Jubei Chan 2

February 23, 2007

What are the chances of me (yes, me) understanding exactly what’s going on in the second season of a series when I have not even watched the first one? Hehe, you know the answer already, don’t you. Blur at first and still blur at the end. The anime that I’m talking about is Jubei Chan 2: Siberia Yagyuu No Gyakushuu (The Counter Attack Of Siberia Yagyuu).
 
It was a little peculiar at first when I thought why would the local tv station air the second season first without showing the first one? Maybe the first one was ‘too old’ and probably they want to try and show ‘more current’ animes. By the way, this second season is a year 2004 production, so is 3 years considered ‘old’. Maybe with the recent trend of Japan churning out nearly 100 anime titles per year, maybe one can consider it to be old.
 
Since I didn’t watch the first season, I’m not sure whether this second season is a direct continuation of the first one. Yes, there’re some connections like the characters (duh!) and that pink heart shaped eyepatch called Lovely Eyepatch, that seems to transform the 15 year old ordinary teenage high school girl Jiyuu Nanohana into the legendary female warrior Jubei Yagyuu The Second.
 
With 13 episodes in this second season, I’m hoping it wouldn’t be that bad to understand things. Though I’ve read a little upfront for this second season, it seems that this season is more serious as compared to the first season as it focuses more on the drama and build-up of the storyline. Of course, there’re your usual comedy and humourous elements which cracks the viewers into a little smile or a whole-hearted laughter.
 
Okay, so the storyline is something like this. The opening of the first episode sees 2 men having their duel on some icy block. To save time, one of the guy is the legendary samurai warrior, Jubei Yagyuu The First, who looks like a pirate because of his dark and round eyepatch. And the other guy being Kitaressai Yagyuu, a bald samurai warrior with a pair of walrus skin on his shoulders, supposedly to be another Yagyuu clan banished to Siberia, thus changing their name to Siberia Yagyuu.
 
Later in the series, we’ll see some storyline about how this happened but to cut things short, I’ll just blog about it now. It seems that even after an attempt to assassinate Kitaressai and his other clan members, the Edo Yagyuu still wants to get rid of them and sends Jubei Yugyuu to Siberia to do it. Though Jubei Yagyuu was reluctant to do it, he just went there anyway. During his journey there, he fell in love with a woman and started a family. Soon, they gave birth to a daughter, Freesia.
 
Then one fateful day, those 2 met and after some provocation from Kitaressai, they fought. Unfortunately during the intensed battle, the ice block broke, causing Jubei’s wife and himself to drown while Freesia has been frozen in suspended animation in some glacier. Fast forward 300 years later, it seems global warming (convenient, isnt it) has not only started to melt polar caps but that glazier Freesia remains dormant in.
 
And when Freesia manages to break free and regain her consciousness, it seems that those events that took place 300 years are still fresh in her mind. Why not? She’s in suspended animation, isn’t she? Freesia then gets to know that the Lovely Eyepatch, which was supposed to be left from her dad to her (she claims that it’s rightfully hers), is under the possession of Jiyuu Nanohana. Because of that, Freesia, felt furious that an imposter is holding something which belongs to her and vows to get it back and at the same time make Jiyuu suffer by infiltrating Jiyuu’s school as a new transfer student. By the way, there’s 1 crap episode of how Freesia found out about Jiyuu’s case. Yeah, she was wondering through the forest when she stumbled upon a group of animals which then proceeds to take care of her until she grows up. And when one of the mammals she sent out previously to find the location of the Lovely Eyepatch returned with its report, Freesia thanked them and departs on her mission. What the?! What on Earth is this! Disney or Treetop Friends?! Crap.
 
