by the time he figures out her feelings for him and returns them, she's about to die anyways.
  • Broken Base:
    • The anime quickly caused controversy between viewers, as many people were separated between the support of the character of "their year" and those who liked them after watching the anime.
    • As always, Nisio's penchant for Anti-Climax is often discussed by the readers and viewers. Many of the early chapters had the characters reveal their background for a while, run into another combatant, and then die unceremoniously to either the same or different opponent without showing off what makes them tick as a person or as a fighter. Because of this, some fans were very disappointed with how the War was written, but opinions lighten up around the endgame.
    • The winner's wish is also very divisive. Some like the message that "humanity's will can never be fully pleased and they will always want more than what they have", while others consider it a wasted wish and hate how everyone else died for it.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: It isn't hard to figure out the death order after the first two or three deaths, due to it following a specific pattern: the reverse order of the Eastern Zodiac. Even without knowing that, the Death by Flashback trope is played in full effect.
    • Exaggerated in the anime adaptation, due to Spoiler Title episodes and the ending credits.
    • The winner's identity is a case of Late-Arrival Spoiler, as Junni Taisen is a prequel to the NisiOisiN one-shot manga "The One Wish That Must Be Granted, and the Ninety-nine That Can Be Done Without" (which is the last episode of the anime adaptation).
  • Common Crossover: The Zodiac crossovers were inevitable. Juuni Taisen against Etotama, Juuni Taisen against Fruits Basket, you name it.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Early into the series it sets in that there really isn't a "good guy" to root for in the Juuni Taisen. The closest is Monkey, but the narrative is also quick to hammer home her level of idealism is impossible to obtain. The series' frequent use of the aforementioned Anti Climaxes also didn't help.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Both Snake and Dragon are hugely popular, getting the bulk of fanarts on Pixiv.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Toshiko Inō/Boar. She's a morally repugnant woman, but it's hard to deny she's smoking hot.
    • Ryōka Niwa/Niwatori/Chicken. While she is a backstabber and also a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, there's no denying her being a sexy girl due to her stripperific outfit.
    • On the male side, we have Rabbit. He may be a lunatic with Tokyo Ghoul eyes, but he's also ripped and walks around in little more than a man thong.
    • Arguably Dragon and Snake.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: The fact that Usagi wears short shorts and high heels. While some would argue it makes him look sexy, it's also hard to deny it looks rather silly and makes him border on Nightmare Retardant levels. And considering the bleak and serious tone the story has, it makes his choice of clothing feel quite out of place.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Ox x Tiger, after the 10th episode of the series reveals he was the one who made Tiger return to the "right path" after he "saved" her from some soldiers in the past and managed to revive the passion she lost. It helps her reason to participate in the Juuni Taisen was to meet Ox again (reason why she was looking for him all the time), and that Ox ends killing her to avoid her to become one of Rabbit's zombies as a way to apologize for his inability to fight against her in their promised duel.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Rabbit x Rat seems to have its own following, the two being the most prominent Bishounen of the cast, not the mention their fairly revealing clothes (especially Rabbit). It doesn't help that in one continuity, the two of them actually become great friends. Yes, you read that right: Rabbit could have made a normal, living friend in Rat!
  • Incest Yay Shipping: The brothers Nagayuki/Dragon & Takeyasu/Snake. Given that they have been shown to be together for the majority of their lives, show hesitation when it comes to killing if and only if faced with the prospect of killing each other, and that they do care about each other on some level (with Dragon having an outright Big Brother Instinct), the shippers were given sufficient fuel.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Boar horribly abusing her sister into murderous insanity and convincing her to commit suicide was solely for self gain. However, Kyoko’s innocence and kindness combined with her fear during the training montage showed she had problems killing people, moreso than Boar herself, and was ill-equipped to go into battle since she had only killed animals without hesitation, not people. The entire point of the Juuni Taisen is to kill without hesitation or any prompting, and to be prepared for any possible scenario; Kyoko might not have been a good candidate to begin with.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Toshiko Inō/Boar. Yes, she's a murderous and manipulative sociopath. However her Abusive Father more or less made her the way she is so she could be a "worthy" successor to their clan of assassins. It’s even implied she wasn't always cruel since she was hesitant to kill an unarmed man during her training. When her father put her through such brutal training but abruptly picked Kyoko to be the family’s Juuni Taisen representative, Toshiko snapped and became the “Boar” we see now.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Rabbit was always a scary fucker, with his mannerisms and powers being one of the reasons for this, but how he revives himself after being killed by Tiger and Ox and uses his body parts to attack them, not unlike what would happen in an horror movie, is simply terrifying. And then there is the screech he made when Ox cuts his head in two... Holy shit...
    • And that's nothing compared with the shape he takes the following episode, who looks like something directly taken from Resident Evil.
    • Not to mention his wish, as innocent as it sounds, would inevitably result in the end of all life in the universe. And according to Rat, in the majority of the one hundred paths, Rabbit would have won the Juuni Taisen and got the wish needed to go through with it.
  • True Art Is Angsty: The story has a very cynical tone and happens in a war-torn Crapsack World; characters have Black and Grey Morality, and no one gets a fully happy ending. No, not even the winner.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The transition between 3D and 2D models is done very well.
  • What an Idiot!: Out of all the fighters, Sheep likely elicits this reaction the most from viewers, as he was played up as the winner of a previous Zodiac War. Despite his credentials, he made a number of decisions during the series which apparently contradict the expertise he is stated to have from both his career as an arms dealer and participation in a previous Zodiac War. For one, he constantly dismisses Tiger as a weak fighter due to her alcoholism, when he should have known that she must at least be a proficient fighter if she was even chosen as a participant. After being noticed by Tiger, rather than toss a bomb her way, he instead comes out into the open to face her. This is despite being consistently shown as a fighter who throws bombs at foes and blows people up from a distance. This instantly puts him out of his natural element and at a disadvantage. Finally, despite all his planning to find another fighter to ally with by falsely claiming to be able to remove the poison from their body, he doesn't think to try such a thing with Tiger when he confronts her. This is despite her being one of the least intelligent fighters and as such, one of the most unlikely to call his bluff, which could have netted him the alliance he wanted and enabled him to survive a bit longer. As a result of all this, he dies rather quickly and unceremoniously at Tiger's hands, in stark contrast to how he won his previous Zodiac War.

Alternative Title(s): Juuni Taisen


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