Princess Jellyfish Episodes 8 and 9 – Underwater
As Tsukimi’s horizons broaden, she finds herself in conflict, mostly with her own feelings of awkwardness or inadequacy towards the “normal” world. It’s been a common theme in this show, and it will continue to be one, but here the conflicts are particularly pronounced.
In order to raise enough money to save Amamizu, the home of the Sisterhood, Tsukimi and Kuranosuke head to a flea market with some old dishes they found in the attic. To their surprise, the dishes don’t sell nearly as well as Tsukimi’s homemade dolls of jellyfish.
In creating the dolls out of different patterns and types of fabric to resemble different jellyfish, Tsukimi realizes that she can use her obsession with jellyfish for something other than drawings of them. She also remembers her mother’s promise to make her a dress like a jellyfish when she got married.
Thinking of this, she wraps herself in her bed sheets, trying to imagine what such a dress might look like. Of course, that’s the moment when Kuranosuke appears, mortifying Tsukimi and causing her to freak out and try to jump out of her second story window.
Most of Tsukimi’s issues here and otherwise stem from having to interact with boys for the first time. No matter how many dresses Kuranosuke wears, Tsukimi can’t see him as anything but a boy, which freaks her out to no end when she does something awkward or uncool, which happens often.
The tension between Tsukimi, Kuranosuke and Shuu also starts to become a full fledge love triangle, as Kuranosuke realizes that, despite being nowhere near as pretty or refined as the other girls he’s dated in the past, he is falling for Kuranosuke.
I guess I should add Inari to the love triangle, as well. She becomes a little unhinged after realizing that when she is pretending they had sex after drugging him and taking him to a hotel room, she is also pretending to take his virginity. For some reason, that he’s a virgin seems to endear him to her, to the point that she seems to be honestly attracted to him—at least as honestly as she is capable of being.
Kuranosuke, of course, doesn’t believe for a moment that Shuu actually slept with her, and tells her as much. She whips out the photo she’s been using to blackmail Shuu to prove it, showing it to Kuranosuke, and Tsukimi.
Despite Kuranosuke’s feelings, Tsukimi is interested first and foremost in Shuu. So when she sees him lying in bed, apparently naked, with Inari, she freaks out and runs away.
She remembers that when bad things happened to her as a kid, she would go home and fall asleep in the living room, when her mother would carry her to her bed. She tries to run home and sleep, to forget about everything, but the image haunts her dreams. So she turns to the old staple of the lovelorn, and drinks until she passes out on the living room couch.
Despite its typically light-heated tone, the show has dealt in some pretty dark subject matter. This incident was triggered by Inari’s sexual assault of Shuu, which would have been outright rape if it had been consummated instead of Inari just pretending. But for some reason, seeing an underage girl hit the booze after having her heart broken affected me more than Shuu’s bewildered reaction to his quasi-rape.
Maybe it’s the fact that it was a consensual act. Shuu’s virginity might still be intact, but he did have his innocence in dealing with women taken away from him by force. Tsukimi chose to drown her sorrows with alcohol. It’s another example of the cruelties of the outside world, and another way for her to escape back into a world of her own creation.
The thing is, Kuranosuke will have none of it. Because he wants to make with Tsukimi the jellyfish dress her mother promised her. And, when Tsukimi wakes up in her own bed after passing out on the living room couch, it’s because Kuranosuke carried her there.
You can watch Princess Jellyfish in its entirety here.