Title: Princess Jellyfish
Author: Akiko Higashimura
Artist: Akiko Higashimura
Tsukimi Kurashita is obsessed with jellyfish. Her obsession began when she was a child, and her mother took her to the aquarium. While there, her mother promised Tsukimi that she would make her a wedding dress that looked like a lace jellyfish. Not long after that promise, Tsukimi’s mother passes away, leaving her with the memories of the lace jellyfish and her mother’s unfulfilled promise.
Even as those childhood days grew further and further away, Tsukimi’s love and obsession with jellyfish never faded. Instead, it fuels and drives her entire life as she resigns herself to single life at the Amamizukan – a retro building dubbed the “nunnery” where many other like-minded, home bodied women have congregated to live out their single lives together, obsessing over their own passions (some of which include elderly men, trains, and kimonos, just to name a few). As a result of their obsessions, the women of Amamizukan are all very anti-men and those they dub “stylish” and find themselves unable to interact with the general population as a result.
However, one evening, Tsukimi notices two jellyfish being kept in an aquarium together, and these two species can’t be housed together; otherwise, one of them will die. Tsukimi does her best to explain this to the store clerk, but because the clerk is a man and a stylish, Tsukimi struggles to communicate with him. A stylish woman comes by and helps Tsukimi rescue the jellyfish by chance. Though the woman is a stylish, she is allowed into the sacred nunnery because she isn’t a man. Throughout the evening, Tsukimi realizes even though her new friend Kuranosuke Koibuchi is a stylish, she is still a good person and even finds herself drawn to her beauty because she looks like a princess – something Tsukimi herself feels she could never be.
The next day, though, it is revealed that Kuranosuke is actually a man who cross-dresses as a way to escape his family’s political background. To protect her place in Amamizukan and maintain her new friendship, Tsukimi tells all of her fellow nuns that Kuranosuke is a woman. Even with her own position at Amamizukan protected, the entirety of the building and the neighborhood itself is under threat by large corporations seeking to buy out the land to build hotels and stores in its place. Having fallen in love with Amamizukan and the residents there, Kuranosuke enlists the help of all the women of Amamizukan to create a fashion line based on Tsukimi’s jellyfish illustrations so they can make up the funds needed to buy up the building before it is sold.