Blogger’s Note: Oh, anime enthusiasts, I’m tired. I’m so, so, so tired. I think I’m even giving Lethargic Ramblings (@AlwaysLethargic on Twitter, btw) a run for their money in terms of exhaustion. These past few weeks have been a stressful and emotional roller coaster, and I should be doing homework (FINALS. NO. SAVE ME.) and preparing for work tomorrow, but’s it’s been so long since I’ve had the energy and opportunity to blog, and that’s just not okay. But, the other day, I did have some time to myself, and I stumbled across a great josei (anime meant for adult women, a more mature version of shoujo) called “Princess Jellyfish.” I don’t know what to expect, but I’ve liked just about every josei I’ve seen, and this one hasn’t been letting me down, let me tell you right now. I’m about to get into the actual post regarding the show, but there is one more thing I’d like to share…
Greg Ayres (a voice actor from my “top voice actors” post a while back—you can find it if you search for the voice actors tag on my blog) liked a post in which I’d mentioned him on Twitter. I AM SUCH A LUCKY DUCK BECAUSE TALENTED VOICE ACTOR-SENSEI NOTICED MY TWEET!! (I’m a nerd, I know, I know.)
Anyway, on to the blog.
I’m a few episodes in. Let’s talk about this. I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but some are unavoidable, so you’ve been warned. (If you want to go watch it first and then come back, go ahead. I’ll wait. *goes back to doing homework and sipping coffee*)
“Princess Jellyfish” has a plot synopsis as follows:
Eighteen-year-old Tsukimi lives in an apartment building filled to the brim with otaku women and only otaku women. These strange beings from another planet are content with their “sisterhood,” and firmly reject societal standards of beauty. Living in the building (called Amamizukan) are a train enthusiast, a collector of kimonos and maker of doll clothes, a women who rarely speaks but is unmistakably attracted exclusively to older men, and a loud woman who lives in a fantasy world modeled around The Records of the Three Kingdoms. Oh, and a boys love manga artist who is also a vampire…
…well, maybe not a vampire, but I’ve yet to see her “in person” and she’s never come out during daylight hours, so… I’ll call it like I see it for now! 😛
Tsukimi meets these women (all in their 30s) online. They invite her to live with them. And Tsukimi’s “thing?” It’s jellyfish. She draws them, she researches them, she obsesses over them.
As I said, the women are seemingly content and take their sisterhood very seriously…
…and then, one day, Tsukimi has an unexpected sleepover with a crossdresser and everything goes to hell in the best possible way. 😉
Immediately I’m realizing that this show has a lot of heart. We find out rather quickly that Tsukimi’s fondness for jellyfish stems from a conversation she had with her late mother. Tsukimi’s mother always told her that women grow into princesses, and that someday she would design Tsukimi a beautiful wedding dress inspired by the tentacles of a specific breed of jellyfish that the pair saw together at an aquarium. Having since grown up and not become that “princess” of a woman in a way that she, as a child, thought would happen naturally, you can tell that Tsukimi has thrown herself into “being a geek” because it is a realm in which she feels comfortable. She constantly struggles to believe that she could be dolled up without someone attempting to make fun of her. She frequently speaks to her mother in her mind, and I often wonder if she fears having let her down. She doesn’t recognize her own beauty. She’s afraid of talking to men, and her self-confidence is zilch. She is too afraid to try and look conventionally attractive because she is afraid of failure. She says it’s about not conforming to standards, but that isn’t the whole of it. I know, because I see Tsukimi, and I see so many people that I have known, people that I have been close to. It breaks my heart that she thinks so little of her own princess potential, and I hope to see her discover as the series progresses that perhaps her mother didn’t mean “princess” the way that young Tsukimi interpreted her remarks at the time.
I want Tsukimi to realize that she already can be the sort of princess that her mother intended. The crossdresser that I mentioned earlier? His name is Kuranosuke, and he’s the illegitimate son of a wealthy family entrenched in politics. He dresses like a woman for his own reasons, but still firmly considers himself a man. He’s such a fun character. From what I’ve been so far able to ascertain, he’s going to play a vital role in her transformation-that-isn’t-really-a-transformation-so-much-as-a-lifestyle-choice/perspective-alteration.
This show has some great moments that have made me laugh hysterically. One such moment is when a gay couple applies to live in Amamizukan. Men, however, are technically not allowed to set foot inside the building, much less live there. Mayaya (kingdoms-obsessed woman) just LOOSES HER COMPOSURE, rhetorically asking if the couple in question thought that their amazing gay love should make the current residents fall all over themselves just because said residents are women! It was just too much. 100/10
The characters are fun, the plot humorous, and the potential is there to make this a great anime. Now I just need to find the time to finish it and find out! (No, Shoujothoughts, not now! You must do homework. I know you want to rewatch the gay couple clip. It’s hilarious, I get it, but DON’T DO IT. Stop procrastinating!!)
I’ll write a review once I finish the show, but now you know my thoughts so far on “Princess Jellyfish.”
So, tell me, what did you think? “Princess Jellyfish” is available to stream from Funimation.
Until next time,Follow @shoujothoughts