In November 2010, I attended my local anime mini-convention, Hamacon. The mini-convention is held in the fall and is a one day event, and the main convention is held in the spring and takes place over three days. The mini-cons are great because there’s still a wonderful amount of good programming and amazingly cute and cool stuff for sale in the vendor room, but there’s less people, which is excellent for those of us who have a hard time dealing with huge crowds.
At the mini-con, I went to a panel called “Getting Your Anime Groove Back.”
Fallen out of the anime habit? Or know of a friend that has? Here’s some shows that just may rekindle that lost interest!
The program booklet doesn’t list the person who led this panel, but I believe he was from OSM Cast.
Whoever he was, this guy was great. He introduced around 15 different anime series, played the introduction sequences and sometimes short clips, all while explaining who the main characters were and giving the audience a good sense of whether or not they would enjoy the anime.
His main goal was to give everyone in the room at least one anime they would like to watch. There were anime about chefs who hunt down alien creatures, mysteries, and of course gundams. Most of the animes had at least one aspect that I really loved – amazing animation, a great character, funny dialogue. But there was one anime that ticked all of my boxes.
The panel host showed the opening sequence for Princess Jellyfish, an anime about a girl otaku. The opening sequence places the main characters of the anime in familiar scenes from movies like Star Wars and James Bond. It’s funny and the lyrics are about wanting to reach out to other people, wanting to embrace life, but feeling like there are some secrets that can’t be shared.
Best of all, the host mentioned that it was available to watch for free via Hulu.
Lady geeks! And easily accessible, free anime – how could I pass it up?
I think it was a few weeks later that I started watching Princess Jellyfish. Once I started, I was hooked.
Here’s the gist of the story:
Tsukimi lives in an all-girl apartment building in Tokyo. Each girl has her obsession, and Tsukimi’s is jellyfish. So when she spies a jellyfish in a tank at a pet store that’s been taken care of incorrectly, she tries to talk to the shop clerk to save the jellyfish from dying. But she’s shy, so the shop owner brushes her off. A stylish girl overhears Tsukimi and, armed with confidence, convinces the shop clerk to give the ailing jellyfish to Tsukimi. The stylish girl walks home with Tsukimi and falls asleep in her bedroom. The next morning, Tsukimi freaks out when the stylish girl reveals that he’s a boy – Kuranosuke.
The anime is about their friendship, and about how their childhood memories of their mothers have influenced who they are as teenagers.
There’s only one season of 11 episodes. So if you’d like to try watching an anime series but don’t want to get into an epic that will take months to watch, Princess Jellyfish is a great place to start. The story doesn’t come to a complete close at the end of this season, but I think the series is enjoyable even if you don’t know how everything ends.
There’s a bit of the usual makeover story here – without glasses, with a little make-up and some stylish clothes, Tsukimi transforms into a beauty. But Tsukimi can’t see without her glasses, and she keeps reverting to her true, geek girl self.
All of her companions in the “nun house” have social anxiety issues, and I liked seeing characters struggle with their desire to take action and their need to have a safe space. If you’re a geek girl, like me, there’s a good chance this anime will speak to you.
And look at this easy, amazing cosplay! She made the little stuffed Clara (the jellyfish) herself! It looks perfect!