From the depth of the seas rises an evil monster, bent on taking over the human world: Ika Musume. She’s ruthless. She’s menacing. She’s… an adorably non-threatening little girl who makes an awesome squid-ink spaghetti?
Ika Musume has come out of her home in the ocean on a quest to punish humanity for polluting her waters. With squid tentacles for hair and some pretty useful ink-spitting skills, Ika Musume is sure she’ll have no trouble invading Earth. What she didn’t account for were the Aizawa sisters, rough and tumble Eiko and deceptively mellow Chizuru, who immediately bully her into working as a waitress in their seafood restaurant by the shore.
Ika Musume decides to take this chance to learn more about the human world, having silly adventures, meeting lots of strange characters, and never once letting world domination out of her sights. Will Ika Musume be able to exact her revenge on the human race that had wronged her? Or will she learn to enjoy the company of these foolish air-breathers and let bygones be bygones?
Squid girl isn’t exactly a deep, philosophical show with important themes to be explored and commented on. I’m sure if you looked at it deeply enough you might reach a reasonably profound message, but it’s simply a slice of life comedy about a little girl who wants to take over the world! The words “little girl” and “taking over the world” don’t really fit into the same sentence do they? It’s this odd match of childhood innocence and ruthless, violent conquest which makes this show so entertaining to me.
It’s rare to hear this from others but I think one of the best things a show feel, is effortless. I don’t mean that I like shows that quite clearly had a lack-lustre production cycle; I mean that I like shows that feel effortlessly good because it means attention and hard work was put in to make the scenes fit in brilliantly with each other. The way this show can make me laugh so easily, when many other shows struggle to do so, is what makes it succeed in my opinion, as it continually flows effortlessly from one hilarious moment to the next.
This shows attitude to jokes is one of my favourites. Whilst many are predictable, they take the predictability to the absolute extreme, to the point that the thing you thought would happen cannot really be compared to the actual joke. I remember really well one of the first episodes had a banana peel on the floor: you know what the joke is! But the following occurrence was so extreme and crazy that you can’t help but laugh.
This isn’t just my weird sense of humour from years ago; I went back to watch a random episode and loved it greatly! As well as this, the show uses a lot of inside jokes, of which I understand can viewers being infuriated by if they hate them. The thing is, I love the inside jokes! I cannot, no matter how hard I try, stop myself from laughing whenever Squid girl says a sentence with “De gesou” at the end.
A way of describing the feelings I experience whist watching is that it sort of sends me into a trance where every single little thing is funny and I have no idea why! There are even some episodes where the comedy should clearly be toned down yet I laugh all the same! To me this is the perfect slice of life show: It doesn’t ever get boring and is consistently funny.
But what is consistently funny? I’ve not really explained what the show is about. Well I don’t want to spoil anything really (some of the best punchlines come from subverting your expectations) but each episode has three story arcs where basically any crazy and funny scenario can happen.
The levels of wackiness in this show are at the same level of Bobobo-bo bobobo (A series that even if you’ve not seen it, sounds pretty whacky) except for the fact that it doesn’t leap and constantly change the stories direction. You’d think that over two seasons and 72 different scenarios that they’d get old or run out of ideas over time. At first I thought the same, but now, I’m not even sure if that’s possible! There are so many factors of life that all the characters have yet to be explored that I don’t see the creator running out of material for a long, long time.
Let’s talk about the characters, which can easily be described as one-note. I’m not going to deny that they’re not complex but I feel like the interactions between them are done really well and the character chemistry is brilliant, instead of the character development. What this means is that the characters just fit together, in a really nice way to watch. The fact that they’re so one note can often be used for comedy since the show loves subverting your expectations moment after moment.
So when you watch squid girl you’re not expecting a deep narrative with complex themes which many of its critics like so much. I agree that theirs a time and a place for deeper shows, but how much will I care when I’m relaxing and laughing my head off to this extreme, childish joke whilst looking like someone who should be in asylum? If you’re looking for a show to relax too and laugh at, you can’t really go wrong with this show!”
So there you go! That was what I wrote, I didn’t have enough time to proof read the entire thing but that’s the problem with a challenge like this. I’ll leave you with the post I wrote around a year ago for comparison and then you can vote in a straw poll to say which one was better!
“My favourite anime is squid girl! Why? It’s not like I haven’t seen many shows, it’s hard to justify why when I have shows like these on my anime list. (The intention was to display more shows which were consensually good)
Part of my enjoyment for anime is when a series subverts expectations in some way. That’s why I liked Gakkou Gurashi! So much. So when an anime that I think will be stupidly bad turns out to be something that I like, it makes the enjoyment even better. Somehow watching a show thinking that it will be bad makes me enjoy it more (when it’s good) than a show that I already thought would be good!
Actually all of my favourites on my anime list are shows that I thought wouldn’t be good at a first glance. This isn’t saying that all bad looking shows are good, just that it’s worth trying different things.
Squid girl was one of those things. Somebody asked me to give them a random anime recommendation so I pressed randomize on the crunchyroulette and got this show. That was my first ever exposure to the show, I never realised it was decently popular, so I thought it was a bad dumb show. I mean I was half right. Squid girl is dumb.
The 3 stories in an episode structure really lets any random scenario go by and their all funny. It’s amazing how so many dumb stereotypical characters can make me laugh in any situation. What’s weird is how predictable the show was. Once the situation has been established I’m able to guess most of the jokes before they happen. Yet it’s still funny. Actually I want to say that for this show it’s somehow funnier.
Shows from the same studio: Diomedea