First Impressions: The Squid Girl

Invasion-Squid-Girl

Based on first two episodes

Summary: Squid Girl comes to dry land in order to seek revenge for human’s reckless pollution of the ocean. However, due to her having never been outside the ocean before she underestimates the number of humans actually on the planet, accidently breaks a wall of a seaside café and ends up havint to work off the repair costs.

1 Review: Most people, when they read the summery for Squid Girl, probably dismissed it before giving it a chance. I almost ignored it completely but upon hearing some good things decided to jump in. Squid Girl excels because it is aware of how silly it’s own concept it and plays it up as often as possible. The show is drawing from three main sources of story and humor: Squid Girl is discovering what it takes to be a human being, Squid Girl attempts to take over the world, and Squid Girl is an idiot and gets herself in trouble.

The titular character is a pleasant Moe character that is fierce and assertive but can also be insecure and frightened. For a gag anime, and for a human personification of a Squid, she comes off as a surprisingly well rounded character. She doesn’t really resemble a Squid in any way except for her tentacle, which she can manipulate, and the fact that she can vomit up ink. The show enjoys playing with the insanity of its concept and does it well.3

The supporting characters of the show are all played straight. They completely buy into the fact that Squid Girl  is from the ocean, they do whatever she asks no matter how silly, and draw out the humor by completely dismissing the fact that a personified Squid is working in their café. If at any point one of them made a big deal out of Squid Girl the illusion the show creates would be broken. It depends on the cast not caring that she is a Squid and not caring that her original goal was to subdue the human race… and ignoring her repeated attempts to do just that.

The show is played like many gag anime in short stories, Squid girl actually references a volume and chapter number suggesting that is the manga story they are adapting. The small stories keep the pace of the show up because of the format and style of the show stretching a single story out of the concept and characters would be almost impossible. I don’t see a large story arc or character arcs forming around this series and that is for the better because, again, the concept is so insane that the second you start to form any coherent story around it everything simply falls apart.

The one fear I have is how long they can keep the show fresh. Hopefully it won’t become stale before the thirteen episodes are up but how far they could keep doing jokes about a personified Squid is still up in the air. 4

Verdict: Squid Girl is an enjoyable and fun gag anime that takes advantage of its concept and characters well.  It offers short, complete segments that take a single simple joke, allow it to run its course, and then end, never stretching gags in order to fill time. How long the show remains fresh and interesting is up in the air, but hopefully they develop a plot beyond Squid girl’s awkwardness before it gets to that point. I’m eagerly looking forward to how the series turns out.

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