Tag Archives: Princess Jellyfish

2021 End of the Year Wrap-Up for Animated Observations

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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Another depressing year has passed as far as current events and politics, with COVID still as threatening as ever Democracy is on the verge of collapse…but, it was also a great year for entertainment, specifically anime and manga. Even more than that, it has been a great year on this site, and I want to open up this post by just saying thank you all to everyone who dropped a follow and who read anything from me this year. The growth, while small on an absolute scale, has been relatively enormous.

In order to commemorate such an awesome year for Animated Observations, I wanted to go through and talk about some of the developments that happened this year. Additionally, I want to talk about my plans for the future and what it will mean for the site. A “Spotify Wrapped” for Animated Observations, if you will 🙂

The Stats

Like I alluded to before, Animated Observations went through Some pretty big growth relative to how it was last year, so I thought I would share some of that with everyone here (All of these are as of the writing of this post and will likely change by the actual end of the year).

  • Followers on WordPress: Around 300 at the beginning of the year to now 427
  • Views (this year): 8,970
  • Views (site wide): 33,514
  • YouTube Subscribers: 5 (compared to none at the beginning of the year)
  • YouTube views: 145 (Again, compared to none at the beginning)
  • Facebook: 85 followers
  • Twitter: 92 followers
  • Getting our first supporter on Patreon

So yeah, an absolutely amazing year for the site, and it has definitely felt rewarding even during the times when I was feeling burnt out or not in the mood to watch anything.

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What I am Most Proud of This Year

I put out quite a few posts this year, to say the least. Maybe not as much as some of my other fellow bloggers, but definitely a good amount. Additionally, I got the opportunity to collaborate with a bunch of people on some great projects. So I wanted to share a few of the posts I really enjoyed making this year.

Hosting #TheJCS

This year was my first time hosting Jon’s Creator Showcase, and it turned out much better than expected. I can genuinely say that I enjoyed every post that was submitted, and even found some things that were added to my never-ending list of media to consume. Actually going through and organizing something like this gave me some insight on just how hard it is to be a community leader, and so I definitely have a lot more appreciation for all of the work Jon does for the community.

Princess Jellyfish: An Incredible Series

Probably the most in-depth I got with a series this year was writing about Princess Jellyfish, a show that, when I first watched it, was definitely good, but didn’t grip me with its opening episodes in the same way. Upon re-watching it however, I found that Princess Jellyfish is both deeply emotional and incredibly socially aware for its time. Mixed with some of my own revelations about gender identity, this quickly became one of my favorite series of all time.

Puparia: The Best Short Film on YouTube?!

I am joking a little bit, but in all honesty, I have seen quite a few short films on YouTube, and none of them can really claim to bring the same visual experience that Puparia does, outside of maybe a few. Analyzing this film as well as watching the documentary about Tamagawa’s process was honestly some of the most fun I have had doing research for an article this year. Whatever he ends up doing next, rest assured I will be there to talk about it.

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Blog Goals for 2022

I would love to capitalize on the success of this year and continue strong into the next, so here are some goals that I hope to works towards over the course of 2022. I guess you could also call these my New Year’s Resolutions as well.

Hitting 1000 followers on WordPress

1000 is definitely a big number for where Animated Observations is right now, and If I am being completely honest, I do not expect to hit it even by the end of next year. However, a big part of all these goals is to be more optimistic about my own abilities and the content I make here. So, whether or not I actually get there, I am making it my goal.

Hitting 500 followers across the social media platforms

In line with the previous goal, a reality creating things on the internet is having a strong presence on social media, and so I hope to do just that. Again, I am not realistically expecting this to happen, but having a strong goal to work towards gives me more motivation.

Making More YouTube Videos

This is the one I feel most strongly about considering how much I have utterly failed at it in the past. Thus, I am going to try and commit myself to make at least one video a month so that there is at least some consistency on the channel. Thus, if I fail in goal, there will be some sort of punishment, which I have yet to work out, but that will be posted publicly. So yeah, even more motivation.

