Home > Episode Reviews, First Impressions > Squid Girl Episodes 1 and 2 – Squidding to a Stop

Squid Girl Episodes 1 and 2 – Squidding to a Stop

We don’t cover too many gag comedies here, despite their relative proliferation in the world of anime. There’s a reason for that: most of these shows are rapid-fire joke fests with little in the way of plot or structure. That doesn’t leave us a lot to write about, even by our low, low standards.

In most respects, Squid Girl isn’t any different from any other gag comedy. But these things live or die on how solid their premise is, and as soon as I read what the show was about, I had to watch it.

The show's literal title is 'Invasion! Squid Girl'. Squid Girl's weird pointed tentacle design features prominently

Squid Girl is an anthropomorphized squid in guise of an anime girl, in the grand otaku tradition of cutesy anthropomorphizations of bizarre things, like operating systems, World War II fighter planes or sovereign nation states. This means she’s basically a normal cutesy anime girl, except with squid tentacles instead of hair. And she finds a way to work ‘ika’, the word for squid, into just about every sentence she speaks.

Squid Girl is on a one-girl mission to invade the Earth and subjugate humanity for its crimes against the aquatic world. After washing up on shore, she sets about conquering the first territory she sees: the beach-side snack shop operated by sisters Chizuru and Eiko.

Mind you, I guess the snack shop is a fairly decent size

She struts up to the structure, announces her intentions to conquer, and quickly finds herself roped into working there as a waitress. What follows are a series of short sketches (three per episode), about Squid Girl learning about the surface world, and trying in vain to conquer anything.

It’s light, goofy comedy that manages to be honestly funny just enough to justify watching. That might not sound like high praise, but for comedy anime, “consistently funny” is just about the best thing you can say about it.

Squid Girl's triumphant entry doesn't exactly inspire awe and terror in the snack shop customers

It’s helped along by being pretty charming. The wacky fish out of water (almost literally) premise is what got me to watch the thing in the first place, and Squid Girl’s constant and weird discoveries in an unfamiliar world are what got me through these two episodes.

From learning that humans eat squid to the fact that lifeguards protect people from the sea, and not vice versa, the story of a stranger in an ordinary land is what frames the show and makes it more tolerable than watching the wacky capers of caricatures of Japanese school girls.

Squid Girl's tentacles seem to be unreasonably nimble

Squid Girl herself is the star of the show, and really the only thing it has going for it. It’s good that she’s capable of carrying it on her own, because the human characters range from dull and lifeless to the kind of played-out anime cliché that was interesting and subversive the first time you saw it, but ceased to be shocking the tenth time you’ve seen it done.

Other than that, there’s not much else to say. Squid Girl is a passable gag comedy that is weird and funny enough to keep me entertained for two episodes. I can see myself growing sick of it over time, and I probably won’t watch any more, but it was fun while it lasted.

...something the snack shop girls put to good use

Okay, there’s one gag that had me in stitches both times it shows up. You have to see it to understand.

Squid Girl, so ink. Makes sense, right? Right?

That’s Squid Girl in a nutshell. You could easily not watch, but come on, the show’s called Squid Girl. How can you say no to that?

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