Episode 10: This Is Where To Make The Effort

Well, shoot me in the face and call me, err… no face, this was a darn good episode. It had the precise touch that was missing in many previous, skirting both the comic and the serious without going overboard in any direction. On top of that, it uses the same narrative techniques that have brought us this far, only it uses them well!
There’s the flashback, and the endless exposition – but it is expositing stuff that we don’t already know, in this case why Hajime and Shiro are on the opposite fences of the whole Ryujoji-taking over the world thing. And while the whole show may have one too many parents on their death-bed scenes, it is handled with a light touch that is based in character, not on the writer’s desperate need to throw as much information at us as possible.

There is also a scene that is genuinely touching, when Jiyu’s dad approaches the assassin woman, Francoise, who has more than a passing resemblance to his late wife. He’s nervous, tongue tied, says all the wrong things, and when it becomes clear that it isn’t the woman in front of him he’s longing for, but for the wife long dead, the scene develops some real resonance. It isn’t maudlin, there’s no weeping or rending of garments – just a genuine sadness. Genuine is the last word that can be used to describe the majority of this series, so color me surprised1.

So much is resolved in this episode, and so many characters actually come into their own (particularly Jiyu, who is finally on top of this whole Yagyu Jubei thing and has some idea of how to comport herself) that this would be a terrific ending to the series. Were Jubei-Chan a 10 episode series, it would have gone out on as high a note as most, certainly better than the trite ending to Don’t Leave Me Alone, Daisy.

This is not the case. There are 3 episodes left to go, and in a show of incredibly poor judgement, the creators have decided to essentially replay the conflict of episodes 6 and 7 over again, just this time for keeps. It is a very typical, very dull way to keep a series going that, by all rights, should be over. At least this episode was good. Alas.

1That’s the second awful cliche I’ve used in one little episode review. Gosh, I’m a really bad writer.
Rating :B+

About Kent Conrad

To contact Kent Conrad, email kentc@explodedgoat.com