Doing More of What You Want

Since I am nearing the end of this post, I want to say thank you again, since it definitely cannot be said enough. Having any amount of people wanting to read the things I write, let alone 400, is crazy, so it is greatly appreciated. As such, while I will continue making stuff I like, I also want to incorporate more of what you, my readers, want to see. I plan on releasing a sort of survey in the coming week asking those kinds of questions. For example, while I do not enjoy doing seasonal episode reviews as much as other forms of content, if that is what people want to read/watch, then I have no problem committing myself to that.

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Personal Goals for 2022

As much as I want to see Animated Observations grow, I do also have a life outside of making content, and so here are few things that I personally would like to achieve.

Losing Weight

It feels like a big part of my lack of motivation sometimes comes from my lack of energy, which is only further egg-on by my size. While of course I want to look my best, and I don’t shame anyone who is my size, being a bigger person definitely comes with some downsides. I have not weighed myself in a while, but usually my weight sits somewhere between 250-260. Thus, I’m hoping to drop at least 10-20 pounds come this time next year.

Getting Published

Whether it be self-publishing my work or going through an established outlet, I really want to get some of poetry published in 2022. Some of you who follow both this blog and Solidly Liquid will probably have noticed that my other blog has not been productive for most of this year. This is because, while I have been writing stuff, I feel as though my creative direction was not firmly established. However, that problem has since been solved, and thus I know exactly where I want to go with my work. After that, I am hoping to work on some short stories as well, and potentially get back to writing my novel that has been on the backburner for two and half years.

Conclusion

It feels hard to say that 2022 will be a good year overall, but given how far Animated Observations has come already, I can confidently say that 2022 should be a good year for us, at least.


I’m sure it is annoying by now, but just wanted to throw in one final thank you and say that I hope you all have a great Holiday season.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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My Top 10 Favorite Anime (As of August 2021)

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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Well, It certainly has been a while since I made this list, about three years to be exact. Sometimes it can feel a bit pointless to try and nail down favorites because tastes are constantly changing, but I have watched a few series lately that I feel strongly about, and thus I thought it would be fun time to remake this list and share it with all of you. With that being said, let us get started.


10. Terror in Resonance

Honestly, I thought out of all the shows on my previous list, “Terror in Resonance” would have not made it on still, and yet, through hours of internal debate, it still managed to find a spot. I would say that its one thing in particular that keeps me thinking about it, but that would lie. From the gorgeous animation produced by then up and coming studio MAPPA to the gorgeous Icelandic vocal filled soundtrack, this show has so much. As time has gone on, my sympathies for the series’ political messages have also gone up significantly. While “Terror in Resonance” might have just barely made the list, do not take that to mean I think it is bad, because that is far from the truth.

9. Fire Force

Speaking of shows that I did not think would be on this list. Although, what can I say, it grew on me. “Fire Force” may have some serious problems when it comes to its female characters, which I will definitely continue to talk about, but it also just has a really cool premise that it executes on fairly well. Couple that with the fact that the series was created by the original author of “Soul Eater,” and thus has some fairly similar character designs, and yeah I am on board. It may have taken me a bit more time to fully get into it, but it has certainly earned its place on this list.

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8. Robotics;Notes

Oh, look, its the anime that got me somewhat interested in mecha. Not sure how Scott will feel about that, but it is true. Without “Robotics;Notes,” “Gurren Lagann” probably would have ended up as the extent of my mecha experience. However, this show is also just good on its own merits. The character-driven, sci-fi mystery plotline has twists and turns at virtually every stage of its progression, as well as boasting one of the most interesting fictionally diseases in the form of Cat and Mouse Syndrome. I have wanted to revisit this series for a while now, and since I now own the “Robotics;Notes” visual novel, I may just do so…

(This is totally a hint that you should follow me on twitch ;))

7. No Game No Life

Look, I get it, the show is a bit problematic in its depiction of Sora and Shiro’s relationship. Ngl, kinda cringe. However, for those who are willing to look past this, there is a lot to like about “No Game No Life.” Not only did Madhouse do a great job animating the entire series, from the games to conversations between characters, the color palate for this show looks gorgeous, though I am incredibly biased because purple. On top of that, there are some intriguing ideas when it comes to the series’ message and philosophy. For those who are fans of Isekai stories and have somehow not come across “No Game No Life,” this is a much watch.

