English: Squid Girl
Synonyms: The Invader Comes From the Bottom of the Sea!
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 5, 2010 to Dec 21, 2010
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.681 (scored by 32150 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisFoolish land-born air breathers! Behold the terror from the depths, the tentacled conqueror of humanity: Squid Girl! With your pollution and stuff you really deserve it, so prepare for menacing, inky doom!
Squid Girl has come from the depths of the sea to conquer humanity for its pollution of the ocean. Within moments of arriving on the surface world, our easily distracted, little invertebrate is promptly bullied into working for the Aizawa sisters as a waitress, supplying their restaurant with squid ink. If poor Squid Girl can't handle two pushy Japanese girls, how will she ever subjugate the human race?
(Source: Media Blasters)
Related AnimeAdaptation: Shinryaku! Ika Musume
Side story: Shinryaku! Ika Musume Specials
Sequel: Shinryaku!? Ika Musume
Other: Shinryaku! Ika Musume: Ika Ice Tabena-ika?, Shinryaku! Ika Musume: Kore ga Umi e no Ai Jana-ika!
Characters & Voice Actors
For decades, mankind has taken the vast, epic ocean environment for granted. As our technology has advanced, so has the scale our pollution, with oil, garbage and toxic waste killing millions upon millions of innocent aquatic life forms. But now, the world below the surface has finally taken enough abuse from the world above, and they’re sending their most powerful, most terrifying soldier to deal with us.
All 1,000 of us.
Okay, so it’s information may be a bit dated, but it’s desire to enslave us and force us to pay for our crimes is no laughing matter. She’s coming, and we have no choice to prepare ourselves... For the most adorable invasion of mankind since Night of the Lepus.
Yes, it’s not Godzilla, it’s Squidgirl, a vertically challenged moppet who looks almost human, save for the series of blue tentacles that make up her hair. Or Ika Musume, as Japan calls her.She comes ashore one day, bursts into the Lemon Beach House, and announces to the first gathering of humans she sees that this world... And all the people in it... Now belong to her!
Unfortunately for her, this declaration is met with laughter, and she soon winds up working a low level job at the very beach house she just threatened. Like Ika, this beach house is owned run by a small family of siblings... They have no parents, because it’s an anime. The most important of the three is Eiko, a high school student who acts as a foil for all of Ika’s hare brained schemes and delusions. Takeru is a little boy who... genuinely acts like a child, surprisingly. He gets along very well with Ika, as he’s more than willing to play along with her. And their oldest sister, Chizuru... Well, telling you about her personality would spoil one of the greatest moments of the series, even though it happens in episode 1, so I’ll just leave it at ‘she’s awesome.’
The animation is nothing special, but it’s a little above average by Slice of Life standards. There are a lot of key frames, but when it wants to impress you, it will not hesitate to do so, saving it’s budget for moments that really need it. Yes, the allocation of the budget may be a little too noticeable for some people, but you can’t argue with results, because whenever there’s action or physical comedy going on, there’s really nothing to complain about. Aside from the main character, the character designs are a little on the bland side, but they still have kind of a natural feel to them. Well, natural by anime standards.
And speaking of our hero, the animation style works particularly well in favor of the Squid Girl herself, whose various cephalopod abilities make up the bulk of that action and physical comedy. For a good idea of how her tentacles work, think of her as a really mean parody of Lucy from Elfen Lied... the four deadly vectors have been swapped out for ten mostly harmless hair-tentacles that seem to have even more impressive abilities than Ika herself has. They’re powerful enough to break through a wall, strong enough to lift heavy objects, and fast enough to create a sonic boom, yet they’re also delicate enough to thread a sewing needle. And they can seemingly stretch indefinitely. On top of this, she can breathe underwater and use bioluminescence to glow in the dark.
And yet, beyond these abilities, Ika herself is... Well, I don’t want to say stupid... Perhaps ‘naive and gullible’ would be better. Her knowledge of the human world seems very arbitrary and inconsistent. She’s able to do complicated math problems in her head, but she doesn’t know that she can’t eat the images on a 3D TV. It’s odd, but hey, it’s an episodic children’s show. Even My Little Pony had problems like that. And for what it’s worth, while Ika may be a little inconsistent, she’s a very entertaining little pain in the ass.
