Director and screenplay: Kawamura Yasuhiro and Ōno Toshiya
Photography: Fukumoto Jun
Music: Maeyamada Keinchi
· Nōnen Rena
· Suda Masaki
· Hasegawa Hiroki
· Ōta Rina
· Shinohara Tomoe
· Babazono Azusa
Production: Ide Yoko, Uda Mitsuru and Matsushita Takuya
Running Time: 126 minutes
Release Date: December 27, 2014
Tsukimi (Nōnen Rena) has one great passion: jellyfish. Those semitransparent animals, moving sinuous in the water as if dancing, are a reason for life for her. In order to become an illustrator (of jellyfish, of course) he moves to Tokyo but, as a real otaku, he has great difficulty interacting with humans, especially men. Fortunately, find shelter at home Amamizu, an old mansion inhabited by other women like her, each of which has a fixation for some aspect of mass culture and is phobic towards males. One day, Tsukimi meets a cute and enterprising girl who helps her solve a problem in a store. The girl, however, is Kuranosuke (Suda Masaki), a male who, in conflict with his father, is an important political man, loves to disguise himself as a woman. Among Tsukimi’s fears, the two become friends and slowly Kuranosuke participates in the life of the house, without revealing to the other inhabitants its true identity. But the idyllic harmony of the house is threatened by property speculation by Kuranosuke’s father, who wants to break down the house and overthrow the nature of the neighborhood with the help of his older son. But these fall in love with Tsukimi. Meanwhile, Kuranosuke, in order to attract the public’s attention to the neighborhood and save the home, organizes a blazing parade of medusa clothes designed by him and Tsukimi, with her changing and taking confidence in relationships with others ….
The problem of fairy tales is that they are not credible, that is why they have to work for some reason. There is no single formula but the result, beyond the sum of individual elements (subject, acting, photography, music etc.), must hold, must involve. This is the case with Princess Jellyfish. The story – drawn by a series of successful manga – may seem despicable, trivial, insolent, depending on the point of view, but entertaining. Certainly a big contribution is given to the twenty-two-year-old model Nōnen Rena, both in the superpaurosa otaku version hidden behind his eyeglasses, and in the adolescent version that he finds to be a woman. It was (unrecognizable) one of the Matsu Takako classmates in Kokuhaku (Confessions, 2010) and was the recent protagonist of the Hot Road (2014) adolescent love story. A name I think we will soon be. The other contribution is that of the protagonist, Suda Masaki, also a twenty-two-year-old man who has already had an Efebic appearance in the scenes in which he is dressed in men and is overwhelming in feminine ones. I confess that in more than one scene I wondered if she had been replaced by an attractive young actress. Ikewaki Chisuru was unknowable in the role of a fat-burning Amamizu home.
Director Kawamura Yasuhiro does not have a flamboyant curriculum. He comes from the world of television drama and has signed the realms of some cassette movies created to ride the public’s tastes, such as the tormenton Nodame cantabile (2010) or Akko-chan (2012). As is sometimes the case for mass culture products, the film reflects beyond the will of the director some trends in contemporary society. In this case, in addition to the phenomenon of otaku, which is certainly not a novelty, are followed with fun the crosswalls of the ascendant sexual identity of both protagonists. A phenomenon, that mutant and mutant sexual identity, which is increasingly widespread in the various media and expression, is also reflected in the fact that a growing part of the youth population (statistics speak about a third) indicates To prefer interpersonal relationships, even sex, just online. [Katsuyuki Nakanishi]