6. A Place Further Than the Universe

Oh boy. I can count of two hands the number of series that have made me cry, and “A Place Further Than the Universe” happens to be one of them. What is even crazier is that, it does not use any incredibly sappy set up to try and pull at your heart strings immediately. Rather, it just tells the story of a girl who really wants to follow in her mother’s foot steps, and three others who are along for the ride. They share the adventure of a lifetime going to Antarctica and…well, not to spoil too much, but it is certainly an experience.

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5. Log Horizon

Alright, so I have a confession to make. I have yet to watch the third seasons for both of the next two series. I know, I know, it feels a bit weird to still have them on here without having technically watched all of them. In my defense though, the first two season of “Log Horizon” are just good enough on their own. Drama, politics, worldbuilding: “Log Horizon” has it all, and then some. It may not be the best looking show ever, but when its got one of the best hype anthems ever written by Man on a Mission fronting every episode, it does not have to be. I said before that Isekai fans should have “No Game No Life” on their to watch list, and that goes more-so for this series.

4. Oregairu

Truth be told, the only reason I did not end up watching the third season for “Oregairu” is because me and my friend got a little too intoxicated while we were re-watching the first two and, well, let us just say it got messy. Regardless, like with “Log Horizon,” “Oregairu” could be carried by its first two seasons. I am still a little bit salty about the change in art style after season one, but honestly, given how good the show is, that is a minor complaint. There really is not too much else to say for this one other than it is a fantastic slice of life comedy that is certainly worth anyone’s time.

3. Golden Time

What can be said about “Golden Time” that is not already buried in my 1000 word video script on the series (I meant to put out the video a long ass time ago I just kept forgetting to record and edit.) Romance in anime has felt one note for a pretty long time, outside of some recent exceptions like “Horimiya.” However, the romance in “Golden Time” is dynamic and feels real. While it may have a fantastical element as it core premise, it is believable because all of its characters, including the main character, develop relationships that mean something. In show’s best moments, there is a deep sense of investment in the lives of the people on screen, and to think, it all started with a dude getting slapped with a rose bouquet.

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2. Princess Jellyfish

The hardest part about making this list was not writing these blurbs, but rather deciding who would get second and third between the last two entries. In fact, it probably took me at least an hour going back and forth in my head to make a decision. While “Golden Time” is without a doubt great, I only really felt its impact all at once, at the end, when I could barely contain my tears. “Princess Jellyfish,” on the other hand, was different. It hit in waves, as if at the end I was not able to fully process what I had even just watched. After sitting with the series for a few days, I can be assured in the assessment that “Princess Jellyfish” is a remarkable series.

1. March Comes in Like a Lion


As remarkable as “Princess Jellyfish,” It was unlikely that the series that helped me in one of the darkest periods of my life was ever going to get dethroned. “March Comes in Like a Lion” lacks in no category, and while the subject matter may seem a bit inaccessible, shogi is simply a means to a storytelling-end. Rei, and later on Hina, are two of the most complex characters in all of anime, and their arcs are some of the best storytelling I have ever seen. Couple that with studio shaft’s unique, occasionally minimalist art style and you get a series frankly deserves a lot more recognition than it currently gets.


What are some of your favorite series? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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The Observation Deck: Princess Jellyfish

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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“What…was that?”

“…what?”

“No, but like, what did I just watch?”

“‘Princess Jellyfish,’ dumbass.”

