0 Items | £0.00

VIEW BASKET

Princess Jellyfish

Sunday 2nd September 2012


Matt Kamen on the Lady Nerd's Bible

Princess Jellyfish

Welcome to Amamizu-kan – unless you’re a boy. This ‘exclusive’ Tokyo apartment building is not merely a girls-only domicile but one inhabited by a group of hardcore female otaku. Mayaya is sporty and obsessed with Chinese novel The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Banba is a trainspotter, Chieko’s fascination lies in traditional Japanese clothing, and Jiji adores mature men – but only from afar. The youngest housemate, Tsukimi, has harboured a fondness for jellyfish since childhood, one fostered by her late mother. Now, at the tender age of 18, she’s moved to the big city with even bigger dreams of becoming a professional illustrator – except she finds it all too much.

Tsukimi’s only confidante is Clara, a spotted jelly in the window of a local pet shop. Disaster strikes one night when she notices Clara has been tanked with a rival species that will kill her. Struggling to explain the problem to the “Stylish” working the counter, the situation is defused thanks to the timely intervention of Kurako – a six-foot sex bomb in killer heels and attitude to spare. After saving the day, she walks Tsukimi home, Clara now in tow, then promptly falls asleep after a long night of partying. Tsukimi’s distress at having snuck a “Stylish” into Amamizu-kan is doubled the next morning when she learns ‘Kurako’ is really Kuranosuke Koibuchi – the cross-dressing son of a powerful political family. Even worse, the pair strike up a genuine friendship – can Tsukimi hide Kurako’s real gender from her housemates, or is her quiet life about to get a lot more chaotic? And why does Kuranosuke dress like a woman in the first place – is he just a drag queen, or is there more to it?

Princess JellyfishBorn 1975 in Miyazaki prefecture in the south of Japan, manga creator Akiko Higashimura debuted in 2001 with fashion-cum-cosplay comedy series Kisekae Yuka-chan, published in Shueisha’s Cookie magazine. Since then, she went on to pen several other series – 2006’s Himawari: Kenichi Legend being one of the most successful – before launching Princess Jellyfish in 2008. Throughout her career, Higashimura has blended comedy into her otherwise dramatic works, though perhaps nowhere are the jokes as fourth wall-breaking or referential to pop culture as they are here. Taking full advantage of a cast full of nerds, there are nods to classic anime such as Heidi (still famous in Japan as an early work by the future Ghibli team) and even western giants such as Star Wars.

The offbeat tone and unusual subject matter made the series a perfect candidate for Fuji TV’s ‘noitaminA’ slot, which aims to showcase unique and innovative series that push the boundaries of animation. Director Takahiro Omori’s CV is suitably eclectic, with horror series such as Hell Girl or quirky stories like Baccano! each showing very different creative strengths. The 11 episodes of Princess Jellyfish explore some unusual themes for contemporary anime – gender identity, the expectations of feminine beauty, and the growth in number of social recluses (or hikkikomori) in Japan – as well as charting the relationship that blossoms between Tsukimi and Kuranosuke.

Bold and progressive, and prone to tickle the funny bone as often as it plucks the heart strings, Princess Jellyfish is quite unlike anything else you’ll see this year.

Princess Jellyfish is out on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

Buy it now

MANGA UK GOSSIP

£
was £

FEATURED RELEASE

RELATED BLOG ARTICLES

Blue Exorcist devil-man

Matt Kamen on anime’s latest devil-man
Is it nature or nurture that defines who you are? It’s a deeply philosophical question, and one that Rin Okumura will be asking himself a lot in Blue Exorcist – he’s just learned that he’s one of the sons of Satan. Can this potential Antichrist defy his birthright and become a hero?

UNBOXED: BLUE EXORCIST

Jeremy Graves dispels the demons of doubt
Jeremy Graves dispels the demons of doubt in the definitive edition.

Blue Exorcist

Andrew Osmond has a devil of a time explaining this one
Mouthy, shouty Rin Okamura is the blue exorcist of the title. He’s so-called because he burns with blue fire when he unleashes his powers… because he’s Satan’s son! Luckily he’s had a sound upbringing, raised by a kindly priest-cum-exorcist warrior. Traumatised to learn he’s a real demon child, Rin angrily spurns his human “father,” and inadvertently… Well, we won’t give it away, but it’s not good. Horrified by what he’s done, Rin barges into the mountain-sized True Cross Academy to learn exorcism and “Kick Satan’s ass!” His teacher, he’s amazed to find, is his studious, gifted and non-demonic twin brother Yukio. We meet Rin’s fellow students, all ignorant of his nature, and he and we start getting to know them.

Blue Exorcist versus Buso Renkin

If you liked that... you might like this
One advantage of Blue Exorcist over some other supernatural/fight anime is that it doesn’t run for hundreds of episodes. Instead, it accommodates plenty of twists and transformations in just 26 parts (including one video). The same is true of Buso Renkin, an older show in a similar vein, available from Manga Entertainment in a single box set.

Blue Exorcist: the Movie

Melissa Francis on the hell-spawn creature-feature
If we look back at the 25 episodes of the TV series, Blue Exorcist: The Movie seemed more cohesive in comparison – there were certainly less of those ‘for the hell of it’ moments (no pun intended) and more well-connected, relevant events.

RECENT FEATURED POSTS

Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, the two manga creators behind Death Note and Bakuman, are launching a brand new manga this December.

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Culture shocks and military musings, in Gen Urobuchi's hard-hitting anime
"It’s an interesting time to have a hero with a militarist outlook. This blog has discussed the arguments over the alleged political content in the blockbusting Attack on Titan and Ghibli’s film The Wind Rises. In both cases, the controversies connects to Japan’s own militarist past in the 1930s and ‘40s, and the spectres they conjure up in countries round the world; of Japanese kamikaze pilots, of torturers ruling POW camps, of the so-called “banzai charges” of soldiers sworn to die for their Emperor."
Toei Animation has announced production on Dragon Ball Super, the first all-new Dragon Ball series to be released in 18 years. Following the recent events of the hit feature film Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection, Dragon Ball Super will debut in July 2015 in Japan.

Anime Streaming Sites

Legal ways to mainline your Japanese animation
The new Manga Entertainment podcast includes a discussion of legitimate anime streaming sites – in other words, the ones that send money to the Japanese studios which make anime, thereby supporting the industry. (Rather than the other streaming sites, which just steal anime and make it less likely there’ll be anime to steal in the future.)
Fray pays a visit to a Japanese canned food restaurant.
Contact Us   |   Refund Policy   |   Delivery Times   |   Privacy statement   |   Terms & Conditions
Please note your card statement will show billing by MVM. Princess Jellyfish from the UK's best Anime Blog.