Thursday, May 3, 2012

Princess Jellyfish - A Review by Shonen Neko Takaya

 I sometimes wonder if the word Anime is Japanese for incomplete story with tacked on ending.

There are few things in anime that bother me as much as an incomplete narrative that has plenty of steam left in it's characters and storyline.

Princess Jellyfish is an anime that I really didn't want to be disappointed in. The characters while a bit stereotyped really let you into this world of geeky otaku women who have their own unique tastes, likes, dislikes. really making them feel like girls you've might have been friends with.

The lead male role Kuranosuke is fairly fleshed out and deep considering the series length. He has a troubled backstory and it really comes through the voice actors work. You can feel the pain Kuranosuke goes through. You can also tell he's a very compassionate person which is why I enjoyed him so much as a character.

His brother Shū is also a really interesting guy despite his family finding him so boring. Shū is a very proper and polite Japanese business man. He sticks very close to traditions of a proper Japanese family. His values while a little dated also show what kind of man he is. Shū was quite possibly my favorite of the series.

The real star of this show is Tsukimi. She reminds me of so many women I've dated.

She's a fragile creature scared of her own beauty. The death of her mother and the promise that she would make her a wedding dress as beautiful as a Jellyfish is one of the key points of the series as it establishes a good deal of the plot from this one tragic event.

Tsukimi is a wonderful character and I found myself in tears a few times as I saw her deal with many of the things thrown at her in the series. She like so many women, just want someone to love them and to feel beautiful. I can relate to that quite a bit even as a guy. I think we all want someone to love us and to feel attractive. Tsukimi battles her insecurities and fear of men in a very realistic way.

Sometimes we win sometimes we lose but the fact that we tried shows what we are made of.

The rest of the ladies of the house are memorable and really added to a lot of the humor that makes up the show as it's not entirely a drama.

Mayyaya reminds me very much of one of my good friends from the now defunct Gyt's Anime and More. I bet you know who you are. :: wink::: A girl that digs Samurai is always alright in my book.

Jiji is a riot because of her love and dedication to older gentlemen. I run into a lot more of these types of girls as I get older, which just makes it even more hilarious. ( I'm 32)

Banba looks a little like Lambo from HItman Reborn but once you get past that, she's just a meat seeking, train loving otaku girl.

Chieko is the traditonal Japanese princess complete with a fabulous Kimono collection and hand crafted Japanese dolls. She's also the landlady of the Amamizukan.

The mysterious Juon Mejiro that writes yaoi manga and hates men with a passion is a great source of humor throughout the series and even lead to a few plot twists that I anticipated but never materialized in the show. I really enjoy characters that you can have fun with and imagine doing things in a series. Pretty good for a character that is more mysterious than Mr. Wilson from Home Improvement.

Shōko Inari is a an evil evil woman. You know you're playing a super evil woman when you can manage to get me to say, " Oh that BITCH!" She's certainly easier on the eyes than the rest of the cast but her personality screws up any chance of her being attractive.

On the technical side, Princess Jellyfish has it's share of problems. It suffers from a lack of continuity in quality of the animation but not nearly as bad as say Welcome to The NHK, Hellsing, or Samurai 7. ( Sensing a connection here?) When it's pretty, it's beautiful. When it's gritty and real. It's gritty and real right down to the unibrow on some of these girls. I think the look of the characters suits who they are as people so in that respect it works. I can't go so far as to say it's an ugly anime because it's not. It's very well done but you can tell there were short cuts to save on budget but none of them are bad enough to detract from the story. I just can't give it a Bones Studio Quality score when it hardly deserves it.

The voice acting in the American version ( which is the one I watched as of this review.) is pretty much standard fare in the modern world of Funimation dubs. It's not bad, in fact it's pretty good.

The problems come when you can tell certain dialog has been Americanized and I have a strong feeling a certain amount of depth was lost in translation. Since it's a short anime I may re watch a couple of the episodes in Japanese just to see if I was right in this assumption.

The music is good but to be blutly honest the only thing that stuck with me was the opening song which is just weird and quirky. I like weird and quirky.

I can only recommend this anime to people that really enjoy fashion, cross dressing, and seeing a girl shine like a diamond in the rough. If you're looking for a couple of laughs and a casual sweet story about a young lady looking for acceptance and love. Then you might be in the right place.

If you don't like guys dressing like girls ,weird over the top personalities and incomplete stories. Avoid it.

For me personally at the end of the day I am glad I saw it but the want for more is great. I love to support these Shojou anime but as is the case with many Shojou anime they end up incomplete and just make me wish there was more. Enter at your own risk.

I give Princess Jellyfish a 6/10 and a 8/10 if they actually make a second season.

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