A comedic magical girl show that doesn’t quite follow the usual magical girl formula – this time around you get samurai for your money!
1999’s thirteen part Jubei-chan: The Ninja Girl – The Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch is the brainchild of director Akitaro Daichi and studio Madhouse, who combined their powers to present us with this action comedy series that takes elements out of the classic magical girl genre and instead applies them to the realm of the samurai, resulting in a modern-day tale that transforms one rather unwilling teenage girl (Jiyu Nanohana) into the embodiment of master swordsman Yagyu Jubei and forces her to defend against a 300 year old feud between the Yagyu and Ryuoji schools of swordsmanship!
What follows is loads of slapstick comedy and wit, which is enough to pull a chuckle or two out of you as you watch some rather animated and quite lively characters have a go at it. But while most of the comedy is resigned to the day to day activities usually revolving around school, when the swords get drawn the anime takes on a far more serious and focused role, making for an entertaining result.
The animation is perfectly acceptable, nothing that stands out too much, but it does capture the silly slapstick nature of the comedy quite well, as well as being able to effortlessly change gear and present the more serious action sequences in a convincing manner.
If you are a teenager or someone who still enjoys their exaggerated slapstick humor and enjoys a good action show in the process, then Jubei-chan remains a fair package to catch.