Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Sorta Review Of Jubei-Chan 2

Even though I literally have hours of fansubbed anime on my computer I have yet to watch, the anime I'm enjoying at the moment is Jubei-Chan 2: The Counterattack Of Siberia Yagyu. It's the sequel to Jubei-Chan The Ninja Girl, which was about a young girl who, with the help of a heart-shaped eyepatch, becomes the second incarnation of the great swordsman Jubei Yagyu.

Both the original and its sequel were directed by Akitaroh Daichi, one of my favorite anime directors. He has this unusual ability to go from wild comedy to serious drama in the same show without missing a step (see Fruits Basket for the best example of this).

I picked up all of Jubei-Chan 2 on a whim from The Right Stuf a couple of months ago (they had all four disc at only $9.99 each). One of the things that makes this show interesting is that it's a sequel to a show that had an ending that nicely wrapped up all the loose ends. You never would've suspected that the original Jubei-Chan would get a sequel, but Daichi (who is not just director of the Jubei-Chan shows but also creator) found a way to make a sequel without it feeling forced.

Jubei-Chan 2 is in some ways better than the original and in some ways worse. The animation is a lot better in the new show, but that's due to animation getting better in the five-six years between shows. Also, the show (thankfully) has moved on from the breast jokes that permeated the first show. There is a bit less comedy this time around and that's one of the things that got a little worse. The comedy is almost completely confined to the characters who were comic relief in the last show. That comedy is really, really silly but also quite hit-and-miss. When the comedy goes beyond those characters, it usually succeeds.

Why did I call this a “sorta review”? Well, I am still three episodes away from completing the series. This means that as soon as there's nothing on TV, I'll probably finish it off. The show started off slow for me but I breezed through discs 2 and 3 and now I only have the final disc to watch. I'm looking forward to seeing how Daichi wraps everything up this time. I wonder if he'll leave things open for a Jubei-Chan 3.

After I finish this show, I won't have any unwatched anime shows on DVD. I'm debating whether or not I should buy another show after I finish this. Part of me kind of wants to buy a brand-new show of some kind (one that isn't a sequel or reboot of something I've already seen) but I'm probably not going to do that. I want to see the newest Tenchi Muyo OVA as well as at least some of the newest Ah! My Goddess series. I'm also looking forward to seeing some of the shows I have fansubbed on DVD. The minute Ouran High School Host Club is announced for DVD, my order is going in.

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