Kurage Hime
Princess Jellyfish
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Original Concept - Kodansha Manga Award Winner
Kurashita Tsukimi is a "kurage (jelly fish) otaku" girl who wants to be an illustrator. She comes to Tokyo and starts to live in a girl-only apartment Amamizukan. One day she meets a fashionable lady, who saves a jelly fish. But she turns out to be a man in drag.

ANN is reporting that this 'women's manga' series will be animated. This story will be an adaptation of a manga series by HIGASHIMURA Akiko which won a best manga award with the Japanese ↗Taisho SciFi Society.

TV series, 2010, 11 episodes
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 8 7 7 8 8 Dreamer [series:2306#2279]
Now here's a nice little gem of an anime. It's not much to speak of but it's still quite fun to watch. Had me smiling from beginning to end.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork and animation was on par with many other anime out there. The characters were well done but, our main 4 characters were pretty ugly to say the least... and that's of course because this series is meant to protray them as such. The facial expressions however were well done and funny! Some of the body expressions were equally as funny and at times had me laughing out loud in the middle of the night.

The OP was an interesting "happy-go-go" style alternative piece. Think Alanis Morissette. That's the best way I can describe it. It was "almost" charming. The ED was a cool alternative piece with a raspy voice for vocals. Couldn't tell if it was male or female. It wasn't bad though.

Series and Episode Story
As Ggultra2764 said below, this series isn't perfect but it did charm me quite a bit. I fell for it at least. First, let me get to the not so good points of this series.... - I couldn't stand "Mayaya". It was her stupid hand gestures that turned me off. - Our main characters aren't developed or none of their backgrounds are explored.

Aside from those, the plot isn't anything grand or remotely amazing. Rather, it was pretty plain but charming nevertheless. And I think it's mainly due to our protagonist "Tsukimi". She was cute in an ugly way... well, until she dressed up that is. But really, the plot still had enough in it to make it fun to watch. It develops some interesting plot nuggets such as the introduction of Kuranosuke's older brother. I loved the whole "hipster" term. Hahaha!! Had me busting up initially.

Overall, this series was fun to watch through and through. It was both charming and funny with plenty of silly gags, and nerdy but cute characters. Do watch for sure.

Last updated Tuesday, January 18 2011. Created Tuesday, January 18 2011.
Buy 8 8 7 9 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:2306#1552]
(Buy-/ Rent+)

It's not perfect, but Kuragehime did do a decent job at charming me for the Fall 2010 anime season and it marks my 400th review on Mikomi. The series hooked me thanks to the lovable characters that the show featured each having a personality you could get hooked to such as the otaku interests and fear of outsiders coming from the Amamizukan tenants, Kuranosuke masquerading as a girl around the apartments and Shu's fear of women despite his interest in Tsukimi. While many of the characters are around just to provide laughs, the major characters (Tsukimi, Kuranosuke, Shu and Shoko) do get their developments as we get to know what they are thinking and even get some sense of the types of lives they had before meeting one another and there are even signs of potential romantic attraction between these characters. The show's main plot revolves around the issue of the Amamizukan apartment being put up for demolition for a redevelopment project which drives many of the developments and actions of the characters throughout this series. The OP sequence for the series was fun enough thanks to the many humorous nods to Western movie franchises like James Bond, Singing in the Rain and Star Wars. The major issue with the series though is that it lacks a proper resolution which isn't surprising considering the manga source material of the show is still ongoing. This means that the potential romantic tensions that were building up with certain character pairs are left hanging at the end of the series. Despite this major issue and the lack of depth on other characters besides the major players, this was still one of the better titles I seen for 2010 thanks to being hooked on the humorous actions and personalities of the characters.

Last updated Friday, December 31 2010. Created Friday, December 31 2010.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:2306#1573]
Watching This

That 3rd episode was BEAUTIFUL!

Last updated Friday, November 12 2010. Created Friday, November 12 2010.
Buy Stretch [series:2306#628]
(Buy- or Rent+)

(All episodes watched):

One more Fall 2010 series--this was the last one I watched, and it's a good thing I didn't miss it, because it quickly became clear that it might well be my favorite. The episode begins with some quick parodies of famous movies ranging from Star Wars to Singin' in the Rain to James Bond. Afterwards, what we have is a group of "hardcore female nerds", who, rather than being cute and having boyfriends, instead live together and each has her own particular quirk--ranging from dolls to collecting gashopon figures to a fascination with jellyfish. These are likeable people I could identify with; each is a touch odd, but not bizarre. This was fun; their quirks left me giggling. Based on the hints I had picked up, I was thinking that what was going to happen was that a sexy, 'hipster' girl that Tsukimi had made friends with was going to move into a vacant apartment with these odd girls, which seemed like plenty of fun in itself. Then yet another twist--the hipster is actually a cross-dressing guy--turned up, which mixed things up and left me even more eager to see where the story would go.

The story takes off and expands in an interesting manner, as we learn why Kuranosuke cross-dresses, who he's related to, and what problem he has about his mother. Everything makes sense and firmly holds my interest. The political/economic threat to the girl's apartment building set off an alarm in my head as it seemed to threaten a simplistic good girls vs. bad guys storyline, but this show turned out to have much more sophistication than usual.

When Kuranosuke's brother took an interest in Tsukimi, I figured 'ah, here's the evil, greedy guy who will serve as his rival'. That's the way shows usually go. But no, to my pleasant surprise, he turns out to be a likeable guy who so far hasn't done Tsukimi any harm at all. That's what I like about this show; plotlines go in unconventional directions, stretching the envelope, but remain plausible and interesting. But for the most part this show seems to make the extra effort to be clever and unusual. Perhaps I'm sort of gun-shy because so many of the shows which I have watched don't bother to do this, and as a result have a crappy lack of originality. Maybe that's why Kuragehime makes me sit up and take notice.

In the end, there was not as much resolution as I had expected--like a clear answer regarding whether certain people have fallen in love. I bet the manga is incomplete. I was also surprised by what didn't happen regarding the chief 'villain' of the series. And if Chieko's mother never intended to sell the building, Kuranosuke and Tsukimi's triumph with the beautiful dress is sort of minimalized. It almost felt as if there should have been an episode twelve to clarify lots of things. But altogether definitely the best one-season show of the fall. Perhaps the best thing about it was the unpredictable yet plausible plot. Several times I got the feeling 'oh, I know where this is going'--but in the end it would yank the carpet out from under me and go another way. One remaining question: How much fun would it be a second time around?

Last updated Tuesday, February 01 2011. Created Sunday, October 17 2010.

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