Juni Taisen: Zodiac War
|Juni Taisen: Zodiac War|
Light novel cover
|Dōshitemo Kanaetai Tatta Hitotsu no Negai to Wari to Sō demo Nai 99 no Negai|
|Written by||Nisio Isin|
|Illustrated by||Hikaru Nakamura|
|Published||January 8, 2015|
|Written by||Nisio Isin|
|Illustrated by||Hikaru Nakamura|
|English publisher||Viz Media|
|Published||May 19, 2015|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Naoto Hosoda|
|Written by||Sadayuki Murai|
|Music by||Go Shiina|
|Original network||AT-X, MBS, Tokyo MX, BS11|
|Original run||October 3, 2017 – December 19, 2017|
|Jūni Taisen Tai Jūni Taisen|
|Written by||Nisio Isin|
|Illustrated by||Hikaru Nakamura|
|Published||December 12, 2017|
Juni Taisen: Zodiac War (Japanese: 十二大戦 Hepburn: Jūni Taisen, lit. "12 Wars") is a Japanese light novel written by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Hikaru Nakamura. It was published by Shueisha on May 19, 2015. It is a prequel to their one-shot manga titled Dōshitemo Kanaetai Tatta Hitotsu no Negai to Wari to Sō demo Nai 99 no Negai (どうしても叶えたいたったひとつの願いと割とそうでもない99の願い, lit. "The One Wish That Must Be Granted, and the Ninety-nine That Can Be Done Without"), published on January 8, 2015. The novel is licensed by Viz Media, who released an English translation in October 2017. An anime television series adaptation by Graphinica aired from October 3 to December 19, 2017.
Its light novel sequel, Jūni Taisen Tai Jūni Taisen (十二大戦対十二大戦, lit. "12 Wars vs. 12 Wars"), was released on December 12, 2017.
In a city of half a million people who have all been removed, twelve of the deadliest mercenary warriors with the names and attributes of the Chinese zodiac animals are pitted against each other in the twelfth Zodiac Tournament, which takes place every twelve years. During this rendition, each warrior is asked to swallow one of twelve poisonous gems, which will kill each of the warriors after twelve hours. To be granted any one wish of their choosing, the winner must retrieve all the gems from the other eleven competitors before the deadline (12PM, December 12). It becomes a merciless battle where survival is crucial at any means.
Characters are listed in the order of the Chinese Zodiac.
- Tsugiyoshi Sumino (墨野 継義 Sumino Tsugiyoshi) / Rat (寝住 Nezumi)
- Voiced by: Shun Horie (Japanese); Daman Mills (English)
- Rat is a silver-haired, perceptive young man who always appears sleepy. He has an ability called "The Hundred Paths of Nezumi-san" which allows him to choose or experience 100 possible realities. The path he chooses becomes the definite reality; however, the process is mentally exhausting, which explains his sleepy appearance. He forms an alliance with the pacifist Monkey. His way of killing is "killing all".
- Eiji Kashii (樫井 栄児 Kashii Eiji) / Ox (失井 Ushii)
- Voiced by: Yūichirō Umehara (Japanese); Ian Sinclair (English)
- Ox is a horned man with long black hair who carries a long thin sabre called Goboken. He is regarded as the "Genius of Slaughter", an unparalleled warrior and one of the favorites to win the tournament. His way of killing is "killing systematically".
- Kanae Aira (姶良 香奈江 Aira Kanae) / Tiger (妬良 Tora)
- Voiced by: Hiromi Igarashi (Japanese); Colleen Clinkenbeard (English)
- Tiger is a young orange-haired woman with a long chain extending from a collar around her neck and a tendency to drink to excess. She is a martial arts master prior to becoming a soldier and discovers her bestial drunken fist techniques after a night of despair-driven binge drinking. She encountered Ox years earlier on a battlefield and was influenced by his philosophy. During the tournament she agrees to a truce with Ox for their mutual benefit. Her way of killing is "killing in a drunken rage".
- Rabbit (憂城 Usagi)
- Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto (Japanese); Jerry Jewell (English)
- Rabbit is a gaunt, white-haired, psychotic young man who fights with two long knives. He used speed and agility to close in on his opponents. He is also a necromantist who can control the bodies of those he kills like puppets whom he calls his "friends". Even after his apparent death, he can control the re-animated bodies and body parts of his puppets who still retain their original abilities. His way of killing is "killing psychotically".
