「ジャヒー様はくじけない！」 (Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai!)
“The Great Jahy Will NOT Be Defeated!”
Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai!’s finale cools down a bit after the tension from Episode 19’s battle between the Dark Lord and Su-chan. But just because all is well that ends well doesn’t mean that the show doesn’t have a couple more tricks up its sleeve.
This section will be a little bit smaller because most of the episode was just one last positive memory to leave you off on before the show bids us farewell. Anything that might’ve been a threat in the last episode is shrugged off as the damage to the Maou Bar is minimal, Druj is now entirely in charge of Jahy’s restaurant idea so she can still be close to the Barkeep, and Su-chan is on better terms with her sister. It might have brushed off some of these issues quickly, but it sets the tone to have the final episode offer some smooth sailing as opposed to anything that’d be plot-heavy.
And if the approach was to give us a fun story where everyone got to shine, the final episode pulled it off nicely as the festival was a great way to get the cast together. Jahy’s side was amusing as she got her hopes up about winning a prize that wasn’t just a ton of kiddy trinkets that Kokoro would have a better time with.
Honestly, the best part of the episode was seeing Saurva happy. While she’s spent so much time trying to one-up Jahy, she has a much-needed break from scheming by being pulled into participating in different parts of the festival. It was heartwarming to see how Saurva had such a good time hanging out with the Barkeep and playing taiko with Ryou. She even made parading the streets in carnivale get-up look wholesome. There was a nice moment in the end when everyone gathered together to watch the fireworks, but it was definitely more of a breather episode.
I was fearful of this moment. As a two-cour slice-of-life comedy, Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai! had the perfect opportunity to get you better acquainted with the cast. But when, week-in and week-out, you slowly start to see these lovable, wacky characters become more fleshed out, it makes it hard to say farewell to the show.
JAHY’S UPHILL BATTLE
I think the magic of Jahy-sama comes from how it humanizes the goals and struggles of the eccentric denizens of the Dark Realm. I found it to be a good companion piece with Uramichi Onii-san because while that one captures the depression that surviving in modern society can provide, I feel that this anime does the best job at capturing the terrible grind that comes from Jahy’s fight for survival.
With only the good graces of the Barkeep who hired her and paid her the bare minimum she’d need to afford rent, early episodes were rough on Jahy because the threat of starvation or homelessness loomed on her quickly as her search for mana crystals and her impulses would get the best of her constantly. It made it all the more exciting to see when Jahy would succeed and either find a mana crystal that would help her change forms easily or have a pleasant, carefree day.
It could’ve all ended with her getting the crystals she’d need to retain her form and ignored her in favor of the other characters, but by the second cour, the show is effective at using this half as a chance to understand how her life on earth changed her. Having her reflect on the bonds she made on earth and contend with characters who are even more immature than she is was a good way of working around the storylines concluding for Jahy’s crystal hunt and Kyouko’s rivalry with her.
THE SUPPORTING CAST
The story evolving wasn’t just effective for Jahy, however, because the supporting cast gets quite a lot of positive attention. Her familial bond with the Barkeep is very heart-warming and gets Jahy to open up more about the struggles she goes through. It also makes it all the more hilarious when her landlord sister Ryou starts warming up to Jahy as they share times of peace and companionship in between their petty bickering.
Druj might not have changed as much with her devotion to Jahy, but her presence is always welcome because of how much fun it is to hear Hanazawa Kana frantically chewing up the scenery with Druj’s abrupt mood shifts. It is a little weird to see how close Jahy is to Kokoro given the age gap, but it’s sweet when Jahy’s friendship with her ends up calling to question whether she can see other humans as friends or as underlings.
Even the adversarial characters who set Jahy back are amusing characters you can see yourself cheering for at times. Saurva is one standout rival who’s great to see because, while her outlandish gadgets humorously backfire on her, she’s also the most natural of the Dark Realm denizens. With all of the times she has egg on her face, it’s refreshing to see moments where Saurva has Jahy off her mind and decides to unwind with a bathhouse visit or a festival.
Kyouko ended up being another funny character as she overwhelms Jahy, whether it be as a rival who assumes Jahy wants to have her crystals taken or as an overbearing friend who is so unsettling that it makes even Jahy look normal. There wasn’t as much with the Dark Lord and Su-chan aside from their reconciliation, but the Dark Lord was a cute, funny character who wound up being more slovenly and gluttonous than Jahy would’ve hoped from the boss she had idolized up to this point.
Describing the tone of Jahy-sama is a little tricky because it’s a wholesome, wacky comedy that also has a hilarious mean streak with how often the characters’ personal flaws bite them on the rear. It’s a show that asks us both to laugh at their misfortune and cheer them on as they find fulfillment outside of their pettier goals.
It’s difficult to determine what comedy I loved the most this year because I had such an amazing time following these characters and watching them evolve from where they started. It also happens to be the same year where I got invested in Nagatoro-san and Komi-san. Honestly, if you’re into comedy anime, you’ve been eating really good this year, and Jahy-sama is a more than welcome addition to the list of the best comedy anime of 2021.