I promise the next review will be a more positive one, but I just finished this series for the first time a week ago and I wanted to get my feelings about it on here while it was still fresh in my mind because sadly it feels forgettable, which really sucks because for everything this show is….let’s just say I wanted to love this series!
I remember hearing about this series a few years ago and thinking to myself, that looks interesting, I’ll have to watch that one day. Then the other week while out with my mum I popped into my local library while she was busy elsewhere to see if they had any new anime DVDs in, as this particular library has a section of DVDs that are just anime. (though at first, it was mostly Studio Ghibli films it has slowly grown larger over the last few years) I spotted two DVDs that caught my interest. The first was Perfect Blue an anime film I had watched ages ago and loved but still don’t have in my DVD collection and the other was Princess Jellyfish, I, of course, borrowed both. One for dark nostalgia and the other to see something new, which I always enjoy.
I feel as though I am delaying the inedible at this point so I will get to the point. The series was enjoyable during my time watching it, relaxing would be the best word to describe it at first but then I came to a realization. During the midway point of the series, it’s flow just sort of feeling like it calmly came to a delayed stop at a dam, that it only slightly trickled past in the last two episodes.
It was around episode five, that I realized the character had become somewhat stagnated. In the first few episodes we learn each of the characters quirks and what makes them their own but then that’s really it bar one maybe two characters if I stretch it that get some character development throughout the series.
The series does have an interesting premise that caught my eye in the first place. Our main character Tsukimi wants to be an illustrator and is obsessed with everything Jellyfish. She finds a majestic and royal beauty in these aquatic creatures and this love was nurtured by her mother as a child her mother even promising her one day she will look like a jellyfish princess on the day of her wedding. Fast forward to the present and an 18-year-old Tsukimi lives in a shared house with other women who are equally obsessed with their hobbies which include traditional Japanese dolls, the Records of the three Kingdoms, trains and mature aged men, they are all in a sense different types of otaku.
These girls are an odd and zany group of characters, but sadly they all come across as very one-note, especially when it becomes obvious that all the women in this house have the exact same social hang-ups. These social hang-ups become a somewhat running gag of the series that gets old very very quickly to the point that in later episodes it just comes across as annoying and bordering on insulting to myself, because I have my own social anxieties and even though I know it’s played for comedic purposes in the series it left me wondering if people see me at times like one would see the characters in this series. Then again this could also be yet another case of me over thinking the situation, which I will admit does happen.
One character that does stand out is Koranosuke, our ‘Princess Jellyfish’ in the eyes of Tsukimi upon their first meeting. She comes across as one of the most beautiful women Tsukimi has ever met and she is in awe. That quickly turns to shock and fright, however, the morning after she meets her because it turns out this beautiful princess is a handsome cross-dressing prince. Out of all the characters in the series, Koranosuke is the one we see the most development with, this is to the point where I kind of wish he was the main character of the story and not Tsukimi. That being said I am glad they didn’t go the easy route with his character and just make him another token cross-dressing homosexual character or a one-note trap character there for comedic effect when the ‘trap is sprung’ so to speak.
Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against these kinds of characters, in fact, Jun Watarase from Happiness! was the first ever anime figurine I ever purchased. It’s just that these characters being nothing more than jokes in a series is something that is getting old for me, after all, there is so much more potential for these kinds of characters in a story especially in this day and age. A show a recommend that gets across the more series note of these kinds of characters I can highly recommend is the anime ‘Wandering Son’ something else I plan to review once I watch the series again.
Back on subject, however, Koranossuke does in a sense help Tsukimi come out of her shell by the end of the series but this is only for her to crawl back in as quickly as possible come to the end as one last punchline to the series, so it leaves me feeling like nothing has been accomplished at all by the end of the series. Even the resolution of the big major conflict of the story by the end feels like a punchline for a joke that has either been poorly executed or just does not belong there, kind of like being at an armature night at a comedy club and waiting for the laughter. I also got the feeling of an incomplete story but seeing as I have never read the manga I don’t know if this is because of the source material the constraints of making only one short season.
And yet after all this, I must admit the series was a fun relaxing ride from start to finish and that does account for something. At no time while watching the series did I ever feel bored and it did get some laughs out of me and lot of those came from the interactions with Koranosuke and his family, especially his uncle and brother. So I find myself at a great impasse I suppose. As entertainment the show is passable but as a story, it falls flat. It was a fun ride after all but it’s not one I will be getting on again any time soon.
Till next time I’m Mistress of Yaoi and sometimes you just have to go with the flow and enjoy yourself.