Princess Jellyfish, vol. 3

9781632362308_manga-Princess-Jellyfish-3-primary.jpgKuranosuke’s moneymaking schemes continue in this volume, and in fact, they get taken up a notch.

Tsukimi got a taste of fashion design in the last volume when she helped design a jellyfish dress using some of Kuranosuke’s mother’s effects. Though she makes a stunning piece, the dress isn’t made for a particular purpose.

This changes when Kuranosuke and the Amars crew go to a local play, for which a friend of Kuranosuke’s is part of the crew. Kuranosuke immediately remarks that he couldn’t follow the plot because the costumes were so awful, and he enlists the Amars to design costumes for the production. Whereas the first dress was just made my Tsukimi and Chieko, now, with an order of 24 dresses for the production, all hands have to be on deck. They also enlist the help of a friend of Chieko’s to make sure their seams are proper, since Chieko gave them flack for that the last time.

Tension rises as Inari meets with Chieko’s mother, currently studying in Korea, to talk about the sale of the Amamizu-kan. Chieko’s mother, we learn, is none too fond of the Amars, lamenting that not only are they NEETs, but they belligerently refuse contact with anyone not like them, and so she’s happy to sell if it means they get a jolt to their system.

Meanwhile, Shu’s father is trying his damnedest to pair him with Inari, as he wants his son to get some action.. or something. Shu and Inari go on different excursions throughout these chapters. In one instance, they go out to the countryside, where they try out a local food, and Hanamori gets food poisoning. Later, Shu smacks Inari out of fear that she may hurt herself one night after drinking a little too much.

This series continues to be a fun romp, even if a lot of the Amars are weird. I really appreciate the shock to Tsukimi’s system, integrating with “stylish” to experience a worldview outside of her own. I have mixed feelings about the Amars, overall. As much as I like them, I do feel like they’re holding her back a bit. I do think Tsukimi should step out of her comfort zone, and they don’t seem keen to let her do that. She comments on the pressure to conform to their way of life at times in ways that don’t seem healthy. On the other hand, there’s a lot of emphasis on Kuranosuke’s sense of beauty in these chapters, a mold that Amars don’t fit into. I hope the story doesn’t devolve into the different women getting makeovers. I think a better story would highlight that there’s more than one way to be confident and beautiful. There’s nothing present in this volume that precipitates danger in that way, but I think about that when reading these stories. What is on display is more growth for Tsukimi, and that’s exactly what I like to see from this series.

Princess Jellyfish is written and illustrated by Higashimura Akiko. It was serialized in Kodansha’s Kiss magazine from 2008 to 2016, and it was later collected in 17 bound volumes. The series has been licensed by Kodansha Comics, which has been releasing the series in 2-in-1 omnibus format. Eight omnibus volumes have been released as of April 2018. Check out Kodansha Comics’ page for the series here.

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