Full Anime Series Review: Princess Jellyfish
Princess Jellyfish is a romantic comedy series with a lot of humor about otakus (in the sense of "geek" or "person creepily obsessed about something", not "anime fan"). Tsukimi is a jellyfish-obsessed nerdy girl living communally in a sisterhood of other women who are also otaku and also have various obsessions. Also in the sisterhood is a yaoi manga artist who never leaves her room, communicating by passing notes under the door.
The girls of the sisterhood really hate men, and they're afraid of the "stylish", people who look attractive, popular, and fashionable.
Tsukimi ends up at a pet store, and she is trying to intervene to save a jellyfish from deadly neglect on the part of the ignorant shop owner. It's not going well, until a beautiful "stylish" girl shows up and sticks up for Tsukimi. The girl walks home with Tsukimi, and they show signs of a budding friendship, even though the girl is not an otaku.
She's a boy.
Review and Discussion:
To geek girls, it can feel a bit insulting that this anime, and other fictional works, act like all we have to do to solve our problems is clean up a bit and dress fancier and lose the glasses (I like being able to see and I don't especially like contacts, so I think the world can deal with how I look with glasses on just fine, and they don't represent a mask I'm hiding behind, I just like to fucking see! Why is that bad?).
But, Princess Jellyfish balances Kennousuke's perspective that the shut-in girls of the otaku nunnery should be more glamorous with their voices being heard and given equal weight in the show. It's shown how they are purely devoted to their passions and hobbies, so they lack concern for trivial matters like beauty and fashion.
But what the girls are missing when they do this, Kennousuke argues, is the ability to stick up for themselves against the rest of the world. When a standard "save our beloved real estate" plot shows up, the girls learn that looking respectable is critical to success. And for his part, Kennousuke learns to appreciate them, especially Tsukimi, for who they are, and not just for what some makeover changes them into.
Therefore, it's about the "stylish" and the geeks learning from each other, rather than about one side being right and the other being wrong.
It's a very cute romantic comedy that will probably appeal to people who suffer from extreme geekiness.
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