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Jubei-chan the Ninja Girl


a.k.a.Jubei-chan: Lovely Gantai no Himitsu

Genre: Action
Company: Studio Madhouse
Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 4/6/1999 to 6/28/1999

For three hundred years Odago Koinosuke has been wandering the earth hoping to fulfill his master’s last wish: he was entrusted with a heart-shaped eyepatch which he must hand down to the eventual re-embodiment of his master to awaken the warrior spirit inside of him… or her. The lucky winner is Nanohana Jiyu, a teenage girl living alone with her father who affectionately calls her Jubei in honor of the legendary swordsman. With his lifetime goal finally achieved, Koinosuke can finally rest in peace, unless the Chosen One does not care the slightest about a silly eyepatch… but what are the odds of that happening?

summary by Kjeldoran


Reviewed: 09/26/2002 by
Grade: 76% av-Kjeldoran

Highs: Digs surprisingly deep in main characters; animation is generally fluid

Lows: Redundant scenes and episodes; comedic aspect is only worth an occasional laugh

I hate to make this analogy, but the best way to describe the first third of Jubei-chan is the result of Sailor Moon trading in her moon scepter for a katana and her cat for a zealous yet clueless servant, battling a new villain every episode with little of anything else going on. I fortunately underestimated anime once again; things take a turn for the best a short while later as characters break out of their prosaic molds to show their true colors.

The first four episodes of this series are basically the same; Jubei doesn’t want to wear the lovely eyepatch, Koinosuke insists, she wears it and beats the baddie after doing a typical transformation sequence. Such recurrence is also noticed in the music with only one noticeable song on its program. Things slowly pick up after that, however. The story gets some intricacy, the characters are developed and their pasts surface. This is perhaps not enough to offset the unmemorable humor and tedious repetition but enough to finally get me craving the next episode.

The much-anticipated display of Jubei’s skills is of debatable appeal. I understand realistic fights should be short, but since they are the highlights of their corresponding episodes, disappointment is bound to occur. You start to wonder why the antagonist even bothers sending his minions to get so badly beaten. The fights do obey the rule of quality over quantity, though. Animation is never astonishing but remains explicit and sinuous more often than not.

A few things were added to keep manga fans happy but are a complete waste of time from an anime viewpoint. Even with that in mind, Jubei-chan the Ninja Girl still comes off well, but there is unquestionably room for improvement.


Jubei-chan the Ninja Girl can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.


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