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Throwback Thursday: Jubei-Chan
Welcome back, ladies and gentledudes! Another month deserves another edition of Throwback Thursday. This month we take a trip back to 1999 to take a look at Jubei-Chan: The Ninja Girl – Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch. Aside from being a mouthful, Jubei-Chan was, for lack of more accurate term I feel like using, cute.
The show centers around Jiyu “Juubei” Nanohana, a young girl chosen for her “plump, bouncy bon bons” to be the successor of a Yagyu Jubei, a great swordsman. Yagyu left the task of finding this person to his assistant Koinosuke Odaga, who would do so for the next 300 years, carrying Yagyu’s fabled Lovely Eyepatch. Over the course of the series, the kind-hearted Jiyu finds herself at war with a rival school fighting for their hatred against Yagyu. With every enemy defeated Jiyu releases them from their hatred until finally she defeats Ryujoji Clan’s leader, but (SPOILER ALERT) At the cost of Koinosuke’s life.
The story starts off with promise, but the execution can be a bit to be desired. If you’re not a fan of “Monster of the Week” series, then you may struggle with Jubei-Chan at first. However, the characters shine in just about every episode and scene that they appear in, regardless of the length of time. Jiyu’s friends, the boys crushing (hard) on her, and her overprotective father all help to give the show a light tone.
Jubei-Chan, despite it’s story and the emphasis on the sword fights that take place, is a fun series to watch. It’s not a very serious story for the most part, but there are some tense moments that tend to happen around the last half or so of an episode. In a sense it’s like early episodes of Yu-Yu Hakusho with a dash of Inu-Yasha…without all the romantic subplots. (Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is totally subjective…it’s a good thing.) One sticking point for me, personally was the ending theme. Awesome song!
Jubei-Chan, as I said, was a fun series. It’s a bit short, only lasting thirteen episodes, but the series did have a sequel. Jubei-Chan: The Ninja Girl – Counter Attack of the Siberian Yagyu, which takes place a year after the original series ends. That, however, is a story for another article. As for Jubei-Chan, it’s a light-hearted series. The show has a lot of solid laughs in it and some solid action, similar in a sense to Kill La Kill. Highly recommend this one!