It’s another anime! I decided to do another anime review because it’s been a very very long time since I’ve been truly excited about a new anime.
Princess Jellyfish is a unique anime in that its main character and supporting cast are all otaku girls (i.e. excessively nerdy girls). And these are real otakus, not just characters that are supposedly otakus, yet somehow still super cute and normal. These girls are exceedingly plain, social outcasts, and have real social anxieties. Like, if they feel threatened, they become petrified and turn to stone as their defense mechanism. If they work at all, they work from their home; otherwise their only source of income is from their parents. Their natural enemy are the Stylish, or the very chic, very fashionable people that populate Tokyo.
Tsukimi, the main character, is a jellyfish otaku (the other women have their own obsessions). The story begins when she becomes distressed at seeing a spotted jellyfish at a pet store, who is dying due to poor care. She is at a loss because she can’t communicate with the clerk, who is a Stylish guy. She is eventually rescued by a gorgeous Stylish girl who browbeats the clerk into selling the jellyfish to Tsukimi.
The mysterious girl follows Tsukimi home, much to Tsukimi’s discomfort and falls asleep in her room. When Tsukimi wakes up in the morning, the girl’s wig has fallen off, and it is revealed the girl is actually a cross-dressing young man, which sends Tsukimi into hysterics as absolutely no men are allowed in the boarding house. The rest of the story is Tsukimi and her otaku friends learning to get along with the uncomfortably ubiquitous Kuranosuke, and how their world changes… or not, as they can be extremely stubborn.
I love this anime for several reasons. 1) The otaku women. I’ve never seen an anime that actually dealt with otaku women. It’s always men, if otaku are mentioned at all. 2) The character designs. As mentioned above, these are not pretty women. Tsukimi is sort of cute, but she’s the best of them, and the rest are downright homely. 3) Kuranosuke is treated like a real character, and not just a gag. 4) I adore jellyfish, and this anime has lovely depictions of them. 5) The characters have depth to them. They are slapsticky, but you can also feel their pain, especially with the two main characters.
Also, Clara is adorable and I want a Clara plushie something fierce.
There are a couple of faults: Kuranosuke’s uncle is EXTREMELY annoying. I hate his character. His over-the-top childishness and simpering is teeth-grating. Also the anime is way too short at 11 episodes. There’s no resolution to anything. It feels like things are just getting started when it ends. It desperately needs a second season, or the manga needs to be brought over or something.
Funimation has licensed this anime,
but no release date has been given yet and will be releasing it Feb. 28, 2012. (You can watch it streaming though on Hulu.) I am immediately buying this on BD when it becomes available. I watched one episode one day, then went to bed, and the next day marathoned the other 10. I can’t remember doing this with an anime for a very long time.