- Nagayuki Tsumita (積田 長幸 Tsumita Nagayuki) / Dragon (断罪兄弟・兄 Tatsumi Kyōdai Ani)
- Voiced by: Takuya Eguchi (Japanese); Clifford Chapin (English)
- Dragon is the older twin brother of Snake. He has the ability to stand on air and possibly fly, and uses liquid nitrogen in a tank on his back to create a stream of freezing air. His way of killing is "killing for money".
- Takeyasu Tsumita (積田 剛保 Tsumita Takeyasu) / Snake (断罪兄弟・弟 Tatsumi Kyōdai Otōto)
- Voiced by: Kōsuke Toriumi (Japanese); Matt Shipman (English)
- Snake is the younger twin brother of Dragon and uses a flamethrower with a tank of fuel on his back. He possesses a radar like sense by feeling vibrations in the ground around him. His way of killing is "killing for money".
- Yoshimi Sōma (早間 好実 Sōma Yoshimi) / Horse (迂々真 Ūma)
- Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa (Japanese); Randy E. Aguebor (English)
- Horse is a self-proclaimed moderate with enormous stature. He was a soldier who became a warrior after his body was modified with the help of medicine and science to gain incredible strength and developed an impenetrable defense technique called the "stirrup". He hopes to form an alliance with Ox during the tournament. His way of killing is "killing silently".
- Sumihiko Tsujiie (辻家 純彦 Tsujiie Sumihiko) / Sheep (必爺 Hitsujii)
- Voiced by: Chō (Japanese); Kenny Green (English)
- Sheep is a short, horned old man and a past winner of the Juni Taisen. His expertise is using explosives and grenades which he honed during his younger years as an arms dealer and smuggler. He volunteers to join the present Juni Taisen to spare his family despite his low chance of success. His way of killing is "killing deceptively".
- Misaki Yūki (柚木 美咲 Yūki Misaki) / Monkey (砂粒 Sharyū)
- Voiced by: Saori Hayami (Japanese); Caitlin Glass (English)
- Monkey is a short-haired, spectacled young woman. She is a renowned pacifist and mediator, responsible for facilitating countless ceasefires across many battles, but with mixed results for the surviving populations. At the start of the tournament, she proposes a peace agreement in which the winner of the tournament would wish all competitors back to life, so no warrior would have to die permanently. She forms an alliance with Rat during the tournament. She possesses the power to transmute any material she touches into another state, such as turning stone into sand. Her way of killing is "killing peacefully".
- Ryōka Niwa (丹羽 遼香 Niwa Ryōka) / Chicken (庭取 Niwatori)
- Voiced by: Ayane Sakura (Japanese); Monica Rial (English)
- Chicken is a young, green-haired woman in a brief costume made of feathers with a timid and hesitant personality. She possesses the ability "Eye of the Cormorant," which allows her to communicate with and control birds. During the tournament, she approaches Dog with an alliance to defeat Rabbit and his puppets. Her way of killing is "killing by pecking".
- Michio Tsukui (津久井 道雄 Tsukui Michio) / Dog (怒突 Dotsuki)
- Voiced by: Tomohiro Nishimura (Japanese); Chuck Huber (English)
- Dog is a dark-haired man with dog-like characteristics. He has the ability to produce deadly poisons for both killing enemies and doping allies. He also believes he can synthesize an antidote to the poison gem within his body. He agrees to form an alliance with Chicken, although he has little respect for her fighting abilities. His way of killing is "killing by biting".
- Toshiko Inō (伊能 淑子 Inō Toshiko) / Boar (異能肉 Inōnoshishi)
- Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa (Japanese); Stephanie Young (English)
- Boar is a young blond haired woman and daughter of the last tournament winner from 12 years earlier. Although initially reluctant to kill when she was younger, she earned her position by driving her younger sister to suicide when their father did not choose her for the tournament. She uses twin medium caliber machine guns, with a "non-reload" ability giving her unlimited ammunition. Her way of killing is "killing bountifully".
- Duedeculpe (ドゥデキャプル Dudekyapuru)
- Voiced by: Hiroki Yasumoto (Japanese); Mark Stoddard (English)
- Duedeculpe is the mysterious referee whose job it is to host and manage the Zodiac Tournament and grant the winner's wish. The tournament is not only a proxy battle for control of the countries possessed, but also to control the betting on the outcome. He monitors the tournament in the presence of faceless VIP avatars. When only six warriors remain, the VIPs can begin wagering on individual warriors, and when only three warriors remain, they can bet on the outcome.
A manga adaptation by Akira Akatsuki has been announced and was serialized in Shueisha's Shōnen Jump+ app and website on September 23, 2017. Viz Media started distributing the manga via Weekly Shonen Jump on September 23, 2017.
