Princess Jellyfish: An Anime Review by Jamie

Princess Jellyfish is not a fantasy, even though the title seems to allude to an underwater princess of the seas. No, Princess Jellyfish is a slice-of-life anime romantic comedy that ponders if any girl can grow up to be like an elegant princess, through the reflective eyes of eighteen year old bundle of awkwardness, Tsukimi. While the the eleven episode anime is aimed specifically for women, any guy who loves a really good laugh can heartily enjoy this as well (I'm not just saying this, either, I know this for a fact.)

The plot follows jellyfish-obsessed Tsukimi, who lives in a boarding home "Amamizukan" for women only, a rule held strictly by all the female tenants, all of whom are incredibly put off by social interaction, men, and the stylish, modern lifestyle that surrounds them in society. Tsukimi is especially timid, being the newest tenant, and soon finds herself in a tricky situation when a boy helps her rescue a jellyfish and finds her secluded environment intriguing. 

The boy, Kuranosuke, cross-dresses to keep himself far away from his politically involved family, and so uses his female clothes to enter the "No Boys" zone of "Amamizukan," infiltrating the girls' timid walls in time to help them attempt to save their building, which falls within the plans of redevelopment which his older brother is involved.

I recently started watching anime this year and have seen a several different types of genres and stories. However, I feel pressed to call Princess Jellyfish my current favorite. Outside of
the usual reasons to love something, like wonderful plot flow, fantastic character building, and great script, there are several other reasons why I call it my favorite.

First off, it’s hysterical. Tsukimi and her girl friends provide great humor through their reactions to the stylish lifestyle, often being over-the-top dramatic in their repulsion. As the show progresses and the cast of characters widens, the different characters and their positions in life all tossed together create some truly funny moments and dialogue. There are also some of the funniest pop culture references--like the Star Wars reference in the opening titles!

There is also nothing quite so funny as a confident young man who can pretend to be a girl and completely own the persona without loosing his masculinity. Many of the most hysterical moments come from characters' reactions or conversations with Kuranosuke as he goes in and out of his girl persona and it's truly downright funny--especially as Kuranosuke begins to have feelings for Tsukimi. Kuranosuke's English voice actor, Josh Grelle, is fantastic, and easily one of the biggest highlight's of show thanks to his superb voice acting. 

All combined, the show creates many laugh out loud moments that almost anyone should be able to enjoy.

Secondly, the show packed a punch to the feels just as much as it did for the funny bone. Balancing the quirky storyline and hysterics, the character backgrounds of Tsukimi and Kuranosuke unfold at the story progresses, giving the two characters’ actions depth and heart. While never super deep, the story still manages to deliver a lot of heart and sincerity, anchoring the rom-com in the realm of reliable reality. When I first began Princess Jellyfish, I watched out of curiosity but caught myself caring too much as the show moved on.

Tsukimi made for a sweet lead character; she was so awkward and lacked a lot of confidence in herself, yet she didn't come off as annoying or stupid. Her memories of her mother, and her longing to be something she thinks she can't be, made her incredibly endearing and even realistic. I think a lot of girls, and this includes myself, can relate to the feeling of lacking in comparison to others who look pretty and confident. Jellyfish captures this feeling very well through Tsukimi.

I really loved how Princess Jellyfish lightly touched on different topics like fashion and the expectations girls end up having for themselves. While it never got super deep, the topics were thoughtfully discussed or reflected on by the characters in a way I appreciated and it never detracted from the plot. The perspective of using fashion for your benefit without it having to necessarily compromise who you are on the inside was a really nice subject that worked beautifully with the plot. I wish I could find depth like that in American shows.

I wish the show had lasted longer to see what else they could have explored. Jellyfish's topics made for some good food for thought without becoming heady.

The only negative thing I can say about this anime is that there is no second season, so some things aren't completely answered or explored when the eleventh episode ends. Thankfully, it doesn't end on a cliff hanger, and it resolves enough to end on a satisfying note.

Lastly, it’s a truly quirky story that felt completely genuine and rendered from the heart. I can’t stand fake quirkiness in any type of entertainment, so when a film or show turns out to be truly unique and different, I consider it a true gem. Everything about Princess Jellyfish felt genuine and unique--I'd never seen anything quite like it before and I wasn't able to look away from it. I watched nine of the eleven episodes in a day.

So, that's why it's currently my favorite anime. You should check it out too!

My name is Jamie and I write about odds and ends (often pertaining to geeky stuff) on my blog Through Two Blue Eyes. Just this summer, I added anime to that list of things to love and talk about, with my new blog entitled Jamie Talks Anime. I'm happy to even get to share about my favorite anime over here! So, thanks for reading! :)

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