Juni Taisen 2

Dog’s character design annoys me.

It’s, like, a furry doing bad cosplay of Wolverine. All the other characters have cool riffs on their respective animals. I loved Boar’s horn earrings. Ox’s horn headband rocks. Even Monkey’s tail/belt thing is a cool flourish for her animal. But Dog’s design feels lazy, and I hated the dude from the get go just because of how ugly he was. That fur coat and obvious dog ears and dark eyes… ugg.

Now I kinda feel bad about hating the dude, because I kinda dug him in this episode.

We don’t get into his head nearly as much as we did Boar, but I like how so much of his character is based on deception. He has a reputation for being this wild killer who can literally bite through anything– the whole Wolverine thing you expect from his look– but his real talent is poisons. His body can create them to his needs, and he can inject them through his fangs. It creates the illusion that his bite is his strength, but its all about the venom within. So the bit where he literally bites a gun in two isn’t some adamantium riff, it’s his fangs secreting something that allows him to cut right through the metal. It’s a pretty clever twist on what you expect.

So it makes sense that most of what we hear in his internal monologue is how he’s going to pull one over on Chicken. We see his back and forth, trying to figure out what to do with this seemingly reluctant combatant who wants to team up. Not quite plans-within-plans, but nothing is surface level despite appearing to be a surface level sort of character.

Then he dies. All of that was for naught because he wasn’t nearly as smart as he thought he was. Chicken was playing him. The episode isn’t 100% clear on that, but that’s what makes the most sense. She got what she wanted and disposed of Dog. Basically, everything that was going on in his mind was going on in hers– we got two characters “developed” at the same time, all through the lens of one. Insert a bad joke about two birds and one stone.

Looking at how these characters have died so far, I’m seeing a pattern in regards to their respective signs.

One of the defining traits of the Boar is a love of comfort. Boar was most comfortable while wielding both arms. She saw them as natural extensions of herself, despite her father’s warning that one should always keep both arms free in case you’re taken from behind. Her need for the comfort of being armed led to her being open to Rabbit’s scheme.

Dogs are known for loyalty and trust. He trusted that Chicken’s innocent act. He had no loyalty to her, but he assumed some degree of such from her based on her actions. The dog trusts the master, even when the master goes against the well-being of the dog.

We’ll see if this continues for Chicken next episode. Now that she has this newfound power, she’s probably gonna show it off to the world, stick her neck out, and get it chopped.

Yeah, this episode wasn’t quite as crazy and awesome as the first, but I’m loving this thing. I went so far as to order the book last week. I started reading it, and deliberately stopped at the end of this fight in the book before writing this. I’ll probably read it all before next week’s episode. It’s a fairly breezy read so far. The anime is embellishing some things and leaving out other details, but for the most part it’s been a straight-up adaptation.

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