Recently Twitter was discussing the ending to the Jellyfish Princess anime and I was surprised by how many negative reactions there were. I’m not going on to argue that it was great, but rather that it was just. It felt like a very inoffensive “now go read the manga”-ending because it was and is an ongoing series. I’m not saying I wish it wasn’t the case, but there were a mere 11 episodes to tell a character rich and complex story. There was forward movement for characters and plot which doesn’t end in a way that says nothing has changed.
The unlikely and unconventional friendship between Tsukimi and Kuranosuke was the crux of the series as far as I was concerned. I was invested in their interactions; Kuranosuke’s brash desire to pull her and her friends into some sort of new life; Tsukimi’s slow progress to opening up to and seeing possibilities; and all of these things happened organically without them even realizing it.
These are two characters with a lot of complex issues to work through from their current and former selves. By the end they had both taken a step forward in their lives with the certainty that there were more to come.
Kuranosuke only began to recognize his romantic feelings for Tsukimi by the end of the show. Again, he only just realized that he had started falling in love with this girl. He didn’t fully comprehended or come to terms with it.
As for Tsukimi, she already had one suitor, Kuranosuke’s brother, another complication. But more than, Tsukimi wasn’t in love with Kuranosuke. Yet.
There was no way to conclude these romantic inklings that just started without feeling disingenuous. At least to me.
The problem isn’t the show’s ending, it is that the show ended.
4 thoughts on “The Ending to Jellyfish Princess was Fine”
I thought Princess Jellyfish was good from beginning to end. I didn’t even know it was based on a manga!
I feel the urge to track that down and read it now.
” The problem isn’t the show’s ending, it is that the show ended.”
Yes, that IS the problem, isn’t it? And it’s a major problem. The whole “It’s an on-going manga” excuse simply doesn’t fly. It is the job of the adapting director to make a show that fits in the time he has, with all the proper parts expected of an anime of that length. Look at Wandering Son, another Noitamina anime of an ongoing manga, which started partway into the series and also ended somewhere in the middle of the series. Yet by focusing on the day to day lives of the characters, it gave us a satisfying despite non-conclusive ending.
Just because an anime is limited by the episode count doesn’t mean the director gets to throw up his hands and say, “Well, we’ve been adapting it step by step, but we’ve run out of episodes, so let’s just leave it at that.” He must do whatever is necessary to make the story fit, even if it means making drastic cuts, changing various parts of the story completely, maybe even changing the order of things and adding all new elements. We should expect no less.
I don’t totally disagree, but I think material can dictate what you’re doing with it.
I stand by that the characters are way too complex to have it all finish up in a seriously conclusive manner in 11 episodes. It had a conclusion, it just wasn’t the END of the story.
I love that show to bits but still think the ending was cut short. Its like the Director forgot he had only 11 episodes to deal with. I mean its okay for the story they were trying to tell its just, yeah it was cut short.