Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Manga Shorts: Kuragehime

Normally I go with the English name for a series but I don't like the English title as much (Princess Jellyfish, I think that The Jellyfish Princess flows better but clearly whoever decided on the localization thought otherwise) and I suspect that more people are going to recognize the Japanese title than the English one. I started reading the manga after I saw the anime version last fall, which I thought was a fun little series (even if it had a rushed ending), but now I think that the manga is the superior version of the story.

Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfisht) by Akiko Higashimura
  The first nine episodes of the anime follow the first bit of the manga pretty well, a group of female otaku (and by that I mean obsessive fans, of trains, jellyfish, old men, none of anime) called the nuns all live in an old boarding house and a essentially terrified at contact with the outside world. Tsukimi, the jellyfish otaku and main character, is one night freaking out over a mistreated jellyfish she finds at a pet store and with the help of a passing stylish lady she rescues it and takes it home, only to have the stylish lady crash at her house and turn out to actually be a man the next morning. Kuranosuke is actually the (illegitimate) son of a local politician and nephew to the PM, not that he cares about all of that, he just wants to cross dress and have fun. But it turns out that his father and brother are involved with a group that is buying up the neighborhood for redevelopment and the nuns have to fight them. The anime choose to take some of the idea from the manga and compress them into two episodes, here the manga chooses to have them throw a fashion show to get awareness and raise money to buy the boarding house for themselves which has introduced some new characters but more importantly brought some actual character development. In the anime I complained that Kuranosuke was the only character who seemed to actually grow, which I found ironic (even if he's the titular character),  but here Tsukimi has started to grow, Maya, Chieako have started to develop a bit and it looks like Jiji is going to have some character development soon as well. Shuu, Kuranosuke's brother, also has some character development in the manga which was nice, in the anime I couldn't understand why so many people shipped him and Tsukimi but after seeing them interact even more in the manga I can understand it now. I really hope the nuns get more character development soon (I believe the scanlations are close to where the Japanese manga is) especially with the new challenges they're facing. Currently the series is unlicensed, and since it's josei I doubt it ever will be here in the US, but I'm really enjoying the series now and hope it gets released here anyway.   

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