Jubei-Chan Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Jubei-Chan

Jubei-Chan Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     December 05, 2000
Release Date: December 05, 2000


Jubei-Chan Vol. #3
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
Jubei-Chan fights off a ninja army, learns the true secrets of Jubei's legendary powers, and comes face to face with Shiro's twin brother. But even with her new knowledge of the lovely eye patch and her own powers, will Jubei be prepared to face the final enemy? She will have to fight someone very close to her if she is to truly defeat the evil of the Ryujoji curse. Episodes 8-10.

The Review!
Things are in shambles after the previous disc, where Jubei-chan was beaten and near dead. Can things get any more depressing?

Audio:
The Japanese track is in its original 2.0 format and sounds solid though there's not a lot of directionality throughout it. The English track being in 5.1 though sounds much more distinct. I'm not really sure if it's just somewhat jacked up audio levels though or just the better discrete nature of the encoding. The part where I get torn is that I like the sound effects and music in the 5.1 format but really don't care much for the dub.

Video:
This continues to be a very good looking transfer. Between the high cel counts in the action sequences to the fluidness to some of the goofier moments, there's just little to quibble about. Even the scenes of "poorly drawn characters done on purpose" in black and white come across looking good. Colors are vibrant, the black levels look great and we didn't notice hardly anything in the artifacting or grain department. A few areas are intentionally soft, but that's about it. Good stuff.

Packaging:
The cover's a great piece, with ninja Jubei and one of the previously seen assassins on the front with a cute ghosted image of fake-Jubei in the background. The back cover gives a bunch of animation shots as well as a good summary of the episodes. Episode numbers and titles are also included. The insert is a good bit of fun with a profile on the three New Student Lovelies.

Menus:
The menus look good but are a bit slow in moving from one area to the next with the midget ninjas that move across the transition screens. We didn't have any real issues with the menu system other than that.

Extras:
Similar to the cooking extras in the first two volumes, this one is a fashion show of what the modern ninja woman is wearing. Cute, but a fluff piece in general.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the downturn in events during the last disc, things here for all three episodes take on a bit more of a reflective tone and a recovery mode. This does work well in being able to provide us with some good character development and some interesting background.

The one sequence though that has caused a lot of controversy is also probably the more important one on the disc. Instead of being rushed to the doctors, Jubei's father insists that she be brought home since he hates doctors. Shiro's mother, a nurse, is brought over to check Jubei over, but she's baffled and can't do anything other than suggest that the fever must be broken. It's an intense fever, as those who touch her are burned on the spot.

Her father gets everyone to leave and then takes it upon himself to bring her temperature down by absorbing her body heat. He races frantically back and forth from the bedroom to her bedroom, soaking himself in the tub, and then laying half naked on top of her naked body, absorbing the intense heat. This didn't really sit well with a lot of people, but I found it to be a really powerful scene that showed just what lengths a father will go to in order to help his daughter.

While in her unconscious state, we learn the events of her mothers demise through both her thoughts and her fathers flashbacks. This provides a lot of really interesting insight into how the characters work and helps set up the next phase of events really well.

Throughout the remaining two episodes, there's more interesting revelations regarding familial relations and just what Jubei-chan has managed to do in her ninja form.

[** SPOILERS: I found it really interesting that when each of the opponents were defeated fully, that it's revealed that they're "healed" so to speak and free of the debt that the generations old grudge has created. It does help to explain away why we haven't seen any of the characters again after their defeat and provides Jubei with the perfect reason for wanting to get the eye-patch back and do the right thing. She is, after all, a girl who really just wants to do the right thing.

The revelations of who is whose brother/father/mother between Shiro and Hajime is both hilarious and confusing. Of course, part of that is just trying to imagine anyone fooling around with the big-headed mother of Shiro and Hajime. I just can't and don't want to visualize that.

The last fight sequence between Jubei and Hajime, freeing him from the debt, was quite well done. What was completely unexpected though was him joining the ruffians! Hilarious and just what was needed! :End Spoilers ***]

Also quite amusing during the show is the attempts to discover the seven secrets of the eye-patch by the bad guys. These guys are just nuts in describing what each of them do, and Koinosuke reaction to there actually being secrets to the eye-patch was great as well.

It's hard to believe there's only one more disc and three more episodes to go. This is great offbeat stuff. Very recommended.

Features
Japanese Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Jubei-Chan Fashion Advice

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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