Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Manga Review: Princess Jellyfish, Volume 1, by Akiko Higashimura

Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Volumes: 15+
Spoilers?: Not really.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Special large-size 2-in-1 edition of over 400 pages!

"One of the best anime and manga for beginners. Enthusiasm - geeky and otherwise - is power in Princess Jellyfish. Enthusiasm saves the day and paves the road to the future." - Kotaku

"Princess Jellyfish's ambition is simple: to tell a delightful story in a delightful way... It's a pretty deadly one-two punch." - Anime News Network

"Loaded with heart, soul, humor and insight." -


Tsukimi Kurashita has a strange fascination with jellyfish. She’s loved them from a young age and has carried that love with her to her new life in the big city of Tokyo. There, she resides in Amamizukan, a safe-haven for girl geeks who regularly gush over a range of things from trains to Japanese dolls. However, a chance meeting at a pet shop has Tsukimi crossing paths with one of the things that the residents of Amamizukan have been desperately trying to avoid—a beautiful and fashionable woman! But there’s much more to this woman than her trendy clothes! This odd encounter is only the beginning of a new and unexpected path for Tsukimi and her friends.


I have been wanting to read this for a while now. I watched the anime and was immediately obsessed. I knew it was only a matter of time, and was super excited when Kodansha announced they would be releasing it in two-in-ones. Firstly, it’s a very pretty, big volume. I wouldn’t have minded single volumes, but these are nice as well, and about the same price it would be otherwise, if a couple dollars cheaper. There are also five color pages, and they are gorgeous.
I will say that the anime follows the manga very closely, at least so far. But I don’t mind a bit, and it made me want to re-watch it after reading. The artwork is a little rough at times, but mostly I didn’t mind it at all. It was very pretty in some places as well. The humor was the same as in the anime, exaggerated and adorable and funny.
Tsukimi lives in a house with a group of otaku girls, all of them terrified of other people and going outside and men and stylish women. They call themselves nuns, or amars. When Tsukimi runs into Kuranosuke, who is crossdressing as a stylish woman at the time, he kind of barges into her life. This then proceeds to freak out her roommates, when they don’t even know he’s a guy. But Kuranosuke helps them when they find out their house is trying to be bought and demolished, and he also introduces Tsukimi to his political, extremely shy around women, older brother. We also meet their driver, Hanamori, who is pretty much an otaku for cars, and I like him a lot.
I love how this series deals with insecurities and individuality. All of the characters are insecure about something—the women are pretty much insecure about everything—but they’re also completely themselves. They don’t shy from their obsessions, or their fear of other people. They look how they look and don’t want to change that, are even afraid to. They are how they are, and they don’t know how to be any different, and might not even care to change that, either. On the other side of it, Kuranosuke dresses like a woman all the time, tells people about it and uses it to bother his family. He doesn’t hide who he is or what he wants to do. He’s proud of it, even.
I am just in love with this series. I think it’s hilarious and adorable, quirky in the best possible way, impressive. It reminds me of Ouran High School Host Club, only with college-aged otaku women. If you’re even a little curious, I would recommend picking it up. I would recommend it to anyone, actually. I am eagerly awaiting the next one.

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