Anime Basics: JUNI TAISEN: ZODIAC WAR

JUNI TAISEN: ZODIAC WAR
Genre: Action, Modern Fantasy
Season: Fall 2017
Premiere Date: October 3, 2017 (JST)

Introduction

Juni Taisen is a popular novel published on May 19, 2015 by Shueisha in Japan that has sold over eighty-thousand copies. Author NisiOisin (Bakemonogatari, Zaregoto)  and artist Hikaru Nakamura (Arakawa Under the Bridge,  Saint Young Men) have joined forces to create not only Juni Taisen, but also the manga one-shot Doshitemo Kanaetai Tatta Hitotsu no Negai to Wari to So Demo Nai 99 no Negai (A Single Wish I Want to Make Come True More Than Anything and 99 Wishes That I Don’t Feel Quite as Strongly About) which serves as an epilogue to the novel. The one-shot was published as part of the Ogiri project, which publishes manga in Shueisha magazines written by NisiOisin and drawn by a variety of manga creators.

This NisiOisin story takes place in a unique world in which once you get sucked in, you won’t ever be able to get out. The story has been popular amongst both men and women, proving its wide appeal.

Story

The bloody war between the twelve warriors of the Zodiac begins…

This is the blood-covered war record of twelve proud warriors…

The curtain has finally risen on the twelfth battle of the war of twelve warriors that is held every twelve years. The twelve warriors of the Zodiac fight against each other with their lives and souls on the line. The battle has twelve participants: The Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Serpent, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Cock, Dog, and Boar. Each is just as strange as they are powerful. The winner of this war has the right to have one wish—any wish—granted.

A single wish each warrior wants to make come true…

Who will be the last standing in the end?

On a battlefield trapped in a whirlpool of scheming and slaughter, whose teardrops will fall?

This is the beginning of a soul-shaking battle royal.


Characters

Nezumi
Voice: Shun Horie

Kills in swarms.

Real Name: Tsugiyoshi Sumino
Date of Birth: March 3
Height: 170 cm
Weight: 55 kg

A modern high school student without hopes or dreams who goes to school with a gloomy look on his face, only to fall asleep when he gets there. He decided to participate in the Zodiac War on a whim. He has an oddly insightful personality, but gets super excited when he’s eating cheese. Though, that’s the only time you’ll ever see him excited.


Ushii
Voice: Yuichiro Umehara

Systematically kills.

Real Name: Eiji Kashii
Date of Birth: February 2
Height: 181 cm
Weight: 72 kg

Ushii experienced his first battle when he was five years old, and massacred his opponents. Since then, he has desired only to retain his status of “genius.” The inscription on his sword reads “Great Burdock Sword.” His sword is a mass-produced one, so it’s not some kind of special weapon, but he takes great care when using it. He has a fairly thin build, but tends to eat a lot. As a noble warrior, he does not drink alcohol, so he is very knowledgeable when it comes to restaurants one can eat alone at.


Tora
Voice: Hiromi Igarashi

Kills in a drunken rage.

Real Name: Kanae Aira
Date of Birth: January 1
Height: 154 cm
Weight: 42 kg

Tora’s method of using her claws to kill is excruciatingly painful… So painful, that if someone did a “The Warrior You’d Least Like to Encounter in Battle” survey, she would rank pretty high despite her low number of actual appearances on the battlefield.


Usagi
Voice: Nobuhiko Okamoto

Kills in an abnormal manner.

Details about this warrior are unknown.


Tatsumi Brother, the Elder
Voice: Takuya Eguchi

Kills for money to play around.

Real Name: Nagayuki Tsumita
Date of Birth: November 11 (what’s written on his birth certificate)
Height: 164 cm
Weight: 58 kg

A warrior who fights alongside his younger twin brother, but being the elder brother, he takes the position of commander. The way to tell him apart from his younger brother–who looks exactly like him from head to toe–is the pronoun he uses to refer to himself. His weapon is an “icethrower” called “Yukionna” that serves as an opposite to his younger brother’s flamethrower “Hitokage.” The tank of his weapon is filled with liquid hydrogen. In truth, he believes that his weapon is harder to use than his younger brother’s.


Tatsumi Brother, the Younger
Voice: Kosuke Toriumi

Kills for money to play around.

Real Name: Takeyasu Tsumita
Date of Birth: October 10 (what’s written on his birth certificate)
Height: 164 cm
Weight: 58 kg

A young warrior who fights alongside his elder twin brother. Though it’s usually very rare for two strong-willed warriors to be on the same team, the warriors of the Serpent and the Dragon traditionally fight together as one. Their superiority is unquestionable. He keeps a variety of reptiles as pets at his house, and the blog he secretly writes about raising them is extremely popular amongst reptile fanatics.