As enjoyable as the title character may be... Your choice of dub or sub will influence this, but more on that later... I can’t really say as much about the supporting cast. I wouldn’t go as far as calling them bad or unlikeable... Okay, maybe a few of them are... They’re just not all that interesting on their own. They’re mostly used as props for Ika to interact with, and to be fair, this is done to great effect. They support her, as a supporting cast should, but none of them ever really stand out, as they either get too little screen time to justify their presence or so much screen time that their best qualities become Flanderized. The only one that ever really rubs anybody the wrong way is Sanae, Eiko’s childhood friend, who has a lesbian crush on Ika... Which would be fine, if she weren’t so damn creepy and obsessed about it. Honestly, she’s the only real element of the series that I wouldn’t call kid friendly.
The English dub, for the most part, is pretty underwhelming. It’s a parade of no names and small timers, with the only big actors being Carrie Savage and the increasingly impressive Christina Vee. for the most part, the performances are either bland or adequate, although nobody really bombs it. What really surprised me was the performance behind Ika, who’s played by Christine Marie Cabanos. I’ve never really liked her as an actor... I thought she was miss-cast in K-ON!! and Madoka Magica, and while I didn’t mention it in my review, I freaking HATED her in Oblivion Island. But here, she was actually kind of good. She won’t be winning any Oscars any time soon, but her “every ridiculous thing I say sounds completely normal to me” delivery was a pretty good approach to take.
The Japanese track is infinitely better than the dub, however, and Hisako Kanemoto blows Cabanos completely out of the water. Actually, the performances are better all around, even if you can’t understand the language. Which I can’t. The dub isn’t horrible, and it should be enough to please those who insist on watching it, but unless you’re eager to hear a barrage of fish-related puns, the Japanese track is definitely recommended.
I mentioned earlier that, aside from Sanae, this show is pretty kid-friendly, and I meant it. The stories are simple enough for a kid to comprehend, without ever really feeling too dumbed down. It’s episodic, split into threes like a Nickelodeon cartoon, but there’s still a sense of progress and development with the characters. It’s set on a beach, so there’s naturally a lot of scantily clad bodies walking around, but aside from that, there’s barely any traditional fan-service at all. It’s the story of an incompetent Invader losing touch with their origins as they adapt to human culture, and while we’ve seen that about a million times, it’s done pretty well here, with the constant otaku pandering that almost ruined Sgt. Frog left completely out of the equation.
The writing can get corny, and the characters can get a little stale at times, but it still smells of genuine effort and imagination. It never stays in a rut for too long, and there’s always a good laugh waiting around the corner. Actually, the writing in this show is a lot like the animation... It;’s hit or miss, but when it hits, it REALLY hits, and it doesn’t always need to rely on comedy to be enjoyable. There are some surprisingly touching scenes, including a chibi segment in episode five that’s so brilliant and creative that, with different music, it probably wouldn’t feel out of place in a Fantasia movie.
Squid girl is available from Media Blasters, surprisingly. They’ve released the first season stateside. You can stream it legally on Crunchyroll, buy the DVDs on amazon, or just watch the whole thing for free on Netflix. There’s a second season, but it hasn’t been licensed, and I haven’t seen it yet. I will see it eventually, and when I do, I have some pretty high hopes for it... I want to see Ika’s home world be explored and explained a little more, I want a few certain characters to get some more screen time, and I want a few other certain characters to die in a fire.
In the end, Squidgirl is kind of a mixed bag. It’s a bit of an underachiever in almost every category, but it still makes for some great light-hearted, mostly family friendly fun. I guess the base breaker for most people will be Ika herself., seeing as how the best points of the series Some of you may find her unconscionably annoying, and I can understand that sentiment completely. This show is not for you. For the rest of us, myself included, she is nothing sort of adorable and charming, and if the rest of the cast has to act as her props, then good job... This show is hilarious. It’s not one of the best comedies out there, and repeated viewings over a short period of time may leave you feeling cold... Once or twice a year at best is advised... But for what it is, I loved it.
