The story centers around Tsukimi Kurashita, a huge fan of jellyfish (kurage, a wordplay on the “kura/mi” and “tsuki/ge” in her name) and a girl who moves to Tokyo to become an illustrator. She moves into “Amamizukan,” an apartment complex that is full of fujoshi (diehard female otaku) with a no-men-allowed rule. However, one day, Tsukimi invites a stylishly fashionable woman to stay at her room at Amamizukan—only to discover that the guest is not who “she” seems to be.
DL’s Rating: 9.5/10
DL Notes: I find myself scattered within the pages of this manga, so it’s not hard for me to say that I absolutely adore it. There is something about Kuragehime that strikes at the very heart of the reader (definitely mine) with its ability to tweak the characters so in-tune to their respective molds, but pigmented with enough shades of “me” that I can’t help myself getting hopelessly attached to them. Superficially, everything seems very distant as it deals with an outwardly-awkward, highly introverted, men-fearing meek girl and her group of girlfriends in their late 20’s/early 30’s shut-in from the world and relying on one another for the social and personal comforts. Throw in a cross-dressing, gorgeous bishounen in his teens, his highly reserved 30 year old virgin brother and a whole set of oddball characters – and you get Kuragehime. Yet, even within the oddity, once I peeled back the superficiality of how the characters were thrown and progressively, how the story came alive, Kuragehime turned out to be something very personal.
So far, It has everything that I could ever expect from a story about growing up while being grown up and the struggles that people don’t talk about, but experience – silently and some not-so-silently. This manga is amazing through and through and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a story about life – from the viewpoint of Tsukimi and others who are highly different but weirdly similar as they experience momentous events like romance and simple pleasures, like making friends and talking to the opposite sex. This manga for me defines what the josei genre should be and now gladly is.