Every single warrior must die in some pathetic fashion. Sorry, that’s just an unwritten law of this universe. Why should we make any exceptions for Tiger? So what if she’s a cute catgirl who can drink most of us under the table. Sorry, but being a waifu won’t save you from the “brutal battles” of Juuni Taisen. That’s just how “twisty” and “turny” this show can be.
Anyway, let’s get the episode’s obligatory backstory out of the way. What? Don’t act like you’re surprised. You can’t exactly expect a tiger to change its stripes. Speaking of which, this week’s backstory is still about Tiger… for the most part. One day on the battlefield, she somehow bumped into Ox, but he mistook her for a mere child — another unfortunate casualty of war. Like a true gentleman, he wiped out an entire group of soldiers just to “save” her. Look, he’s the Genius of Slaughter, not the Genius of Making You Surrender Peacefully. That’s probably Monkey, and things didn’t exactly work out so well for her.
Still, I guess I’m slightly surprised to see a softer side to Ox. Shit, I guess he’s a good guy and everything. But if that’s the case, why is he so hell-bent on hunting the other warriors down? I guess we still have his backstory to suffer through, so we’ll just have to wait until then.
In the meantime, Tiger’s extended backstory continues. Ox ended up giving her a piggyback ride to safety as they discussed deontological ethics. You think I’m full of shit, huh? Well, go ahead… watch the episode to see if I’m lying or not. For the rest of us who just don’t care, which is probably everyone, this chance encounter with the Genius of Slaughter gave Tiger a brand new perspective on life. As a result, she cleaned up her act and stopped drinking excessively. She even appeared as though she was at peace with herself and her demons… except for one little nagging issue. For whatever odd reason, Tiger wanted more than anything to meet Ox again. Clearly, the only sensible option was to join a winner-take-all battle royale between twelve warrior families based on the Chinese zodiac.
When Tiger got to the tournament, however, Ox didn’t recognize her at all. In fact, he gave her the cold shoulder. The nerve of that man! How dare he not recognize some random kid he met on a battlefield! In all seriousness, I really don’t know what Tiger expected. That day was probably the most important day of her life, but to Ox, it was Tuesday. But there you go. Tiger’s “grudge” is really just a cry for attention: look at me, I’m no longer a murderous, boozy freakshow! I’m just a cute girl who cosplays as a tiger and drinks human blood… uh…
After all that build up, you know it’s time for yet another chump death. That’s just how Juuni Taisen operates. All of a sudden, one of Rabbit’s body parts comes to life and takes a swing at Ox. Tiger jumps between him and Rabbit’s attack, and just like that, she takes a mortal blow. As she slowly bleeds out, she even acknowledges that a warrior as gifted as Ox likely could’ve dodged the attack on his own. She basically died for nothing. She cleaned herself up and got back into her dojo just to go down like a chump.
I don’t get it, man. The writer must have sat back at some point and read through his work in one sitting, right? And if he did so, he must have noticed how utterly shit and cheap these deaths are, right? And yet, he decided to roll with Juuni Taisen in its current form. This has to be a sick joke, right?
In any case, Tiger doesn’t want her death credited to Rabbit, so she begs Ox to finish her off. Three left. Two more episodes to go. If you edit out all the backstories, how many episodes do you think this anime would have left? Two or three?