Anpanman Character Reviews - KAIJU WEEK!
The odd thing about today's character is that it was one of the first three or four Anpanman characters I actually ever heard of, way back in 1997 from a small Geocities homepage that briefly ran down the concept of the series. For whatever reason, Kurageman or Jellyfish Man stood out to the author as one of only a handful of example characters to mention after Anpanman and Baikinman themselves, but never provided any images or further explanation. From the name, I would have assumed something more or less humanoid in form like every other "man" in the setting, but not this guy! By "Jellyfish Man" we mean a gargantuan, green jellyfish with a humanlike face on its bell and only two long, trailing tentacles!
Like many cartoon jellyfish, Kurageman is associated with electricity rather than venom, feeding on energy from lightning or wherever else he can get it. He's also one of those atmospheric jellyfish monsters, a trope I've always thought was cool as hell since my early years, and has also cropped up numerous times in giant, Japanese monster media such as Toho's own Dogora and a number of Ultraman examples. So, the world of Anpanman is one where colossal, energy-eating jellyfish monsters are just floating around miles and miles in the stratosphere. Not terrifying at all!
BEHOLD, A MAN
Following a familiar pattern, Kurageman was a villain only in his first appearance, when Baikinman convinced him to drain electricity from Uncle Jam's bakery. In subsequent appearances he has not only been friendly, but like Ankora, he's even become a parent! We've never seen his mate, if indeed a jellyfish man needed one to reproduce, but his relatively tiny child was even more easily duped by Baikinman, this time into helping power his latest weapons!
Confusingly, there's a whole other giant, electrical jellyfish creature in the Anpanman world, but this one is NAMED Electrical Jellyfish Man instead of only Jellyfish Man, and his multiple tentacles indicate a distinct species from his flying cousin. This one is also aquatic, but only in Battery Pond, an electrically charged pool of battery acid atop what appears to be a dormant volcano. That's some pretty epic stuff! As intimidating as all this is, Electrical Jellyfish Man is benevolent from the very start, a close friend of the heroic Battery Man and a fierce protector of Battery Pond from those who would misuse its energy!