Episode 3: Men’s Hearts Were Swaying

The most consistent element in this show is how damned cool the fight scenes are – they usually last 45 seconds, but they are so stylistically distinct from the rest of the episodes, and so well directed in their own right, that they stand out.

Well, that’s not the most consistent element of the show. That would have to be…everything. This episode is something of a repeat of the last episode – Jubei tries to give up being Yagyu Jubei, men lust after her in weird and unrequited ways (and look at her chest a lot), and she fights with her teachers, who are actually warriors in disguise. The elements are all pretty standard, and the specifics, though entertaining, are really reiterations of the same themes previously explored.

One interesting element – a piece of dialogue (excised from the English dub, tsk tsk) really puts to a head the whole idea of her taking on the sword of Jubei as a womanly, not manly burden – the burden of male pressures and preoccupations.
Even I’m getting a little tired out by the pretentiousness in my statements, let me simplify:

Swordplay is boy’s stuff, more or less. Jubei is taking on this sword play, but the symbol of it isn’t a sword, it’s an eyepatch. Essentially, a fashion accessory (girl’s stuff). When she wears the eyepatch, she defeats the men who on-come, and she transforms into a lither figure that would be more traditionally anime-attractive than her standard Jiyo Nanohana figure. Jubei’s taking on the heavy burden of literally fighting men with a stick.

So, when Koinosuke asks her what it feels like to become Yagyu Jubei, she replies, “It’s like having a heavy period.” It’s a funny line, but it also works thematically.

From an aesthetic point of view, this episode’s fight scene is the most impressive thanks to the fighting/dancing that Jubei and Shiro engage in before she has the patch. It has a sort of elegance that anime comedy often lacks.
Rating :B-

About Kent Conrad

To contact Kent Conrad, email kentc@explodedgoat.com