What a great anime to use as the start for this blog >.< Shinryaku! Ika Musume was probably the biggest surprise for this season and a weekly delight in humor and sheer cuteness. Hopefully when I re-watch this, I’ll be able to do an entry for each episode, as it’s pretty tough to talk about this series as a whole without referencing almost every single episode.
Slice-of-life comedies have always held a special place in my heart (Azumanga Daioh, Kamichu! Lucky Star, etc.), so of course this show grabbed my attention from the very first episode. Similar to many shows of the same genre, Ika Musume is episodic with multiple stories within each episode. This, coupled with the writer’s ability to keep each and every section independent of repeat humor, kept the anime fresh from episode to episode, which is especially important given the fact that I watched this anime while it was airing. Nothing hurts my attention to an anime more than watching an anime with an overall plot weekly; since I’m usually watching multiple shows at the same time, it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on, when and where. With Ika Musume, I could kick back for my weekly 30 minutes and enjoy good laughs and fuzzy feelings.
The graphics of this show are pretty generic, with the soft colors and simple designs. One thing I was appreciative of was the consistency of art throughout the episodes.
As stated before, I really loved how each skit was unique in humor and didn’t rely on older jokes to generate laughs. You can pretty much pick up any episode in any order and still find yourself enjoying Ika-chan’s ridiculous gullibility. The only reason I don’t give the plot a full 10 is because of the final episode. Whereas the previous episodes are episodic and don’t really cling to any serious ideas of character or purpose, the last episode suddenly throws in a very serious loss of self. With reasons unknown, and never given, Ika-chan suddenly loses all her squid abilities: tentacle power, glow, and squid ink. Her subsequent disappearance doesn’t amount to anything, as she comes back without regaining her skills, nor any hint about why she’s lost them. This makes her sudden recovery, with the endangerment to Eiko’s life, all the more unbelievable. I guess I’m supposed to assume that she regains everything because of a sudden realization of her affections for humanity, for the friendships that she has made?
Shinryaku! Ika Musume boasts a relatively small cast of characters. Ika-chan and Chizuru were my favorite characters by far; their weirdness and coolness were in completely different leagues, but still memorable in ways their fellow characters were not. While Eiko was one of the first introduced characters, I never felt much attachment to her–she lacked any twists to her personality. However, I didn’t feel any need for more from her. She was just…there. The same goes for Takeru. In fact, I had to look up his name just to talk about him here >.< Cute? Sure, he had his moments. Memorable? Obviously not. Cyndi, Sanae, Nagisa, and Ayumi all feel pretty much on the same level; they serve the purpose of promoting Ika-chan’s cuteness. As such, any attachment I have to them is an attachment to the scenes they share with Ika-chan.
I always have a hard time commenting on sound. Unless the music was truly unique enough to catch my attention, I don’t really pay attention to it. The same goes with sound effects.
For some more overload of cuteness, try doing some image searches of Ika Musume and Tako Luka >.<