A thoughtful response to current anime.

Ika Musume 2 – Episode 9

It’s final exam season, so my anime watching has slowed down a little – I’ll probably end up marathoning the rest of Penguindrum over winter break, rather than trying to follow it as it airs.  One thing that I can’t slow down watching, though, is Ika Musume.  Her cute and silly antics are exactly what I need to balance out the stress of school.  Here’s hoping Ika Musume can invade my worries away in episode 9 of season 2 of Shinryaku Ika Musume.

…thirty minutes pass…

How kind of Sanae to drag Ika Musume out of the gloomy darkness into the warm, happy, love-filled light.

Sanae’s stock has really risen for me.  She used to be my least favorite character, but now she’s been the best part of two episodes in a row.  I think it has to do with the fact that they’ve made her more effective.  Before, she would just try to gigglesqueeglomp Ika Musume and get rebuffed with a tentacle slap, and that would be the end of it.  Simple slapstick, not very funny.  Now she’s more likely to do subtle things like worm her way into Ika Musume’s roleplaying sessions or steal her datebook, and she’s gone a little over the top and started making Yuno-style crazyfaces.  The game of house they played was an amusing spiral of weirdness, and it was Sanae that was driving it.  Thanks, Sanae!

When they started to do a bit based around Ika Musume getting a bag and a dayplanner, I was skeptical.  Bags and dayplanners are pretty self-explanatory, I didn’t think they’d be able to repeat the genius of the bit where Ika Musume learns to use an umbrella.  But that was naive of me.  I was thinking as a human, who understands the hypocrisy of the human world.  Ika Musume, bless her heart, expects people to do what they say.  It was great watching her grow in understanding until finally she hit upon the breaking strategy (make Big Plans and then sit around playing videogames all day, then complain on your anime blog about how you don’t have enough time).

When it came to the amusement park bit, my sympathies were with Eiko.  I’ve never been a huge fan of amusement parks in general, and when I had occasion to go to them as a kid I spent my time trying to find things to do so that I could look like I was having fun and wouldn’t spoil other people’s good times.  Most rides seemed to be about making you miserable – spinning rides that would make you nauseous, rollercoasters that would make you terrified, water rides that would make you wet and cold.  I guess Ika Musume is an aquatic creature, so getting wet shouldn’t bother her, and if she can control her mass at will she probably doesn’t need to fear falling.  And she seemed fine on the spinning teacups too; I dunno if she was using her powers of density control to counteract the rotation, or if it’s just a difference between human biology and squidgirl biology.  Either way, she seems like an ideal amusement park attendee, and it’s a shame she didn’t get to go to a real one. Well, maybe she will find the sleazy bar to be charming in its own way.


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