Princess Jellyfish is one of those gems that you just stumble upon with vague interest, only to find this story unique and quite powerful. While I’m not the target audience for this, Princess Jellyfish being a shojo title targeting girls, I was surprised that I liked it a lot, and it offered a subject matter that could be related to girls all around the world.
Princess Jellyfish is about a girl named Tsukimi who lives in an apartment complex that only allows girls. The other girls who live there are all otakus, ranging from BL manga creator, Japanese traditional dolls, Three Kingdoms, and so on. Right off the bat this series separates itself from others by presenting every character being college age or above, meaning some of these girls are actually in their thirties. I found this refreshing for two reasons; the first being we’ll get a new perspective on the characters (no angsty teen drama), and two being that the themes and life lessons are more mature than your average series.
The main theme in this this so far is that “every girl deserves to be pretty.” Ironically, the girl who shows these otaku shut-ins is actually a boy, Kuranosuke, who dresses like a girl. Through Tsukimi, he slowly gets to know the other girls in the apartment complex, and surprisingly, he helps out all the girls in gaining confidence and looking good.
Of course the journey is a long and challenging one since every girl has trouble talking to strangers and saying their thoughts to people who are much more confident, and frankly prettier than them. But regardless, he sticks with them, and even starts hanging out with them more and more. It seems that Kuranosuke was the first person to actually be interested in what these girls do. He tries to be friendly, and with all the girls being anti-social they try to throw him out, but strangely enough he is able to slowly crack their comfort zones and show them how to be more confident in public.
Through the course of these four volumes, we get to see that these characters have depth, and even four volumes in we still see layers slowly peeling back on all of them. What makes this series interesting, is the fact that Tsukimi falls for the boy’s brother, who doesn’t recognize her unless she’s wearing make-up. Sadly, we come to find out that Kuranosuke might in fact be in love with her. Sigh, and here I was hoping that this wouldn’t be the case. Regardless, this didn’t happen until later in the first four volumes, and there still might be a shot for Tsukimi to get Kuranosuke’s brother. Which ever way this goes I know it will be super cute and sweet, because what series usually don’t do right, and what Princess Jellyfish does, is that it takes time for characters to fall in love.
The art is what you would find in shojo/josei in that it’s good, but leaves a lot of blank space in the background. The creativity is very nice in relating jellyfish to dresses. I think that this series is more mature than you’d think with actual life lessons that can help people. Overall, Princess Jellyfish may sound like a strange read, and maybe not for everyone, but as someone who isn’t in the target audience I was very happy that I was able to find such a sweet series to read.
+ Mature story
+ Helpful Life Lessons
– Possible cliche love triangle coming up in the future