「羊の皮をかぶった狼」 (Hitsuji no Kawa o Kabutta Ookami)
“A Wolf in Sheep`s Clothing”

It’s another week where everybody’s alive and well! Not just that, but they confirmed that Uuma is still kicking too, so we’re back to eight contestants. That hasn’t stopped the ringleader Duedeculpe from gathering VIPs in his HQ to await their choices for the betting pool once the competition comes down to six. Their speculation meticulously explores the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor, narrowing down their speculative guesses to Ushii, Shuryuu, and Usagi as the favorites to win, and Hitsujii as a potential wild card pick. However, Duedeculpe’s mediation over the international betting committee implies that he has ulterior motives in conducting the Zodiac Wars as a means of deciding the fate of world powers.

It’s that aspect of the Zodiac War’s betting pool that makes me think Shuryuu has a better chance at getting far in the game, or at least has a gambit that would ensure that her plan for a peaceful end to the Zodiac Wars will make its way to the VIP room. The only problem is that her and Nezumi have some stiff competition at the moment from Usagi, who doesn’t seem to have much of a thought process over his actions aside from blank stares and giggles. He’s also holed up Nezumi using Takeyasu’s body to trap him in a room where he must try to maneuver his way about without getting hit by the flamethrower. It seems like a rough enough spot where someone isn’t going to walk away from those fights, but stranger things are happening at the moment.The strangest so far is the reveal that Uuma was strong enough to make Ushii feel lazy about putting the effort in to kill him, opting to just tossing him through the subway wall, and leaving it at that. Ushii retains his one-track mind killing Niwatori and sensing Hitsujii somewhere in the area, but was impressed enough with Uuma not to bother trying to cut out the poison key inside of him.

Ultimately, this was Hitsujii’s episode, giving us some background about his past as a weapons specialist, a soldier on the battlefield, a former contestant in an earlier Zodiac War, and eventually a grandfather. It was a good way of fleshing out his motives and the understanding he has for both weapons and his family life. Crazy to see that they held a Zodiac War inside of a space station, but I’d imagine when he was younger, the Zodiac Wars organizers couldn’t resist the allure of the Space Race. I liked how they made him more than just a clever old man by showing us that the effect of his wish with the Zodiac War was to see his grandchild and spend quality time with them. It was adorable to see how invested he was in trying to keep up with his grandson’s video gaming, and have him assist in launching fireworks he set up.

They gave Shuryuu depth with the normalcy of her home life, but it really lends itself to Hitsujii’s character by having him treasure the time he’s had with his family so much that he was willing to take part in the Zodiac War in his grandchild’s place. His likelihood of make it out of the Zodiac War is relatively slim, especially since his plan takes into account that the lower tier fighters weren’t taken out already, AND if he makes the same mistake Dotsuku made by not booking it after he found a way to duck out of being poisoned. But at the moment, it’s all determinant on what his interaction with Tora will be like. He’s repulsed to see her spending her time getting drunk on a park bench, and doesn’t see her as qualified at all to be here, but underestimation has proven to be a grave mistake before.



  1. Lol the Monkey is way too overpowered. Her arms can block Usagi-chan’s swords?

    The Ram should have just gotten his ass out of the country if he didn’t swallow the drug. But for some reason, everyone’s especially good at finding everyone else, in a city as large as Tokyo, it seems.

    Little Tangerine
    1. Her reflexes, combat prowess, and ability have been hinted towards being better suited in the offensive game, and that she places a limit on herself by using all three towards a peaceful route.

      No one ever gets out of dodge when they are able to. Dotsuku or Hitsujii were the luckiest people in the game, and squandered their chances by staying within or continuing to play along without just waiting the long-game elsewhere.

      1. U would think that the Ram, having won once, would have been better at keeping away. Instead, he was in a brightly lit room, playing with dolls.

        Usagi’s arms are longer than the Monkey’s, and also has more muscular density. And are also carrying swords.
        Their speeds match. Their agilities match. Both are on the offense, as you’ve stated.
        This should have been an easy win for the Hare. A clean kill. Simple physics and logic would have deemed such results. But I guess not, since the writers need the Monkey alive for plot development.

        Little Tangerine
      1. “My only regret was putting off wash-day until the night of the Zodiac War”

        Imagine the salt if she ended up having the most powerful ability and won the Zodiac War without even having to put down her drink.

