A thoughtful response to current anime.

Ika Musume 2 – Episode 7

Ika Musume is a squid who wants to conquer the world!  Let’s enjoy some continuity free cute gag comedy in episode 7 of season two of Shinryaku! Ika Musume.

…thirty minutes pass…

Come on, they're not so bad. They're less prone to biting you in half than sharks are.

The first part of this episode was pretty weak.  Ayumi is just not a compelling character.  All she does is sit around blushing, for a character to be interesting it needs to express itself through either dialog or actions.  And I don’t really like her father, either.  It’s nice that he’s trying to do what’s best for his daughter, but it just leads to him yelling at everyone. I don’t like watching other people get yelled at, in the back of my mind I am thinking, what if I am next.  The bright spot of this part was the sight-gags with the Ika Musume heads – those were very well drawn, I thought.  The Ika-Musume-head bathroom was outright creepy, it seemed more appropriate for a Halloween episode than a Thanksgiving episode.  The art was good all around, actually.  I thought the Jello dessert he served looked delicious, it’s a shame they didn’t get to eat it.

The second part seemed like a wasted opportunity.  The affliction of amnesia has any number of complicated consequences that you could explore over a multi-episode story arc; we hardly got to see any exploration of the idea at all before the seven minutes was up and we had to race on to a new storyline.  I wish this show were a little more flexible with its episode structure.  Sometimes the quick seven minute stories work, if it’s a premise like “Ika Musume learns to use an umbrella” or “Ika Musume goes jogging”, but some premises cry out for deeper exploration.  One of my favorite shows, School Rumble, had a nominal three-part-per-episode structure like Ika Musume does, but they were more willing to fudge the boundaries to allow more time for Harima’s passionate battle to draw manga or whatever.  I guess Ika Musume is no School Rumble.

The third part was trading pretty heavily on cuteness – there weren’t many actual jokes in it.  But Ika Musume went and did a bunch of fun activities, and was cute doing them.  She ate ice cream, she sung karaoke, she wore pretty dresses.  And I feel like that has to be enough.  In the end, Ika Musume is a show about a cute squid who came from the ocean to invade the land, but ended up enjoying the diversions she found on the land and getting distracted.  The third part was all about that, and if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t be watching the show.


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