Juuni Taisen: Anime vs. Manga (9th Day of Anime)

I finally cleaned up the navigation on this blog, including adding some links between the 12 Days of Anime posts (even though there is no real rhyme or reason to the topics involved).

As for today’s topic…I swear nobody knows about the fact a manga even exists for Juuni Taisen. People care about the light novel more.

I haven’t talked about manga at all, despite this being the Animanga Spellbook. I was trying to save that special first position to talk about Boku no Hero Academia: Vigilantes, but my haphazard ways bit me in the butt…and so, here we are. Actual manga talk.

Enough banter though. Here’s where you can observe the things I’m talking about with your own eyes:

The anime and manga follow each other quite closely, aside from the relative lack of colour in the manga. There’s just a few particular standout things – things you might miss if you’re a more passive consumer of either version – that make catching up to both so fun.

  1. Navi.

Let’s start with the difference that has the most impact later on.


The lack of a narrator-type presence means some information in a Juuni Taisen manga would have to be skipped or inserted in some other way, plus the reader may get confused with what’s going on. However, if you get a naïve reporter-type character, you can kill two birds with one stone. Navi introduces Inoushishi and Duodecuple introduces Navi, which may mean a relationship between the two that has yet to be revealed.

(It does make you wonder what the heck Duodecuple is doing in the manga, though. I half-expected Duodecuple to be the narrator in one medium or another after episode 1.)

  1. An epic intro.

Anime watchers have synopses to tell them that the Zodiac War happens once every 12 years etc., but manga readers get some badassery instead.

1 (ch1)
Badassery, indeed. (Source: Juuni Taisen manga ch. 1)

However, it’s interesting to note Hitsuji and Ushii, the former being the seasoned veteran from the ninth Zodiac War and the latter being the Genius of Slaughter, are shown first to build up people’s expectations. Inoushishi, first to die, and Nezumi, the most likely winner according to the “reverse zodiac order” hypothesis, don’t appear at all in this intro.

For some reason, Ushii is shown in the initial skyscraper with some fabric hanging from his swords. I’m not really sure what it’s meant to mean, but it may be of interest later on.

  1. Jumping forward in time.

As Inoushishi is glancing over the warriors, the manga introduces them from Navi’s perspective using quotes from what you later learn are quotes from this Zodiac War (because Hitsujii is introduced with his “quantum tunnels” quote, while you can see Nezumi in the corner of one frame in Sharyuu’s). Once again, it’s likely to build up expectations.

What is the point of that fabric, anyway? (Source: Juuni Taisen manga ch. 1)

Usagi is notably introduced with no quotes at all, and Uuma’s is just an ellipsis.

  1. Duodecuple.

Duodecuple doesn’t appear on a pedestal above the warriors in the manga, and as to how to retrieve the jewel…

Show, don’t tell indeed. (Source: Juuni Taisen manga ch. 1)
  1. Making it rain.

For some reason, Inoushishi’s power is translated as “Making It Rain” in the manga. The anime handles this with “Non-Reload”, which is a lot more explicit. I get the feeling there’s a non-translatable pun involved…

  1. Lost love and no mercy.

Navi mentions what the translations of Aishuu and Inochigoi are, whereas it’s missing from the anime. It’s a bit of bonus material mostly, but it threw me for a loop when watching the anime.

  1. Duodecuple’s explanation.

Duodecuple’s ominous “Place your bets now” moment which explains the motivations behind the Zodiac War is absent from the manga so far, but is present in the anime’s 5th episode. It seems the manga is likely trying to keep that for a reveal later on, if it ever shows up at all.

(Source: Juuni Taisen anime ep. 5)

The Uuma vs. Ushii fight is also omitted, possibly due to constraints between media. Fast cuts don’t allow for ease of reading in a manga, whereas they can show multiple things happening at the same time in an anime.

  1. Bringing down the floor.

No one does the explanation Monkey brought down the floor in the skyscraper in the manga. However, this does buy enough time for Niwatori to be more sympathetic instead, as her death is done through an entire chapter. I distinctly remember almost missing the anime’s after-credits segment where Niwatori commands the birds to eat her flesh – had I not stuck around for it, it would’ve affected my entire perspective of her.

  1. Old-Timer.

Old-Timer was such an appropriate joke for a grandpa I thought it would carry over to the manga. Unfortunately, the manga’s translation of the Old-Timer is Hideous Burial. It’s a formidable name, but not one that could match up to Old-Timer in my opinion.

(Source: Juuni Taisen manga ch. 11)

The types of weapons used by Hitsujii in his flashback vary slightly, likely for the sake of the thrill.

Also, Hitsujii doesn’t do his explanation with the little toys in the isolated room in the manga – it’s just a standard flashback, but he strategises to his son (the Navi stand-in in this case) using photos as representations of other warriors. Again, this all comes down to constraints between mediums – monologuing isn’t particularly gripping by itself.

…That’s all I have right now. Since the manga is ongoing as I type this there may be more to cover later, and with the existence of the sequel oneshot in Oogiri, I get a feeling I may not be able to cover everything. This is from what I remember of the anime and manga, so it’s probably not definitive anyway.

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6 thoughts on “Juuni Taisen: Anime vs. Manga (9th Day of Anime)

Add yours

  1. Thanks for this detailed comparison on a series I found pretty thought-provoking. I’ve actually been following the manga and did not know there was a light novel. O_o

    Liked by 1 person

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