the loveliest eyepatch

Since Geneon today announced they have Jubei-chan 2, I decided to write something about it. I am disappointed that Bandai didn’t get it as Geneon will use all new English VAs, which normally doesn’t bother me, except that Bandai did the original series in 5.1 sound, something I doubt Geneon will do. JC2 is one of those refreshing series that has a satisfying end.

But first, a quick correction to my original post in that Horie Yui did not voice Jiyu in the first series… but she does here, and a quick summary of the story. Apparently, the Yagyu clan split in two, one that is from Edo (Tokyo) and one based in Northern Japan. The northern clan eventually gets persecuted and destroyed by the Edo one, and the remnants regroup in Siberia and call themselves “Siberian Yagyu.” The original Yagyu Jubei is then sent to finish them off, but he decides to goof off and raise a family instead. Because of a misunderstanding, Yagyu Jubei’s daughter, Fresha, gets separated and is encased in ice for about 300 years.

Fresha eventually wakes up and wants to claim her dad’s title of Yagyu Jubei. The Siberian Yagyu want revenge on Yagyu Jubei. And Koinosuke’s child wants to finish her father’s task of finding the real Yagyu Jubei. All these converge on poor little Jiyu Nanohana.

Hug no jutsu.

The ending really started when Jiyu made her choice to accept the eyepatch and become Yagyu Jubei. Throughout the first series and most of the second, she threw away the eyepatch and hated the bugger so this was a little bit of a surprise. It’s surprising to see that she begins to realize that she cannot escape her fate with the eyepatch, nor does she necessarily wants to be away from it. In the original series, her father wanted to prevent her, at all costs, from being Yagyu Jubei. Here, he supports her decision and grudingly goes along with it.

The long awaited final showdown with Fresha occurs, and Jubei, with a clear and unclouded heart, toys with Fresha. Jubei eventually gets through to Fresha, and the two celebrate with a hug. Of course, that’s not all as the weird 3d cg character turns out to be the Siberian Yagyu’s leader… after that fight, there’s an emotional scene where the living are reunited, briefly, with the dead.

The ending excels in that it ties up the loose ends of the series while leaving it open-ended enough for the viewer to continue thinking about it. The mystery of Fresha and the real Yagyu Jubei is solved. The fate of the Siberian Yagyu is solved. And the “surprise” behind Aoinosuke and Koinosuke is solved. They also changed the ending credit roll to reflect the new status of the characters involved.

I hope Geneon does a good job with the series, as it seems they also have La Verite and Samurai Champloo and thus a nice lock on my wallet.

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