Before I move on, let me note that though Jiyuu has no relation with the legendary Jubei, but it seems that everyone, her friends and her family seems to nickname her and call her Jubei. Maybe it sounds cute. And maybe that’s why there’s this misunderstanding that Jiyuu is Jubei. Also probably why in the first season some bumbling guy called Koinosuke Odagou, keeps pestering Jiyuu in the first season to take the Lovely Eyepatch because he thinks that Jiyuu is the legendary Jubei Yagyuu The Second.
 
Speaking of which, I think that Koinosuke guy died, though I’m not sure it was at the end of last season or what. That’s because due to his demise, his only son Ayunosuke (which at the end is revealed to be his daughter dressed as a boy. But I’ll refer Ayunosuke as him) to deliver the Lovely Eyepatch to Jiyuu, if he fails to do so. Yup, after waiting for his dad to return for 300 years, Ayunosuke decides to complete the mission. Don’t be fooled by Ayunosuke’s petite size, though he looks weird, dirty and has some weird characteristics like stammering and talking real slow (really) and that persistant running nose drip hanging from his nose (eww!). Ayunosuke’s quite a competant fellow, as he’s fast and agile and can escape and flee in ligthning speed from an enemy’s grasp.
 
On the other hand, besides Freesia, there’s a bunch of group of losers living in some cave, supposedly the other clan members of the Siberia Yagyuu have learned about the existance of Jiyuu and are planning to take their revenge on her. Bunch of losers, I say? Yeah, in this bunch we have 5 funny looking guys (don’t recall their names) with like 100 (could be less) chibi ninjas wearing colourful and different shapes of sunglasses. You may have that perception that those little ninjas are tough. But true to their ‘drawing’ they’re actually cowards just like those 5 blokes. Yeah, all talk only. That’s why they have this guy, Kitafuro Yagyuu, who’s the son of Kitaressai, to do the job. I guess he’s the only one with potential, though I sometimes find that he’s a loser too. Kitafuro too holds a grudge against the first Jubei Jiyuu for defeating his father and wants to take revenge. Looks like he’s quite enthusiastic and all charged up for their encounter.
 
And oh, there’s that small funny cone head (or is it a sharp tear drop) character, also wearing sunglasses, which is also part of the Siberia Yagyuu clan. I’m not sure what’s his real function in the clan, but besides the comical and humurous stuffs, he seems less a loser than the others (maybe because he’s still a little bit mysterious). But he still is one. I notice that the theme for this whole clan is sunglasses. Yeah, nearly everyone here seems to wear one. Is it the in thing after 300 years of slumber? Speaking of which, there’s one thing that bugs me. After 300 years, how come these people still look so normal. I mean, they should be dead already and if not, should’ve aged too. Don’t tell me they use Botox? Freesia’s case I can understand, but these losers? They should be decaying already.
 
Okay, back to Jiyuu and her buddies. Which high school teenage girl doesn’t have a couple of close girlfriends of their own. Though Shouko Maruyama and Sachi Touyama are Jiyuu’s classmates and best friends, I felt that these 2 didn’t play quite a significant part in this season (not sure about the last) and I felt that it was because ‘out of necessity’ that they appeared or for some little part in Jiyuu’s social life.
 
Then there’s these 4 guys too who’re in the same school as Jiyuu’s and they have a soft spot for her. Firstly, Jiyuu’s senior, Shiro Ryuunodera, who looks like your typical handsome high class Kendo club captain student, but is actually just another LOOOOSER. Then in the same class with Jiyuu, Bantarou Sanbonmatsu, who looks like a dumb gangster and another… you guessed too… LOOOOOSER. To round up the other 2 who’re also in Jiyuu’s class, they’re Ouzaru and Kozaru, though I’m not sure whether or not they’re related. Although these 2 resembles very closely to a monkey, Ouzaru and Kozaru are not so much a loser as compared to the other 2. In fact at times, they’re quite smart and intelligent, and it’s their curiosity, observation and analysis which later in the series, finds out that Jiyuu and Jubei are the same person. Yup, Jiyuu’s classmates didn’t know it at first.
 
