Princess Jellyfish Episode #04 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010
Release Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010

The past and present collide and all of it changes on the most simple but needed of things - a hug.

What They Say:
Sweet potatoes and bittersweet memories send Tsukimi straight to the aquarium. The fabulous Kuranosuke decides to tag along, and so does his severely-smitten brother Shu!

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It's an interesting time for those in the group as we see there's a potentially larger issue looking in the background, an issue which colors other memories and can add a touch of sadness to it. Kuranosuke discovers that there are plans afoot for a renewal of the area that Tsukimi and the others live in and the property itself is slated for a high rise hotel, should plans go through. He's all set for protests and action, but is surprised by their almost uninterested mood about it. At least until they point out that they're fully aware of it as they read the news too and there are protests already in place and other actions. So what will be, will be.

Hopefully this doesn't become a huge part of the series as something serious like this could detract from the simpler fun and enjoyment of Princess Jellyfish. With Kuranosuke realizing that Tsukimi is a little off because of her mindset, he decides to take her out to the aquarium since it's where she wants to go, so he gets her all dolled up in a kimono and asks his brother Shu for the Benz. Which means he sees her and his infatuation continues to be strong, though he hasn't made the connection between her beautiful exterior and her more drab everyday appearance. Shu's interest in her comes across rather realistically and watching the way he looks at her, at least in her dolled up form, gives hint at the troubles he's going to face but also the ones that Tsukimi will have to face when she realizes how he really feels. It's all very well done and interesting to watch.

At this point though, Tsukimi is far more caught up in her own emotions to be able to handle much else. The time spent in the aquarium has her remembering her mother and the pain of losing her, which conflicts with her desire to not cry and be strong instead for her. It's a difficult time for her and it's surprising to really see Shu getting close to her, to hold her and tell her it's alright. Most shows avoid that, instead looking for other ways to help the suffering person without actually giving them comfort. And for someone like Tsukimi, getting that kind of comfort really does her in even more, though it's not unexpected. The way these characters think and act with each other is very engaging since you can see how the little things mean so much when they normally wouldn't otherwise. Kuranosuke does feel like the odd man/woman out here, but he provides some welcome moments in smoothing out the flow of the episode.

In Summary:
While you can see the potential for a real triangle to brew here, I'm hoping they avoid it and instead deal with just the simplicity of Shu's interest in Tsukimi and her reactions to it as she tries to cope. This episode does some really nice things with the two of them, placing Kuranosuke more as an observer with a potential for an interest himself in her, but keeping it to the emotional side, focusing on the character issues and how they handle it makes it a winning episode. There's a nice bit of comedy mixed into it as well at different times, such as the building at the beginning, but they also take it a little further towards the end with a missed deadline that throws Shu for an unexpected loop. Princess Jellyfish continues to delight in a big way with its very low key and mild approach to things.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Running time: 23
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Princess Jellyfish