Miscellanea and Ephemeron
12/15/2005 Archived Entry: "Anime review: Jubei-chan 2: The Counterattack of Siberia Yagyu, Vol. 3 Revelation (DVD)"
Review by Tom Good
Jubei-chan 2, the comedy about a junior high school girl who is the reincarnation of a 17th century samurai, has become one of my favorite anime series. This disc comes filled with the series' typically quirky humor. Characters talk about things that happened "in the last series," as if they know they inhabit a sequel. Jubei-chan's father tells the long-winded narrator to shut up. And in a subtle yet hilarious gag, one of the "monkey boys" quickly draws some portraits featuring detail and shading that is artistically superior to the style in which he himself is drawn.
Some of the jokes are kind of obscure, though, like a reference to the complexity of sorting garbage and recycling in Japan. And one character wears a shirt with a symbol on the front, which is sometimes a punctuation mark and other times a Japanese kanji. As a running joke, the symbol keeps changing to reflect whatever is happening. To explain this, an English translation of the symbol appears at the very top of the screen. Unfortunately, English-speaking viewers may miss the connection between these words and the shirt, because the ever-changing shirt is such a weird idea in the first place.
Even with all these jokes, the mood is a bit darker than in Volume 2. Thanks to the manipulations of her cute but evil rival Freesia, Jubei-chan is led into a hurtful confrontation with her father. (Here, Freesia has "antenna-hair" like Maya in Tenjho Tenge, but Freesia's antennas stick straight out to the side instead of up.) I found myself taking the story more seriously than I have in past episodes, and finishing this disc left me wanting more. The music and art were top-notch, as usual. The DVD Extras section includes a character gallery, previews, and a live-action segment about the Tea Ceremony that only has Japanese audio. Jubei-chan 2 is still going strong with Volume 3, and I recommend this DVD.
The Wapshott Press
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