These fab four are my favourite characters throughout the series because they provide comical relief to the show. Yeah, they never fail to make me burst into laughter with their silly antics. For instance, how they make comments like they don’t know who Kitafuro is because they’ve never seen him in the previous season! Or how they got some unfortunate treatment because they think that they are side characters of the series. Hahaha. Real funny. Though they have eyes only on Jiyuu, but with the appearance of Freesia, I think I can safely say that they have a soft spot for her too. Why, they even formed some ‘beautiful people’s club’ which includes themselves along with Jiyuu and Freesia.
 
Anyway, Freesia manages to easily infiltrate Jiyuu’s life. Yeah, she’s putting up that overly genki and friendly mask of hers. She likes to hug Jiyuu. No yuri thoughts here. And because Jiyuu’s such a nice and friendly person, she doesn’t mind it. And in no time, the 2 become good friends. But of course, everytime when Jiyuu’s not looking or somewhere else, you can see that evil looking face of Freesia. Like as though her scheme’s going according to plan.
 
There are other 2 supporting characters in the series as well. One of them being Jiyuu’s father, Sai, is some sort of a former ghostwriter (somebody who is paid to write books but is credited to somebody else’s name) and is currently trying to write a romance novel under his own name. He usually has writer’s block, as far as I can see. Jiyuu has high hopes and anticipation of wanting to read her father’s finished novel. But it seems throughout the series, you’ll find out that Sai enjoys drawing some comic rather than the love novel, much to Jiyuu’s disappointment.
 
But Sai’s life is about to slightly change with the appearance of Mikage Tsumura. I read that in the previous season, Mikage’s supposedly Jubei’s enemy. But I suppose that female ninja managed to reconcile with Jubei and in this season, she seems quite friendly with her. The reason being, she sensed that there’s gonna be a great battle coming for Jiyuu and thus she returned to help her prepare for it. Why, she even decided to live with Sai and does all the cooking and cleaning for him. I think that’s proabably why Sai had some feelings towards her. Well, it does take the load of household burden off his shoulders.
 
So the rest of the story is like this. At certain points, Freesia will transform herself into another Jubei Yagyuu and fights with a reluctant transformed Jiyuu, claiming herself to be the real Jubei Yagyuu and wants the imposter Jiyuu to give her the Lovely Eyepatch. The transformed Freesia looks like your typical hot Russian assassin swordsmen in white. Yeah, she has a blue spade as an eyepatch and her skills I think are equally matched to Jubei’s. At certain points in order not to confuse myself which Jubei is which, I”ll refer to the transformed Jiyuu and Freesia as themselves. You should be able to tell the difference because only the transformed ones will fight whereas the innocent looking school girls don’t. :)
 
But of course in one of the early episodes, Jiyuu who’s tired of being the legendary Jubei, decides to hand over her Lovely Eyepatch over to Freesia, much to the latter’s surprise. Yeah, she doesn’t want it, so much so she says that Freesia can have it. Then Ayunosuke would quickly grab it back before Jiyuu has the chance to do so. Some cat and mouse game here and there, but Ayunosuke usually outruns and disappears before Freesia is able to catch him. At other times, Ayunosuke seems to be pestering Jiyuu to take the Lovely Eyepatch, but Jiyuu refused, so much so that when it comes to battle time, Ayunosuke had to put it on for her. Uh-huh, he’s so small that he could just use her face as a landing platform and stick it there…?!
 
Then sometimes Kitafuro will barge in and demands a duel with Jubei, but he gets confused to which Jubei is the real one. But what the heck, he still fights them and often loses. Yeah, not good enough. Also, during one of Jiyuu’s and Freesia’s battles, Ouzaru and Kozaru spots them and thus it begins their curiosity on whether Jiyuu and Jubei are the same person. Of course, Shiro and Bantarou also gets involve lah. It wouldn’t be so funny without them.
 
