A thoughtful response to current anime.

Ika Musume 2 – Episode 2

Ika Musume is back in full swing, and it is like it never left the air.  Ironic anime twitter people are donning Ika Musume avatars to replace their K-On avatars, and tweeting about how much they love the ocean instead of how much the love guitars.  I feel like Ika Musume has something that K-On doesn’t, though.  A sense of conflict, maybe?  In K-On everybody gets along and is good friends, even if Ritsu sometimes bullies Mio.  In Ika Musume, Ika Musume is nominally everyone’s enemy, since she’s an invader, and in practice she’s an enemy at least of some of the secondary characters, like the scientists or the girl who is creepily obsessed with her.  This helps keep the show from getting boring, like K-On often got.  Let’s see whose enemy Ika Musume is in episode 2 of the second season of Ika Musume!

…thirty minutes pass…

Show me in the rulebook where it says a squid can't play soccer!

The first part of the episode, where Ika Musume goes to elementary school, was kind of weak.  It’s nice to get segments where Ika Musume remembers that she is supposed to be invading stuff, and brainwashing elementary-schoolers actually seems like a pretty plausible path for her to take.  I was right alongside this episode when she was rabble-rousing up a mob of kids to march on City Hall chanting revolutionary slogans, it was great!  But then they threw it all away and audibled into some bland sports-themed nonsense.  Especially the conclusion of the soccer match was unsatisfying – we are supposed to believe that these big third grade bullies are going to throw the game to her just because she’s popular?  Ika Musume is a terrifying invader with powerful tentacles, she does not need your pity.

The second part, where the cafe workers dressed up in costumes, was ok.  Playing dressup is cool, I liked Ika Musume’s queen outfit the best.  Again, though, the resolution seemed sort of artificial.  If all you are doing is pretending to be capable of functioning in society, that’s plenty!  That’s all anybody does.  Hence the saying, “fake it ’til you make it”, hence the sense that many high-achievers have that they are impostors who do not deserve their high achievements.  Over time, without even noticing it, you might become what you pretend to be.  Which, maybe Nagisa doesn’t want that, if she values her femininity,  but it seems like Ayumi could only profit by it.

The third part, where Ika Musume shared her weightloss secrets, was pretty cool.  I’d like to see more of this sort of bizarre stuff out of Ika Musume.  It kind of reminded me of Mini-Musume from the first season, only it wasn’t revealed to all be a dream at the end.  Ika Musume actually, canonically, has bracelets she can use to adjust her weight.  You can’t argue against it from a physics perspective: it’s true that she needs to be able to increase her weight if she wants to do things like lift and throw refrigerators with her tentacles without suffering from the equal and opposite reaction.  I just wonder about the mechanics of it.  Clearly it has to be directly altering her mass, if it were just altering her weight by using antigravity it wouldn’t make her susceptible to being carried away by a large crow.  The crow would be able to lift her upwards with ease, but would have a hard time moving her sideways.  If you can alter an object’s mass at will, though, that seems pretty exploitable.  You could reduce a projectile’s mass immensely before firing it at a target so it is fired at high speed, and then just before it strikes the target you could  increase its mass immensely so that it imparts huge amounts of momentum to the target.  And that’s just for starters! If Ika Musume has access to this sort of technology, a successful invasion of the land is probably not out of her reach after all.


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