The slapstick adventures of Jiyu "Jubei" Nanohana, a schoolgirl who is the reincarnation of the legendary samurai warrior Yagyu Jubei, take a more serious turn in volume three of the series. After losing a duel--and the "lovely eye patch"--to kendo champion Shiro, Jubei lies unconscious with a high fever. Her usually nutty father desperately cares for her, recalling how her mother died while he was at work. Bantaro and his sidekicks maintain a vigil at her door, and Shiro too is nursed back to health after his battle with the ninja retainers of his evil twin brother, Hajime.
Mikage, who attacked Jubei in an earlier episode, returns to reveal the secret of the eye patch: warriors struck with Yagyu Jubei's sword receive no wounds but discover their true hearts. In a rare, decisive moment, Jubei uses this knowledge to free Hajime from the Ryujoji clan's 300-year-old grudge. At the same time, Shiro is possessed with the spirit of the wicked Daiyu Taiko, setting the stage for further confrontations. Meanwhile, Jubei's father pursues Mikage, who resembles his dead wife. The addition of the more serious notes brings some welcome depth to Jubei's comedic adventures and makes this the most satisfying disc in the series.
Unrated: suitable for ages 13 and up for violence and occasional sexual humor. --Charles Solomon