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Published:February 6th, 2011 11:13 EST
Jellyfish Princess: Kuragehime

Jellyfish Princess: Kuragehime

By Tony Graff

In 2010, an anime was released in Japan entitled the Jellyfish Princess, or Kuragehime in Japanese. It`s based on a graphic novel originally serialized in 2008. I heard about the series from a friend wondering if it was worth buying. Thanks to Animefreak.tv, I found the first 12 episodes. 

It`s based on a graphic novel originally serialized in 2008. I heard about the series from a friend wondering if it was worth buying. Thanks to Animefreak.tv, I found the first 12 episodes. 

I got an interesting impression from the opening sequence by itself, before I even read/ saw what the story is about. It`s a montage of the characters in scenes from various movies, from Star Wars to Singing in the Rain, to Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Kill Bill. 

The story follows Tsukimi, who loves jellyfish. She obsesses over the animal. Because of this, she is deemed a nerd. That works out for her, since she lives with several other girls who are also nerds. Each has their own obsession, from The Three Kingdoms to trains. 
 
Here`s one of the cool things about Japan: if you are a nerd, it`s okay to be a nerd. The unwritten rule is that you`ll find a group of friends who`ll accept you. Simple as that. 
Tsukimi`s life gets thrown for a loop when she bumps in to one of the most beautiful girls she has ever met. Unfortunately, like many anime, she is actually a he. A he who feels most comfortable in women`s clothing, but most definitely a he. We find out that his name is Kuranosuke, and a member of a rich family, wealthy enough that the prime minister comes over on friendly visits. 
The dynamic between the stylish cross-dresser and the shy shut-in fuels much of the first season, but that`s plenty to keep people entertained. It builds to joining forces when the apartment all the nerds share is up for getting torn down, and they must find a way to save their lifestyle. 
This is one of those anime where a person likes the series for one character. While I enjoyed watching Kuragehime, it`s not one I would recommend for people exploring the genre for the first time. There are aspects of the series that if a person doesn`t know about it beforehand -cross-dressing acceptance, open conversations about romance - it can cause confusion and disinterest. But, it is a series worth looking into.