March 6, 2012

A Thing I Watched Because Of A Banner Ad, Proving I Am Easy To Convince In Some Areas.

I watched an anime and it was called Princess Jellyfish, and it was certainly a thing.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the show, but most of it basically comes from me being me, which I’ll talk about in a little bit. In general, though, the story of this cross-dressing, fashion-minded dude breaking into the lives of a bunch of overwhelmingly geeky girls was pretty fun!
It felt, in many ways, a bit rushed, which I assume was because of limited episode time. After all, they really set up this “problem” for everyone to solve and then it just kind of disappears in the last episode with very little to no actual actions of the characters causing it. That’s not really good storytelling, but it’s the kind of thing you do when you try to create a short show from a series that’s still ongoing, which was probably the case when this was made.
I don’t think that took away much from its charm, though. While many of the cast of geeks were a bit… one note and jokey, as to be expected from background characters, they did a great job of making fairly realistic geeky people for the ones that were focused on. The main character, Tsukimi, is fairly well rounded, to be fair. She has her passions and her problems, and for the most part, the show sells them, which really helps. You really kind of understand where her phobias come from, whereas with the background jokey people, it’s just kind of part of the joke “ubergeek” persona. She’s likable, and you want her to get into a happy relationship and become successful instead of being stuck in this apartment. Similarly, I feel like, by the end of it, the landlady’s daughter, Chieko, is really fairly well fleshed out. You really get to see into her motivations, of trying to put together a family in this place and keep everyone together, as well as just looking out for the general well-being of everyone. For a support character, I really buy her.
Similarly, I really kind of buy Mr. Hipster Main Male Lead, Kuranosuke. I feel like they explain why he enjoys crossdressing in a way that doesn’t necessarily make him a stereotype: just part of who he is. I completely buy why he ends up connecting with Tsukimi and everyone and wanting to hang around them, as he’s mostly lead a life of appearances and not being genuine up until that point. He’s kind of unlikable in a lot of ways, but he’s also very understandable. You don’t root for him, perse, but you know he’s going to end up with Tsukimi and that will be fantastic for her and nice for him and everything will work out well.

Basically, it’s got all the elements of a good comedy romance, and it does it all pretty well. If that sounds fun, this is probably worth giving a view to. It’s not my favorite thing ever, but I really enjoyed myself.

However, the show also really upset me for silly reasons that probably wouldn’t bother anyone else.

Crossdressers are really nothing new in anime. They’re all over the place. But never have I really watched a show where you saw so much of the crossdresser getting ready. I mean, it works for the show. It keeps you reminded that this character is a dude, and though he enjoys himself, he still identifies as male, which is useful and does define his character. But it is a process for him. A realistic process, because he wants to pass, not just be a drag queen or whatnot.
I found myself watching this, and just being overwhelmed with both a mix of jealousy (“This fictional guy passes so easily and everyone thinks he’s such a sexy girl and here I am, a real woman, being all stupid.”) and shaken confidence in how I’m perceived (“He’s doing a lot of what I do every morning to get ready, people must think I’m like him, fuck, nobody believes I’m me, I am fucked.”). I know these thoughts are BEYOND STUPID, because they’re pretty stupid, but I found myself unable to lose them while watching the show. It really kind of hindered my enjoyment of it, because while it was fun, and I could see it was fun, I was also in a kind of funk from this sort of stupid shit. Which sucked.

However, if you’re not me, you probably won’t have that problem, and it’ll be a fine thing to view. So.

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