Another quick review today – feeling less than stellar after some dental work!
Jubei has so much going on re: the levels of parody and satire, and even a fairly constant stream of sight gags and absurdist stuff too – I recognised some but basically couldn’t keep up at all, and I’m sure I missed dozens and dozens of cultural allusions.
Jubei-chan: The Ninja Girl – The Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch (1999)
But the comedy aspect almost always still worked for me!
The series holds the overarching, action-based storyline within the fairly sophisticated comedy framework nicely, it was usually pretty funny and on top of which, featured some great action sequences throughout its 13 episodes – with some of the more intense ones happening during the closing eps.
Here’s the premise, adapted from Wikipedia:
Jubei-chan follows Jiyu Nanohana, a modern junior high school girl and unwilling heir to the Yagyu Jubei school of swordsmanship as she deals with a mystical artefact, the Lovely Eyepatch, and all the enemies who seek her power.
Now, rather than dissect the plot, I’ll leap in to some dot-point highlights before finishing up the review:
- The kanji changes on Bantarou’s t-shirt were a fun extra layer to his scenes
- (And his song was pretty funny too)
- Sai, Jubei’s ghostwriter father, was an interesting character… for positive and negative reasons
- Visually, there were plenty of ratio changes or dramatic close-ups of objects like candles etc, that really helped to sell the parody of Chanbara
- The tropes of the Shounen anime also get a bit of good-natured ribbing too
- I also enjoyed seeing certain characters (without spoilers) cycle through good/evil roles
- Poor old Koinosuke
- Visually there’s a great range of styles within the show as well
- The charming and resolute innocence of Jubei is a great counter to the action + comedy, even as it works on its own comedic level
- Bonus points for a cool transformation sequence!
Having mentioned all of the above, I did grow weary of everyone’s obsession with Jubei’s breast-size.
And also, can anyone explain to me what the hell Jubei’s father is supposed to be doing when saving Jubei from the fever? Anyone?
And finally, there’s a sequel series available but I haven’t checked it out just yet, might do so one day, not sure.
For fans of comedy, satire and samurai stories.
3 Stars (4 without the creepy shit).
As a quick, closing example to show a touch of the humour – there’s these two shots one after the other during a dialogue scene, which I really enjoyed.