So they’re really going to do Monkey dirty like this? It’s not like she was ever a great character, but have you seen the rest of the cast? They’re all jerks. Even worse, they’re all paper-thin jerks. What on earth was the point of the backstory we got this week? What was I supposed to glean from Dragon and Snake’s past? At the start of the flashback, we see them entering the tournament building with their confidence way up high. They claim that there’s no way they can lose with their teamwork. Of course, we know Snake is the first to die, so that’s hardly the case. Nevertheless, I half-expected their backstory to show us the brothers’ amazing teamwork. That makes sense, right? You set them up just to knock them down. But we get nothing of that sort. Absolutely nothing. The two brothers are thieves, so we see them sneak around museums and shipping docks. They like to emit an annoying, high-pitched laugh that goes something like GE-HE-HE-HE-HE and that’s about it. That’s their backstory. Worst of all is the way Snake dies. He turns to tell his brother something, then Rabbit slices his head off. Offscreen, too. C’mon, Juuni Taisen. Just try. You don’t have to be a great anime. All you have to do is just try.
With Dragon and Snake’s backstories down, we have only four left, I believe. Rat, Tiger, Ox, and the eviltastic Rabbit, am I right? We already know Rabbit’s a psychotic freak. Tiger is unhinged in her own way. Ox marches around and speaks like a robot. Last but not least, Rat seems disdainful of everyone and everything. It’d be a shame if I had to root for one of these schmucks. It could just be that I’m not supposed to root for anyone at all. Who knows? I guess I’m getting too sentimental with my old age, but even though Monkey and her stupid “killing peacefully” schtick struck me as really corny, she was still the only one I wanted to see win this dumb tournament. No matter how shitty the world is, and no matter how cynical I get, I’d still rather root for the idealistic good guy who wants to make things right over a bunch of uncharismatic, selfish assholes. Maybe there’s still a chance Monkey can come back to life, but it doesn’t look so hot. Rabbit digs into her corpse today to dig out the poisoned gem, so yeah, it’s definitely not looking too hot.
In the second half of the episode, Tiger runs into Snake’s headless body. She slices off an arm and steals his flamethrower. As you might expect, none of this is accompanied by exciting action whatsoever, so don’t even ask. For some reason, the fuel for the flamethrower is apparently an alcohol that can be consumed. Maybe that’s Tiger’s real power, i.e. the ability to drink all sorts of liquids and act drunk. She’s supposedly after real blood, though. So what is she? A vampiric tiger? Ah well, who really cares? When she tries to leave, it’s Ox’s turn to run into Snake. He proceeds to slice off the other arm. Apparently, there’s bad blood between Ox and Tiger, but the former has no clue as to why that might be. But before their showdown can get under way, Snake’s severed limbs surprise everyone and start choking both opponents out. Ox suddenly realizes that being undead allows the limbs to use 100% of their potential or something, so neither Ox nor Tiger can escape from the arms’ grip through their own strength. I thought Tiger had claws on her hands, so she could just slice the arm up, but… uh, let’s just carry on a conversation instead. And once again, we see people go down because they are taken by surprise. It’s always by surprise. It’s the one and only idea Juuni Taisen has ever had, and the show is going to run the gimmick into the ground.
Right before the episode comes to an end, Ox cooks up a plan. Tiger is foaming up a lot of alcohol (el-oh-el), so if he creates enough sparks with his sword, it will light her on fire. This will burn the arm off, and hopefully, Tiger will also survive the ordeal. Then I guess she will help free Ox so they can have a fair fight? Hopefully. What a plan, am I right? Ugh, how many more episodes of this do we got? Five more? And four more backstories. Great. Just great.