Even after writing this 12 hours removed from finishing the series, I still am not entirely sure how to feel about it. There were so many twists and turns that happened that at first felt like they were only tentatively related, but upon reflection make a lot more sense. There are also a ton of political, economic, and gender elements that further complicate the series. So, with that being said, let us take it one at a time.

What is Gender, Anyway?

I want to start this segment by saying that I am nowhere close to an academic. In fact, I’m not even a sociology major, I am in my third year studying English. So, in no way am I an expert on gender issues. That said, I still think it is worth trying to understand how these concepts affect the story of “Princess Jellyfish,” because they are indeed a major part of the show’s progression.

Tsukimi is an 18-year old biological woman who moves into a sisterhood of sorts to try and make it as an illustrator. Only a few months into having moved there, one night, she sees a Jellyfish in a storefront that is likely to die, and tries to get the attention of the store clerk. After failing to convince him to take care of the Jellyfish, a mysterious woman appears to help, and convinces the clerk to give Tsukimi the sea creature. The two head back to her apartment, with Tsukimi feeling severely uncomfortable with just how stylish this woman is. After the two fall asleep in her room, Tsukimi learns that this woman is Kuranosuke Koibuchi, a biological male and the child of a prominent politician. The latter part of that we will get to later, but, for now, gender.

One of the most prominent ideas in the series is this concept of the more otaku lifestyle of the Amamizukan residents versus the “Stylish.” In other words, there is an opposition between women who fit a more traditional definition of feminine beauty and those who do not. However, it is not just the Tsukimi and the others who are opposed to this idea within the story. Kuranosuke, for as much as his outward appearance reflects this feminine beauty, is still a dude, even if the other women in the apartment are clueless.

Kuranosuke, in this way, is an amazing foil to Tsukimi, because while they may be different in personality, habit, and lifestyle, they are incredibly similar in how gender plays a role in shaping their lives. Both perceive themselves, to one degree or another, as not being adequately feminine for the reasons previously explained. Sure, Kuranosuke does not show it as outwardly, but their feelings for Tsukimi and concept of self still affect their decisions.

Additionally, both of these characters are influenced significantly by the presence and absence of their mothers. For Tsukimi, it was more a general sense of encouragement and home that her mother gave her which made the two close. Whereas, for Kuranosuke, that connection came because of fashion and the absence of their father due to work. After their mothers make an exit, both characters find themselves questioning who they are what it is they want out of the life they have.

Another element of gender which underlies this entire conversation is perception. Even much more so than empirical and objective reality, perception, as well as self-perception, drives how people understand and act in the world. Gender, as social construct, is understood in much the same way. It is a product of perception, behaviors, and associations of those behaviors with a particular biological group. Tsukimi feels inadequately feminine because feminine beauty is associated with wearing lots of makeup and wigs. Kuranosuke feels the same because the other part of this feminine ideal is being a biological women, which he is not. Their relationship serves to validate their experiences by combining each other’s personality in the series’ climax.

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Life’s Hard, But Being Rich Helps

Ha! I bet you thought we were done with the university lecture. Gottem!

Gender is without a doubt an important element in “Princess Jellyfish,” but what is equally as interesting is class and the ways in which these two elements intersect. Even before potentially getting evicted from their homes became a major issue, the story sets up this difference between the women in the apartment and the Koibuchi family. All the women come from pretty modest means, including Chieko, whose mom owns the building they live in. Even the famous mangaka of the group, whose works make a lot of money, is portrayed as always being in her room working on new material.

The second episode sets this up as well. After Kuranosuke leaves, the women go shopping for cheap pot luck ingredients. The episode goes so far as to set up the recurring joke that Banba has the superhuman ability to locate the cheapest food at a grocery store. So, yeah, needless to say the group is not exactly living it up. This serves in direct contrast to Kuranosuke and his family, who are incredibly wealthy due to both their uncle and father being prominent politicians. Because of this, Kuranosuke is able to afford whatever they want whereas Tsukimi is used to dawning normal looking tops and skirts as well as the always comfortable track suit.