An anime adaptation is produced by Graphinica, with Naoto Hosoda directing, Sadayuki Murai writing scripts, Chikashi Kadekaru designing characters, and Go Shiina composing the music. It aired from October 3 to December 19, 2017. The opening theme is "Rapture" by Panorama Panama Town, while the ending theme is "Keshin no Kemono" (化身の獣) by Do as Infinity. It ran for 12 episodes. Crunchyroll streamed the series. Funimation streamed the series with a simuldub.
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Even Boars May Become Pigs After Seven Generations"|
"Inoshishi mo Nana Daime ni wa Buta ni Naru" (猪も七代目には豚になる)
|October 3, 2017|
|In a city now devoid of people, Boar, with light machine guns akimbo heads towards a central building. As she enters the building, she reminisces about how she became the family’s contender in the Zodiac Tournament. At the top, she sees the other contenders, although one, the Snake, is already dead. The mysterious referee appears and tells them to swallow the gems of the tournament, containing a poison that will kill them in 12 hours. The winner must retrieve all the gems from the other competitors before the deadline. They will then receive the antidote and make any wish they desire. After he leaves, Monkey suggests that the best way would be to collaborate and for the winner to wish the others back alive, so no one has to die. While some see it as a good idea, the Boar thinks it is stupid. The floor suddenly gives way, with the competitors dropping to the lower levels. Boar runs into Rabbit and thinks she can kill him, but she is grabbed from behind by the headless body of Snake which is controlled by Rabbit who then stabs her through the heart. As she dies, she realizes he is a necromancer and he says that she will also be his friend once she is dead.|
|2||"Tricks Both Mongrel and Fowl"|
|October 10, 2017|
|After killing her, Rabbit retrieves the gem from inside Boar's body. Meanwhile Monkey and Rat form a loose alliance and head underground while the other contestants plan their own strategies. Rabbit now has the dead Snake and Boar under his control, and Boar openly walks the streets acting as a possible decoy to lure out other Zodiac Warriors. Dog confidently believes his body can generate an antidote to the poison giving him an advantage. He meets up with Chicken whom he thinks will be a convenient, but expendable short-term ally as she can monitor the others by using her communication with birds in the city. Dog bites Chicken to enhance her powers to combat Boar and Snake, but she instead kills him by crushing his skull. In the underground, Horse meets Ox who immediately goes on the attack.|
|3||"Cutting a Chicken with a Beef Cleaver"|
"Gyūtō o motte niwatori o saku" (牛刀をもって鶏を裂く)
|October 17, 2017|
|As Chicken retrieves the gem from inside Dog's body she recalls her earlier life as an abused child who killed her parents. She suffered from severe amnesia but showed an ability to communicate with birds. She was then taken in by the Niwa family who turned her into a killer who carried out their instructions without conscience. In the present, she instructs her birds to attack Boar, and although many are killed, they eventually prevail and devour her body. In the subway tunnel, Ox relentlessly attacks Horse who has an iron-like skin. In a convenience store Chicken meets Rat who offers to take her to Monkey. Chicken follows him into the underground sewers, calculating when she should make a move to kill them, but she is uncertain of Monkey's motives. Eventually she leaves, wondering why she did not kill them. She realizes that the enhanced power from the Dog's bite has also made her more sensitive. As she walks, engrossed in her thoughts, she encounters a blood-stained Ox. Unsure of whether to fight him, he attacks first and kills her, retrieving both the Chicken and Dog's gems. As she dies, she gives her birds permission to feed on her body.|
|4||"The Enemy, a Noble Primate"|
"Teki mo saru mono, hikkaku mono" (敵もさる者、ひっかく者)
|October 24, 2017|
|Sharyu the Monkey is shown training to transmute substances between physical states to split a huge rock before she leaves the monkey society, vowing to use her powers for good. In the present, Rat tells Monkey that Chicken is probably dead, her resolve weakened by Monkey's optimistic attitude. Monkey still plans to end the war between the warriors, but Rat is much more cynical and is not interested in saving what he believes are worthless lives. A flashback shows Monkey successfully negotiating a ceasefire between two warring countries where she appealed to the soldiers themselves, but her solution was short-lived, and the fighting and deaths continued. Nezumi the Rat, still believes peace is futile and suggests she use her powers to stop war. Although she has witnessed countless deaths and atrocities, she still pursues peace. As she muses, she and Rat are attacked by a flock of birds and head to the surface, where they are confronted by Rabbit and the headless Snake, and prepare to fight.|
|5||"A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"|
