Posted in *Recommended, Fantasia 2015, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Princess Jellyfish Fantasia 2015 review [Recommended]

princessjellyfishPrincess Jellyfish / 海月姫 / Kurage Hime (2014)
Director: Taisuke Kawamura
Screenplay: Toshiya Oono, Akiko Higashimura
Cast: Rena Noonen, Masaki Suda, Hiroki Hasegawa, Chizuru Ikewaki

This is a delightfully funny and silly movie if you’re open to the premise. Of course, it’s based on a manga, where such crazy ideas often start. Tsumiki is a 18 year old artist who happens to have a passionate interest in jellyfish, this passion along with her social shyness (amusingly animated as her turning to stone) makes her an otaku. She lives in Amamizukan, an apartment building with other female otakus where no males are allowed. By chance, she meets Kuranosuke whom she first mistakes as a very pretty girl only to find out that she is actually a young man who likes to cross dress and wants to pursue fashion. When a redevelopment project threatens to demolish Amamizukan, Kuranosuke attempts to get Tsumiki and her fellow otakus to protest the redevelopment project.

There are a few more complications to the plot including Kuranosuke’s brother but the majority of the movie focuses very much on Tsumiki and Kuranosuke who are portrayed perfectly by their respective actors. Tsumiki is so cute, awkward and extremely pretty when Kuranosuke does a makeover on her. Kuranosuke is just a crazy ball of energy throughout the film and the actor is frighteningly convincing as a girl when he wears the wig, fake eyelashes and makeup. Tsumiki and Karanosuke could not be more different but we get bits of info about his childhood which shows they have some things in common. Predictably the other otaku girls don’t get as much development but are amusing in very exaggerated and funny ways.

The fashion show climax is ridiculous and the movie is full of overacting but it still manages to be touching as the characters grow and become stronger. The main plot is resolved but there is an emerging love triangle which is left unresolved (not sure if the manga develops it further or not). From the trailer, it will be very obvious if you are the type of person who will like this movie or not. This one gets a recommendation from me. It’s worth it just to see the interactions between Kuranosuke and Tsumiki.

Seen in the theatre at Fantasia 2015

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Occasional guest "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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