Anime Review: Shinryaku Ika Musume Episodes 4, 5, and 6

(Originally published and formatted on Livejournal on 12/21/10)

Anime Review:
Shinryaku! Ika Musume Episodes 4, 5, and 6

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.4 tl;dr review: Reward money turns into shrimp shopping spree; Big-head Ika Musume is ultra-creepy.

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Episode 4 Summary: When Ika Musume finds a lost wallet on the beach, the owner rewards here with ten thousand yen. Completely unaware of the value of money, Nagisa takes her to the market, careful to steer her away from any ‘dangerous’ technology that could help in the invasion, such as electronics or books. But Ika Musume discovers she has eyes for just one thing: shrimp at the supermarket. Blowing her entire wad on a huge pile of shrimp, she manages to eat her treasure in one sitting. Ika Musume is thoroughly pleased with herself, until it is pointed out that she could have fixed the hole in the wall for the money instead. With the television broken in the cafe and worried that a bored Ika Musume could inadvertently cause trouble, Chizuru invites Ika Musume to spend the night at their household. She ends up having a great time, much to Eiko’s consternation. While walking down the beach, they discover that a rival beach house cafe has built a big-head Ika Musume costume to drum up business. The owner of the cafe challenges the Aizawa sisters to a contest to see which Ika Musume is better, but a few glitches prove to be the downfall for the imitator.

ep.5 tl;dr review: Being an alien ain’t what it’s cracked up to be; Ika Musume invades the local high school.

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Episode 5 Summary: An American researcher shows up, having heard about a strange alien on the beach. Believing that Ika Musume is an extra-terrestrial, she tries to take her away for research. While at first defiant, Ika Musume is ultimately pleased with the concept of being an alien, until it is pointed out by Chizuru that aliens do not eat shrimp. When Eiko heads off to high school, Ika Musume is curious and tags along. Visiting the various rooms, she comes to the conclusion it is really a military base preparing the young for battle. Ika Musume takes control of the principal’s office, drunk on her own delusions of power. Later, Eiko has a dream where she finds a miniature Ika Musume on the beach, and keeps it as a tiny pet.

ep.6 tl;dr review: Ika Musume crashes a kiddie show; Apparently squids are geniuses at mathematics, who knew?

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Episode 6 Summary: All of the kids are excited by a live performance of a “hero show” at the beach. Ika Musume is at first greatly amused…until it turns out the villain is a squid creature. By rooting for the squid, she turns the tide of the crowd against the hero; and Ika Musume further complicates matters when she steals the costume and runs around on stage. Chizuru jumps in, hidden behind a second hero costume to allow the original hero to save the day. Eiko later discovers that Ika Musume has a natural gift for mathematics, and is willing to subjugate herself for a day to learn Ika Musume’s secret. When she reveals that her squid-method of thinking is unintelligible to humans, Eiko is furious at wasting her time. Nagisa is saved from drowning by Gorou, and immediately develops a crush on him. A complicated love quadrangle develops between Nagisa, Gorou, Chizuru and Eiko as Nagisa tries to protect the lifeguard from Ika Musume’s imaginary machinations.

My Thoughts: First thing’s first: Cheerful hydrocephalic citizens big-head costumes are just plain creepy. Nothing cute about human-sized bobble-heads. Yeek.

Ah, just more silly misadventures as Ika Musume runs afoul of the human world. Some jokes work, some jokes don’t, but there’s more funny than duds, and I completely laugh out loud at least once or twice each episode. Sure, each character is totally one-dimensional, but you can get away with that when it’s just a non-episodic gag show. And of course, Ika Musume is so damn cute, even if she is a megalomaniacal idiot. No need to delve too deeply into the inner meaning of the show, because there really isn’t much to examine. It’s just light entertainment, fun to watch.

The Verdict:

Coming up next: Letter Bee Reverse (4-6), Bakuman (4-6), Kuragehime (4-6), Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge (4-6), Tatami Galaxy Special, Shin Koihime Musou OVA, Bungaku Shoujo Memoire (2), Hairyoru Nyaruani (1), Princess Resurrection (1), Battle Spirits Brave (1)

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