"Hitsuji no Kawa o kabutta ōkami" (羊の皮をかぶった狼)
|October 31, 2017|
|Duedeculpe explains the nature of the Zodiac Tournament to faceless VIP avatars as he updates them on the progress of the contestants and their relative prospects of victory. The warriors remaining with gems in order of strength are Ox, Rabbit, Monkey, Sheep, Horse, Rat and Tiger. Hiding out, Sheep considers his strategy as an ageing previous winner. He recalls his past as a young arms dealer and warrior with a special skill in explosives. He married into the family of one of his close clients and after he won the Juuni Taisen he was granted his wish to have a grandson. He vows that if he loses the tournament, he will also take out the other warriors. Craftily, he did not swallow his poisonous gem which gives him and advantage. Meanwhile, Rabbit attacks Monkey but she is able to dodge and repel his attacks while trying to convince him to join her so that they all survive. He just ignores her and uses Chicken's vicious birds to attack Monkey as well. Meanwhile Ox finds Sheep, who just manages to escape, leaving an explosive booby trap behind. Horse is still alive but wounded and emerges from the underground, shocked at the uninhibited aggression of Ox. The headless Snake pursues Rat with a flame-thrower and Rat finally realizes that Snake uses the sound of his movement to follow him. In a park, Sheep comes across a drunken Tiger, considering her a minimal threat until she easily detects his hidden presence.|
|6||"Even a Champion Racehorse May Stumble"|
"Senri no uma mo ketsumazuku" (千里の馬も蹴躓く)
|November 7, 2017|
|Against his better judgement, Sheep realizes he may have to fight the extremely drunken Tiger sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, each fighter pursues their own agenda, headless Snake pursues Rat while Monkey continues to fight Rabbit. Rabbit, although strong, seems to lack martial arts skills, but using Snake’s head placed in a tree to track her movements he manages to kill Monkey with his twin swords. As Sheep plans his move, Tiger suddenly strikes, killing him and removing his gem before he even realizes what happened. Duedeculpe declares only six warriors remain, and the VIP avatars begin to place their bets. As he hides out in a bank vault, Horse thinks back to how, as a soldier he was almost destroyed in a fall from a cliff. He became a warrior after his body was modified to gain incredible strength and attain an impenetrable defense technique. Suddenly he hears Rat next to him, who says that Monkey is dead along with her peace proposal. After warning that Snake may be following him, he leaves Horse alone. As Horse is caught up in his own thoughts of how to survive, he realizes that Snake has set the building on fire, starving him of oxygen and he dies in the inferno.|
|7||"In Like a Dragon, Out Like a Snake (Part 1)"|
"Ryūtōdabi (Senkō)" (竜頭蛇尾(先攻))
|November 14, 2017|
|In a flashback to the start of the Zodiac Tournament, Snake and Dragon enter the central building, assuming that with their teamwork they can't lose. In the past Snake and Dragon were thieves chosen by their clans to be tournament representatives, warning them that only one can be the victor. Back at the start of the tournament they meet Rabbit who appears harmless, but who suddenly decapitates Snake while the twins are discussing the situation. Back in the present, Rabbit's puppet Monkey finds Horse, but his gem is already gone and she drags his body back to Rabbit. Meanwhile Tiger encounters the headless Snake. She severs his arm and relieves him of his tank of alcohol which she promptly starts drinking. Snake seems immobilized, so she walks off, but Ox arrives and severs Snake's other arm. Tiger faces off against Ox, but suddenly Snake's severed arms grab them by their throats and begin to choke them. Ox proposes to Tiger that they temporarily set aside the tournament and have their own duel. When she agrees, he uses his sword to create a spark, igniting the alcoholic foam dripping from her mouth and setting Snake's arm on fire.|
|8||"In Like a Dragon, Out Like a Snake (Part 2)"|
"Ryūtōdabi (Kōkō)" (竜頭蛇尾(後攻))
|November 21, 2017|
|Dragon watches as Snake's severed arms strangle Ox and Tiger. In a flashback, Dragon and Snake are being tried for crimes which damaged the prestige of the twelve houses. They were engaged by both sides in a deal involving criminals supplying orphans to a pharmaceutical research facility for illegal experimental drugs. However, they decided to betray their clients and take all the money themselves, destroying the facility and killing everyone left inside. They also accepted money to destroy surviving witnesses. Although they sometimes distributed the fortunes they stole to the poor, their good intentions often backfired, making the gestures quite hollow. After being acquitted of the crimes due to Dragon's convincing arguments as defense attorney, they were chosen as representatives for the Zodiac Tournament. Back in the present, Ox's strategy of burning Snake's severed arms is effective and he and Tiger are freed. Ox then realizes that burning is the only way to stop Rabbit's zombie puppets. Meanwhile Dragon plans a fitting memorial service for his younger brother Snake.|
