Thursday, October 1, 2015

LA EigaFest 2015: Princess Jellyfish Review Nerd Girls Rock

Nerd girls rock. It's a simple fact that everyone should know. This film explores that with a band, not a real band, a collection of nerd girls all under the same roof that must save their residence from the "fab humans" that want to gentrify the area. Beautiful moments of sea life unfold on screen thanks to nerds behind the scenes.

We open on Tsukimi Kurashita played by Rena Nounen, a promise, and then the utter dismay of our her being a nerd girl without a boyfriend. Ms.Kurashita is so shy and nerdy she can't make it to the aquarium as an adult. We're introduced to her tone and focus of the world, a picture painted in Jellyfish and social anxiety. "Fab humans" walk the earth, acting so cool that our characters turn to stone with some cartoon CGI to oversell it. I wish the over sold it more, only so many crazy on screen antics happen with CGI, the rest is down to Earth and normal.

Qualities that none of Tsukim's friends posses: sociability, confidence, their own income. Though it's kept lighter than the manga and anime that it's based on we get glimpses into the “Amazu” (nuns), which they call themselves as none of them can get a guy. We have a girl per subject into: trains, Three Kingdoms, older men (weird, right), Japanese culture, specifically dolls and our main girl, whose into Jellyfish. She's so much into Jellyfish it's the whole theme to the film. These are girls will make you laugh as one of them made me as they farted in a conversation. They aren't getting married anytime soon.

Tsukimi story changes on love when she's saved by a cute girl Kuranosuke Koibuchi played by Masaki Suda. Who turns out to be a guy, he's not gay, he's just doing it for fun and possibly to get back at his Dad for a longer explained reason then I'm not going to give here. On finding out the Kuranosuke is a dude, Tsukumi turns to stone which was a nice bit of special effect on screen. How I wished more events called for it as visuals including a rating of meat with meat vision kept the film cartoony fun. Their are some great moments of Tsukimi falling into a void of despair in the ocean for inner monologues to have the weight of the ocean on screen.

Later on, the film would show some lively bits brought upon by a fashion show and an aquarium visit. These moments are filled with colors and places hard to visit in real life, so much that you'll wish you can stay in the scene.

The film goes for a love story angle and trouble of being a nerd girl angle with the inclusion of  Kuranosuke Koibuchi's brother, Shu Koibuchi. He falls in love with Tsukimi after a makeover from Kuranosuke, who gets jelly or should I write jealous of their romantic start together. Moments that girls will quiver over as the love triangle develops fill up the movie.

For the main plot, the nerd girls home, Amamizu kan, is to be destroyed unless they raise enough money to buy it. The area is to be gentrified and the Koibuchi brother's Dad is a high-up politician whose going for the support of tearing down the area.

So banding together and many empowering speeches by Kuranosuke the girls come together to start a clothing line with a Jellyfish theme. There's trouble a foot as more problems mount to finish the show. Will the girls come together in time to save their beloved nerd-topia? Who will fall in love with Tsukimi?

Princess Jellyfish is for the nerd girl otaku who wants to fall in love or wants an story of them having the power to overcome social fears and show off their talent.

You must give some praise to both Masaki Suda and Rena Nounen as you follow them so closely that you feel how they do, embarrassed or angry, you'll carry the anxiety with you.

This is the routine to the market Japanese film based on manga that tries to do a good enough job with a tight budget. On that note it still sticks to you with some moments and characters. You'll be reminded of just  nerdy times in your  relationships you might want to forget. We've all had a nerdy moment and Princess Jellfish is all nerdy moment and making it shine, like a beautiful jellyfish.

Oh, credit to the introduction of the film. You don't always hear a dude sound like a cute Japanese girl, which totally takes from the film. LA EigaFest had cosplayers come up and then awarded a pair of tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific for best dressed. That was after everyone was asked to yell as loud as they can.