Manga review: Princess Jellyfish Volume 4 has finally made me like Shu

Happy Jellyfish Friday!

Another Friday another review of Princess Jellyfish.

Catch up on previous Princess Jellyfish reviews down below.

Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3

During the Fashion show, Kuranosuke reveals himself to be the nephew of the Prime minister and the son of a politician, all while dressed in the famous Moon Jelly dress. After the show, Shu takes calls relating to his brother and whether he’s an Okama. Shu explains to them his brother likes to dress in women’s clothing as a hobby.

In Japan, the term okama chan broadly refers to people who identify with a gender different from the one they were assigned to at birth and although, it sounds similar to the term transgender, it does not mean the same thing. In the manga, the term is used more loosely to identify Kuranosuke as gay.

Shu pleads to Kuranosuke not to leave the house in women’s clothing because it would be very bad for their political career. Shu explains that a confidence motion could be introduced at any time resulting in a snap election, and if Mr. Koibuchi loses another election, it would be the end for the family.

Kuranosuke doesn’t listen and instead moves onto the next phase of his plan, outsourcing the labor of the Jellyfish brand. He finds an Indian textile company in Japan, and with the owner’s help learns how to get their company going. Kuranosuke’s main issue is finding funding for the project, and although he could always ask his father for money, he knows his dad is unlikely to fund this venture. Instead, Kurano goes to Shu to set him up with their uncle on his behalf, but Shu advises Kurano that borrowing money from the prime minister for his fashion brand may not be the best idea. Shu hands his little his savings account, where he has been accumulating monetary gifts since he was in elementary school. Kuranosuke hesitates to take the money, but Shu convinces him that he doesn’t need it, plus he earns more money as their father’s secretary.

While Shu is doing damage control for his father, he receives a call from Kuranosuke’s mom. She requests that Shu send her the Jellyfish that her son wore during the fashion show but not to tell Kuranosuke.

Inari calls Tsukimi and tells her that their attempts to save Amamizukan are futile. Tsukimi feels horrible after, but Shu appears not long after and tips Tsukimi off about a man who runs a sweet shop in their neighborhood is very adamant about not selling. Later Tsukimi will team up with the shop owner to form a protest.

Tsukimi is busy designing simple one-pieces and Kuranosuke, is her hype man and must keep her inspired. However, when their seamstresses, the amars, run out on their duties, Tsukimi starts to reflect and realize that she’s been selfish, only focusing on the beauty of jellyfish rather than the wellbeing of her friends. She confesses to Kuranosuke that the last time this happened, she had been at a jellyfish aquarium with her classmates but because she was so engrossed in the jellies, she never noticed that her friends had left. This experience taught Tsukimi to let her obsession cloud everything.

Tsukimi leaves to take a walk and is sadden that people leave her when she is super fascinated. In walks Shu, who convinces Tskumini to go visit the candy shopman, he told her about earlier.

Meanwhile, the Amars are decompressing from all the dressmaking. They all express similar feelings of unhappiness. However, Jijithe Amar who is obsessed with older men, encounters Mr. Koibuchi at a café, and he tells her that although she may be unhappy now, someone needs to step up in order for everything to work out. So Jiji resolves to step into the role of the operations manager.

In the previous volumes, I always wondered if the Koibuchi family hated Kuranosuke cross-dressing hobby. In the first volume, I learned that his uncle— the prime minister — has no problem with it and finds his nephew’s hobby cute. In another volume, I learned that Kuranosuke’s father doesn’t seem to have a problem with it either. Although in volume one, he is upset with his son for cross-dressing, he ultimately doesn’t reject him. However, when Kuranosuke reveals to the media that he loves to dress in women’s clothing, I thought his family would disown him, but that wasn’t the case. Rather, his family went into damage control mode. Notably, Mr. Koibuchi runs to apologize to the redevelopment team but even during his apology he never speaks ill of his son instead he plays dumb.

The morning after the fashion show, Kuranosuke’s father breaks a window to get into his son’s room to ask him to lay low for a few days. Shu later explains that Kuranosuke’s “coming out” could result in their father’s resignation.

I have been a Shu hater since the beginning. First, it was because he came off as shallow and only seemed to care about Tsukimi when she was in makeup and dresses, later it was because he hit Inari. In my mind, I had categorized Shu as superficial and misogynistic, but after this volume, I have come to understand that Shu is a bit slow to realize things, but ultimately, he has a good heart.

I mentioned before that Shu is a great big brother to Kuranosuke, well we see more of that brotherly love in this volume. On Kuranosuke’s first night in the Koibuchi household, he gets homesick, and Shu decides to stay up with his little brother and watch tv. Kuranosuke soon gets hungry, but since Shu doesn’t know how to cook, Kurano teases Shu about it but ultimately makes them spaghetti via his mother’s recipe.

A young Shu and Kuranosuke munching on spaghetti noodles

I might be soft for a young Kuranosuke, but how can I not be when his haircut is adorable! I’m willing to give Shu a chance now, although I don’t think he’s the best for Tsukimi I’m going to let it slide. Shu’s proven to be anti-redevelopment in private, and he did give Jellyfish the funding they needed for their business, plus he’s been protecting Kuranosuke through the media’s invasive questioning, so Shu isn’t so trash after all.

Although, I hope Shu will tell Kuranosuke about his mother’s call because he has been deeply affected by his mother’s departure since the beginning of this series.

Unfortunately, this volume hasn’t advanced Tsukimi or Kuranosuke’s relationship much, but there are five more volumes to go, so I’m not to worry about it. At the moment, I’m trying to figure out where to watch the 2018 Princess Jellyfish drama. In the meantime, I’ll have to sustain myself with the manga series. However, I was able to find this tutorial on how to make the Clara’s plushies Tsukimi and the Amars sells at the flea market.

That’s all for now until next Jellyfish Friday continue living in libros,

Gaby

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