Uuma
Voice: Hikaru Midorikawa

Kills without uttering a word.

Real Name: Yoshimi Soma
Date of Birth: September 9
Height: 230 cm
Weight: 150 kg

The largest of all of the heads of the Soma clan that have lead the family throughout history. A man of few words, only those very close to him will ever hear him speak besides when he’s introducing himself as a warrior (this is kind of off topic, but he has a really nice voice). His stoic manner of fighting perfectly fitting his personality is known far and wide.


Hitsujii
Voice: Cho

Kills with deception.

Real Name: Sumihiko Tsujiie
Date of Birth: August 8
Height: 140 cm
Weight: 40 kg

Although he began as a mere arms seller, after entering the battlefield time and time again for his business and getting caught up in the flames of war, he began to distinguish himself as a warrior, and was taken in as a son-in-law by the Tsujiie, who were always his faithful patrons and recognized his talent. Despite his age, he has recently been quite crazy about smartphone gaming, is a constant ranker on a famous app. Because of this, he is deeply respected  by others in the world of the app as well, and is called a “warrior.”


Sharyu
Voice: Saori Hayami

Kills peacefully.

Real Name: Misaki Yuki
Date of Birth: July 7
Height: 150 cm
Weight: 40 kg

Having reached spiritual awakening on a certain sacred mountain, this girl learned the way of the warrior from three immortal mountain wizards named Mizaru, Iwazaru, and Sakazaru. She is able to control liquids, solids, and gases at will and is extremely adept at combat, but she has never used the powers she learned from the wizards for hurting others. Sharyu’s hobbies include making sweets. The desserts she makes are a bit too delicious, leading her eating too much.


Niwatori
Voice: Ayane Sakura

Kills by pecking.

Real Name: Ryoka Niwa
Date of Birth: June 6
Height: 153 cm
Weight: 42 kg

Having been cruelly abused to an unimaginable amount since she was young, Niwatori has no memories of her life before age 15. Her weapon of choice is not a trident, but a spade. The weapon has no name, but she personally calls it the “Cockscomb Lance.” She tends to go for a soak in some hot springs when she’s on the verge of breaking from stress, so she gets a bit happy when a battle she’ll be taking part in are at a location with hot springs.


Dokku
Voice: Tomohiro Nishimura

Kills by biting.

Real Name: Michio Tsukui
Date of Birth: May 5
Height: 177 cm
Weight: 52 kg

This warrior chooses not to use a weapon, and instead prefers to use his fangs to maul his opponents. His fangs that can shatter anything are called the “Rabid Dog Rivets,” and they are feared by many. He is passionate about doing calligraphy in his personal life. At first, the others around him didn’t understand his passion, but because he continued to hone his craft despite the words of those who didn’t believe in him, no one could deny his talent once his gorgeous brushstrokes were on the paper.


Inōnoshishi
Voice: Yoko Hikasa

Kills in abundance.

Real Name: Toshiko Ino
Date of Birth: April 4
Height: 176 cm
Weight: 60 kg

The heiress to a distinguished family with over three hundred years of history. She uses machine guns that she holds in both hands, which are named “End of Love” and “Love of Life.” She is well-versed in firearms–so much that she is able to control any heavy artillery with ease. In particular, her two favorite guns are almost like a part of her body. She currently is in healthy relationships with twelve men, but is looking for even more lovers to add to that number.


Duodecuple
Voice: Hiroki Yasumoto

Judge of the Zodiac War.


Where to Watch

Crunchyroll (sub)
Funimation (dub)

Links

Official Website
Official Twitter

Staff

Original Work: Juni Taisen (Author: NisiOisin, Illustrator: Hikaru Nakamura (Shueisha))
Director: Naoto Hosoda
Series Composition: Sadayuki Murai
Character Design: Chikashi Kadekaru
Music: Go Shiina
Music Production: Avex Pictures
Opening Theme Song: “Rapture” by Panorama Panama Town
Animation Production: Graphnica

Cast

Shun Horie as Nezumi (Rat)
Yuichiro Umehara as Ushii (Ox)
Hiromi Igarashi as Tora (Tiger)
Nobuhiko Okamoto as Usagi (Hare)
Takuya Eguchi as Tatsumi Brother, the Elder (Dragon)
Kosuke Toriumi as Tatsumi Brother, the Younger (Serpent)
Hikaru Midorikawa as Uuma (Horse)
Cho as Hitsujii (Ram)
Saori Hayami as Sharyu (Monkey)
Ayane Sakura as Niwatori (Cock)
Yoko Hikasa as Inōnoshishi (Boar)
Hiroki Yasumoto as Duedecuple

© Ishin Nishio,Hikaru Nakamura/SHUEISHA, JUNI TAISEN COMMITTEE


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