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.