Episode 9: Dad’s Premonition Of Love

This one is funny.

That’s about it.

A few good one-liners – I particularly like Jubei’s friend asking her dad, point blank, “Do you like high school girls?” There’s a fun scene where the ninja army from the last episode gets together to talk about what went wrong the previous night, and they try and formulate a new plan, with decidedly mixed results. Stuff like that is fun – throwing a little reality into an obviously ridiculous situation.

In this episode, the big revelation is what happens to everyone that Jubei fights. Francoise from Episode 5 returns to give Jiyu a stack of letters from the former swordsmen who are now singers and druggists, and one is a security guard at a building conservatory. All of them can find their happiness once Jubei releases them from their obligation to prove their skills against her. It’s kind of cute, though the point, of course, is to put more pressure on Jiyu Nannohanna so he can take up the sword and fight the rest of the Ryujoji clan.

And thus the wheels of the plot grind ever so fine, and loose threads the world over are woven into conclusion. But the question is there, like the writing on the wall that numbered Belshazzar’s days: why should we care? It is difficult to answer because, for the most part…we don’t.

As an audience, we have to be cognizant of two separate, not wholly unrelated things: entertainment value and quality. Entertainment value, though there can be an objective element to it, is largely subjective and emotional. If you like watching people staple their genitalia to various devices and throw them lengthwise, then to Jim Rose’s with you. If you can’t get enough of Russians getting a hold of their last chance to be happy and throwing it away on a whim, Dostoevsky is your Saturday Night Fever1.

But quality less easily succumbs to whim. Certainly, there isn’t a specified and universal rubric for quality, but if you have enough experience with a certain medium or genre, you begin to recognize what is good and what is bad, and what is merely likeable. There are high marks for quality in anime: Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion, and Escaflowne2. Then there are those shows that you can watch, enjoy, and never think about again. They raise neither thoughts nor real emotions beyond that which can be manipulated in the moment. Outlaw Star. Tenchi (at varying degrees, in any of its incarnations). Jubei-chan is amongst these. You can watch it without stabbing yourself in the eye to blind oneself from badness/blandness. But it’s not going to convert anyone.

1Note the outre, hinkey, and superbly British way I spelled fever. This is what I do to raise the entertainment value here at the Goat. This is why nobody pays me for this stuff.

2Yes, I know that that list is wretchedly 90s-centric. I know that there were/are plenty of quality shows released in the 70s, 80s, and heck, even the 60s with Tezuka’s stuff. But the three shows are so-mentioned because they are readily available, and great.
Rating :B

About Kent Conrad

To contact Kent Conrad, email kentc@explodedgoat.com