Juuni Taisen (Zodiac War) Episode 3
Ok. Not a good sign. Just saw the episode is titled, “Cutting A Chicken With A Beef Cleaver”.
Well, that was a rollercoaster of an episode. From seeing the title and thinking Chicken was gonna die to seeing her compromise her character to, well, you know… her dying and being eaten by her own birds. It’s the ciiiiircle of life.
Since this episode was entirely dedicated to Chicken, it only feels right that I talk mostly about her in this post. A memorial. A character breakdown. If you can call pulling an opinion from 20 minutes worth of showtime a breakdown, that is. It certainly seems like the pecking order has shifted after this episode.
Just a small sidebar first. For the sake of time, we were skipped straight to her parents looking like a well-used pincushion and that’s fine. The mental imagery of the Niwa elders sending a girl off to war with nothing but a rake is hilarious though. Yeah, she can use birds with grenades. That’s cool and all. Give her a gun! Also, this BS completely un-symbiotic relationship between Chicken and her bird friends is awful. They get slaughtered on her command and in return they get what? A meal they could’ve foraged themselves?
It was fairly clear that she was talented in some way, as she was involved in the war to begin with. Before this episode, I liked the idea of a clumsy, accident-prone, but overall lucky, character that happened to be great at reconnaissance and maybe guerilla warfare. Planning chicken-coop d’etats as a specialty, maybe. This episode let me down. Many people say some birds are just rats with wings, but c’mon. The character type she turned out to be is exactly what I’d expect of a rat. Trained in secretly creating conflict, betrayal, espionage and the like, it really felt like a rapid departure from what I eggspected and wanted.
To bequeath the power of avian control suggests, considering it’s overtly mediocre power stats, that there are other areas which she is strong in, to compensate. Usually, in an anime, the character with the weakest power (or straight up no power) is somehow also the strongest. This show is just so much more straightforward. The twist is there is no twist and, so far, the twist in the ‘there is no twist’ is that it’s making the show not fun to watch. Now that’s a twist I didn’t see coming.
The sudden turn in personality also seemed highly suspect. Of course, not having read the source material, it seems like Monkey’s power is potentially some sort of hypnosis or trance effect. Pro level diplomacy or maybe just maxed out friendship no jutsu. Regardless, Chicken laying down years of eggsperience, flying the coop, and abandoning that which had been imprinted on her entire being, after her amnesiac episode, seems like it would be a much more arduous journey. I would have to call fowl play on that sudden shift. And then blaming her mental state on the drug which she admitted she had previously known about and specifically coerced out of Dog. It just doesn’t seem like the type of side effect a pro would let go unnoticed or unaccounted for.
Each passing episode, more and more, seems to bring to fruition the predictability of the show. The action also seems largely rushed over or simply not present. I will, of course, refrain from harsh judgments still as there are only three episodes out, but if each episode is revealing backstory and then killing the same character we just learned about, why watch the show? There are shows I’ve watched for years on end with characters I have no attachment to. It’s going to take some serious convincing to do anything in 20 minutes.
Woah. That’s a lot of pessimism. Let’s try bumping it up a bit real quick with some positive thoughts.
Next episode is all about Monkey it looks like. If there was ever going to be an episode to make me change my mind about this show, this would probably be it. I’ll be crossing my fingers! I’m so curious what her plan is going to be!
There are still many more encounters to come too. While the endings have been a smidge unexciting, in the moment it’s admittedly a pretty suspenseful show. Some of my favorite characters are still in it too. I’ve had my eye on Monkey and Sheep since the beginning and with Ox coming into play more, the chance of fighting also goes up. That’s not even mentioning that psycho bunny is roaming the streets after Chicken lost track of him when he split off from Boar.
I’m actually very curious though. If you’re watching this, what do you think so far, am I being too harsh, and what chicken puns did I miss (if any)?