Juni Taisen, Ox, and Doing What’s Right

Juni Taisen is not the kind of show I typically watch. It is full of violence, cussing, and a very dark atmosphere. And the show is devoid of hope, as every episode demonstrates that nobody is safe no matter how strong they are. The main concept that kept me on the edge of my seat was to know who would win the tournament that the twelve characters participated in! I am pretty easily entertained, so not knowing who will be the winner at the end was enough for me to finish the series. There were some interesting backstories for a few characters, but one, in particular, stood out to me most of all.

The synopsis of the show is pretty simple and is told in the first episode. Each fighter is represented by a Chinese zodiac sign, and they are part of a battle royal. They have twelve hours to finish the battle, in which the winner gets any wish granted. Oh, and each of them swallowed a large gem with poison that kills them in twelve hours anyways. Take that for motivation! There are no civilians in the city they fight in, so they are free to go all out and hunt one another. Some form alliances, others are lone-wolves, but in the end, eleven will die and one will live.

One of them that I thought was cool was Ox (real name Eiji Kashii), who is a strategist in battle. Sure, he’s the typically quiet and strong type which is usually present in anime, but those characters often have some kind of backstory that is interesting. He’s a warrior who is regarded as a genius since a child, always killing others to challenge himself.

There is a point in the anime where he meets up with another fighter named Kanae Aira, or Tiger which is her zodiac. They both met previously in a war zone where Ox saved her life. She is curious as to how he can kill so many people and still decide it’s the right thing to do. Ox goes on to explain to her his philosophy (see video below). It’s very simple really! He decides to do the right thing; then he does the right thing. There is so much wisdom in that statement that when I first watched, I had to rewind it and watch again.

How many times have I wanted to do something, yet I didn’t get to the second part: doing it! “Righteous action requires righteous intentm” according to Ox. People do not do the “right thing” because they have no intention to do it in the first place. Evil actions occur because nothing was done, or someone watched what was going to happen and did nothing to stop it. I have had friends in the past that I could have been more open with, or situations where I could have shared the gospel or given of what I have, but I didn’t. Of course, I can’t go back in time or live in regret, but what was stopping me from doing it?

Intent.

My intention was to be selfish at that moment and be concerned about myself. I would think, “how many people have helped me get to where I am today? Not too many. Most of my accomplishments or successes in life were because I did it on my own.” I give all the credit to God though for everything I have though, but more often I am accepting it instead.

Screenshot 2018-03-26 00.07.31

Screenshot 2018-03-26 00.08.07
Does righteous intent always lead to the right action, though?

I would say most people think this way, and that’s just the way humanity is. We are the first one on our list to satisfy, and everyone else comes after. Giving of ourselves to help others is not the first thought in our minds. Thus, I can’t agree with Ox at all. What he says sounds good, but is it correct? What if someone wants to kill the person her loved one cheated on her with, or steal from a store because he can’t afford a certain item, or what about lowering wages on a profession that someone believes gets paid too much? Maybe to that person, that’s what needs to be done and is righteous in her own eyes.

Thankfully, I don’t live my life based on what I think, but on what Christ has told me to do in His word, the bible. When God discusses righteousness, He is talking about how we serve Him and obey His commandments or laws. His ways are better than our own ways because He is the Creator of all things. I used to think, what was the point of following Him when I can just do things my own way? I’m a smart individual, have self-awareness, am college educated and have lived through quite a lot of experiences, so I am sure I can figure out right or wrong on my own, right? Well, as I learned more about who God is from His word and through just speaking to Him and knowing Him more personally, His ways are much better than my own no matter what I do.

A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.
Proverbs 21:2

The above verse talks about how God looks at our heart, even when we think our ways are right. God’s righteousness leads us to peace, life, joy, and stability. There will be times when life gets crazy and we don’t understand why, but often times those are either the bad choices of others that we have to deal with or the mistakes we made ourselves. But even when disappointments happen, God makes it clear that we can seek Him to help with fixing those problems.

Kanae is confused when she hears Ox explain his philosophy. Her reasoning for a purpose in life has not made sense because of all the killing and war she has been a part of. Life just doesn’t make sense anymore, and she is just stumbling about day after day drinking till she’s drunk. She is interested in knowing how he has figured out his purpose, or at least how he can kill others without feeling remorse. This doesn’t mean what he believes is correct; it’s only right in his own eyes.

Several times in my job as a teacher, I have had to humble myself with my own students. They might be talking during an explanation, acting silly, writing on a desk, daydreaming, or anything else that doesn’t include working on the assignment. So I am quick to tell them to get back on task when many times they were picking up a pencil or helping another student with a question. In my mind, they are just being disruptive and I wanted to shut it down quickly, but I’ve had to teach myself to ask what they are doing before I just assume. This has helped me have a better rapport with my students, and treat them just like I would anyone else instead of thinking they are just being annoying or off-task because…children. In fact, many times I would correct a student for not doing his/her work from a moments glance, when in fact they weren’t doing anything wrong. I have had to apologize more than once to kids more than half my age, and I don’t feel ashamed about it either.

Ox and Tiger have their own way of living their lives, on their own terms and philosophies. The anime portrays every character having a motivation for what they do, but allows the viewer to come to their own conclusions. I encourage you to watch the clip and let me know what you thought of Ox’s conclusions, or maybe a time where your own righteousness got in your way. We all want to do things our own way, but it’s only when we look to God and His ways, that our lives find fulfillment.

Looking forward to your comments below so we can discuss this further! God bless.

You can watch Juni Taisen here on Crunchyroll. Featured illustration by トイレ王 (reprinted w/permission).

5 thoughts on “Juni Taisen, Ox, and Doing What’s Right

    1. Totally agree. I felt the same way, you barely knew the character then after you did, they die immediately after. More episodes or longer battles would have been better in my opinion.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. First, I’m impressed that a show about twelve people killing each other in vicious fashion took several minutes out of its run time for a genuinely thought-provoking monologue on righteousness. A+. 😀

    If I understand your critique correctly, it’s that Ox doesn’t acknowledge a standard for righteousness, and without that, his advice is incomplete? I think I can get behind that. Ox’s most profound point, in my view, is when he says, paraphrased, “No one accidentally commits a loving act, but people commit thoughtless acts of evil all the time.” While it certainly is possible for sin to be premeditated, it seems like a great deal of sin happens because we just go with flow, get caught up in the moment or in our emotions and impulses, and say or act without thinking. We don’t resist temptation accidentally. We don’t wake up one day and find that we unintentionally started following Jesus. Ox is correct that if we want to pursue righteousness, we must purpose to do so in our hearts. Although Ox doesn’t address it, his words about righteousness requiring intent have an important corollary: wickedness likewise is a matter of choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. Yes I was surprised too, from the thought provoking monologue. When I first saw it, I thought “this is great! I can write an article on that its so good”.

      And yes, its easier to do wrong than right. Theres some verses in the bible that talk about the narrow and wide road. The narrow one is difficult and not many go through it, but the wide one is where most people go. The easiest one, wide road since its so big, is actually the wrong road! The narrow one, the one of living a righteous life before Gods eyes, is the one we must all follow. If we want to have a relationship with God, we have to live in holiness through His strength best we can. Relying on Christ for everything.

      Thats why Ox philosophy is just his own, he isn’t following anyone’s standards. He is someone who makes his own rules, and as long as he feels he’s right than he is

      Like

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