I give Squidgirl a 7/10. read more
The problem with the anime industry is the continuous failure to capitalise on titles that are actually good, and instead redirect time and resources to producing shows that leave you as empty as a tectonic bowel movement. Every genre has suffered this iniquity, but while most bounce back with other, much better offerings (comparatively speaking), comedy continues to prove the medium's "Achilles heel". Those of you who are fans of Gintama may disagree with that perception, but consider for a moment the number of anime released during the last year that have borne the "comedy" label.
Now have a think about whether they made you laugh, or simply made you smile (or in the worst case scenario, made you want to punch the people who made it in alphabetical order).
Based on the manga by Anbe Masahiro, Shinryaku! Ika Musume (Invasion! Squid Girl), tells the story of Ika Musume, who has come from the sea to exact revenge on humanity for polluting the waters of Earth, and she plans to do this by conquering the world.
Unfortunately her first foray onto land doesn't go as planned ...
The series is presented in the style of a sketch show rather than as a continuous narrative, with each episode split into three independent stories. Normally this approach would present several problems where plot and character development are concerned, but thankfully that isn't the case here as each tale is well crafted and paced, with little time wasted on pointless trivialities (which is ironic as there are people who would consider the whole show to be trivial). In addition to this, there is an autonomy to each chapter that allows for a variety of themes over the course of one episode, and this makes for some decent storytelling and visual gags.
As an aside, one thing that should be pointed out is the rather obvious homage to the first ten minutes or so of Up! that occurs in episode five. The nice thing about this particular chapter is that there has been a conscious effort to follow Pixar's example and simply use music, sound effects and imagery to tell the story, and the result is something ... rare, especially in terms of audio/visual choreography.
Which brings up an interesting point.
On the surface Shinryaku! Ika Musume looks a lot like the common or garden moe based "comedies" that abound these days, but as everyone knows, one should never judge a book by it's cover. The design principle verges on the generic at times, and this rather simplistic approach to the characters is reflected in the backgrounds and settings as well. The animation is generally decent, with nice movements and some interesting ways to use tentacles (I never thought I would ever use that sentence in an anime review), but the initial perception may be that Diomedea simply didn't try hard enough to make the series look great.
There is something that should be taken in to account though, and that's the fact that Ika Musume wasn't only made to make you smile. The main purpose of the series is to make you laugh, and that it does. The "generic" look of the show allows for a number of well executed visual gags and parodies, as well as some creative moments like the Mini Ika Musume chapter. In addition to that, the style of humour actually works better when the viewer is comfortable with the imagery, which may be the reason why Diomedea opted for a look that many people will already be familiar with.
After all, it's reasonable to assume that the majority of viewers would find the slapstick comedy aspect out of place in a series series featured stunning scenery and beautiful characters, no matter how funny the show was.
One thing that is slightly annoying about Ika Musume is the devilishly catchy opening theme (Let's Invade by ULTRA PRISM featuring Kanemoto Hisako), which may have been designed to loiter in the viewers head, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. That doesn't mean it's a great song though, as it's a very typical example of the "cute" J-Pop anime introduction - with everything that entails.
On the other hand the ending theme, Metamerism by Ito Kanae, is a melodic ballad that's rather pleasant on the ears (even if it is a tad generic), but seems a little out of place in a comedy show. As for the incidental pieces, they range from slightly ditzy jazz styled jingles to the slow piano piece of the Mini Ika Musume chapter. Unlike many other shows though, the music is only pushed to the fore when the occasion demands, and one will generally hear it as a very subtle accompaniment to the on screen action (it should be pointed out though, that a good portion of the series features no music whatsoever).
As with any comedy, delivery is everything, and it's here where the seiyuu really shine. While the voice acting may sometimes be a little on the bland side, the characters really come alive when there's something quirky or funny going on. Kanemoto Hisako's performance as the precocious invader from the sea is actually pretty good, especially as her only other main roles are in Sora no Woto and Kore wa Zombie Desu ka. Her coordination with the other voice actors, especially Fujimura Ayumi and Tanaka Rie (the Aizawa sisters, Eiko and Chizuru), allows for some nice comedy set pieces.