I like episode 5 because it shows how funny and cowardly those Siberia Yagyuus are. Yup, they decided to rashly take revenge on Jubei through some dumb plan of theirs by kidnapping Freesia. Yeah, those guys too didn’t know Freesia’s a Yagyuu decendant too. It’s a day where Jiyuu and Freesia are having their fun outing together at the city with Mikage tagging along. And that pointy cone head managed to distract Mikage with some cooking knife demonstration. Funny and lame. Of course when Freesia gets kidnapped and Jiyuu gets word from the Siberia Yagyuu clan to meet them at some place if she ever wants to see her friend alive again, Jiyuu rushes there. Freesia of course decides to pretend and play dumb and see what those pathetic guys are up to.
 
Once there, Jiyuu finds that Freesia is being held captive at the rooftop of some large Japanese house. And all those chibi ninjas are like surrounding her but scared of her. So darn funny lah. With her inner strength of friendship and such, Jiyuu slowly climbs up the walls in order to reach Freesia. But Freesia don’t look impressed and is wondering why Jiyuu’s doing all this. Jiyuu really does consider Freesia to be her friend and there’re no hidden intentions behind it. And those Siberia Yagyuus wants her to transform into the legendary Jubei Yagyuu The Second. Unfortunately, Jiyuu slipped and fell halfway. Luckily, Ayunosuke heard her scream from far away and hurriedly rushed to the scene and put on the Lovely Eyepatch. Now, that’s really fast.
 
Once transformed, those 5 blokes got very afraid and threatens to drop Freesia. Accidentally, they did. Of course Jubei managed to save Freesia in time. One of them decides to go charge Jubei head on but the rest just got behind him cowardly and says that it was his idea in the first place. And within a blow, he’s down. Now the others are really panicking. And they still say how they’ll remember this and get their revenge next time as they flee the scene. Yeah, that showed them, Jubei.
 
But things are slowly taking a turn for the worse. And it starts off with Jiyuu finding out that her dad has been writing some comic instead of a romance love novel, she got upset and ran away from home. What’s wrong with this girl? Freesia then sees this as an opportunity to instigate things between Sai and Jiyuu. She tries to get into Sai’s good books by being that little goody-two-shoes girl. Meanwhile Kitafuro is practicing some ultimate technique whereby with a swoosh of the sword, he can cut the waterfall into half…?! Magnifique. And the Siberia Yagyuu guy who got slashed by Jubei earlier on seems to have realized things and seen the light. Must be the light which everyone sees before dying. Hahaha. Just kidding. For the sake of my reference, I’ll call him Tiger Head, since he’s wearing some tiger looking headgear. That guy went to have some chat and get some advice from Mikage about the revenge thing may be wrong and stuffs. Yeah, Mikage quips why is he talking so close to her.
 
Finally, Freesia decides to reveal her true intentions to Jiyuu when at the same time Kitafuro appears and decides to challenge Jiyuu and test his new ultimate technique. Looks like Mikage’s joining in the fray too. The spectacular ariel battle downhill’s quite exciting and nice. The way the camera angles and those manoeuvers made it feel like you’re part of the action. In Freesia’s rage, she managed to take out and wound Mikage and Kitafuro. What’s this? The use of their wasit ribbons as a parachute to break their fall. Seems a little far-fetched. But no doubt it’s quite a stunning battle scene. In the process too, Freesia also managed to wound Jiyuu as the latter fell into some swampy forest below.
 
While Mikage is wandering in the swampy forest injured, we see Ayunosuke healing Jiyuu in some mud bath…?! Also, Kitafurou’s been done the same thing by Tiger Head nearby. I don’t really remember, but after Jiyuu got healed, she said something which made Ayunosuke a little upset. As a result, he turned into some wood in the forest holding the Lovely Eyepatch in his hand. Back at Jiyuu’s home, Freesia is trying to distort things to Sai but is somehow rather unsuccessful. Yeah, Sai’s also a little depressed since his little girl has ran away from home and he feels guilty about it. Freesia even went as far as saying that she wants Sai to be her father.
 
