• Titles: Kuragehime, Princess Jellyfish
  • Genre: Slice of Life, comedy, romancish
  • Episodes: 11
  • Studio: Brain’s Base

Tsukimi is a normal girl with a normal life. She lives in a no boys allowed complex with an assortment of women filled with different passions, who she can share her interests with. It nice, they have fun together, share meals and talk about the things they like. Tsukimi for instance really likes jellyfish. Sure their social lives might not seem that exciting from the outside looking in, but Tsukimi is happy being surrounded by friends and living comfortably. The world is nice and safe. That is until she runs into a beautiful young woman who helps her save a jellyfish and invites herself over. Even worse, that beautiful young woman is a beautiful young man with a tough home life and a handsome older brother. For the first time in a while, Tsukimi’s world is thrown into chaos, wonderful, exciting chaos!

I can’t explain why but I knew I would like Princess Jellyfish. Oh…spoilers for the post, I liked Princess Jellyfish. Maybe it’s a mix of the official summary that got me interested, along with the beautiful visuals I had seen. I’m not sure. In any case, I had been looking forward to this series for a while.

that wig does rock!

Production

I just spoiled everything in my first paragraph, didn’t I? I thought the visuals were beautiful More precisely the character designs and colours. I loved both very much. The animation is completely fine, it’s just that Princess Jellyfish simply isn’t the type of series with fancy and impressive high-action scenes. As it is, the animation is done in a way that you sort of forget it’s animated. And that’s actually impressive in its own way.

Having distinct character models like this is a double-edged sword. If you don’t like them, it could really put a damper on your watching experience. In my case, it sold the show. I loved it, I couldn’t get enough of it and I wanted to see more. Heck, I would have kept on watching just to see more of Kuranosuke’s looks. Forget jellyfish, this is a show for fashion otaku!

aww yeah, work it!

Story & Characters

In a way, nothing happens in Princess Jellyfish and also a whole lot. If you strip everything away, it’s about two worlds coming together. Kuranosuke’s privileged but isolated and stressful world and Tsukimi’s relaxed but self-conscious world. About how exploring beyond your social circles can be both liberating and healing. And that’s nice.

There are some slight romance subplots started but they never actually amount to anything in the show. There’s a B plot with Kuranosuke’s political family that introduces light thriller elements. Those do get sorted out. Otherwise, it’s about a bunch of nerds living their day-to-day lives and slowly getting used to having a super popular and fashionable person in their midst.

I liked the story but I can’t say that’s what drew me to Princess jellyfish. It’s really more of a character-driven show. To the point where there is a satisfying conclusion but the type that leaves a lot of stuff unresolved because life goes on. And I don’t really care about how any of the plot points get resolved. What happened was nice enough to watch but it simply wasn’t what Princess Jellyfish was about for me.

It was about the characters.

don’t say that

And this is where I feel some viewers will split. The characters are an assortment of adult women who are not traditionally attractive and consider themselves otakus. Some can get rather annoying in that otaku way. The rest are super-rich kids and politicians who struggle with the particular pressures of that life. And you see if you don’t care about these people, about their feelings and the aforementioned pressures, about how they get along with each other… Well, I think the show would become kind of boring. It’s still a well-made anime but I doubt the action will carry a viewer through it.

However, I cared. No, more specifically, I related. I saw a lot of myself in Tsukimi and even a little in some of the other girls that live in the complex. I understood exactly how she felt seeing a jellyfish she got attached to in a pet store potentially in danger and panicking. That’s exactly something I would do. Throughout the entire series, there was no point where I didn’t agree and sympathize with all of Tsukimi’s reactions.

But I also related to Kuranosuke. And that seems ultra weird. But I remember being politely shunned or ignored by groups I wanted to be friends with because they assumed my social standing. And it sort of sucks because I’m not a very social person, to begin with. I wish I had Kuranosuke’s determination and good humour. I also have a lot of friends, very dear and beloved friends that remind me of Kuranosuke right down to the family circumstances. He was a character I was predisposed to like and he didn’t let e down.

I do wish my friends had the fashion angle, I’m the fashion lover it seems

The characters are archetypes and surely they will be relatable to other people as well. Or at least appeal to some viewers. This said without that, I can see the show becoming a bit tedious. And if you’re not into the art style either then there’s not much left to really enjoy.

For me, Princess Jellyfish was a comfortable and very familiar tale. I recognized the people and the events. I enjoyed that the drama was dealt with quickly and not poured on too thick. I liked that there were no real answers or easy wrap-ups because that just how life goes sometimes.

I just wrote a post about how I wanted to be a princess. Well with Princess Jellyfish, I liked that I could fit in so perfectly with that cast and be a princess as well without having to change at all!

You might like this anime if:

Sitcoms that don’t go into melodrama. Simple adult women who lead quiet lives. Fashion!

My favourite character:

Oh sheesh, this one is a toughie. You know I have to give it to my boy Kuranosuke. He just brought the party.

Suggested drink:

a Blue Jellyfish

  • Every time some talk about “the/a stylish” – take a sip
  • Every time Clara explains – pay attention
  • Every time Tsukimi mentions her mom – awwww
  • Every time Kuranosuke argues with his brother – take a sip
  • Every time anyone sparkles – shield your eyes
  • Every time anyone turns to stone – take a sip
  • Every time someone’s a virgin – blush
  • Every time Shuu doesn’t recognize Tsukimi – take a sip
  • Every time Kuranosuke performs a makeover – take a sip
  • Every time Mayaya mentions Kong Ming – think about the Romance of the Three Kingdoms
  • Every time the sisterhood have dinner together – get a snack
  • Every time someone has a drink – join them!
  • Every time anyone requests the owner’s wisdom – take notes
  • Every time Kuranosuke calls someone “girl” – take a sip

I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.

15 thoughts

  1. I love this series, it’s just so cute, and I love how so many of the positive outcomes were inspired by jellyfish (like the flee market fundraiser and the fashion show). I have a thing for jellyfish. I had no idea there was a live action movie. I’ll definitely have to watch it. This is just the kind of series that would work well as a live action.

  2. Oh man, I loved this little series so much! I so wish there was a second season, but it’s been so long now that I don’t realistically think we’ll ever get one (but you never know, hopefully I’m wrong).

    1. Oh man, I hope you’re wrong as well. I have not seen the live action adaptation yet, maybe I will. I remeber it playing at fantasia and I though the preview was pretty.

  3. Aw, that was such a fun show. I remember the “Heidi Girl of the Alps” reference during the jellyfish rescue operation being the first time I got an anime pun (Klara, the wheelchairbound girl –> Kurara (from kurage) the “wheelchair-bound jellyfish” –> all tied together with the very appropriate ganbatte feeling the scene had).

    I adored Tsukimi, but I was a little intimidated by Kuranosuke. (Liked him, but he was overwhelming, at least at first.) It felt like a really unique anime back then, and, really, nothing much similar has come along since.

    1. I really wanted to by the manga box set and almost ordered it on amazon but decided to wait a bit. Because I had seen it much cheaper a few days before. Now it’s no lonmger available and I am genuinly bummed out. I will find it!
      I have been reading the author’s autobiographical manga in the menatime and I have to say, it’s just as delightful.

  4. I agree with you completely! This is an adorable anime. You can’t help but fall for the characters. Nothing too heavy and easy for us to identify with. A for a lazy Saturday afternoon binge.

  5. I’m glad you enjoyed the show, it’s been one if my long-time favorites. I still remember Kuranosuke’s first appearance in the show, and wow! Lol. What an entrance.

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