Anime Review: Kuragehime Episode 1

(Originally published on Livejournal on 11/14/10)

Anime Review in a Minute:
Kuragehime Episode 1

Anime Review in a Minute: What this is all about. — Watching all the anime shows so you don’t HAVE to!

tl;dr review: Tsukimi, the Jellyfish Princess, lives in an apartment of hardcore female otaku; Befriends jellyfish savior who crashes at her place…look out, it’s a trap!

The Skinny: Since she was a little child, Tsukimi has developed an unusual fetish for jellyfish, and dreams of growing up to be a beautiful princess. Things did not turn out as expected, and as the Plainest of Janes, Tsukimi is less than satisfied with how her life has turned out. She has settled in to her new apartment with a group known as the ‘Amars’: hardcore female otaku who have devoted their lives to their hobbies, shying away from men and society in general. While trying to save one of her beloved jellyfish from certain death at the pet store, Tsukimi gets a helping hand from a stranger who could not be more different from her: tall, slender, stylish and exuding charisma. Before she knows it, she more-or-less invits herself over to the apartment complex, much to Tsukimi’s unease. The mysterious woman crashes asleep at her place, and when the morning comes Tsukimi discovers that ‘she’ is actually a ‘he’ in full drag! A completely petrified Tsukimi is left speechless, wondering how she’s going to explain *this*.

Assorted video captures from the episode – click on each picture for a full-sized view in a new window:

My Thoughts: I’m not sure what to think about this show. It’s supposed to be one of the series that I was supposed to like…but I can’t say that it really grabbed me. I think part of the reason is that I simply do not like any of the characters. Sure, I understand the female otaku are supposed to be weird, it’s part of the set-up for the show. You have CeCe Proud from the Proud Family who is addicted to trains; another character that has a fetish for (shudder) old men; another Weeble Wobble who dresses up dolls, and the one that I absolutely loathe with a passion, an ADHD-twitchy twat that can’t get enough of Chinese generals. Seriously, she should just die in a fire already.

But those are just the secondary characters. As for Tsukimi herself, she’s not so far gone yet that she can’t be ‘saved’. Sure, the jellyfish obsession is pretty weird, but other than that she’s just an excruciatingly normal person. And that’s part of the problem, I guess — she’s as interesting as unflavored gelatin. On the other hand, that’s part of the point, to paint Tsukimi as utterly unexciting as possible, and then throw the most opposite, un-self-conscious person in the world against her, and watch the humorous awkward situations practically write themselves. Ultimately, I think I can see how this is going to end up being a big commentary on how we value beauty and conformity in society, and that’s all well and good. I just don’t know if I’ll remain interested enough to stay along for the ride. I’ll give it another couple episodes and see how it goes.

For more info:

Random Curiosity Review: http://randomc.net/2010/10/16/kuragehime-01/
Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuragehime
Geek-culture-reference-filled opening sequence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGjCPo5fifs

The Verdict:

The tally for Fall 2010 season first episodes so far:
Passing Grade: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, The World God Only Knows, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, Psychic Detective Yakumo, Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Letter Bee Reverse, Bakuman, Otome Youkai Zakura, Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi, Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge

Failing grade: MM!, Star Driver, Iron Man, Fortune Arterial, Motto To Love-ru, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Yumeiro Patissiere Professional, Tamayura, To Aru Majutsu no Index 2, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Sora no Otoshimono Forte, Yosuga no Sora

Up Next (not necessarily in this order) — almost done!: Robin and His 100 Friends, Agriculture Girl, Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu Special, You Are Umasou, Hakuouki: Hekketsu Roku, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun Special

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