And of course those fab four decides to investigate things such as Jiyuu’s disappearance. I like the part where those 4 guys decides to go protect Jiyuu and gathered outside her house. Sai who saw those 4 as some unruly mob gathering outside, decides to call the police in which some female officer swiftly arrives in her bicycle and drags them all off to the police station. Hahaha. There’s a second time too. But this time they dressed as weird animal costumes (a cow?) so as not to look ferocious or mean. But Sai did the same thing and off they’re dragged again to the station.
 
Meanwhile, Mikage finds Ayunosuke in that wooden form during her meandering. I’m surprised she didn’t die after that injury. She must’ve lost alot of blood after that long walk in the forest. At least try and get some medical help first lah. Also some flashbacks here and there from Kitafuro when he was young and such bla bla bla. I suppose that this is the calm before the storm. Some drama and character development before the final action part. So as Jiyuu refreshed from her natural healing spa, returns home happily and expects everything to be back to normal, when she gets a rude shock. Yup, her dad gives her a slap on the face instead of the usual ‘I’m-happy-you’re-home’ hug. Jiyuu goes into shock mode and it must be a real traumatic experience for her. I guess even those battles as the legendery Jubei weren’t so bad.
 
Because of that, Jiyuu somewhat lost her memory. Plus, she’s been acting kinda weird too, much to her classmate’s surprise. But what’s even shocking is that Jiyuu doesn’t seem to remember her dad! Her pals are thinking that Jiyuu must be joking, but she isn’t. She must’ve erased him from her mind after that slap. Sai later felt guilty about slapping Jiyuu and went to apologized and asked her to come home but to no avail. And when Mikage finally got out of the forest, and saw the tension between Sai and Jiyuu, she decides to help Jiyuu prepare for the upcoming inevitable battle. Jiyuu even ran towards Mikage and called her mother! Shock. And because of that, Mikage employs some chainsaw wielding guy in a lumberjack suit, Tenryou Tsumura (I think it’s Mikage’s husband) to keep Sai at bay. This guy made some appearances here and there in the series and is usually while contacting Mikage, but it isn’t that prominent. But Sai’s fatherly instinct to protect Jiyuu overcomes all that and he manages to overpower Tenryou before running off with some samurai sword charging to where ever Jiyuu is right now.
 
In the meantime, we see the fab four trying to get to the bottom of it all by visiting the Siberia Yagyuu’s hideout. But unfortunately, they got captured. It was quite funny to see the 4 of them being tied up together and that sharp cone head character holding the other end of the rope. But while they’re being held captive, Ouzaru and Kozaru finds out more about the legendary Jubei and her connection with Jiyuu and Freesia… with that whiteboard sketch illustration…?! And those Siberia Yagyuu losers calmly listened to their explanations and theories. Now that they know that Jiyuu and Freesia are those transformed chics, they’re also torn between to support which one of them. Yeah, the Jiyuu we know may be the fake Jubei and vice versa, bla bla bla. Can they just choose both? Or maybe there can only be one.
 
But at the same time, Freesia decides to pay a visit to those Siberia Yagyuus too. And when she appeared, all of them got bloody scared and ran behind the fab four and the white board. It was so damn hilarious to see them running away in havoc. Why, they even ran out of the cave and took some boat trying to escape from Freesia. But after some extraordinary show of skill which frightened them even further, they all ran back to hide in their cave. Pathetic.
 
