Tsukimi, an extremely shy and self-deprecating 18 year old illustrator, has been fascinated by jellyfish ever since her mother took her to an aquarium. To her, they're everything she isn't - beautiful and graceful. While jellyfish-watching at a pet shop, she sees a spotted jellyfish next to a moon jellyfish in the same tank, a certain death for the spotted jellyfish. Overcoming her fear of stylish people (and men), she tries to talk the clerk into moving the spotted jellyfish out of the tank. Apathetic to the plight of this nerdy girl, the clerk just ignores her and Tsukimi gets into a fight with him over it. Things are looking bleak for Clara (the spotted jellyfish) when a fashionable girl intervenes and talks the clerk into giving them the jellyfish.The mysterious "princess" follows Tsukimi to the "Nunnery", the boarding house she shares with a bunch of fellow nerdy otaku girls, and ends up sleeping in Tsukimi's room. This dreamy girl, however, is not all what she looks...Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish) is an award-winning joseimanga by Akiko Higashimura, adapted to anime by Brain Base, as part of Fall 2010's noitaminA block. Funimation simulcasted the series on their video portal and later released it as a box set.A Character Page is now in the works!
Kuragehime has examples of:
Agent Peacock: Kuranosuke is this, albeit a slightly more realistic than usual version.
Anger Born of Worry - The one time we see Shuu get well and truly angry is when Inari pretended she was going to commit suicide as a joke. He actually hitsher for it. When she sees that he was genuinely worried about her, she starts to develop real feelings for him.
Astronomic Zoom: When Kuranosuke says something inconceivable to our heroine: "Because I wanted to see you, Tsukimi." After a while you wonder how much farther it's gonna zoom out.
Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The Nuns when confronted with objects of their nerdy desires. Especially Mayaya and Banba. Kuranosuke and Shuu's uncle, the Prime Minister of Japan, would rather be a hyperactive teenage girl than the leader of the country.
Author Appeal: In an omake the author says she used to be obsessed with jellyfish.
Batman in My Basement: Tsukimi's initial problem after Kuranosuke stays the night is making sure no-one discovers he's in her room.
Mayaya is extremely self-conscious about her height, lack of curves, and evil-looking eyes. Kuranosuke points out that many fashion models are tall and boyish with fierce eyes, and Chieko adds that "if all the chubby people in the country heard you talk they'd beat you to death".
Berserk Button: Several. It's better not to add noodles to the meat in Banba's presence, and there are also more than a few things that will seriously annoy the hyperactive Mayaya. But the most prominent example would be Inari going apeshit on her assistant just because the poor guy suggested she-Kuranosuke's a 'real knocker'...
Betty and Veronica: In a straightforward example, Shu is the Archie to Tsukimi's Betty and Inari's Veronica.
In a less straightforward example, Tsukimi is the Archie for Kuranosuke and Shu, though it is less immediately clear who the Betty and who the Veronica is.
Does Not Like Men: All the Nuns are quite fearful of men and have banned them from entering the Nunnery.
Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Wonderfully averted. The victim is incredibly scarred, loses confidence in himself, and spends several episodes in deep emotional conflict and turmoil. The perpetrator is instantly the most hated character in the show.
Hikikomori: The unseen BL author, who never comes out of her room, is nocturnal, and communicates with the other Nuns via handwritten notes slipped under the door. The other Nuns also display milder hiki tendencies.
Japanese Ranguage: Tsukimi uses it to cover Kuranosuke's ore slips by pretending them to be the Spanish olé.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nisha. She constantly tells Kuranosuke and Tsukimi that they're idiots and her idea of encouragement is to tell them that she basically wants to watch them fail, but she's really trying to help since neither of them knows anything about the fashion industry (Nisha: You can't just sell couture clothes, you need things average girls can buy. Kuranosuke: That doesn't interest me.). The most obvious sign she's on their side is the fact that she didn't trick them into buying loads of expensive fabric.
Jiang Shi: Mayaya thinks Tsukimi is cosplaying one after her clumsy attempts at removing her make-up. And then the Nuns start goofing around playing too...
Nosebleed: Tsukimi and Shu each have one, which occur several minutes after they experience something arousing.
Not Good with People: All the characters have issues interacting with others, but Chieko's friend and fellow doll-enthusiast Nomu takes the cake: she considers her dolls as her daughters and people as "worthless little worms".
Even the "normal" people have strange obsessions: Shuu's driver is obsessed with cars to the point where he drove off a girlfriend, Kuranosuke is obsessed with fashion (but not in any practical way — he wants to start a fashion line without knowing how to sew or even knowing anyone who knows how to sew), Kuranosuke and Shuu's dad loves women of all ages and demeanors except disgusting cross-dressers like his idiot son, the freaking prime minister of Japan seems to wish he was a teenage girl, and Inari appears to have based her life around business women mangas from the Eighties.
An omake reveals the author's assistants are all hardcore fans of one thing or another; the 'Ota-combat level' of one of them is, yes, over 9000.
Kuranosuke: Hey, bro, are you still a virgin at 30 because you got traumatized seeing your dad and my mom getting it on in some walk-in-closet-type deal in some backstage-type room at some theater-type place?
Turns out to not so subverted as Kuranosuke's lampshading is revealed to be almost prescient in what happened: Walk-in closet? Check. Backstage room? Check. Theater? Check. He was only off in that they were making out, and that by his dad's own admission, "Only made it to second base!"
Punny Name: Clara's transliterated spelling (Kurara) is one character off from Kurage (Jellyfish, but you should know that by now).
Kuranosuke even lampshades it: "You look like a soap-opera heroine who just got molested."
Recursive Cross Dressing: What the amars think "Kurako" is doing although they quickly get confused when "she" is outed as a cross-dresser ("But if she's a girl forced to be a man in public why is she dressing like a girl to proclaim she's a man in front of the TV cameras...?").
Amusingly enough this occurs on a meta level as well, as Mitsuki Saiga (a woman) is playing a man (Kuranosuke) who's crossdressing as a woman.
Rule of Symbolism: Lots of mirror-gazing and watching behind glasses and glass windows going on.
In episode 1, when Tsukimi is walking home with Kuranosuke, she looks at the beautiful "princess" in admiration. Then Tsukimi sees their reflections side by side in a store window, and sighs at how plain she is by comparison. Later in the same episode, Tsukimi looks in her mirror when she tries on the "princess's" wig, and proceeds to muse on the subject of beauty and princesses.
Too Much Information: When Hanamori is surrounded by the "24 Ophelias" he blurts out that he's so obsessed with cars that his girlfriend left him because he loves cars more than her. Later, he lets it slip that if he's bribed with cars he'll reveal anything to anyone and at the fashion show goes into great detail that Kuranosuke is just a cross-dresser, not transsexual.
That's one of his reasons for cross dressing, the other being ruining his image to avoid being railroaded into a political career by his family.
And the third, revealed late in the series, being a desire to connect with his absent mother, who often gave him pretty things and showed off her dresses to him; not to mention a half-subconscious belief that, if he had been born a girl instead of a potential heir, his mother might not have left/been separated from him (the series leaves the exact nature of her departure unexplained).
Woman Child: Tsukimi and Chieko are the only Nuns who seem capable of acting their age most of the time.
Would Hit a Girl: Shuu proved that if you push him too far, he will retaliate. Though, admittedly, the victim completely deserved it. He later apologizes, which throws Inari and ruins her blackmail scheme speech.