After his encounter with the Squid Girl, Hybrid went ahead to find this next person called Kuragehime to help with his reviewing skills but once he opened the door to find her, some crazy residents’ storm from their rooms and immediately boot and fight him out of the apartment complex, since Hybrid missed the big sign that says, “No Men Allowed”, which the Squid Girl didn’t tell him in the first place. So he went back to his apartment to think of another plan of getting in but he wasn’t going to like it…..in other words, he’s going to have cross-dress his way in there and masquerade as a girl to get some info. So, the second day came and he/she came in disguised as a woman in order to see the Kuragehime…..or as the English calls it PRINCESS JELLYFISH.
When looking into this anime, it’s like looking into an anime version of a fairy tale, which sort of involves a princess or a princess-like character and also a fairy godmother-like character, but unlike a fairy tale (or at least, any fairy tale that’s been infected by Disney sooner or later), this one is going to be sugarcoated, especially when dealing with the stages of being awkward around different people and the way you act around them.
Amamizu-kan, an old boarding house in Tokyo, is the home of The Sisterhood – a group of otaku women of various stripes who shun The Stylish and men in general. Tsukimi, a jellyfish fanatic, is the latest addition to their ranks. One evening a strange Stylish woman helps her out and she brings the Stylish home with her…only to discover that “she” is a “he.” Despite her pleas, Kuranosuke, the disenchanted cross-dressing son of a prominent political family, sticks around, finding himself more and more fascinated by The Sisterhood in general and Tsukimi in specific. When unscrupulous developers begin to eye Amamizu-kan’s location, Kuranosuke realizes that there is more at stake than just a building, and sets out to galvanize its residents to save their way of life.
The story is the whole “coming out of your shell” type of story when a person who has a different outlook on life wants to help them not only with experiencing life outside their comfort zone, considering that they are going to need it since their home is on the verge of being wrecked. As for the romance aspect, I did sort of sense that the main characters Tsukimi & Kuranosuke would have their relationship to grow but to me, it was never towards the “lovey-dovey” type of relationship but more like a “close friends” relationship and I thought it was great that they stuck it to that. As for the side story with Kuranosuke’s brother, it didn’t went anywhere at all with him having a crush on Tsukimi, only to ended early with the one character Inari, who’s the one that’s after Amamizu-kun and the very textbook definition of the word “cold bitch”, gets involved plus, his brother Shu isn’t that interesting of a character or even that memorable unlike Kuranosuke himself, who was one of my favorites in the show for being the motivator of Tsukimi and the other women in the sisterhood.
As for Tsukimi, she is portrayed as a sweet but very awkward and often an easily weirded-out character with his unique interests in jellyfish and drawing them ever since she saw them with her late mother. The other tenants in the building also have their unique personality about them with the acting landlady Chieko collecting traditional Japanese clothes and dolls, Banba is into trains, Jiji into older men and Mayaya is a fan of Three Kingdoms and unfortunately out of all of them, Mayaya is the most annoying character on this show, mainly because while she’s very animated, all she does is act like a neurotic fangirl and not the kind that would be fun to hang out, but the kind that rages about everything and everybody so much, you want to pop an synapse after just to calm down.
The animation for this gets a little rough around some of the character movements and designs. Brains Base, the guys that brought you Baccano! & Durarara!! , has made some good animation in their past works and for this, it’s more like when Durarara began to show its budget problems during the second half but then again, this is an 11-episode anime, so I shouldn’t expect much of a grandiose amount of animation, but it is typical of Brains Base’s style of animation and it was good to say the least. The music is very appealing to most of the show with its comical style to some of the scenes to the light dramatic moments in there. Plus, the opening and ending themes are quite addictive to listen to, especially the opening sequence where it parodies or pay homage to most movie franchises like Star Wars, James Bond, The Seven Kingdoms, Singin’ in the Rain, Mary Poppins, etc.
For the FUNimation dub, this was one of those dubs that didn’t sound so usual. Usually, I yawn at FUNimation dubs, not that they’re bad (they make good dubs) but they’re not that special to begin with. I did liked Maxey Whitehead’s performance as very sweet and genuine although it is strange hearing her as a lead female character since most of her roles have been androgynous sounding boys. Josh Grelle did convince me that Kuranosuke was an actual girl at first and even though I find Mayaya to be annoying, Monica Rial plays the role and her voice much differently than she used to, it sounded more lower than her standard of voicing characters.
FINAL VERDICT: The show is actually worth watching around the first chance you get. Some of the humor can be charming and unique up to an extent although I hate that it ended on a lousy cliffhanger, which mean it’s one of those “read the manga” endings. It’s something you would either want to rent or own the DVD to.
So how should I crown Princess Jellyfish?
SOLID B. – 8/10
So Womanized Hybrid went into the complex to find the Kuragehime and answer some questions about his reviewing skills and his stance as a reviewer of all media. Then Kuragehime appeared from the room and it is, in fact, a talking jellyfish floating around the room and what she said first was, “What is do you desire to know, young lady?” Hybrid could have reveal himself as a man but instead he refer himself as a friend to the jellyfish and ask her, “If you ever seen his reviews, I feel like recently he’s been staggering the past few months, like he’s run out of ideas or going through a severe writer’s block.” Then the jellyfish asked that if he struggled with his other media reviews, but he answered it, “Well, he just reviews them like any other movie or TV show review. For his anime reviews, they held an important piece of his work, which is what he created and stuck with.” Then the Kuragehime suggested something for him to review, “Look, tell your friend that you must review these five pieces of material…..starting with these two entries that most of the Western audience should know.” So she hands him a briefcase and as he got out of there, a strange crackling was heard from there, saying something about “iron”………..
And until then, this is MAK2.0 aka The Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format.
PRINCESS JELLYFISH – animation by BRAINS’ BASE / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
THE MIND OF THE HYBRID ONE – my Tumblr page.