A thoughtful response to current anime.

Ika Musume 2 – Episode 5

I’ve been having computer trouble, which has kind of got me down, so I think it’s a good time to watch some Ika Musume to raise my spirits.  Ika Musume is a sort of comfort food of anime – it might not have the exotic flavors of a Mirai Nikki or Mawaru Penguindrum, but it has silly jokes and cute squidgirls and you can be confident that it will bring a smile to your face and not make you think too hard.   So let’s go for that.  Wash my cares away with the gentle waves of the ocean, episode 5 of season 2 of Ika Musume!

…thirty minutes pass…

Wish for a friendly AI, then let it figure out how make the rest of your wishes come true.

Fun episode!  None of the parts really stood out, but none of them dragged either.

The part where Ika Musume broke the toy car that Takeru had saved up to buy didn’t really help take my mind off the broken computer I saved up to buy, but oh well, it was fun anyway.  It wasn’t just funny, it had a good moral lesson too: “don’t break other people’s stuff, or you’ll end up being dissected by weird foreigners”.  Or possibly “never trust anything someone from MIT builds for you”.

I guess I am just an outsider to Japanese culture, but I don’t really understand the restrictions they were putting on Ika Musume’s Tanabata wish-making.  You say they can only wish for “one thing”.  Even putting aside Kiyomi, who clearly was trying to wish for two things, and putting aside Takeru’s friend, who clearly wished for less than one thing each, the notion of what counts as a thing to wish for is not well-defined.  You can always turn two propositions “X” and “Y” into a single proposition by just sticking an and between them, and wishing for “X and Y” instead.  If you say “and” is illegal in Tanabata wishes, there are plenty of ways to implicitly introduce an “and” through clever use of language.  In fact, Takeru did it, when he wished to “play with Ika Musume after she conquers the world” – the “after” there contains a presupposition that she will conquer the world, so for it to come true, he would have to play with her AND she would have to conquer the world.  I guess Takeru is just better at this game than Ika Musume.

The third part sets Ika Musume up with a tragic backstory.  She had no friends until she came to invade land.  😦  I suppose we could have guessed that, the ocean’s a rough place.  Killer whales want to eat her, she wants to eat shrimp.  A killer whale, a squid, and a shrimp are not going to sit down together and start playing videogames.  It’s nice to see that she made the best of her crushing loneliness, but it casts a new light on a lot of her earlier actions.   She has had to go to great lengths to amuse herself because of the lonely life she was forced to live, so who can blame her for, for example, borrowing Takeru’s toy car and smashing it into a wall?   She’s just acting out the behaviors she learned in a different environment, an environment where you have to seize any opportunity for amusement you can find or die of boredom.


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