In much the same way that gender influences our perceptions and vice-versa, class plays a large part in the human experience. Things that might seem trivial to Kuranosuke, like how much money one spends on food, is much more important to Tsukimi and everyone at the apartment. Thus, they are oblivious to a lot of Tsukimi’s feelings and everyday problems. It also becomes an issue when Kuranosuke suggests buying the apartment building so that Chieko’s mother cannot sell it to the redevelopers. Of course, everyone at Amamizukan laughs at him, but then he continues to bring it up, to the point of being pretty annoying about it.

A great example of this is when Kuranosuke suggests selling Chieko’s doll collection in order to help make money for the effort. They then begin filling bags with the dolls while Chieko panics. It is only after Banba grabs their shoulder that Kuranosuke stops. After that, they have the idea of selling all of Chieko’s parents’ old stuff, which everyone hesitantly goes along with. In both cases, Kuranosuke assumes what is best for the women without really asking how they feel about it, and only sees the situation through the lens of money.

A lot of Tsukimi’s negativity comes from the self-perception that she is not worthy of this ideal of beauty, even despite the fact that she dreams of wearing a white-laced wedding dress which looks like a jellyfish. While it is never said explicitly in the show, it would not feel like a stretch to say that part of this self-perception is also derived from her class status, and that, simultaneously, Kuranosuke’s confidence comes from the fact that they can afford these amazing dresses, wigs, and makeup.

But That Writing, Though?!

Outside of its focus on social issues, “Princess Jellyfish’s” writing is incredibly well done. The series starts out simply enough, and someone who only watched the first episode might find it pretty tame, even for the standard of slice of life. In fact, I had the very same opinion after I finished its first episode. However, where the show shines through in this regard is how, rather than having particular character arcs, it keeps its focus on the relationship between Kuranosuke and Tsukimi, layering their opposition with new problems and focuses.

(For the record, I did read a little bit about the manga, and I am aware the other characters get development, so this comment is solely in regard to what is shown in the anime.)

In this way, the pacing is fantastic. In almost every episode the stakes are raised in some way, whether it be an increased chance that the others find out Kuranosuke is a guy, or the new information that is revealed about each other’s past. Even the relationship between Tsukimi and Shuu, as non-existent as it is, becomes a big plot point. If there were ever a series whose manga I would read in order to find out the rest of what happens, it would be this one.

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Small Things I Enjoyed

I feel like this should be a regular segment in my reviews, because oftentimes there will be things I want to talk about that do not fit into a specific category, which makes me feel like including it would make the review read a bit more like rambling…anyway,

While Clara the Jellyfish does not appear incredibly often, I do love that she was used as part of the commercial break intro and outro. Going from the rising announcement of her name to a group of deep-voiced men saying the word “tequila,” presumably because it was a funny sounding rhyme, in the middle of each episode is legitimately charming. Her narration of the Amamizukan residents’ interactions with the real world not only makes for a good laugh, but it also helps to build her up as the show’s mascot, giving that little extra bit of memorability.

Also, Idk what it is, but between this series and others like “Lovely Complex,” I think I just really vibe with the late 2000’s/early 2010’s shoujo aesthetic. The use of bright pinks, yellows, and oranges is just phenomenal, despite the fact that I am not a particularly big fan of those colors. Actually, now that I am thinking about it, that also explains why I liked the color palate in “Golden Time” a lot as well. I guess what I mean is me small brained and easily impressed. 🙂

Conclusion

Putting the thoughtfulness of this series into words has been hard, and while It is hard to evaluate where exactly this will land among my favorites, it feels likely to end up there. Still, this also ended up being on my longest written reviews. So much of “Princess Jellyfish” speaks to a sense of self-inadequacy that has been with me for a long time. There is a truly validating feeling while watching this show, in the much the same way that “March Comes in Like a Lion” continues to validate me. Honestly, I do not know if I could recommend this enough, but do expect me to return to this series at some point.


How do you all feel about Princess Jellyfish? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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