Anime Review: Shinryaku Ika Musume Episodes 2 and 3

(Originally published on Livejournal on 12/9/10)

Anime Review:
Shinryaku! Ika Musume Episodes 2 and 3

What this is about: I have reviewed the first episode of every subtitled anime show of the Fall 2010 season. For the shows that received an initial ‘thumbs up’, I am going back and looking at the second and third episodes — which ones will survive to the next round?

Series Premise: Ika Musume (“Squid Girl”) has decided to take revenge on the world, attacking and enslaving humanity for soiling the oceans. But she’s not some awesome sea monster with unimaginable powers; she’s just a naive girl with tentacles for hair and the ability the squirt ink from her mouth who has vastly underestimated the task after coming ashore at a small Japanese beach. After punching a hole in the wall of the local Lemon Cafe, Ika Musume is put to work to pay for the damages, and the clash of cultures begins.

ep.2 tl;dr review: Ika Musume misunderstands what it means to be a lifeguard; Surprise birthday party, plus she’s stolen away for an unexpected photo shoot.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new browser window:

Episode 2 Summary: Three short stories — In the first story, Ika Musume is saved by the lifeguard after forgetting that she can breathe underwater. At first she sees the lifeguard Gorou as an ally, but then end up at odds when trying to teach the kid how to swim. After observing a birthday, Ika Musume gets all whiny and demands a birthday of her own, ending in a squid-ink-flavored cake, and a nighttime fireworks display. Eiko and Chizuru’s friend, Sanae, stops by and takes an instant liking to Ika Musume. Inviting them over, Ika Musume gets dragged into an extended cosplay photoshoot.

ep.3 tl;dr review: Ika Musume’s not scared of ghosts, but inflatable sharks? Sure! The new hired hand is on guard, won’t be taken in by Ika Musume’s cuteness.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new browser window:

Episode 3 Summary: Trying to teach Ika Musume about some of Japanese traditions, they lead her on a “test of courage” through the local cemetery. However, she’s not phased by spirits in the slightest, inadvertently scaring the crap out of everyone else by glowing in the dark. While swimming, Ika Musume comes up against her natural enemy: the shark! Not understanding how sharks and humans can play together, she freaks out, not realizing they are inflatable toys. The new girl at the cafe cannot believe how everyone treats Ika Musume as a harmless little child, and is freaked out by this creature’s desire to subjugate humanity! Ika Musume exploits this fear as much as possible, trying to scare the new hire, who valiantly stays on the job to ward off the dangerous ‘threat’ posed by Ika Musume.

My Thoughts: Expecting high drama, complicated story lines or some sort of meaningful plot? Nope, you won’t find any of those here, this is just a series of cute little skits as the adorable squid girl learns about humanity. At its most basic level, the premise is not exactly original, and the jokes are not exactly novel either. However, this show manages to do it *well*. All sorts of silly misunderstandings as Ika Musume encounters things for the first time (“Birthday? What’s that?”), and these second and third episodes are mostly for introducing a few more members of the cast, each with different personalities for Ika Musume to react against. And probably the most relevant operative word for this show is “Cute”, as the “innocent” Ika Musume is so ridiculously cute in her various reactions and various facial expressions.

Nah, there’s nothing “special” about this series, it’s just light-hearted humor. Grab the popcorn, turn your brain down a few notches and just enjoy the show already!

The Verdict: – Squiderrific! I gotta feeling this could be the unexpected sleeper hit of the season.

For more info:

My review of Episode 1:
Random Curiosity review of Episode 2:
Random Curiosity review of Episode 3:

Returning back to the second episodes of the Fall 2010 series coming up next: Letter Bee Reverse (2-3), Bakuman (2-3), Otome Youkai Zakura (2-3), Kuragehime (2-3), Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge (2-3)

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