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[ café reviews ]


Jubei-chan - Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch

Nidaime Yagiu Jubei Tanjou

[ production info ]

Copyright: 1999 Daichi Akitaro, Madhouse, Bandai Visual
Length: 29 minutes
Rating: NR, Parental Guidance Advised
Format: Japanese Language, English sub/dub

[ plot summary ]

ld jacket

Over 300 years ago, Yagiu Jubei defeated and killed Ryujoji Daigo thus defeating the Ryujoji clan and proving once again that Yagiu Jubei and his skill is unmatched in the world. However, Jubei was seriously injured in the duel. Before dying, Jubei passed on the Lovely Eyepatch to his disciple Odago Koinosuke with instructions that he search for someone who would be a worthy bearer of the Lovely Eyepatch.

Koinosuke has searched for over 300 years for someone who matched his master's description of the one who would be worthy of the Lovely Eyepatch. Nanohana Jiyu, called Jubei by her father is in second year junior high school and has just transferred schools from Tokyo. On her way home from her new school, Jiyu meets Koinosuke who begs her to put on the Lovely Eyepatch just once. Deciding to humour the strange samurai, Jiyu puts on the Lovely Eyepatch thus awakening the power of the Lovely Eyepatch and Yagiu Jubei and in turn alerting the Ryujoji clan and school of swordsmanship that Jubei's strength has awoken and once again walks the earth. Who should be the first of the Ryujoji school to challenge her? Her homeroom teacher of course...

[ capsule review ]

This first episode starts off predictably enough with lots of emphasis on introductions of the various characters we'll see as the show progresses. However, because there's so much emphasis on these introductions, the story itself is fairly lacking. The overall effect therefore is one of not much action or movement. However, that's not to say that there's nothing there for people to enjoy. Perhaps to make up for the lack of story, there's a decidedly flippant humourous atmosphere which can be seen in various parts of the show. This oddball humour can come out at some of the oddest of times catching viewers offguard but at the same time isn't the same as comic relief; or at least not entirely. The eyepatch that Jiyu wears to transform into Yagiu Jubei is one point in case. Viewers are unlikely to take the appearance of the eyepatch seriously. Also, while there are some points of physical ogling and humour, it isn't focussed solely on female figures but instead takes a stab at both sexes. (Okay, it's primarily focussed on the girls bodies but there is a bit focussed on males).

The characters themselves at this point while well acted by their various voice actors, are a touch lacking in overall personality as we focus so much on introductions. However, we do have the beginnings of interpersonal relations between the various characters which could promise to be rather interesting. Unfortunately, this is an area where we will have to wait and see how things develop. The direction for the characters and the action as it progresses is also well done. Unlike the typical cold wind which blows through a scene to indicate shock, here we actually get shocked silence. I was rather surprised to see that since we usually get the arctic blast running through instead to indicate how the characters are feeling. However, while I was pleasantly surprised to see (and hear) pure silence to depict shock, I found that it continued just a touch too long. Still, it definitely gave the audience the time to think "Oh my!"

Musically, this series has some interesting pieces, some of which are highly characteristic of certain characters. Likewise, the end theme song is extremely catchy and I found myself sitting through the end credits almost every time in order to listen to the end theme. While I do have a minor peeve with the mixing levels between the music track and dialogue, it's not as bad as I've seen with others. Even so, it's annoying when one needs to adjust the volume after some dramatic music because the dialogue becomes too quiet to hear, or worse still, getting blown out of one's seat because a quiet scene just changed to one with lots of music and action. I don't enjoy being deafened.

Perhaps the weakest aspect of this series is the animation quality itself. A bit of a mixed bag, we get the hint of a lower budget due to the judicious use of stills throughout the episode. While some of the still shots have good detail, perhaps because of the lack of motion in the animation, we feel there is less action and movement in the episode and story itself.

Definitely not a strong first episode for grabbing an audience, and decidedly not strong story-wise. However, the flip humour has me a hint intrigued by this series. I'll reserve judgement for the time being... -JYN 00.08.14

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: 2 stars N/A N/A
Direction: 4 stars N/A N/A
Acting: 4 stars N/A N/A
Animation: 3 stars N/A N/A
Music: 4 stars N/A N/A
Translation: N/A N/A N/A
Overall Rating: 3 stars N/A N/A

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