|9||"The Man Who Chases Two Rabbits Catches Neither"|
"Nito ou mono wa itto mo e zu" (二兎追うものは一兎も得ず)
|November 28, 2017|
|As Dragon floats high above the warriors engaged below, Rabbit's puppet Monkey throws Snake’s head towards him. This distracts him long enough for Rabbit to jump up and slice him in half, leaving only three other warriors alive, Rat, Ox and Tiger. In a flashback, Tiger Kanae is chosen at her family’s Aria-Style martial arts dojo at the representative to go out and fight as a warrior fulfilling their philosophy. She found however that the battlefield was not a place of righteous battle and honor, but a killing field and seeks relief in alcohol. She then discovered her abilities were stronger on all fours like a tiger, making her an even more effective, unstoppable warrior. Back in the present, Ox and Tiger, completely unused to planning realize that they need a way to stop Rabbit’s puppets who have been cut to pieces. Ox hints to Tiger that Dragon’s tank of liquid coolant may be the key. As the fight begins with Rabbit's puppets, Tiger takes Dragon's tank and bursts it, freezing their adversaries. Rabbit then emerges from the shadows, but without his puppets he is easily cut down by Ox and Tiger. Tiger then prepares for her postponed duel with Ox.|
|10||"A Tiger May Die, But It Leaves Its Skin"|
"Tora wa shin de kawa o nokosu" (虎は死んで皮を残す)
|December 5, 2017|
|In the past, Tiger Kanae is surrounded by troops in snowy city streets, too drunk and cold to fight. Ox appears on the scene, kills the troops and rescues her, not knowing who she is. She is impressed by his simple but direct philosophy, of how doing the right thing is just a choice followed by action, and inspires her to focus on her physical training. At the start of the Zodiac Tournament, she was angry that Ox did not remember her from the past since he had such a big influence on her life. Back in the present, Rabbit's severed arms holding a sword, attack Ox. Without thinking, Tiger pushes him out of the way and is stabbed instead, even though she reasons that Ox would have been able to defend himself. Rabbit and his puppet's body parts attack Ox and he flees, taking the mortally wounded Tiger with him. Rather than die by the hand of Rabbit and become a puppet, she asks Ox to kill her and he agrees, but only as the result of a duel. Ox asks Tiger if they met before and if she has a grudge against him, but she responds that she dislikes brooding types like him.|
|11||"To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow"|
"Hito no gobō de hōji suru" (人の牛蒡で法事する)
|December 12, 2017|
|Ox finds himself unusually affected by the death of Tiger and contemplates the nature of the Zodiac Tournament and Rabbit's attempt to win even after his own death. He realizes his saber will be ineffective against Rabbit who can only be stopped by being incinerated. Just then, a reanimated Rabbit, combined from the body parts of the warriors he killed approaches Ox. Ox slices at Rabbit, but is unexpectedly attacked and pinned down by Rabbit's puppet Monkey, so that Rabbit can kill Ox himself. As Ox is about to give up, Rat approaches at the scene, having been in hiding for most of the tournament. He brings with him explosives from the corpse of Sheep and destroys the remaining competitors in the tournament, becoming the winner. Rat presents the eleven gems from the other fallen warriors to Duedeculpe, and is then asked to recount his experience of the tournament. He is reluctant to discuss it and decides to leave, however he has multiple visions of being killed if he does and realizes that he is trapped. He explains that he did nothing unusual, evaluating hundreds of strategies before taking action and explains that even with his planning, luck still plays a part. Following the interview, he leaves the building.|
|12||"The One Wish That Must Be Granted, and the Ninety-nine That Can Be Done Without"|
"Dōshitemo Kanaetai Tatta Hitotsu no Negai to Wari to Sō demo Nai 99 no Negai" (どうしても叶えたいたったひとつの願いと割とそうでもない99の願い)
|December 19, 2017|
|With the city returned to normal, Rat goes back at school. He contemplates his wish as the winner of the Zodiac Tournament, but has no idea what he should wish for. He thinks about his discussions with the other tournament warriors and what their wishes were, often being surprised by their answers. He realizes that he is the one person in the tournament without a wish. For him, trying to think of a wish is like seeing multiple visions of the future, and of the hundred wishes that he thinks of, each one has an upside and a downside. Finally, confronted by Duedeculpe to decide, he wishes to forget. He returns to school the following day, sitting at his desk and dozing off as usual, although another student remarks that he appears satisfied, as if he doesn’t want for anything in the world.|
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