The Speakeasy #084: Fantastic Beasts, Princess Jellyfish, Ole Golazo, Streets of Rage

Ongoing Investigations: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Warner Bros. Pictures, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne (spoiler YT video review), Princess Jellyfish by Akiko Higashimura, Ole Golazo by Takamasa Moue, Ninja Girl & Samurai Master from TMS Entertainment.

Song: OP1 to Ninja Girl & Samurai Master, “Adazakura” by Renka

Food for Thought: Pick an anime character to give a present to.

Topics: Hayao Miyazuki working on new feature film, former Ghibli staff making Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Kenjiro Hata starting new manga, SEGA’s Altered Beast and Streets of Rage getting American film/TV adaptations, Kuroko’s Basketball cakes.

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Manga of the Month: Princess Jellyfish

Princess Jellyfish (海月姫) by Akiko Higashimura

narutaki_icon_4040 Ah, to be out on your own and among friends. Well, sort of. The women of the Amamizukan apartment house are a group of NEETs being supported by their parents and bound together by sisterhood (no men allowed!), geekery, and a rejection of trendy culture. But aspiring artist and jellyfish otaku Tsukimi inadvertently upsets the balance after bringing home the way-too-fashionable Kuranosuke.

Kuranosuke enters the house after helping Tsukimi rescue a jellyfish from a neglectful petstore. He is a cross-dresser, which Tsukimi doesn’t realize until the next morning, upsetting the balance even further. To top it off, once Kuranosuke meets the women of the house he gains a brash desire to pull Tsukimi and her friends into the real world.

The unlikely and unconventional friendship between Tsukimi and Kuranosuke is the crux of the series. These are two characters with a lot of complex issues to work through from their pasts on the way to who they want to be. They both feel the loss of their mothers keenly. Tsukimi is hiding away and Kuranosuke is hiding in plain sight.

The depiction of women geeks and groups comes from a place of clear understanding and doesn’t veer into fetishization. Likewise, Kuranosuke’s cross-dressing is thoughtful and his reasons for it are explored.

Throw in Kuranosuke’s brother who falls in love with Tsukimi after an impromptu makeover; the political spotlight that Kurnosuke’s family occupies; and the ensuing redevelopment project of the neighborhood, and you have a series that will tickle your funny bone and pull at your heart.

~ kate

The Ending to Jellyfish Princess was Fine

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.

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