Anyway, after some time, Sai managed to find Jiyuu who’s still clinging on to Mikage as her mom. Some father-daughter talk like how Sai doesn’t care if Jiyuu makes the wrong decisions as long as she choses which path to take. Besides, you wouldn’t know the decision you make is right or wrong unless you take them, right? After talking some sense into her, I guess Jiyuu realized things abit and goes back to her normal self. Ah, the power of a father’s love. Then Mikage proceeds to show the wooden form of Ayunosuke. Jiyuu was overcome with emotions and while she cried and hugged the wooden Ayunosuke, her tears seemed to restore Ayunosuke back to normal. And looks like Jiyuu has accepted to become the legendary Jubei once more just for this final battle. Also, Kitafuro seems to have realized that his 300 year old grudge was wrong and seems to have turned over a new leaf.
 
So the final battle has finally arrived. But before that, we see Shiro (still being tied up with the other 3) issuing a challenge to Freesia. Why, he even quipped something like "I never thought that I would face you in this series…". Yeah, you still won’t. That’s because Jiyuu arrived in time for their ultimate battle before Freesia can do any harm to them. And before that too, Kitafuro seems to gate-crashed first but was again taken out. As the fight between Jiyuu and Freesia gets on its way, a lot of sword clashing, swift manoeuvers, fast action, as the others watch in awe. Then Jiyuu says that she will beat Freesia without using the sword. Yeah, something about using your heart when you fight. This also made Kitafuro remembered something that the first Jubei Yagyuu said. Something similar like that. I suppose that Kitafuro’s pretty convinced that Jiyuu’s the real Jubei Yagyuu The Second.
 
As far as I remember, Jiyuu manage to halt Freesia’s sword swing by just using her fingers. Wah. And then after talking some sense which made Freesia realized things, Freesia also did the same thing when Jiyuu swung her sword at her. And so after Freesia realized her mistake some reminiscence of the past, it was quite an odd scene to see her cry and finally both girls hugged each other. Aww… Friends again, but for real this time. Bantarou and Shiro wants to get in that hugging action but Ouzaru and Kozaru denied them. Ayunosuke then grabs both the Lovely Eyepatch and the spade shaped eyepatch. While both the girls returned back to normal, we see Kitafuro and the rest of the Siberia Yagyuus kneeling down to them both and Kitafuro saying how awesome she was and request that if he could have his fight with her. He seems kinda tame, though.
 
But it isn’t over yet. Remember that cone head fella? Soon after, he suddenly consumed Kitafuro and transformed into some ice behemoth. His super ice aura has made the surrounding area frozen (with most of the people there with their legs getting stuck in the ice) and that warm night into a cold one. Hey, doesn’t he look like Kitaressai? Yeah, it is him and he has finally come out to get his revenge. I wouldn’t have least expected that the cone head was Kitaressai. So is he sleeping or under the guise of that funny creature all this while? Anyway, for the first time, Jiyuu and Freesia teamed up to fight against him. They managed to defeat him and free Kitafuro, in which for a short moment there Kitafuro and Jiyuu clashed swords. But it seems that they downed each other. Even though Kitafuro admits defeat, he says he doesn’t regret it and seems satisfied.
 
Soon, Kitaressai resurrects once again and both Jiyuu and Freesia combined their powers to beat him. I mean really combine. They merged bodies to become one hot chic in a seemingly black leather outfit (looks like a pirate too if you ask me) now wielding 2 swords. And that eyepatch of theirs merged to become one round black eyepatch, which resembles the first Jubei Yagyuu’s. To cut things short, of course the combined Jiyuu and Freesia defeated Kitarassai with that using your heart battle technique.
 
Then the last ending part was crap. And I didn’t like it. It’s like a reunion of nearly everybody to tie things up. We see the spirit of the first Jubei Yagyuu and Kitaressai talking about some macho male ego thingy like how it wasn’t suppose to be a revenge but just the fact that Kitaressai wanted to duel with him because he was a great warrior. And they didn’t get to finish their business until today. What the?! So all this problem propped up just because of that?! And it lasted for 300 long years and through 13 episodes?! Even that Koinosuke guy’s there. Seems that he and Jubei Yagyuu are quite familiar with each other as Ayunosuke rushed to greet his dad and they both embraced. Freesia also embraced her dad.
 
