A thoughtful response to current anime.

Ika Musume 2 – Episode 3

I’ve sort of been putting off watching Ika Musume, school got busy for me and if I only have time to keep up with a subset of my shows it’s likely to be the shows with plot and continuity that get watched first.  If I fall behind on watching, say, Fate/Zero, then everybody will be speculating about that mysterious Servant who did the thing with his Noble Phantasm or whatever, and I’ll be completely in the dark.  If I fall behind on Ika Musume, people will talk about how cute Ika Musume is, conquer the world de geso~, and I will still be able to nod and concur.  But I have some time now, so let’s watch episode 3 of the second season of Ika Musume.

…thirty minutes pass…

Ika Musume knows how to enjoy life.

Kind of a weak episode, I felt.  The part where Ika Musume was walking the dog was just weird and didn’t click at all for me.  Ika Musume is nominally a squid, despite how much she acts like a human.  Given that she herself understands Japanese, she shouldn’t be shocked to discover that a dog understands it as well!  It would be more surprising for an animal not to speak Japanese!  I guess from her perspective a squid is more than just an animal.  What she should find shocking is actually that humans can speak Japanese.  (Having briefly taken classes in it, I’m inclined to agree with her on that.)

The radio exercises part didn’t click for me either.  That’s not necessarily the fault of the writers, though.  There’s just a cultural gap: radio exercises aren’t really a “thing” in the US like they are in Japan, so it doesn’t call back nostalgic memories for me that the writers can play off of.  There was some passable slapstick though, when she was doing the exercises and accidentally hitting people with her tentacles (that are strong enough to lift fridges, let’s remember).  I’m not a fan of slapstick comedy as a general rule, but it does improve it a little bit to have a cute squid girl holding the slap stick.

The part where Ika Musume becomes a lifeguard was pretty cool, though.  The number one problem I have with this show is that it doesn’t reference its core conceit of Ika Musume being an invader from under the ocean.  So I was pretty gratified when Ika Musume decided to focus less on protecting the people from the ocean and more on protecting the ocean from the people.  Asking Ika Musume to “protect” the beach was kind of silly to begin with, given that one of the things the beach needs to be protected from is invasion.  They’re setting the squid to guard the shrimp-house.  I guess they could set up a sort of vassalage or protectorate system, where Ika Musume protects the beach from all outside threats in exchange for the beach swearing fealty to her.  She at least should have set her price higher than three pieces of fried shrimp.


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