Which brings up another point.
By its very nature, comedy isn't the greatest tool for characterisation or development, especially as the usual methods can seem out of place amongst all the slapstick. Ika Musume neatly sidesteps the issue by inserting a few choice tales that highlight a particular bond or personality trait, but it does this by creating a metaphor which can sometimes change the whole tone of the series. That said, any growth is sporadic, and there are occasions where viewers may find themselves wondering what the point of a particular chapter was.
There is a plus though, as the series creates comedy pairings between disparate, and sometimes unlikely, characters, which adds to the whimsical nature of the show. Eiko and Ika-Musume represent the primary straight and funny "men", but in truth there are multiple parings, trios and groups that form over the course of the series, all of which is only achievable because the characterisation is actually pretty decent for a comedy anime.
Now I will be honest here, as I didn't expect to like this series as much as I did. That's not to say it's a classic, as there are definitely better purebred comedies out there, but when compared to many of the more recent offerings in that genre, the charm, quirkiness and feelgood atmosphere of Shinryaku! Ika Musume is definitely a step in the right direction. The series bears a few similarities in terms of style, content and layout to such comedy worthies as Potemayo and Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu (but without as much insanity), whilst Mini Ika-Musume didn't simply remind me of Pixar's Up!, but also of Binchou-tan.
There is something to bear in mind if you decide to give this show a try though. Comedy is probably the most subjective genre in any medium as it requires far more investment from the viewer in order for it to work, and one of the things that we in the West often forget is that the vast majority of anime are made for the Japanese markets. Because of that it becomes difficult for Westerners to relate to certain aspects of the humour, but that doesn't automatically mean a series is bad just because we don't understand it.
Besides, after some of the debacles that have been produced over the last few years by an industry that's trying a bit too hard, it's a welcome change to watch something a little bit silly.
If you like nonsense comedy, go with Shinryaku! Ika Musume and Azumanga Daioh. The first is some kind of an amateur version of the second, but the laughter is guaranteed either way.
And don't forget: Osaka-san rules all!
Episodic comedies with great characters and similar senses of humor. They are both quite touching at times and downright hilarious at others.
With both shows each episode has some shorts that all seem to connect. Both shows are cute and funny.
Both shows are slice-of-life anime that seem fairly mundane at first (even if you consider Ikamusume a fantastic creature), but are very surreal underneath. Both series also feature loveable characters that seem natural and unique.
Similar comedic style; lots of randomly-themed, upbeat humor. The characters are also delightfully similar.
If you like one series for the characters who create great light-hearted comedy through sheer force of their colourful personalities, you would probably like the other too.
Mermaids and squid both come from the sea. This is MAL and that's enough to justify linking the two. Yes.
It's also worth noting that both series consist almost entirely of gagtastic slapstick comedy. Mermaid Bride has romance and haremish humour powering a hefty chunk of its jokes, where as Squid Girl has its titular heroine and is devoid of love-love... aside from a lesbian stalker. But those minor differences aside, these two are aimed at 100% the same crowd.
Fast-paced gag comedy featuring anthropomorphic girl living in human society. Ika musume traverse the shoreline trying to conquer humanity. Seto San somehow end up being a bride-to-be, not to mention that her house is a badass yakuza mermaid family.
Both shows have a good amount of comedy and are fun to watch. Plus each female lead comes from the ocean; with San Seto being a mermaid and Ika-Musume being a squid.
Another great masterpiece. Both the female protagonists came from the ocean. Both are funny and enjoyable.
Both series contain the fun entertainment that is met to amuse the viewers rather than a typical approach.
Both the main girl in the two series have aquatic features and are known to be quite energetic.
Overall, watch these two series if you want some great comedy with some drama.
Opening Theme"Shinryaku no Susume☆ (侵略ノススメ☆)" by ULTRA-PRISM with Ika Musume
Ending Theme"Metamarism (メタメリズム)" by Kanae Ito
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