Let me preface this post by saying that I don’t normally watch anime, and I don’t consider myself very knowledgeable about the genre. The last anime I watched was Elfen Lied, and that was a couple of years ago. But Princess Jellyfish was only 11 episodes long, so it seemed manageable. Like a lot of anime, it was adapted from a manga, and from looking at some pages of the manga online, it doesn’t seem like the plot changed much in the transition. The main character, the jellyfish-obsessed Tsukimi, is 18 and lives in an apartment building with four 30-something women. All of them are what the Japanese call otaku, which means they’re nerdy and have obsessive interests. They call the building in which they live “the Nunnery,” and, though not religious, they all maintain poverty, chastity, and obedience: none of them has more than 2 figures in her bank account, none of them has ever had a boyfriend/lover, and they are all obedient to the landlady, a mysterious manga artist who rarely leaves her room and communicates with her tenants via messages slipped under the door.
One day, Tsukimi meets a beautiful “Stylish” woman who helps her save a jellyfish from certain death. Turns out that this woman is actually a young man in drag, who believes that every girl can be a princess, even these 30-something otaku women who shy away from makeup and have never been “with it” in terms of fashion (or social skills). Throughout the series, the young man helps bring them all out of their shells so they can save their beloved “Nunnery,” which is in danger of being demolished by city planners.
Basically, it’s a cute romantic comedy with an interesting look at gender roles and stereotypes. My only problem with it is that a lot of the conflicts and plot lines had not been adequately resolved by the end of the 11 episodes, which makes me believe that the manga might have had more to it, or perhaps there will eventually be another season of the anime. (I hope so!)
So if you like anime, and you’re sick of mecha, magical girls, and women with enormous boobs in skimpy armor, watch this one. 🙂