  2. I love how basically the first few eps made us think the show would be formulaic, but since there’s been no deaths in 2 eps with extensive backstories I have a feeling it was the writer trolling the viewers (in a good way). Haven’t read the manga so I don’t know if the ed-song really does show the order of deaths. If that still turns out to be true, at least it doesn’t happen next episode and most likely will have multiple deaths in the same episode.

    1. It was pretty clever of the story to hold off on killing after people starting catching on that the first three episodes had a similar pattern. I do get the feeling it only means that there’ll be an incredibly brutal episode coming up to catch up.

  3. There are three types of characters in this war: The complete scum that just love war and make the world a worse place to live; the tragic ones that life screwed up so badly the only thing they are good at is war and people Sharyuu that want to stop this senseless bloodshed even if they loose their life in the process. But even so, I feel sympathy for Hitsujii, he´s the worse kind of scum who sells weapons to profit in all the bloodshed but he truly loves his family and does not want thrm involved in the war at all, going so far to save his grandson even when there are 99% chance he will die in the Zodiac War, that´s what I called touching.

    1. I feel Hitsujii struck a balance between the first two as he took pride in his ability to kill and sell weapons, but it came off like something he did because he was good at it. He didn’t have much of a tragic upbringing and isn’t hesitating to participate in the game even after hiding the poison, but he hasn’t let the career assassin mentality shape his attitude and mindset like others who revel in the murder they can get away with as career assassins.

      Like even after being responsible for the deaths of so many people, his wish was for enough normalcy to have a grandchild and be there for his family. His character offers up a complex scenario where we’re able to find someone to be a decent person despite being fine with killing he’s done and the wars he’s fueled.

  4. Fairly detailed backstories for 12 characters in 12 episodes is an awful lot to get through when normally you’d only have fewer than half that many. So I guess that’s why this show isn’t really working for me. And because it’s constantly switching between fighting, flashbacks and internal monologue, it just seems so disjointed.

    It’s also a risky format because the backstories can lead you to become invested in a character that might not even make it beyond the end of their own episode. If you’re betting on a horse race and your horse falls early on, you walk away, you don’t go bet on another one part way through.

    Oh well, I guess I still want to find out who wins in the end so I’ll stick with it.

    1. They do make it risky to play favorites, but it seems like the format is starting to become aware of how we need to get used to the characters before they get killed off so that there’s more of a reason to get invested in the cast currently available. Placing the killing on-hold for Shuryuu and Hitsujii’s backstories were a good approach, and hopefully they won’t revert back to characters getting their backstories out of the way in time for their demise.

  5. This episode had the most unsettling feeling for me. With all the jumping back-and-forth between different scenes, and the fights that seem to be progressing mostly in fits and starts (and Ushi vs Uuma has just been straight-up paused, though while I’m on the subject, I’m so pleased to see that Uuma is still alive for now!!!. It kind of gives off the sense that something is waiting to happen, that it is simmering beneath the surface and that it’s all going to explode soon. Though, to be honest, the VIP bit just unsettled me because it was confusing. I mean, why do they have to wait until only half are left to make the bets??? And I’m not really sure what Duoduceple was on about most of the time in that scene either. But it was interesting to see how the VIP rankings and Hitsuji’s rankings compare, especially considering how the former has all the information and Hitsuji basically has none even despite his prior knowledge of the contestants. They seem to have similar views about the top three and the bottom two, but the rest in the middle is all different.

    But anyway, Hitsuji. In general, he’s not really a character I’m particularly attached to or anything like that (much like how he considers himself low in the rankings amongst the warriors, I have to confess that he’s pretty low in my ‘ranking’ of my faves), but he’s had one interesting life, and his devotion to his grandson (and his family in general it seems, though of course the adorable grandson is the focus here) was really nice to see. And for that to be the reason he’s entered a second Juuni Taisen is…well. A really strong reason, for lack of a better way to put it. So even if I’m not too invested in whether he makes it out or not, I am interested in seeing exactly how his part of this story will play out.

    The episode ended in a weird way though. It was in the middle of things, but it didn’t feel like a cliffhanger so much as it did a random interruption. Still, I can’t wait for the next episode.

  6. I always appreciate a warrior like Hitsuji who admits their flaws and weaknesses as well as appreciating the strength of others as opposed to ones like Boar, who arrogantly thought she was unquestionably the strongest and everyone else was nothing compared to her, resulting in her being the first to die.


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