Finally when everything is settled, Kitaressai can now rest in peace as he ascends to Heaven with the rest of those Siberia Yagyuu losers and their chibi ninjas. And somehow they turned back into better drawn samurais and no more that loser kinda cartoonish drawing. Erm… But in the process they left Tiger Head behind asking him to take care of Kitafuro, much to Tiger Head’s dismay. Why didn’t they bring him back too? I mean of course Tiger Head’s legs are still caught stuck within that frozen ice but leaving him like this? Too much. Too much crap. Soon Jubei Yagyuu, Koinosuke and Ayunosuke too ascended to Heaven. But Jiyuu seems reluctant to see Ayunosuke go.
 
I also didn’t get the final scene. The next day we see the fab four along with Shouko and Sachi waiting outside Jiyuu’s house while waiting for Jiyuu to come walk to school together. When they started walking, Jiyuu caught a glimpse of Ayunosuke sleeping in a dog kennel. Instantly she recognizes him and rushes to him. End of story. What the? That’s it? What a bummer. What does it mean? Even after the end credits finished we see Sai being torturously under pressure to finish his romance novel under the watchful eye of Mikage. And that Freesia girl looking up at the sky and smiling away at some grave. Has she broke free of her past and turned over a new leaf? Has she become permanent friends with Jiyuu?
 
Overall, besides the crappy ending which left me lots and lots of questions to ponder especially the ‘what actually happen to that character’, I felt that this is quite a pretty decent anime. It isn’t that bad though I felt it didn’t tie things up properly. I still can’t get over the ending which made me think that it’s possible they’re gonna make a 3rd season if they ever wanted to. But so far no word of it that a sequel is to be made.
 
For a short series, I could say that I’m pretty satisfied with the character development especially Jiyuu and Freesia’s. Though my favourite characters are still the fab four. At certain points I find that the drawing and animation to be a little dark and grim. Maybe it’s to fit and suit the melancholic drama at some point. Other than that, it’s a bright sunny typical Japanese anime drawing. And when the moment gets comical, you can obviously see it with those simple drawn lines. Oh yeah, before I forget, I notice that there’s this black and white sketchyly drawn guy who narrates the story and sometimes making comments or criticism by appearing at the side of the screen. I wonder who is he. But as the series progresses, he some sort of ‘vanshed’. Yup, you won’t see him anymore after the first few episodes.
 
Though I watched the series dubbed in Malay, I’ve got this feeling that those dubbers tried their best to sound close to the original one. Especially Kitafuro’s voice and speech are filled with ‘air’ and ‘expression’, Bantarou’s one sounded different than any typical dubbed voice, and the school girl Freesia’s high pitch genki carefree laughter (such voices are quite rare). The opening theme is an instrumental one, which sounds very fitting for a battle theme with the fast violin play. Makes you feel excited and part of the battle each time it’s being played. While the ending theme is that normal anime pop ballad, but I find the characters riding bicycles to be quite amusing. From Jiyuu to her girl pals to the fab four to Sai to Mikage and even those Siberia Yagyuu losers. How can all of them fit on 1 bicycle? Anyway, in the last episode, we see Kitafuro dressed in some uniform riding on a bike rather than his usual samurai clothing. So looks like he’s bent on continue living on in this world rather than going back to Heaven. Hey, what’s with that fuzzy girl hug among the 4 school girls in the ending credits too.
 
So if you like cute girls who transforms into hot chics with swords then I suppose you should try this anime out too. But before that, perhaps you should at least watch the first season. For me, I’m not pretty sure since I can’t find it anywhere. But it’s not like that I have that need or obliged to watch it. Maybe I’ll wait for the local tv to screen it. And even if so, my main motivation to watch it won’t be Jubei or Jiyuu but rather the fab four. Yeah, I love your boke antics! Even if there’s a sequel, that’s probably the only thing I’d look forward too.